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How Mediation has Changed the Florida Divorce Process

Letter blocks spelling out divorce

Letter blocks spelling out divorce

Mediation is a Very Important Part of the Divorce Process in Florida

There are important changes in how a dissolution of marriage is handled by most Florida courthouses. Used to be that the Florida family court judges handled every part of the divorce process and witness all of the arguments and disputes and reside over the bickering. I am sure that sometimes they felt like they were referees. A few years ago the process changed, allowing them to delegate tough cases to the mediation division

In Mutual Agreement Process

If both parties are in agreement with everything relating to the separation and are willing to participate in the process, there is a way to have a Florida no court divorce¬†where the court hearing is waived altogether. A Florida divorce form preparation company, Divorce in Florida Online uses this process for most dissolution’s filed in mutual agreement. Their clients love this process because someone else prepares the Florida divorce forms, they do not go to court and receive their final judgement in them mail in about a month; as a bonus, they can get the court filing fee waived.

When it’s not in Agreement

This is when mediation kicks in. When both parties are not in agreement the respondent will need to be served the divorce papers by a licensed private process server or by a sheriff. Once the documents are served there will be a 20 day calendar waiting period for the respondent’s response. Depending on the response the judge will decide if the case needs to go through the mediation process or if it’s ready to go for a final hearing.

The court mandated mediation is scheduled and both participants are expected to show up and follow the instructions provided. Many times it only takes one mediation session but sometimes it may require more than one session to reach an agreement.

The Importance of Mediation

I believe this change is a great one for many reasons; first, it allows the judge to keep the flow of cases moving and delegate to a court certified mediator the brunt of getting the participants to come up with an agreement on all related issues privately and not in a cold courtroom full of unknown people. Second, with the smart use of mediation techniques both may end up feeling like they lost the battle and give them the ability to move forward faster.

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