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Orlando Mediation: Mediation with Family Court Services Versus a Private Mediator
Mediation is sometimes used in family legal disputes when the opposing parties cannot come to an agreement. This is common with divorces and child custody court cases.
A mediator is a neutral third party who attempts to help opposing parties resolve legal issues. They do not pass judgment or make decisions for anyone. Instead, they simply help everyone communicate.
In Orlando, the court may mandate mediation when couples cannot come to mutual agreements on their own. Private mediation is also allowed.
If mediation is court-ordered and the opposing parties still cannot settle their dispute, the matter will go back to court for the judge to make the final decisions.
Mediation is meant to be beneficial to all parties involved. The goal is to help everyone come to an equitable agreement regarding family law issues. Mediation is most often used for divorce and child custody cases in which there are no known issues of abuse.
Instead of going through a trial to reach an outcome, participants use an impartial third party to help them negotiate with each other.
Mediators can be assigned by the court or hired privately. In either case, there are strict rules that mediators must follow:
They must be completely neutral
They may not force anyone into an agreement
They must work for the good of all parties
They may not provide therapy
They may not offer legal advice
Mediators can help parties determine:
How to divide assets and debts
Whether alimony will be paid and how
A shared parenting plan
Health and life insurance
Having an impartial third party can often relieve some of the stress involved with a divorce or custody dispute.
Once everyone comes to an agreement, everything is written down and signed by all parties. This agreement is then legally enforceable.
Family Court Mediation
In Orlando, family court mediators are only available to low-income families. When the combined income of a couple is over $100,000, the court requires them to hire a private mediator and pay for their services directly.
For families who earn less than $100,000, a court-appointed mediator is available for $60 to $100 per party for each session.
Court-appointed mediators are required to be impartial. They are not allowed to take sides, pass judgment, or offer legal advice. Most of what you discuss in mediation with a court-appointed mediator will remain private.
While private mediation is required for higher-income couples, it is still an option for anyone who wants to use it.
Private mediation has several advantages over court-appointed mediation. For example, parties get to choose the mediator.
Being able to research and choose a mediation specialist is one of the best benefits of private mediation. Knowing that a skilled expert will handle your case can make things go much more smoothly.
Private mediators can get to know all members of the family, including the children. By having a more personal relationship, they’re better able to understand each party’s needs, desires, and motivations, which can equip them to bring opposing parties together into an agreement.
Private mediators are able to keep all of the issues that are discussed confidential. As legal counsel, they’re also well versed on the proper ways to write mediation contracts so that all parties can benefit from the final arrangements.