How Does Divorce Mediation Work: A Comprehensive Guide

February 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

Divorce can be emotionally and financially draining, and traditional litigation can often worsen matters. Fortunately, divorce mediation offers a viable alternative for couples who want to dissolve their marriage more amicably.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of divorce mediation, including how it works, its benefits, and what to expect from the process.

Whether you are considering divorce mediation or divorce mediator or are just curious about how it works, this guide will provide a solid understanding of this popular alternative to traditional divorce litigation.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process in which a divorcing couple works with a neutral third party, called a mediator, to negotiate and reach agreements on issues related to their divorces, such as child custody, division of assets, and support.

The goal is for the parties to reach the couple to reach a mutually acceptable settlement, with the mediator facilitating communication and negotiation. This process can be less expensive and time-consuming than traditional divorce litigation. It can promote a more amicable relationship between the parties, mainly when children are involved.

What is Divorce Mediator?

A divorce mediator is a neutral third party trained to help couples through a divorce negotiate and reach a mutually acceptable agreement on issues related to their divorce, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support.

The role of a divorce mediator is to facilitate communication between the parties and help them work together to resolve their disputes. The divorce mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the couple but instead helps them identify their needs and interests and find creative solutions that meet those needs.

A divorce mediator may be an attorney or another qualified individual with specialized mediation training. The mediator should be familiar with divorce law and possess strong communication and negotiation skills.

How Is It Different From Traditional Divorce?

Several people say divorce mediation is better because it’s different from traditional divorce. Divorce mediation doesn’t have adversarial proceedings like a traditional divorce, in which lawyers represent both spouses. Mediation helps spouses reach an agreement based on the circumstances of their marriage with the help of a neutral third party.

Divorce mediation lets couples finish their divorce without going to court to litigate the issues. Divorce mediation is also quicker than traditional divorce. Traditional divorce takes about a year and sometimes longer. As for mediation, it can be done as fast as couples want.

Mediation offers spouses the flexibility needed to reach agreements when circumstances are complicated. For divorce mediation, for example, family business owners may want a creative agreement that permits both spouses to remain involved. The appropriate legal documents can be developed to protect both spouses in consultation with their mediators and other advisors.

The traditional divorce process typically severs all assets during the divorce process. This could be the desired outcome in most cases, but your family’s unique circumstances require more flexibility. Additionally, mediation can allow for more creative parenting plan agreements.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work in Florida Law?

The option to resolve disputes out of court in local court-connected mediation is available to all separating or divorcing couples in Florida. If the couple does not elect to voluntarily mediate in private, the family court often orders mediation before a trial so the divorcing couple can work things out without fighting.

If you’re considering mediation, consider the ability to control the outcome. Here’s how it typically works:

Step 1. Choosing the Mediator

You and your spouse voluntarily choose a mediator to work with in private. If you elect to go to court and litigate, the court will likely compel mediation – which is usually with a court-appointed mediator. Mediation is the process by which two parties negotiate without decision-making power or stake in the mediator to meet the final hearing or outcome.

A mediator is solely responsible for facilitating productive discussions between parties and helping them resolve disputes. The mediator helps the parties resolve their conflict rather than letting the court decide on issues.

Step 2. Finding common ground

The mediator raises various issues needed to be discussed and resolved before the couple can file for an uncontested divorce. Each party will be asked to state their position and option on given topics.

The mediator must ensure that the parties do not interrupt one another. Mediators must maintain civility between the parties during divorce proceedings because they often experience negative emotions and conflicts.

Step 3. Resolving Issues

While in divorce mediation, parties can discuss various issues, including property division, co-parenting, alimony, and child visitation. The parties will negotiate in good faith to work out a fair settlement on every issue. Each spouse or parent maintains the power to say “yes” or “no” on every issue. Only when both parties agree on the issue’s resolution is it marked settled by the mediator.

Step 4. Reaching a Mediation Agreement

Mediation agreement(s) covering all aspects of divorce are prepared once the parties have successfully resolved their differences in mediation. A review of the draft agreement(s) will be conducted by the parties to ensure their agreement with each aspect and reach an agreement. You are not forced to sign it. Changes are incorporated into future drafts and the parties only then sign and notarize the documents once they both fully approve of its terms and conditions.

Step 5. Finalizing the divorce

The mediation agreement becomes binding when signed by both parties. The parties file the signed and notarized agreement with the court when they file for the divorce. Mediation agreements become part of the divorce decree once the judge has reviewed and approved the divorce and issues the final divorce decree.

What To Expect From The Process?

The mediator is not your attorney. The mediator is neither your family law organization, divorce attorney, or spouse’s attorney. Mediators facilitate discussions and help find alternatives to problems by facilitating alternative solutions.

  • Mediation is not counseling. In mediation, both parties work towards making the divorce process smoother in a structured manner. Counseling is not part of this session. A mediator will not tolerate outbursts or high emotions. The time is not suitable to point fingers or place blame. The mediator will keep your discussions on track and guide them.
  • Mediators are neutral. Mediation provides support to both parties equally instead of taking sides. Instead, the mediator will assist you both in finding solutions suitable for your family.
  • Advice, not legal representation. The mediator is not there to provide legal advice, even if they are attorneys. A mediator can, however, help you and your spouse explore the likely consequences of your decisions and help to find creative solutions to problems. If you want specific legal advice, then it is recommended to consult with a divorce lawyer who can provide you with actual legal advice about your specific situation.

When Can You Use Divorce Mediation in Florida?

You and your spouse can use mediation before or during, or even after the divorce is issued.

Mediation Before Divorce Filing

Suppose you and your spouse have minor or dependent children. You and your spouse must agree on alimony, child custody, and child support before filing for an uncontested divorce in Florida. Mediation can assist you in resolving any issues that you have trouble resolving on your own.

By choosing mediation early in the process, you can more easily embark on a path of cooperation and prevent conflicts common in traditional, contested divorces. By resolving issues before filing for a contested divorce, you will be able to settle all issues and then file for an uncontested divorce. The Court will generally issue the divorce decree in a month or two.

Mediation During the Divorce

If you file for a contested divorce, the courts almost always compel parties to mediate their divorce before the judge will rule on final issues. You will likely be offered a public mediator provided by the court system or you can choose a private mediator.

Mediation After a Divorce

The final divorce decree usually ends your disputes with your spouse. However, sometimes issues or disputes arise. If you and your spouse agree, you can mediate the dispute and try to work out the issue before choosing to head to court and litigate the post-divorce dispute.

How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?

The advantage of divorce mediation is that it allows spouses to control the timeline. The process can go according to their schedules instead of being handled by busy court dates. In addition, this gives the couple a chance to discuss important or pressing things with them.

In Eric’s experience of mediating hundreds of divorces, he estimates that between 60%-70% percent of his mediations settle in the very first session.

Mediation aims to give each couple a fair, complete settlement agreement addressing all their essential issues. Mediators usually consider mediation to continue until a marital settlement agreement is reached. Depending on the mediator, you will receive advice and guidance from the mediator about how frequently you should meet with them.

How Much Does Our Divorce Mediation Cost in Florida?

Our flat-rate fee for divorce mediation services in Florida is $2,200. This fee is designed to help couples peacefully divorce without the added stress and unpredictability of hourly billing.

The flat-rate fee includes up to 10 hours of mediation sessions and unlimited communications with Eric (who is a Mediator, Attorney, and Therapist) via phone, email, or text for any questions or concerns.

Additionally, the settlement documents are drafted without any additional costs for edits or changes. The flat-rate fee provides predictability and less stress for couples going through the challenging process of divorce.


In conclusion, divorce mediation is valuable for couples looking to end their marriage amicably and efficiently. Couples can discuss their issues by working with a neutral third-party mediator and develop the best solutions for everyone involved.

Divorce mediation is not only a more cost-effective option than going to court, but it can also save time and reduce the emotional stress of a divorce. It is important to remember that while the mediator can provide guidance, they are not there to offer legal advice or represent either party.

Divorce mediation can provide a positive outcome for those willing to work together to reach a fair and equitable resolution. Eric has extensive experience in this area and will be able to provide more information and advice. Contact Eric today if you would like to learn more about divorce mediation.

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