Mediation Lawyer in Melbourne, FL
When most people think of divorce, they often imagine a husband and wife at opposite ends of a table, yelling and pointing fingers at each other, with their divorce attorneys in between them trying to diffuse the situation. While it is true that many Florida divorces are often contentious, it is also true that more and more couples are turning to mediation as a way to end their marriage instead of the more costly and drawn-out process of litigation. If you are considering divorce mediation, a mediation lawyer in Melbourne, FL can help.
What Is the Mediation Process?
Divorce mediation is basically an out-of-court negotiation process where a couple comes to an agreement on whatever issues need to be decided without the intervention – and decision – of the court. This is done with the help of a mediator who remains a neutral third party throughout the mediation process. The mediator is specifically trained in their process and may be an attorney or other professional who is aware of the complexities of a divorce, as well as its impact.
The mediator will guide the couple through any issues that need to be settled. It is recommended that each spouse still have their own Melbourne, FL mediation lawyer representing them to ensure that they are understanding everything they may be agreeing to.
Some couples come to mediation and have some issues decided already, while others come to mediation without any issues agreed upon yet. Regardless of the status, the mediator can help.
Couples may need to decide how assets and property will be divided between the two of them. If they have young children, they will need to come up with how parenting time will be divided up and if the child will be living with one parent or will the couple have shared custody. There may also be questions about spousal support. Although child support is often an issue that needs to be decided in a divorce, it is one that the court has final say over and is based on whatever the current state calculations are, although the couple may have to decide how extra expenses for the child will be shared, such as costs of extra-curricular activities.
What Are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?
One of the most important benefits of divorce mediation is that you and your spouse maintain control over the most important decisions in your lives, as long as you can come to an agreement. Otherwise, if you cannot agree, the court will make these decisions for you.
A Melbourne, FL mediation lawyer knows that mediation can also help you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse prepare for co-parenting after divorce. The best and healthiest scenario for your child is to have both parents present a united front when it comes to co-parenting, even if they are no longer living together. That can be a difficult thing to do coming away from an unhappy marriage, especially if there are residual effects. But having to discuss and agree on issues – working together – can help set a new foundation to being able to work together as parents.
As a top mediation lawyer in Melbourne, Florida is familiar with, finding the appropriate solution when you and your spouse have fundamental disagreements can seem like an uphill battle. The situation can seem impossible to find common ground in when you do not agree on so many things. Whether you are going through divorce or are working to form a parenting plan, meditation can be a good solution, as a lawyer from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood knows.
Mediation Lawyer in Melbourne, FL
The legal team at the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood are there for you when you need help finding solutions pertaining to family law. With experience in many practice areas, they have a strong understanding of the legal system. Clients going through complex matters of family law, such as divorce, child custody, child support, and other issues, not only have to deal with the difficulties of legal troubles, but the emotional toll as well. Allow us to guide you through this difficult period so you can find the best legal solution for your family.
How Mediation Works
When you talk to a mediator, they will sit down with you and your partner’s lawyers to discuss the issues and disagreements you have. They will talk with you about what kind of solution you are looking for, your values, preferences, and then suggest terms that both you and your spouse can agree to. If one partner does not agree, you will continue to hold discussions until an agreement is reached, otherwise the matter may be taken to court.
Speaking to a mediation lawyer can enlighten you about your options and see if mediation is the right approach for you.
Benefits of Mediation
For couples who are looking to avoid the drama of a heated court battle, mediation is a good way to solve core problems. Mediation may be more beneficial because it is a more straightforward process and helps you avoid extraneous costs. It allows time for open discussion and room for compromise. In the context of a divorce, mediation is less complex, less expensive, and is completed away from the public. You and your partner are able to finalize your divorce swiftly and efficiently without letting emotions get in the way.
An experienced mediation lawyer based in Melbourne, FL can also help you and your partner if you need to create a parenting plan if you are having custody disputes. Parents can meet with a mediator who will help them understand their issues and propose custody and visitation arrangements that are suitable for both parents. Mediation is a way to avoid petty arguments and help keep the focus on the child’s best interests. When parents have a disagreement, they can opt for mediation as an effective method of conflict resolution.
Mediation has actually been effective for a considerable majority of divorcing spouses who are in the process of pursuing divorce, and are preparing to negotiate a plan for the future that satisfies each of their unique needs. In addition, mediation is usually confidential in nature, as opposed to that of a court based process, where hearings may be public. The route of divorce mediation gives divorcing spouses a high level of flexibility compared to the standard divorce procedure, allowing spouses to make their own decisions on key issues, within legal limits, as opposed to asking a court to make them. Mediation allows you to avoid that unpredictability and is more likely to produce a stable long-term result.
Many states have recently begun to require that divorcing spouses go through the mediation process for particularly sensitive aspects of the process such as custody and visitation rights for their minor children. In Florida, couples may pursue the path of meditation as a means for settling similar matters.
The main difference between private and also court-ordered mediation is that court-ordered mediation might not cover all the issues that require to be finalized in a divorce, while the range of private mediation is up to the parties. Also if the extent of court-mandated mediation is restricted, at the very least one contract on an essential issue can facilitate additional settlements.
Choosing Between Traditional Divorce and Mediation
Regardless of all of its benefits, mediation might not be the perfect solution for every single couple undergoing a divorce. Some instances when mediation is much less reliable consist of a partnership troubled by domestic violence or drug abuse. When one spouse on a regular basis intimidates or controls the various other, the partner in the subservient role may not be able to totally express his/her rate of interests in mediation. Some partners become bitter toward each other as their marital relationship breaks down that they can not speak openly to the other spouse any longer. Because sincerity, respect, trust, and open dialogue are necessary to the success of the relationship, this may make mediation much less efficient. When one spouse has actually deliberately deceived or misinformed the various other spouse, the required layer of trust might be missing the components that make mediation a viable option. If you remain in one of these circumstances, you might prefer making use of a much more traditional divorce procedure, or working with an arbitrator experienced in these concerns, to see to it that your legal rights are properly protected.
Using a Lawyer in Mediation
You may be concerned that you don’t understand the local laws well enough to safeguard your rights throughout mediation, even if you do some research on your own to prepare to embark on the journey of divorce. You can use a lawyer that best suits your needs during the mediation procedure. It is essential to select someone that is acquainted with local state family laws, as well as with the mediation process in Florida. If you do retain the help of a legal representative, they will be able to advise you on the best settlement methods for your specific needs, clarify relevant legal concepts, and also assess any resulting agreement to make certain that it is valid and will adequately preserve your rights.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, so when you are scheduling a consultation with the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood to meet with a mediation lawyer Melbourne, FL, you should realize that your and your spouse’s assets and debts will be divided based on an equitable—but not necessarily even—split. To ensure you receive assets that are a priority to you and to be represented by a lawyer that understands what equitable means to you, contact us today!
Negotiable assets are those that were acquired during your marriage, not before or after. Also, when a spouse receives property from an inheritance, that property will typically always be given solely to the recipient spouse; however, if the inheritance came in monetary form and was deposited into a shared bank account, it may be considered marital property and thus eligible for negotiation and equitable distribution.
When determining which spouse will incur more of the previously shared debt, each spouse’s spending history and income will factor into the decision. If you and your spouse have children together, the state of Florida allows you and your spouse to settle a child custody plan. If one cannot be reached between you and your current spouse, you should find a mediator to help you create a plan that is in the children’s best interest.
What Do I Need to Bring?
When visiting your mediation lawyer in Melbourne, FL, you should bring multiple records. Below is a list of items for which you would bring documentation:
- Credit card statements
- Personal debt
- Mortgage statements
- Retirement account statements
- Checking and savings accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Car loan statements
- Investment accounts, stock options, etc.
- Business ownership documents
- Tax refunds and payments
- Previous years’ tax returns
- W-2s, 1099s, and paystubs
- Children’s health and school records
- Children’s birth/adoption certificates
- Marriage certificate and marital contracts
- Wills and trusts
- Social security benefits
Alimony is the legal obligation a person has to give financial contributions to a previous spouse. In Florida, alimony is determined based on several factors. Not only does the duration of the marriage impact the court’s decision, but the couple’s established standard of living affects it, too, along with each of the spouse’s information regarding the following:
- Financial resources
- Earning capacity
- Emotional state
- Physical state
When exchanging these personal facts to each party’s lawyers, a mediator can be extremely valuable. Not only do mediation lawyers provide legal knowledge and experience, but they also offer a formal atmosphere that can help prevent emotions from dictating the negotiations. That said, formally mediated discussions are confidential, so a spouse can share his or her unfiltered thoughts, concerns, and priorities; as a result, the mediation lawyer can gather the information needed to present equitable solutions to both parties.
As an alternative dispute resolution, mediation is often a great option when heading into highly emotional and impactful discussions. Experiencing a divorce can be difficult, but mediation has the potential to decrease anxiety and increase satisfaction as it aims to facilitate a win-win solution. At the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, a Melbourne, FL, mediation lawyer is ready for a consultation with you.
Contact a Skilled and Trusted Mediation Lawyer
What type of dispute you are looking to resolve, a mediation lawyer can provide valuable assistance. Reach out to a top mediation lawyer in Melbourne, FL if you need assistance resolving an urgent issue in family law.
Do’s and Don’ts of Mediation
Do Stick With It
Mediation is a process that only works if you stick with it. If you give up too early, you’re going to wind up in court with a judge making these decisions for you. In mediation, you at least have a chance to have input into the choices being made. Your Mediation Lawyer in Melbourne, FL, can help you reach a fair decision with your spouse.
Do Keep an Open Mind
When you keep an open mind, you’re open to different ideas than your own. That’s what it takes to reach an equitable agreement with your spouse. If you shut down and decide, “it’s my way or the highway,” you defeat the entire purpose of mediation. The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood can help you decide where you can bend a little.
Do Listen to Feedback
If your Mediation Lawyer in Melbourne, FL, is telling you that you’re trying to hold on too tightly to some ideas, listen to him. He’s there to help facilitate a discussion, which requires giving and receiving feedback.
Do Think About the Risks
The biggest risk is that if mediation fails, you’re going to go to court, where a judge makes decisions for you. You don’t want that to happen, and neither does your attorney from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood. It’s better to have some say in what’s going to happen to your assets, debts and children than to have a stranger who doesn’t know you make those choices for you.
Lying defeats the entire purpose of mediation, which is to reach an equitable settlement with your spouse, who will often know you’re lying. It can easily backfire when you’re called out, or if you get maneuvered into a position you don’t want to be in. When you work with a Mediation Lawyer in Melbourne, FL, be honest.
You may be tempted to air all your grievances against your spouse in mediation, but the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood can’t recommend you do that. It only causes anger and hurt feelings, which aren’t conducive to the cooperative spirit a mediation requires.
Don’t Use Your Phone
Using your phone during mediation shows disrespect at best and contempt at worst, not just for your spouse, but for the mediator, too. The only reason to use your phone at all is if you have a list of questions or items you want to keep from the marriage; if that’s the case, let the mediator know in advance. Better yet, put those lists in writing.