Lakeland Divorce Mediation Lawyer

Divorcing spouses in Florida can litigate their dissolution of marriage in court, but that is not their only option. Mediation can reduce some of the stress of a contested divorce and give separating couples a chance to come to an agreement before a judge has to make crucial decisions for them.

Divorcing spouses in Florida can litigate their dissolution of marriage in court, but that is not their only option. Mediation can reduce some of the stress of a contested divorce and give separating couples a chance to come to an agreement before a judge has to make crucial decisions for them.

However, even in mediation, divorcing spouses still have to deal with the high emotions that often accompany separations and make difficult decisions regarding alimony, child custody, child support, division of assets, and more. Therefore, though mediation can be beneficial, it is essential that you have an experienced divorce mediation attorney by your side.

The Lakeland divorce mediation lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can evaluate your situation and help you reach an equitable settlement. Call (863) 603-3206 or reach out online to learn more in a free, confidential consultation.

Differences Between Litigated Divorce and Divorce Mediation

Litigation and divorce mediation represent two different approaches to resolving marital dissolution. Here are the key differences:

Litigated Divorce Mediated Divorce
Legal Process In a litigated divorce, each party hires their own attorney, and the case is fully resolved through the court system. The attorneys represent their clients' interests and advocate on their behalf. In mediation, a neutral third-party mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between the spouses to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not represent either party's interests but helps them work through issues and find common ground.
Control and Decision-Making In litigation, decisions are ultimately made by a judge based on legal arguments, evidence, and applicable laws. This means that the final outcome is largely out of the spouses' hands. In mediation, the spouses maintain more control over the process and the outcomes. They are directly involved in negotiating the terms of their divorce, including the division of assets, child custody, and child support arrangements.
Cost The adversarial nature of litigation often leads to prolonged proceedings in court, which can drive up costs. Mediation tends to be less expensive than litigation. Since the parties work together to reach an agreement, the long hours involved in preparing a case for a full-fledged trial are avoided.
Timeframe Litigation can be a lengthy process, especially if the case is complex or contested. Court schedules, procedural requirements, and the adversarial nature of litigation can all contribute to delays. Mediation often moves more quickly than litigation, as the parties have more control over the pace of negotiations. Since mediation focuses on reaching agreements rather than disputing in court, it can lead to a faster resolution.
Emotional Impact Litigation can be emotionally draining and contentious, as it involves formal legal proceedings and adversarial tactics. The process can exacerbate conflict between spouses and make it harder to maintain amicable relationships. Mediation tends to be less adversarial and confrontational, which can reduce the emotional toll on both parties. It encourages cooperation and communication, which may help preserve a more amicable relationship after the divorce, which can be especially important if there are children involved.

Ultimately, the choice between litigated divorce and divorce mediation depends on the specific circumstances of the spouses, their willingness to cooperate, the complexity of their legal issues, and their desired outcomes.

Why Choose a Divorce Mediation Attorney from the O'Mara Law Group

Our empathetic family law attorneys have decades of combined experience helping families navigate complex legal proceedings. We aim to alleviate as much of your stress as possible while protecting your interests. Our seasoned legal team is well-recognized for the high quality of their services and dedication to their clients:

  • Founding partner Mark O’Mara is one of few lawyers in Florida who is board-certified in Criminal Trial Law and Marital and Family Law. He is also certified in Collaborative Law and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and Circuit Civil Mediator.
  • Mark Rabinowitz has been board-certified in Marital and Family Law in Florida since 1999. He has served on the Marital and Family Law Certification Committee of the Florida Bar and as a member of the Family Law Rules Committee.

When you partner with our Lakeland law firm, you can rest assured that we will pursue your best interests and deliver the personalized attention and support you need. Learn more about our services by exploring our flowing client testimonials.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation?

There are many advantages to mediation. They include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness – Since mediation involves fewer formal legal proceedings and typically requires less time, the overall costs, including attorney fees and court expenses, are generally lower.
  • Time-Efficiency – Mediated divorces can be resolved more quickly than litigated divorces. Without the need to adhere to court schedules and procedural requirements, couples can often reach agreements more swiftly through mediation.
  • Confidentiality – Unlike in court proceedings, which are a matter of public record, the details of mediation sessions are not disclosed to the public. This confidentiality can encourage more open and honest communication between the parties, leading to more productive discussions and agreements.
  • Reduced Conflict and Improved Communication – By facilitating collaborative dialogue and problem-solving, mediation can help reduce conflict and tension between the parties. Moreover, communication during mediation sessions can be valuable for fostering better post-divorce relationships, especially in cases where co-parenting is involved.
  • Flexible and Creative Solutions – Mediation allows for more flexibility in crafting divorce agreements. Couples can explore a wide range of options and alternatives that may not be available in a courtroom setting. This flexibility can lead to more satisfactory and tailored solutions that better suit the unique needs of the family.
  • Preservation of Relationships – Since mediation focuses on cooperation and mutual understanding, it can help preserve and even improve relationships between divorcing spouses. By fostering a more amicable atmosphere, mediation can lay the groundwork for healthier post-divorce relationships and smoother transitions for all family members involved, especially when children are involved.

Why You Need a Lakeland Divorce Mediation Lawyer

Having an attorney involved in divorce mediation can provide valuable legal guidance and ensure your interests are protected. While the mediator facilitates communication and negotiation, your attorney will inform you of your rights, help you understand the legal implications of proposed agreements, and review any documents before you sign them.

Additionally, having legal representation can help balance power dynamics and ensure a fair outcome.

Your attorney can also help you collect the documentation you need to reach a fair agreement, such as lists of your assets and liabilities, bank statements, and medical and school costs for your children. Ultimately, their work will help you avoid going back to court to make modifications to your divorce agreement, such as for child custody modifications.

What You Can Expect in Mediation

Though the process may be slightly different if your meditation is ordered by the court, divorce mediation normally involves the following steps:

  • Initial consultation to discuss the mediation process and goals.
  • Selection of a neutral mediator.
  • Joint and individual sessions to identify issues and gather information.
  • Facilitated negotiation to reach agreements on various aspects such as asset division, child custody, and alimony.
  • Development of a comprehensive divorce agreement outlining terms and responsibilities.
  • Review of agreements by both parties and their respective attorneys.
  • Finalization and signing of the divorce agreement.
  • Submission of the agreement to the court for approval and incorporation into the final divorce decree.

Cases Where Divorce Mediation May Not Work

If you are not a good candidate for mediation, or your mediation doesn’t work out, our Lakeland divorce lawyers can help protect your interests in a litigated divorce. There are many situations in which divorce mediation may not be a viable option, such as:

  • High-conflict cases involving domestic violence, abuse, or significant power imbalances.
  • Cases where one or both parties are simply unwilling to negotiate or compromise.
  • Situations where there are complex financial issues, such as extensive assets, debts, or business interests requiring detailed valuation and analysis.
  • When one party is unable or unwilling to fully disclose financial information.
  • Cases involving substance abuse or mental health issues that impair one or both parties’ ability to participate effectively in mediation.
  • Situations where there is a history of manipulation, coercion, or intimidation between the spouses.

Rely on the Team at the O'Mara Law Group

Mediation is a good alternative for couples who want to work out their differences rather than risk letting a judge decide important aspects of their lives after divorce. Our Lakeland family law attorneys are ready to deploy their extensive experience and deep legal knowledge to help you pursue the best outcome for yourself and your family.
If you have questions about divorce mediation in Florida, call (863) 603-3206 or reach out online to schedule your free, confidential consultation with our Lakeland divorce mediation lawyers. We are here to help.

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Our Lakeland Office

(863) 603-3206

500 Florida Ave S
Suite 407
Lakeland, FL 33801

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