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What happens if an ex-spouse does not appear for a court appointed mediation for custody?

Tampa, FL |

This is a modification of a MSA, when initially served last week, it was for a ER hearing for temp rlief custody that was turned down by the courts and made to be a court-appointed mediation. Ex is saying he can't show up. I still plan to go though.

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Attorney answers 4


Definitely show up. The mediator will issue their report to the court and the court will either decide based on that report or listen to your exes excuse and reschedule mediation.

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Attorney Fink is correct. In Florida a court cannot order parties to settle their differences through mediation but a court can order the parties to attend mediation. When a court orders mediation then the parties are required to show up.

You may want to discuss with your attorney, if you have one, whether to allow your husband to appearance by phone for the mediation. This option may allow you to expedite the mediation process but please confirm that you do not need the courts permission for your husband to appear by phone. If your husband has an attorney he or she can attend the mediation but I advise you to confirm - before the mediation starts - that the attorney has the authority to make final decisions in your ex's absence. Otherwise you could waste a lot of time and fees.

Good luck.

Susan Gregory Liammari, Esq.


Courts usually frown upon parties who do not appear for an ordered mediation without legitimate grounds and the appointed mediator will likely report the parties' appearances or lack thereof.

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he will be sanctioned by the court if he does not attend.