No matter how willing two parties are to work together to find a solution to a domestic matter, achieving a mutually agreeable resolution to a legal issue is never a simple task. Because of these challenges, state family courts often encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like mediation to facilitate the negotiating process for everyone involved.

While mediation is not appropriate in every situation, it can be a great way to help you and your spouse meet in the middle on complex and often contentious matters. The process can be made even easier when you work with a qualified divorce attorney. Seek help from a skilled Miramar mediation lawyer to give yourself the best chances of a favorable resolution to your case.

Understanding the Mediation Process

During the mediation process, a neutral third party helps two or more people reach a resolution to a legal disagreement or concern. The mediator has no stake in the matter at hand and is specially trained not to take either party’s side. Their only goal is to help each negotiating party better understand the other’s position and guide them towards a mutually beneficial agreement as much as possible.

Family courts in Miramar and throughout Florida occasionally order mediation during divorces or prior to hearings regarding timesharing or child support in an effort to move negotiations along more quickly and avoid the need for a formal court appearance.

In many other situations, parties who both have the same end goal—like two spouses who mutually agree to a divorce—may elect to voluntarily pursue mediation as a way of ensuring their discussions over potentially controversial issues do not become acrimonious and remain confidential, unless reduced to writing. A skilled lawyer could represent a spouse who prefers to handle legal disagreements through mediation.

Is Mediation Binding?

The most important thing to understand about mediation is that it is non-binding, unless the agreement is reduced to writing executed and initialed by each party. Regardless of whether it is court-ordered or voluntary, nothing said during a mediation session will ever become legally enforceable or even admissible during a later court hearing until both parties in the session sign an agreement indicating otherwise. An attorney in Miramar familiar with the mediation process could help individuals work toward executing a binding agreement during negotiation sessions.

The Benefits of Retaining Legal Counsel During Mediation

Mediation is built to be a semi-collaborative process, and each party involved has the right to legal counsel. Recognizing that there are adverse issues to be resolved,  it generally best for both parties to retain an attorney who could accompany them into the session, as a mediation can turn adversarial. A seasoned attorney could clearly communicate an individual’s needs and avoid confusion over complex aspects of the case.

If a mediation session is successful in bringing two opposing parties together towards a mutual resolution, a local lawyer could also help form a legally binding document formalizing the progress made. Finally, if a mediation session results in no agreement, guidance from a legal professional could be essential during litigation.

Speak with a Miramar Mediation Attorney Today

When appropriate, mediation can be a great tool for solving family-related legal disputes. This process could help you avoid spending unnecessary time in court. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case with a Miramar mediation lawyer.