If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are interested in avoiding litigation during your divorce, you may find mediation to be effective for resolving differences and setting the terms of your divorce. Keep in mind, a mediation divorce lawyer can be a benefit for all couples, not just for those with children. Our Family Law office has helped many clients, with and without children, successfully use the mediation process to find solutions and secure settlement for concerns like property distribution, child custody, child support, and alimony.
In mediation, couples choose a trained and neutral mediator to guide and oversee discussions. Typically, a mediator works to help the parties find common ground and identify terms both sides find mutually agreeable. While some couples are able to navigate the mediation process on their own, there are many situations where it makes sense to consult a trusted divorce lawyer who has represented clients in mediations. When Attorney Eric C. Cheshire acts as your Mediation Divorce Lawyer, he will help you understand the legal consequences of certain decisions and provide counsel on how to make the best decisions for yourself in mediation.
If you do decide to use a lawyer for your mediation process, review these FAQS before you hire a mediation lawyer:
- Mediation may be used to resolve the following types of family law disputes: child custody, co-parenting and time sharing schedules, division of marital property, settlement of assets/debt distribution, post-divorce modifications
- While mediation is a less expensive process than litigation, there are still costs and professional fees involved. Make sure you understand the mediator’s fees as well as the mediation lawyer’s fees BEFORE you decide to hire them to start the mediation process. Expect that most attorneys will charge a standard hourly rate.
- If you make the choice to work with a divorce attorney, he or she will help you find a professional mediator. A reputable and knowledgeable attorney will have contacts and suggestions based on their experience with the process. It is up to you and your spouse to accept the attorney’s advice on a mediator.
- It’s important to find an attorney who, not only supports mediation, but also brings seasoned experience and can offer trustworthy advice on your legal issue(s) as well as protect your rights. Attorney Eric C. Cheshire has an in-depth understanding of the mediation process, having been involved in over 1,500 cases in the State of Florida. Not all family law attorneys are familiar with mediation or supportive of the process and their counsel may actually be detrimental to reaching settlements successfully.
- Decide whether you want or need legal guidance throughout the entire mediation or if your interests call for consultation prior to entering mediation (to evaluate your situation and help you understand the process) and then for a final review of all written agreements created during mediation before you sign the document(s). If you choose to have your attorney attend the divorce mediation with you, this detail must be worked out in advance with the mediator, your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney.
- Be clear at the start of the mediation process about the role you expect your lawyer to play during the negotiations and ask about what expectations your lawyer has of you. Attorney Cheshire understands the primary importance of his role – to make sure your legal rights are protected while you negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
- Once negotiation are reached, either the mediator or one of your attorneys will write the final agreement. These documents will be incorporated with the rest of your divorce paperwork and will become part of your divorce judgment.
- Assess the attorney’s experience, skill and understanding of the mediation process. Find out if the lawyer has ever had clients in mediation before and if the lawyer has been trained in mediation. Last, determine if you feel comfortable working on these personal concerns with the attorney. If your instincts tell you to steer clear, it’s in your best interest to consult with another mediation lawyer.
Finally, whether your situation is resolved through Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, or Litigation, Cheshire Family Law is here to help you understand the benefits of each process to achieve favorable results while reducing the emotional upheaval that too often accompanies family law matters. Contact us today with your Family Law questions and/or for a consultation: (561) 677-8090.