Do The Courts In Pasco County, Florida Force Mediation In Divorce Cases?
In some cases, yes, the Courts in Pasco County will force your divorce to go to mediation. In an uncontested or no fault divorce in Florida, because the parties have reached an agreement on their own without forcing a court to decide any issues, mediation is not required. In a contested Florida divorce, the divorcing spouses are usually required to engage in mandatory mediation before trial.
This is done for several reasons, but primarily as a way to encourage the parties to work out issues on their own before using the valuable resources of the court system.
Mediation can be a good route in which to resolve issues. Litigating divorce issues can take many months and may cost thousands of dollars. In mediation, the parties meet together with a mediator who is certified by the Florida Supreme Court to mediate family law cases.
The mediator does not take sides, rule on the case or hear any evidence. The mediator instead talks over some of the issues that are being disputed by the parties, and helps the parties in reaching some common ground.
If the mediator is able to help the spouses reach an agreement on some issues, either the mediator or the attorneys involved will write a written agreement that both spouses will sign. It will bind the spouses on the issues that are involved.
By law, an attorney is not required to be involved in the mediation process in Florida. However, it is often a good idea. Some of the issues that will undoubtedly arise during mediation are complex, and each party may have certain rights of which he or she may be unaware.