Proceeding straight to a courtroom to litigate a divorce which is overseen by a judge might seem like the only – and sometimes preferred – dissolution option for an estranged Florida couple.
This may be the case when every issue is magnified by distrust and intractable problems. Sometimes it seems that little is being accomplished through informal communication. Court input and judicial rulings seem like the only avenue to resolve challenges and more forward. This scenario is in fact common and plays out routinely across the country.
But going forward on a contested case is not the only option. And, as noted by one family law commentator, having a judge decide on divorce issues can sometimes be “ruinous to the human spirit.”
Mediation: an often positive and streamlined divorce process
Not every marital split has to be marked by so-called “scorched earth” tactics and flat win-or-lose outcomes that are often feature in adversarial litigation. Family law author and psychologist Elizabeth Cohen notes in a recent article that “there are ways to legally process your divorce that allow for compassion and care.”
Mediation often rises quickly to the top of any list spotlighting those courtroom alternatives. Cohen is a big fan, as are legions of couples who have embraced the process.
Mediation is an informal settlement process that allows the parties in a case, along with their attorneys, to resolve temporary and permanent issues. Not only should most people with a contested divorce case try mediation but also many counties in Florida, including Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties, will require the parties to attend mediation before coming in front of the judge to litigate their disputes.
Powerful benefits that can flow from divorce mediation.
A mediated divorce process is often positively noted for these and additional reasons:
- Enhanced opportunity for a couple to build rather than burn all bridges to the future (especially where children are involved)
- Far greater autonomy over the agenda than exists with a litigated divorce.
- Potential for everyone to win, in lieu of a zero-sum outcome.
- Comparatively informal, relaxed, and emotionally toned- down atmosphere.
- Often a less expensive alternative and with a swifter outcome
Mediation is a powerful tool for many couples going through the divorce process. An experienced and empathetic family law attorney with a specialized background in divorce mediation can provide further information.