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How Mediation Works in Florida Divorce

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Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process for any couple. In Florida, as in many other states, the dissolution of marriage involves various legal procedures and decisions that can often lead to bitter disputes. However, there is an alternative path that aims to make this transition smoother, less acrimonious, and more efficient: mediation.

Understanding Mediation in Florida

Mediation is a process where divorcing couples work with a neutral third party, known as a mediator, to resolve their disputes and reach agreements on various issues related to the divorce. In Florida, mediation is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged by the court system. Parties are often required to attempt mediation before proceeding to a court trial, which can save both time and money.

Facilitating Open Communication

One of the primary advantages of mediation is that it promotes open and constructive communication between the divorcing parties. Unlike courtroom battles, where each side presents its case aggressively, mediation encourages couples to sit down and discuss their issues calmly and respectfully. This environment can be particularly beneficial when children are involved, as it sets a positive example of conflict resolution for the family.

Negotiation and Compromise

Mediation also emphasizes negotiation and compromise. The mediator helps guide the conversation and encourages both parties to consider each other's perspectives and needs. This often leads to more flexible and creative solutions that might not be available in a court decision. In Florida, this can be especially important when addressing matters like child custody, alimony, and the division of marital assets.

Legal Requirements in Florida

While mediation is encouraged, it's essential to understand the legal requirements for divorce mediation in Florida. The process typically involves:

Voluntary Participation

Both parties must voluntarily agree to participate in mediation. It cannot be forced upon them.

Qualified Mediator

The mediator must be qualified and certified by the Florida Supreme Court. They should be neutral and not have any bias toward either party.


Mediation discussions are confidential. This means that what is said during mediation cannot be used as evidence in court, promoting an environment where parties can speak openly.

Good Faith Effort

Both parties are required to make a good faith effort to reach agreements during mediation. This ensures that everyone comes to the table with a genuine desire to resolve their issues.

Benefits of Mediation in Florida

Mediation offers several benefits in the context of Florida divorce proceedings:

Faster Resolution

Mediation can lead to quicker resolution compared to court trials, which can drag on for months or even years. This is particularly advantageous when parties want to move on with their lives.


Mediation is generally more cost-effective than going to court. Legal fees and court expenses can add up quickly, making mediation an attractive option for those looking to save money.

Better Control

Couples have more control over the outcome of their divorce through mediation. They can actively participate in crafting agreements that work for their unique situation, rather than relying on a judge's decision.

Improved Co-Parenting

Mediation can lead to better co-parenting relationships. When couples are actively involved in creating parenting plans, it often results in more cooperative and harmonious parenting arrangements.

In Florida, mediation plays a crucial role in divorce proceedings by fostering open communication, negotiation, and compromise. While it's not mandatory, it offers numerous benefits, including faster resolution, cost-effectiveness, and greater control over the outcome.

If you have questions about the mediation process in a divorce, contact Owenby Law, P.A. today at (904) 770-3141.