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Orlando Mediation Services Benefits & Questions

What gives the mediation route a better outcome than the litigated route?

Mediators are able to concentrate on each party’s unique interests, and not just their viewpoint of what is required to defend their positions. Divorce mediation succeeds and thrives far better than going through the legal system because each side can directly succumb to the other party’s concerns, and with the help of the mediator, accommodate those concerns.

As circumstance change, can the previously agreed upon settlement change too?

Absolutely. Life is constantly changing and with those changes come new needs. However, revising, or changing, the previously agreed upon settlement would require both parties coming to a newly revised settlement.

Do both parties always have to meet together, or can it be arranged to meet separately with the mediator?

Ideally, mediators want to meet with both parties present face-to-face that way all concerns can be heard by everyone involved, and a trustful relationship can be established between all three parties. However, some mediators like to meet with each party individually from time to time throughout the mediation process to review each party’s separate concerns.

Is mediation more cost effective than retaining a lawyer and paying for them to represent me?

Once either party has “retained” a lawyer, it wise the other party to do so as well. The average retainer fee for a Family Court lawyer is anywhere between $1500-$4800 and this fee remains in Escrow while you begin to use services. Each party is still individually responsible for any fees incurred up to the final outcome.

When both parties jointly decide to use a privately hired mediator, they will also begin by sharing in this cost. A typical fee for mediation from start to finish can range from $1000-$2000 for a non-contested divorce. It is in both parties emotional and financial interest to resolve a divorce quickly. In mediation, there is usually a flat fee, and the mediator is not motivated for one party to “win” or “lose.”

How do I convince my spouse that we should use a mediator and we don’t need to hire lawyers to communicate for us?

This question is not an easy one to answer. It is estimated that it takes approximately 5 years for individuals to fully financially and emotionally from a divorce. The average length of time for a legally arbitrated divorce can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. This is a long time to add on to the healing process. Mediation is a win-win for both individuals to find resolution quickly, with a neutral party who has the best interest of all individuals involved, including any minor children. The best time to discuss mediation options is during the initial conversations you have with your spouse about separation or divorce. You don’t need to “retain” a mediator to talk to one or discuss your case. In addition, if you get to the unlikely point during your mediation process where you think there won’t be a resolution, you always have the option to hire alternative resources.

Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed mental health professional with a Masters degree in counseling and psychology. She is an expert therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Counseling & Conflict Resolution and is a Florida certified family court mediator. She is also a qualified Parent Coordinator. She specializes in conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution.

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