All family courts in Central Florida encourage parties in a divorce or child custody case to attend mediation in good faith, and many judges even make it an outright requirement. What can mediation accomplish for your family?
An oft-quoted statistic is that the average cost of a divorce is $15,000, although the number sometimes varies slightly. Most proceedings are almost always more expensive than you originally anticipated. Mediation can substantially reduce these costs. There is typically abbreviated discovery, and less time means lower legal bills. Moreover, instead of preparing for a trial which may last a few days or even a week, your attorney only needs to prepare for a mediation which will last a few hours.
In a stiff and formal courtroom setting, most people are on edge. The parties are seated almost next to each other and the atmosphere is very confrontational. Mediation, on the other hand, typically occurs in a lawyer’s office or in meeting rooms. After brief opening statements, the parties retire to separate rooms as the mediator conducts shuttle diplomacy by ferrying offers and counteroffers back and forth. The environment is anything but emotionally-charged.
Mediated settlements in Orlando have a much higher compliance rate, because the parties feel that they have input into the outcome and they feel as if their voice has been heard. This dynamic is particularly important if one or more parties has problems accepting authority. Control also goes back to cost. The higher compliance rate means fewer trips back to court to modify or enforce the decree or order.
Mediation may not always be successful, but it is almost always worth a try. For a consultation with attorneys who find solutions, contact our office.