SERVICES

We offer the following types of mediation:  

  • Family mediation, to resolve issues in cases of:  divorce, paternity, child custody, time-sharing, parenting plans, child support, alimonyproperty distribution, or in the modification of an existing agreement, final judgment or order.  

  • Circuit Civil mediation, to resolve issues that are being heard or could be heard in circuit court.

  • Pre-trial mediation (before a case is filed in court).

To book mediation:

  1. Contact the mediator directly to request a proposed date, time and location.  Providing a case number and opposing party/counsel's information is also helpful.  

  2. The mediator will reply with the deposit amount required to reserve the date.

  3. Once the deposit is paid, then the mediator shall reserve the date, and it shall appear on her Calendar. ​

Frequently Asked Questions:

What appointments are available?

  • Appointments are usually Monday through Friday, either in the morning (9AM - 12PM) or in the afternoon (2:00PM - 5:00PM).  A full day may be reserved as well.  Weekend or evening hours may be available.  Experience shows that a minimum of three hours is required to properly mediate a new case.    ​​

How do I book mediation?

  • To start, check the mediator's Calendar for available dates and times.  

  • Contact the mediator directly to request a mediation.  

  • Be sure to request a proposed date, time and location.  

  • Efforts should be made to coordinate mediation with the other side.

  • The mediator will reply with the deposit amount required to reserve the date.  

  • Once the deposit is paid, then the mediator will reserve the date, and it will appear on her Calendar. ​ There is no charge for schedule coordination.
     

Where can mediation take place?

  • Mediation can take place anywhere the parties agree to mediate.  Usually it takes place in one of the attorney's offices, or in a rented conference room.  There are costs for rented conference rooms, usually $50/hour per conference room.  Two rooms will be required if the parties wish to sit separately in caucus. Through our "virtual office," we can reserve conference room space throughout South Florida to better accommodate you.  

What if there are domestic violence issues?

  • If either party feels threatened by or intimidated by the other party, or if there is an active Order of No Contact or Injunction that limits their contact with the other party, please alert the mediator in advance.  As long as the parties are able to exercise self-determination, it is possible to mediate when there are domestic violence issues.  However, for everyone's protection, certain precautions should be incorporated into the process in these cases.  

How is mediation noticed for the Court? 

  • If requested, the mediator may prepare and e-file a Notice of Mediation with the Court at no additional charge.  In the alternative, either attorney may file a Motion and Proposed Order for the mediation with the Court.   ​

Is there anything I should send in advance of mediation or bring to mediation?

  • Many times agreements are not reached for lack of information.  A mediation order may require the parties to bring certain items.  However, in the absence of such an order, parties may bring what they have.  

  • The following items would be helpful to the mediator and can either be brought to mediation or sent in advance to the mediator by email or fax:

    1. Copies of any filed Petitions, Counter-Petitions, Answers, Financial Affidavit, or Motions that have been filed. 

    2. Copy of any Orders that have been entered in this or in any related cases (e.g. Final Injunctions, Child Support Orders, etc.).  

    3. Case number and information of opposing counsel.  

    4. Copies of recent taxes and/or paystubs. 

    5. Information on the cost of child-care.  

    6. Information on the cost of health insurance that breaks out cost for parents vs. children.

    7. Physical receipts of any payments made to date.

    8. Copies of any valuation assessments (e.g. property, vehicles, etc.). 

    9. Any information from the exchange of Mandatory Disclosures (Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.285). 

  • Parties in a new Divorce or Paternity case should try to take their Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. (See Resources for the list of DCF-approved providers).  The State of Florida will often require it and it provides a helpful overview of the process.

  • Mediation Summaries from attorneys are helpful but are not required. 

Is there anything I should do to prepare myself mentally for mediation? 

  • Try to rest and come with an open mind.  This may be the first time you are involved in a Court process and that can be intimidating.  But it is also the opportunity that you have to avoid having to litigate a case in Court and reach a solution that you helped design.  Be ready to express to the mediator what you want to see happen. It might help to consult with an attorney beforehand, even if you don't plan on bringing one with you

What is the mediation process like?  

  • Once everyone arrives at mediation, the mediator facilitates the negotiation between the parties to reach an agreement.  Parties can sit together or separately during this process.  The mediator may also prepare an agreement during mediation.  
     

Do we have to sit in the same room with the other person? 

  • No.  It may be more productive to sit together and hash out issues, even if it's uncomfortable.  However, that is not always the case and if one side asks to sit separately, the mediator will generally proceed "in caucus," with the parties in separate rooms.  

Can people appear by telephone or video-conference?

  • By agreement of the parties or order order of the Court, a person may appear by telephone or video-conference.  

Can mediation be held in other languages?

  • If a person is more comfortable in Spanish or Portuguese, the mediator can mediate in those languages as long as all parties and counsel in the room understand the language being spoken and do not object.  

 

Will we walk out the door with an Agreement?

  • Maybe.  Mediation is a voluntary process, so the mediator cannot force the outcome.  However, during mediation or after, the mediator may draft a Mediation Settlement Agreement and prepare any Child Support Guidelines Worksheets.  Once these documents are signed by all parties, the mediator can file or e-file them with the Court.  All this is included in the hourly rate.  

So did I waste my time and money if we don't reach an agreement? 

  • No.  At minimum, it's a part of the process.  Mediation may be a required step before either party can see a judge.  Even if parties do not reach an agreement, they will often reach a better understanding of their best and worst day in Court. Often, conversations during mediation lay the groundwork for a settlement at a later date.      
     

How much does mediation cost?

  • It depends.  The mediator charges an hourly rate, which includes the preparation of the documents discussed.  There can be additional costs (e.g. conference room rental).  Please see our Prices.  Keep in mind that mediating a case is usually cheaper than litigating it!  

Is the mediator my lawyer?  

  • No.  The mediator does not legally represent either side in a mediation.  Parties do not have to have lawyers for mediation.  However, a self-represented person may consult with a lawyer before signing an agreement.  

What does the mediator report to the Court after mediation?  

  • At the end of mediation, the mediator will prepare and e-file a Mediation Conference Report with the Court, simply reporting whether mediation occurred, and whether there was or was not an agreement.  Any signed agreement should be filed separately.  Mediation is confidential except where disclosure is permitted or required by law.  

Ready to start? 

Click here to contact the mediator for a day & time.

Click here to see our calendar.

Self Represented?

Still have more questions?  

Click here for resources on self-representation in family cases.  

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be in writing.  If mediation is cancelled with less than two business days' notice, then a two hour  cancellation fee is due.  

© 2019  

Hablamos Español  / Falamos Portugês

Lake Worth, Palm Beach County, Florida, United States