“Family Mediation” is the mediation of family matters, including married or unmarried persons, before and after judgments involving dissolution of marriage; property division; shared or sole parental responsibility; or child support, custody, and visitation. Referrals to mediation on temporary matters such as child support, alimony, custody and/or visitation may also be made.
Information About Mediation:
Mediation is a preliminary procedure in any family law case and, when successful, offers the most satisfactory results. Many people inquire about what this process entails and the basics related to mediation.
What is Mediation?
A process where a neutral third person (a mediator) acts to facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and nonadversarial process with the objective of helping you and the other party reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreetment. The decision making authority rests with the two parties.
What are the advantages of Mediation?
Less Costly: Settling a case in mediation is usually less costly since disputes resolved in court usually involve the investment of more money in attorneys fees and overall costs.
Less Conflictual/More Satisfactory Results: Clients usually find it far more humane and less stressful to decide between themselves major life-altering decisions pertaining to their future rather than permit a Judge to make these decisions for them.
What happens after Mediation?
If an agreement is reached, it is placed in writing, signed by you and the other party, then filed with the court; unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.
If you do not reach an agreement, the mediator reports the lack of agreement to the court without comment or recommendation. With the consent of the parties, the mediator’s report may identify any pending motions or outstanding legal issues, discovery process, or other actions by any party which, if resolved or completed, would facilitate the possibility of a settlement.
Can a mediator force a party to agree to anything?
Is mediation required in divorce and modification cases?
Yes. The Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.740-12.741 requires that for divorce and/or modification cases, the parties must go to mediation before temporary relief can be granted and before a trial (final hearing) can be held. Judges have the power to waive the mediation requirements but are generally reluctant to do so unless there are unusual or special circumstances involved.
What kind of qualifications am I looking for in a Mediator?
Certified since 2005, serving the 6th, 12th and 13th Judical Circuits in the State of Florida, Ginger Hannigan is a Supreme Court Certified Family Law and County Court Mediator trained to assist and support you through the legal process of settlement agreements and modifications.
A National Certified Counselor and licensed by the State as a clinical therapist since 2001, Ginger is trained and experienced in the treatment and diagnosis of psychological disorders for children and adults, solidifying professional and practical legal facilitation through one of the most difficult life events individuals experience.
Mediation appointments are set for a minimum of three hours. Each party is responsible to provide half of the required fee for services.
Ginger Hannigan MA LMHC PA