In most counties in Florida, a case is not permitted to proceed to trial without the parties having attended mediation at least once. The timing of attending mediation differs depending on the parties, issues in the case, and other factors. Some parties are eager or willing to attend mediation as early in the process as possible, while other parties do not attend mediation until the case has been pending for several months.
Pre-suit/early divorce mediation is one of the fastest growing alternative options to traditional litigation in Florida divorce proceedings. There are many benefits to attending mediation pre-suit or early in your divorce case, including time and money savings, confidentiality, and a more amicable setting to discuss the issues of your divorce. However, pre-suit/early divorce mediation does not work for every couple and you should consider whether mediation is right for you before committing to the process. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, our experienced Boca Raton family mediation attorneys are here to represent your interests in a litigated or mediated divorce. To learn more about your legal options, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
When One Spouse Does Not Agree to the Divorce
Pre-suit/early mediation rarely works if one spouse does not agree to the divorce and/or has not emotionally accepted the breakdown of the marriage. Divorce mediation is based on the concept that both spouses are entering the conversation willing to compromise on issues. If one spouse refuses to acknowledge or participate in the process because they do not agree to the divorce, mediation is doomed to fail.
When There is a History of Domestic Abuse
You should also not engage in pre-suit/early divorce mediation if there is a recent/ongoing history of domestic abuse, and a spouse is not ready to address the divorce issues in the case. Furthermore, when the parties are both ready to attend mediation, precautions need to be implemented for the safety of all involved.
If You Believe Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
Traditional litigation is also preferred if you believe that your spouse is attempting to hide assets during your divorce. The discovery process in traditional litigation provides an opportunity to discover anything of value that your spouse is attempting to hide from property distribution. Pre-suit/early mediation does not always provide that opportunity, which could mean that you agree to an unfair property distribution when you actually deserve more.
If You are Diametrically Opposed on Child Custody
Finally, pre-suit/early divorce mediation may not be right for you if you and your spouse are diametrically opposed in your opinions on child custody. If one parent wants sole custody and the other wants joint custody, or if both parents are dead set on being the custodial parent with a substantial majority of the parenting time, pre-suit/early mediation may not be an effective tool for success. It is normal for couples to not agree on all aspects of child custody and visitation, but there must be some basis of agreement in order for mediation to work. This is particularly true for child custody, which is often the most emotionally fraught matter in a divorce.
Talk to Our Office Now
To talk with a legal professional about your options for handling a Florida divorce, call the office or contact us today at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton today to schedule a case evaluation.