Mediation is a process where parties to a family law proceeding, and, if represented, with their respective attorneys, work with a neutral third party (the mediator), in an attempt to settle their issues without the necessity of court intervention. A mediator is not a judge and therefore, does not make decisions or force parties settle. Rather, the mediator is a neutral party who facilitates interaction between the parties so that when a settlement occurs, it is a settlement crafted by the parties themselves and not one created by a judge. Mediation allows the parties to negotiate in a private, non-adversarial, and impartial environment. With a mediated settlement, the parties have more flexibility in resolving their problems, and therefore, are more likely to follow a settlement they participate in creating rather than a judgment forced upon them.
Unlike a trial where the court renders a judgment that, quite often, neither party likes, mediation is a win-win situation. Although the process, by its very nature, requires compromise, a good settlement involves compromise that both parties can live with. More importantly, unlike the anxiety and uncertainty clients face with a trial, a mediated settlement removes both of these stressors. Equally important, once a settlement is reached, the continued financial costs that accompany ongoing litigation and trial ends.
With very few exceptions, Florida judges require parties to any family law proceeding to first mediate before allowing a trial. Increasingly, Courts require the parties to mediate even before a hearing on temporary support is heard by the Court.
The Law Office of Ann-Marie Giustibelli, P.A. works diligently to get our clients to mediation as soon as possible. Once we obtain sufficient information necessary for our attorneys to assist our clients in making informed decisions, we schedule mediation either by agreement with opposing counsel or through a court order. Prior to mediation, we meet with our clients, thoroughly explaining not only the process, but our clients’ expectations in the process and alternative resolutions so that, not only are we thoroughly prepared, but our clients are prepared as well. We are well versed in conceiving creative solutions that transcend what a court can order, and maximize the clients’ interests. Often cases can be mediated and resolved even before a lawsuit is filed. Call the law firm of Ann-Marie Giustibelli, P.A. at 954-476-7111 email us at Amggfirstname.lastname@example.org to see if your case may be closer to a resolution than you think.
Not only does the Law Office of Ann-Marie Giustibelli P.A. strongly advocate for our clients during the mediation process, but Ms. Giustibelli herself is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and is the President of Divorce Made Easy, Inc Although typically she is appointed by the courts or selected by family law attorneys to mediate cases, she is also skilled in mediating for unrepresented (pro se) parties who wish to try and resolve their family law cases in an amicable manner. Although as a mediator Ms. Giustibelli cannot give legal advice, she can still assist unrepresented parties in identifying the issues requiring resolution, help calculate child support guidelines, and help the parties formulate a blueprint for a full settlement agreement, whether for a divorce, paternity, child support, modifications, or any other family law issue.