What is divorce through mediation?
Unfortunately, many new immigrants have to face divorce. It must be hard to fight this battle when you barely know anything of this country. This article is written to paint a scratch of this process and provide an easy start.
How does divorce start?Divorce process starts with a petition. The petition informs the court you are seeking a divorce, makes some initial claims, and lists the financial and custody arrangements the petitioning spouse seeks.
The spouse that receives the petition must file an answer within 20 days of receiving the petition.
Filing financial affidavit along with petition and answer. Florida law requires each spouse to send a financial disclosure form to the other side. This is also called Mandatory Disclosure. In every divorce, all *cards* must be on the table. This means each side must have a good picture of all the assets, liabilities, income, and expenses of both parties.
What is mediation?Both parties and their attorneys must meet with a mediator and attempt to work out an agreement on all contested issues. The court will not enter a final judgment, or schedule a final hearing until the parties attempted to settle at mediation.
The alternative is to have a judge spend several hours listening to your facts and then make a binding decision. The end result is a court order that satisfies neither party. The other benefit of negotiation: if you come to an agreement the total costs of your divorce will be much less than if you fight it out in court.
Mediation is a way for people who are having a dispute to talk about their issues and concerns and to make decisions about the dispute with the help of another person (called a mediator). A mediator is not allowed to decide who is right or wrong or to tell you how to resolve your dispute. In mediation, you can try to find solutions that make sense to you and the other person in the dispute to resolve some or all of your concerns.
If you reach an agreement in mediation, that agreement must be put into writing and signed by the parties. The written agreement becomes a legally binding document (contract), which is enforceable by the court.
If you are court ordered to mediation and you are unable to settle your differences, you will go back to court and the judge (or jury) will make a decision for you.
What happens in mediation?Court-ordered mediation must begin with an introduction by the mediator explaining the process and the role of the mediator.
The mediator*s introduction is usually followed by an opportunity for you and the other party to describe your concerns. If your lawyer is with you at mediation, these opening remarks may be made by you, your lawyer, or both of you. After these initial procedures, the mediator usually will meet with both parties together to discuss the issues to help you work out your differences. The mediator may also meet with each party privately.
Eventually, the mediation will end in one of three ways, either: 1) the parties reach an agreement as to some or all issues - all parties (and their lawyers if present) must sign the agreement; 2) the mediator declares an impasse (because you, the other party, or both are unwilling to continue discussing resolution); or 3) the mediator, with the parties* consent, continues the mediation session by adjourning for the day. If the mediator declares an impasse as to some or all issues, then you and the other party will have to go back to court to have the judge or jury (if there is one) decide your case.