In Florida, contested family law matters and issues are usually referred to mediation. From experience, all cases involving a minor child will be referred to mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party called a “Mediator” hears a dispute between two or more parties and attempts to help the parties settle their dispute without judging the merits of the case.
Mediation gives the parties more control than a trial, saves litigation costs, helps save the Court’s time, and is generally a friendlier process for the parties.
Although a successful mediation can save litigating parties a costly lawsuit and the stress that comes with it, the process itself can be pricey to those on a budget. The Florida Court system makes mediation available to those who may be indigent or lack the resources to pay a certified mediator–who usually charge between $250-$400 an hour. If you lack the financial resources for private mediation, you should request In-House Mediation.
After a family law case is initiated, the Court will send out what’s called an “Order of Referral to Mediation”. To expedite the process for mediation, however, a party may file a “Request for Referral to In-House Mediation” requesting the Court to refer the case to mediation within the Court system. In both cases, the parties are given the option of having mediation held “in-house”–in other words–through the Court.
When to Request In-House Mediation in Florida Family Cases:
In Miami-Dade County, for example, the price range is fixed depending on the combined income of the parties. Here are the categories:
In-House Mediation gives litigating parties the opportunity to mediate their case at a reduced, flat rate. Prices may vary depending on the County you initiate the action.
In sum, mediation is important and is often the best opportunity that you will have to resolve your dispute without having to go through a costly and time consuming litigation. Mediation is made available to everyone regardless of your income.
Click here for more information on mediation in Florida.
If you have questions about the mediation or divorce process, it’s best to ask a qualified family attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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