Family Law and Divorce
Divorce is one of the most stressful events for an individual or family. If there are children involved, the parties must recognize the relationship they have, while changed, will still exist. It will be tested again and again during birthdays, graduations, weddings, and grandchildren. These events will require a certain level of contact. When facing divorce or timesharing, family mediation is a voluntary process involving a trained and impartial third party.
The Mediators Role
The mediator conducts the process of guiding parties to reach an agreement to cope better which allows their children to cope better as well. While attorneys still have a very important role in the mediation process, they are not typically present when the parties meet face to face. It is important to remember. A mediator has no power to make a decision. The parties make the decision which is more meaningful and more likely to be abided by, by both parties.
Steps in Family Mediation
- A pre-screening to determine if the couple is a suitable for family mediation
- Mediator’s Opening Statement: The mediator is there to manage the process, keep all statements confidential and not take sides. Furthermore, a mediator is not ethically allowed to tell either party what to do. The mediator introduces the disputants, explains the purpose and rules while encouraging each side to work cooperatively to reach a resolution.
- Disputants’ Opening Statement: Each party describes the dispute in their own words without interruption. The mediator will listen, clarify the question and acknowledges feelings. They must ask questions in a neutral way and remain positive.
- Joint Discussion: The time to determine which issues need to be addressed. Children, new partners or attorneys may be interviewed as well.
- Joint Negotiation: The parties may be asked to negotiate directly.
- Closure: This is the end where an agreement is hopefully reached. If an agreement is not reached, the mediator advises the parties of their options, such as meeting again, arbitration or going to court.
An Attorney’s Role in Family Mediation
While your attorney will not be present during the mediation sessions. The parties will be the primary negotiators. Your attorney will be your legal consultant who will advise their clients on their legal rights and obligations throughout the family mediation process. Their advice will help their clients make competent and informed decisions.
Advantages of Family Mediation
Cost: Since the mediation process is quicker than going through the court, the costs are typically far less.
Confidentiality: Mediation is a private matter, so it remains confidential between the involved parties. Even though the court system is not utilized to reach an agreement, the mediated agreement is fully enforceable by a court of law.
Control: Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. Mediation is more likely to produce a result agreeable to all parties.
Compliance: Because the agreement was agreed upon by all parties, the parties are more likely to adhere to it.
Mutuality: Given that the parties have agreed to attend mediation is a sure sign they are mutually willing to work toward a resolution.
Support: Trained mediators help the parties work through the issues and toward a resolution.
Paul Burkhart Can Help
Paul Burkhart will be your legal consultant you can turn to and trust to understand your legal right and obligations as they pertain to family law and mediation. His practice can provide:
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediators
- Certified Spanish Translator Services
- Conference Rooms
- Computer Software to Calculate Child Support, Alimony, and Equitable Distribution
- Drafting of Marital Settlement Agreements, Paternity Agreements, and Parenting Plans
Our team assists both individual and business clients with all their legal needs. This includes Business and Corporate Transactions, Business/Commercial and Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Family Law, and Estate Planning matters. We are a full-service private law firm ready to assist you with any request, large or small. Call 561-880-0155 or visit our website.
Law Offices of Paul J Burkhart, PL
Business litigation and business contracts
800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 880-0155
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