If you and your spouse have made the decision to divorce, a major concern will no doubt be the impact on your children.
You worry about their reaction to a possibly confrontational divorce in court, so the private, more respectful approach of mediation might be the best option for everyone in the family.
In the state of Florida, mediation is usually a prerequisite to calendaring any kind of lawsuit. In recent years, mediation has steadily gained in popularity as an option that allows parties to take control of their own divorce and create a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to them both. Studies show that because mediation is a less hostile process than litigation, it is much easier on the children of the marriage. In fact, it provides a more relaxed atmosphere in which to create a successful parenting plan. Other major points of discussion are property division, child support and alimony.
Learning how it works
Mediation takes place outside of court in more relaxed surroundings. You and your soon-to-be-ex will meet with a mediator, a neutral third party trained in alternative dispute resolution. The duties of a mediator are to provide access to legal information as necessary, help diffuse emotional situations and provide guidance to help the parties resolve conflicts. The mediator does not take sides but assists the divorcing couple in focusing on developing their divorce agreement.
Communication is key in divorce mediation and the parties will use this skill to advantage as they step into the future, especially as they continue to raise their children. Mediation is less expensive and time-consuming than litigation. Because it also makes divorce a less contentious and stressful event, it is often the best option for everyone in the family.