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Divorce Mediation and Arbitration

Divorce Mediation and Arbitration

Almost always divorce comes with a lot of stress and strong emotions, such as anger, resentment, and fear.  Most people are unprepared to face the prospects of ending a marriage and breaking the promise of living happily ever after.  Often, the future of the couple’s children are dependent on the outcome and marriage generally entails many entanglements that need to be settled.

Besides intense emotions, divorces come with substantial costs and time-consuming court litigation.  The fees from two attorneys, forensic accountants and psychiatrists as well as litigation costs can be crippling to the separating spouses and the family’s future.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case.  Instead of financially and emotionally draining court procedures, the spouses can select alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration, with or without attorneys.

Both have significant advantages over traditional litigation.

The Mediation Group
Divorce Mediation and Arbitration


Mediation is a neutral, voluntary, and confidential approach to dispute resolution.  As such, mediation offers the divorcing spouses numerous benefits that a court trial lacks.  The informal nature of mediation enables spouses to express their feelings related to a divorce.  At the same time, mediation helps to keep those emotions under control so they don’t interfere with the conflict resolving process.  The parties can fashion their own resolution that best suits their situation without the expenses and of a court case.  Mediation has proved to be an effective and mutually beneficial method of handling divorces.

An impartial third person, the mediator, is chosen by agreement of the parties, or by the Court if the parties are in litigation and cannot agree.  The mediator listens to both spouses and seeks to find common ground and ways to help the parties untie the knot. A family law mediator has special training in the field and must meet special certification requirements set by Florida’s Supreme Court.


The mediator may meet jointly with the parties or conduct separate sessions (called caucuses ) with each of the spouses.  The mediator assesses the problems to be addressed and formulates a plan to facilitate the most cost effective and efficient resolution. The negotiations usually result in a settlement agreement which may be drafted by the mediator, or, if represented, with the assistance of the attorneys, after both spouses sign it, the settlement will be incorporated in divorce paperwork presented to the courts.  This becomes binding on parties when finalized by the court.

Mediation is not only less stressful but also less emotionally damaging to children.  Seeing their parents in adversarial roles during litigation procedures often leaves a lasting negative impact on childrens’ well-being.  Unlike stressful witness examinations and cross-examinations in jury trials, the mediation procedure occurs in a cooperative and peaceful atmosphere.  An experienced divorce mediator will help the spouses better understand each other and reach the settlement agreement more easily.

One of the most significant advantages mediation has over litigation is it’s confidentiality.  While everything said in court becomes part of the public record, the mediation process keeps family life out of public sight.

However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the mediator cannot issue a binding decision or any decision at all.  The mediation will succeed if the spouses are willing to negotiate openly and sincerely.  Family law mediators are also trained to deal with circumstances of domestic abuse and violence, which could otherwise derail settlement discussions.  On the other hand, if the mediation does not end with a settlement, the parties are free to pursue litigation in court.

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Mediation with an experienced and certified Family Law mediator helps spouses avoid stressful and unpredictable outcomes of draining court litigation.  It enables children to avoid an adversarial process which often puts their parents in a bad light.  Also, parents that used mediation to craft their divorce oftentimes find it easier to maintain better co-parenting relationships.

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