Divorce proceedings can be complicated, especially when children are involved. In the State of Florida, including the Daytona Beach area, if you can’t agree on custody, those issues could be submitted to family court mediation services to help facilitate an open dialogue between the two parties. But many attend family court mediation without knowing what it is.
Family court mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third person, who is trained in family law problem solving, acts as an intermediary between two parties in an attempt to persuade them to settle their disputed issues. Mediation through family court services can be of great help in settling issues of child support, custody and parenting time. Judges often encourage mediation in family law cases as it assists you in the decision-making process—rather than those in the court system unfamiliar with each family’s unique needs.
Private Family Court Mediation Services
Another benefit of the family court mediation service in Daytona Beach is confidentiality. Other than what is contained in a settlement agreement, everything said in a mediation conference is privy only to the mediator, who will prepare the agreement when it is reached.
In the State of Florida mediators are usually lawyers, social workers or mental health professionals holding a minimum of a master’s degree in their area of expertise. The mediator does not decide the case, make decisions or give legal advice. Your attorney is permitted to be with you at any family mediation center session. If your lawyer does not attend and you reach an agreement, that agreement must be forwarded to your attorney for review within five days.
Legal counsel then has 10 days from date of mailing to serve any objections on the mediator and the opposing party or their counsel. If no objections are filed, approval by legal counsel is presumed and the mediator files the agreement with the court. Any agreed settlement is required to be signed by the parties and their attorneys. If no agreement is reached, the mediator must report the lack of an agreement without comments or recommendations unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties. The court will then schedule further proceedings.
As a qualified family mediation lawyer, I can act as your neutral third party to facilitate your child custody case as part of your divorce proceedings. Most mediation center sessions through family court last two to three hours, and an agreement is often reached during that time or in a few meetings. Contact me today to schedule a consultation.