Defending Your Peace of Mind
Florida Divorce Mediation Attorneys
Don’t Drag Your Divorce Out – Call Our Divorce Mediators in FL
Simply put, mediation occurs when both parties come together with a neutral third-party and attempt to come to terms. While the mediator is generally an attorney, advocating for either party is not allowed. Because of this neutrality, certified mediators have proven effective at negotiating the conflicts that typically involve family law disputes.
At the Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Florida divorce mediation attorneys are effective both inside and outside of the courtroom.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is used in a private forum before a case is filed in court. During this process, a third party provides assistance to help the involved parties define issues and create plans to deal with such problems. The role of the mediator is to sit down with each party to discuss the various options and to develop various proposals in order to have the case resolved with little to no disputes or resentment between the parties.
Florida statute guides the mediator’s actions to ensure appropriate conduct. In cases of family law, the mediator is required to:
- Remain neutral.
- Restrain from forcing any agreement.
- To conduct mediation with primacy on the mutual good of both parties.
The mediator is required to keep the negotiation confidential. By listening to the desire of both parties, the mediator will attempt to construct a suitable plan. Often, this requires a give and take process between parties. Successful mediation likely involves a series of concessions from both sides.
Skillful settlement negotiation can sometimes lead to satisfactory solutions without ever going through the arduous process of full litigation. We will work closely with mediators to both represent your legal goals and reach any suitable agreement. Through our extensive background, we are prepared to help you capitalize on the opportunity mediation provides.
Should your mediation conclude with an agreement, a small number of additional steps exist before finalizing the judgement. All parties will sign appropriate documentation for court submission. A Florida court will review said documentation to ensure statute requirements have been met. Only then, will a judge approve of the negotiated terms and proceed with final judgement.
Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation
- Divorce Mediation - Mediation allows divorcing couples use to negotiate acceptable divorce agreements with the assistance of a mediator, who helps them communicate and negotiate. While a mediator can make suggestions, a mediator does not make any decisions for couples. Mediation is often simpler, faster, less stressful, and more affordable than litigation.
- Divorce Litigation – Litigation is most-often used in contested, high-tension divorces to resolve disputed issues. In most cases, litigated divorce cases cost more than mediated divorce cases due to trial expenses, delays, pricey attorney fees, and more.
The Benefits of Choosing Mediation Over Divorce
While mediation and litigation can both be used to finalize a divorce, many find it easier and less emotionally taxing to use mediation over litigation. To help individuals understand, our attorneys have created a graph, which compares mediated and litigated divorce cases:
|In a mediated divorce case, spouses determine the best interest of their child.||If parents cannot agree on custody issues, the court may determine a strict custody order, creating a possibility for a child to become unhappy or emotionally unstable.|
|The divorcing couple determines and controls the outcome of the divorce.||A judge or commissioner decides the outcome of the divorce case.|
|Mediation is a confidential process that allows for a couple’s decisions to remain between the spouses and the third-party. Additionally, there are no filed declarations of accusations against one another.||All filed declarations of accusations are held in public records, meaning anyone can view these files at any time.|
|A mediator will help the divorcing couple negotiate a fair settlement.||Property division decisions may depend on the following: how aggressive a spouse’s attorney is, a judge’s opinion, prescribed court schedules, and which spouse is more aggressive.|
|Alimony, child support, and parenting plans are likely to be maintained when they are mutually decided.||Spouses may develop resentment towards one another, creating a lack of commitment for each spouse to follow court orders.|
|Mediation allows each spouse to maintain their dignity. In addition, mediation allows for divorcing partners to work together to reach a solution, creating a more positive and cordial outcome.||Litigation can cause spouses to grow hostile towards each other since much of the divorce may include arguments, declarations of accusations, and choices made my a court or judge.|
Advice from a Mediation Specialist
When asked about the benefits of choosing to work with a Certified Family Law Mediator, Attorney Michael Goodson, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, explained, “Certified Family Law Mediators have participated in specialized training and mentorship, and they understand clients' desires to quickly and efficiently resolve family law issues.”
At The Virga Law Firm, our Florida divorce mediation lawyers understand the importance of effective negotiation and mediation. Utilizing our decades of experience, our highly trained mediation attorneys can negotiate terms on your behalf. We know what it takes to reach suitable agreements with malleable opposition. Having defended clients’ interests in mediation throughout the state, The Virga Law Firm stands ready to defend your litigation goals.
Have questions concerning family law mediation? Contact our office to schedule a consultation!
Gerard Virga Founding Attorney
David Lohr Executive Director/Attorney
Chad Self Panama City Beach Managing Attorney
William West Ritchie Panama City Managing Attorney
Jill Warren Pensacola Managing Attorney
Andrea Ansley Fort Walton Beach Managing Attorney
Taylor Tippel Orlando Managing Attorney
Christopher Melendez Attorney
John Stokes Attorney
Matt Hutt Attorney
Tracie Phillips Attorney
April Hand Operations Manager and Florida Registered Paralegal
Danny Durnbaugh Chief Financial Officer
“I will definitely be recommending to anyone I know that needs a child custody or divorce attorney!” - A Divorce Client
“If you are looking for an attorney who is professional, honest, knowledgeable and responsive to your needs, Gerard Virga meets such requirements.” - A Divorce Client
“He responded to my messages promptly and I never felt rushed when speaking with him in meetings and phone conversations.” - A Divorce Client
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