When you finally make the decision to get a divorce, you may understandably feel that your life and future are out of your control. After all, you may feel out of sorts both emotionally and financially.

However, with divorce mediation, you and your future ex-spouse may be able to more confidently plan your lives and make wise decisions about your futures. Major benefits of mediation are that it is generally a faster, less costly and less acrimonious process compared with traditional divorce litigation. Here is a look at what mediation involves in Florida.

What role does the mediator have?

A divorce mediator is an impartial third party who is typically trained to help you and your spouse to resolve your divorce issues. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between you and your future ex by ensuring that both of you have time to speak without interruption. The mediator might also ask you or the other party to explain or restate a certain point if needed. Furthermore, the mediator may ask you both questions to ensure clear communication.

Your mediator might also give you and the other party valuable information regarding the legal system in Florida, how judges might view particular issues and what options you have for resolving certain matters. The mediator may also need to refer you to an appraiser or another third-party expert.

How does mediation work?

The mediation process typically involves an initial meeting where you, the other party and your mediator pinpoint issues that you will need to discuss, as well as what issues should be discussed first. Then, you will determine what information you and your future ex will need to gather and share. This information may include financial data or opinions from such experts as accountants.

Then, during further meetings, you and your soon-to-be ex will discuss how to resolve issues in a manner that meets both sides’ needs. Once you and your future ex have reached an agreement, the mediator will generally draft your agreement for you to review. Then, it can be presented to a judge for approval. The divorce mediation process typically requires a minimum of three to four sessions that last two hours each, spread over one to two months. Of course, a more complex case may take longer.