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Mediation is the process by which the parties and their lawyers meet with a neutral party to discuss ways of resolving the issues at hand. Ideally, the mediator should be a lawyer well-versed in divorce issues, or at least a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator. It is not a good idea to go to mediation until you are ready to prove your own case, and received all of your spouse's relevant financial or other documents. (and looked into the arguments that your spouse is making in the case)
The mediator cannot force anyone to agree to anything, although the Judge can order you to go to mediation and cooperate. The mediator will meet with the parties together and separately to see if a compromise can be reached, or even try and straighten out a party who may be unrealistic in their demands or expectations. Retired Judges make excellent mediators as they may be able to project how the Judge on the case will rule on the different issues.
Sometimes, it's just the idea of a neutral third party disagreeing with someone's position that makes them re-think it. If you can't sell your idea to a mediator, why would you think the Judge will buy it? If an agreement can be reached, it is reduced to writing. It basically becomes a MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT which is legally binding and can only be set aside in rare circumstances, such as where the other party misrepresented something important. The Agreement is then adopted by the Court into the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage if the Court finds it acceptable.
Interested in Florida divorce mediation?
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