Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems.
Court costs can be a very expensive way to resolve conflict. Filing fees payable to the Clerk of Courts, summons or notices to be sent to opposing party, jury fees, court transcripts and other fees are all calculated in the cost of taking a case through the court system. Mediation offers a less expensive approach to resolving most civil legal matters.
Some states or counties, such as Broward Country Florida require a couple filing for divorce to participate in mediation before a court hearing is scheduled. In Florida, mediation is required before a hearing for temporary relief or trial in a contested divorce. The mediation session includes the couple, their attorneys and the mediator. During this time both parties are able to express their opinions, views and compromises in order to reach an agreed outcome. In a courtroom setting the judge makes decisions about custody, division of property and other items specific to the couple.
Mediation is the same in different types of legal matters including contract resolution, division of property among former business partners, contracts, leases, foreclosure, conflict with neighbors and personal injury just to name a few.
In addition to a less expensive method in resolving conflict, mediation is advantageous for the following reasons:
Reduces emotional costs – conflict of any type can take an emotional toll on an individual or the morale of a company. Mediation allows the parties determine the outcome with the hopes of feeling satisfied, as opposed to a judge or jury.
Less public awareness – mediation sessions are confidential whereas court cases are of public record. This is especially important in high profile divorce cases, custody issues or for a business who wants to keep the facts private without a negative impact to their bottom line.
Speedy resolutions – parties entering into a mediation session typically know what items are going to be negotiated and have had time to make a plan. Once the final agreement is signed off by the parties involved, attorneys and mediator, the agreement is submitted to the court for a final hearing. In the case of motions filed in the court system, multiple trips to the courthouse are required prior to the final hearing.
Improved relationships – especially important in divorces involving minor children. Mediation allows closure for the couple and an opportunity to work together in parenting the children. After all they are stuck with each other for years to come. Similarly neighbors still have to live side-by-side and can hopefully move forward to live in peace.
Ronald A. Luzim, Esquire encourages his clients to consider mediation before litigation. As an attorney and state certified family and circuit civil mediator for over 23 years, Ronald A. Luzim has been providing litigation and mediation services as an integral part of his practice.
Please contact Ronald A. Luzim in Coral Springs Florida for more information about his mediation services as part of your legal needs.