Tampa Marital and Family Law Mediation Attorneys
As a family law firm focused on conflict resolution and the amicable resolution of disputes, mediation plays a large role in the practice of the attorneys at Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A.. Our team includes Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators ready to help you resolve the issues in your divorce creatively and collaboratively. See below for some of the many benefits of using mediation, and contact Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A. at 813-514-0909 for a free initial consultation regarding whether mediation may be effective in your Tampa divorce.
What are the benefits of using mediation in a Florida divorce?
Mediation is faster – If your divorce has to be resolved at trial, it can take many months just to get a trial date on the court’s busy calendar. There will also be a long period of pretrial discovery and motions, and one party or the other may delay the proceedings for strategic reasons. A mediation session can typically be scheduled much sooner than trial and can be concluded in one or two days in most cases.
Mediation is less expensive – Although it is important to come to mediation prepared, mediation normally requires less preparation than trial. This means your legal fees will likely be less. Also, many costs can be shared that would otherwise be borne by each separately, such as the cost of using competing experts to testify at trial.
Mediation is private – Trials are public spectacles, whereas mediations are held privately. If you wish to keep the details of your marriage and divorce confidential and away from public view, mediation can help.
Mediation supports creative solutions – In litigation, parties are very careful about what they say and don’t say, lest they give away any advantage to the other side. Mediation is not an adversarial process. Parties are encouraged to explore each other’s interests and find ways to meet those interests, rather than staking out opposite positions and sticking to them. The content of negotiations made in mediation are not later admissible in court if the mediation is unsuccessful, so the parties are free to brainstorm and explore a variety of options and alternatives that may never be considered in court.
Mediated solutions are followed more often – Because the parties in mediation are personally invested in creating the solutions to the issues in their divorce, they have a personal stake in their success. Issues such as child custody parenting and timesharing or the payment of support are more likely to be voluntarily implemented by the parties, as opposed to a court order imposed on them against their will by a trial judge. Parties in litigation often find themselves back in court years after the divorce is final to obtain enforcement of court order.
What is the difference between mediation and parent coordination?
Like mediation, parenting coordination is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process that may be used when agreed upon by the parents, requested by either party or ordered by the court. Unlike family law mediation, which could be used to resolve issues in a divorce, child custody dispute or any other marital and family law matter, parenting coordination is used specifically for creating and implementing a parenting plan in the best interests of the child by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents. Parenting coordination is typically utilized for high-conflict custody matters, except that parenting coordination cannot be ordered without the parents’ consent if there is any history of domestic violence in the family.
As with mediation, parenting coordination is led by an impartial third party who is agreed upon by the parents or appointed by the court to assist the parties in creating their parenting plan. A parenting coordinator is more than just a trained mediator, however, and is specially trained in a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process. Parenting coordinators may be attorneys, certified mediators, psychiatrists or other licensed mental health professionals. To qualify as a parenting coordinator, the individual must have three years of experience in professional practice and have completed The Florida Bar family mediation training program. Additionally, the individual must complete 24 hours of parenting coordination training, including four hours of related training in domestic violence and child abuse.
A parenting coordinator acts as a facilitator to help the parents resolve conflict and reach agreement. The parenting coordinator educates the parents, makes recommendations, and can make limited decisions if such authority is within the scope of the court’s referral. Like mediation in Florida, parenting coordination sessions are confidential.
Certified mediator available
Vivian Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A. is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, and many attorneys and pro se litigants hire her as a mediator to help facilitate and resolve their disputes and litigation. She has a sliding fee structure depending on the income of the parties, and mediation can be conducted at our office.
Get Help with Mediation in Your Tampa Divorce
To discuss mediation, parenting coordination, collaborative law or other alternatives to litigation in your Tampa divorce, call Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A. at 813-514-0909 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Florida family law mediator and divorce lawyer.