Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce
You may have heard that when you file for divorce in Miami-Dade County, you are required to attend mediation before your case is eligible for trial. Here are some quick facts about mediation to help you understand what to expect.
- Confidential: What is said at mediation stays at mediation. So if, for example, you offered $1,000 a month in alimony at mediation but at trial you argued you should only pay $100 per month, the fact that you offered more at mediation could not be brought up at trial. This rule is in place to allow each side to make their best offers and to encourage settlement without fear of derailing case strategy.
- Voluntary: Although you may be ordered by the court to go to mediation, there’s no requirement that you stay for any given amount of time. However, because you will likely spend a lot more litigating your case than settling it, it is to your benefit to give mediation a real try before you walk out.
- Long: Most parties mistakenly believe mediation will take only an hour or two. Most take a minimum of 4 hours, however, because if done thoroughly, there is a process that involves speaking to both sides individually and typing and tweaking agreement terms. It’s best to set aside a whole day to focus on getting a deal done the right way in mediation.
- Mutual Disappointment: The nature of compromise means neither side will be 100% happy with the mediation outcome. But in the long run, if you entered a deal you can live with and that gives you concessions that are important to you, you’ve likely done yourself a huge favor and saved yourself a lot of money. You also may have saved yourself from bigger disappointment that may come with going to trial.
Having a Miami divorce lawyer with you at mediation can help you decide if a deal is in your best interest. Start with a consultation to determine the best way to move forward with attending mediation in your Florida family law case.