Tampa Mediation Lawyer
When many people think about divorce, they imagine a tense court setting where the parties are required to litigate their issues. While it is true that many family law-related cases do go to trial, it is not the only option available. Mediation, for instance, can save couples both money and time, while also allowing them to keep decision making power in their own hands. To find out more about mediation and whether it is right for you and your family, please contact one of our dedicated Tampa mediation lawyers for assistance.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, in which the parties meet in the presence of a neutral third party to negotiate and settle their dispute in an out of court setting. Mediators, unlike arbitrators, are not permitted to decide which party is right or wrong or decide how a dispute will be resolved. Instead, the parties are encouraged to find solutions that meet their specific needs, while the mediator helps encourage amicable communication. Many courts require couples to attempt mediation before going to court over a family-related legal issue. However, it is also possible for the parties to choose to go through mediation on their own.
If a couple decides to mediate and comes to a mutually acceptable agreement, the terms must be recorded in writing and signed by both parties. This document can then be submitted to a court, who will review it before determining whether it is enforceable. Once approved, the agreement becomes a binding court order with which all parties must comply. It is also not required for the parties to come to an agreement on all aspects of their case. For instance, a couple going through a divorce may come up with a child custody arrangement, but be unable to agree on how marital property will be divided. In these cases, the court can enforce the portion of the agreement that is related to child custody, while also stepping in and making a separate determination about property division.
The Advantages of Mediation
Mediation has a number of advantages over litigating in court. For instance, mediation ensures that the issues that are important to the parties are not decided by a third party who is not familiar with their particular circumstances. Additionally, unlike trials and hearings, everything that is revealed in mediation is confidential. The only exceptions to this rule are when information about child or elder abuse is revealed, or one party shares that someone is planning to commit a crime. Mediators are also uniquely equipped to help parties overcome obstacles to communication and remain focused on the important issues at hand. In the event that negotiations stall, mediators can often help restart the conversation and help both parties come to a solution that is in both of their best interests.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Mediation Lawyer
Mediating family disputes can save the parties both time and money, so if you are currently involved in a dispute with your spouse or another family member, please call the legal team at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group to find out whether mediation is right for you. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 813-242-4404.