Fort Lauderdale Mediation Lawyer

By: Carol Ann Mazza Date Posted: March 28, 20213:39 am


Indeed, family relationships and loyalties are often the strongest and most crucial ones. That's why when family members are fighting, even if over small matters, it's never a laughing matter. Families get into fights all the time. Some arguments may be over minor issues; others may be over serious issues.

In some cases, families manage to deal with their issues independently, but a neutral party's services may be required in other cases. When emotions are involved, a family and mediation expert can help people keep their feelings in check, work through their differences and reach better, longer-lasting agreements without the need for court involvement.

What is family and divorce mediation?

Family and divorce mediation has diverse definitions. It can be an informal intervention by a friend or elder to help warring couples talk about their issues. It can also be a formal sit-down with a hired or court-ordered professional mediator. In all cases, mediation involves intervention by a neutral external party to help those in conflict talk through their differences and compromise.

When to hire the services of a family and divorce mediator:

Members of a family can have conflict over various matters, including estate planning, wills, trust, and divorce, separation and child issues, elder care, power of attorney, and end-of-life decisions. Dealing with disputes, divorce, and change is complicated and often rife with emotions. Mediation can help reach compromises safely. There's no established rule on when exactly to bring in mediators. However,generally, during the following, it makes sense:

  • When one or all involved are not willing to give concessions or compromise
  • When Do-it-Yourself private resolutions hit a snag
  • When one side in the conflict feels they are not being heard.

What is the role of the mediator?

Many family and divorce mediation services involve an attorney and an experienced family therapist working as a team. The attorney listens through the facts and provides suggestions and options for consideration. Simultaneously, the family therapist helps both sides keep their emotions in check, keeping the discussion productive, and adopt an open mind to facilitate negotiations. Together, the mediation lawyer and family therapist team helps people at odds identify each other's concerns and work out their disputes.

Keep in mind that a mediator does not decide anything for you. They facilitate the conversation, help create options, and then it's up to the participants to choose what works best for all.

Situations in which a family mediation is helpful include:

  • Separation or divorce: For assistance with distribution of wealth, alimony, child support, and time share agreements,
  • Marriage reconciliation: mediation can help re-establish peaceful communication after a breakup, work through marital problems, and nurture trust.
  • Elder issues: living arrangements, guardianship, wills and trusts and end-of-life care decisions, as well as religious and intergenerational relationship issues

Why mediation works?

Mediation works successfully because the mediator helps both participants hear each other's concerns and understand the other’s interests. With help from the mediator, all sides can reach agreements without even compromising.

When a family is having troubles, it's wise to try and work out the issues privately with a mediator's help instead of hiring a lawyer immediately and taking the matter to court.

Most people are willing to talk through their differences, but when they see the other person has already hired a lawyer, emotions are often exascerbated.  Allowing for negotiations and concessions before threatening a lawsuit, can be  constructive, cost effective, and ultimately lead to agreements that are more likely to be tailored to the individual, unique family involved..

Benefits of mediation

There are plenty of reasons to go to mediation instead of litigation. Here are some examples:

  • Affordability: Litigation is expensive! Costs in terms of court fees and attorney's fees add up. In most cases, litigation attorneys charge higher rates than mediators. Additionally, the time a court case takes can take a toll on your emotional and mental health.  Litigation might just leave you bankrupt.
  • Mediation is fast, unlike court cases which get impeded by backlogs, over crowded dockets, and recesses.
  • Mediation explores both participants interests and concern, so all feel heard
  • Mediations are private; what happens during the mediation session(s) are confidential and cannot be used in court. Only the settlement agreement is recorded, though in many cases, the settlement agreement can remain confidential, too.
  • Mediation leads to many more options for resolution, unlike judge's rulings which must always stick to the law.

Family Mediator near me

Family conflicts and divorce can get ugly. There are many minefields involved, and just a single careless action can mean all gloves are off, and it's one party on the other's throat. It doesn't help that there's no rule book to decent family conflicts. However, you can choose the high road and try solving your issues out of the public eye.

For years, Carolann Mazza has helped families in South Florida work out disputes privately and reach better and longer-lasting agreements. She serves the following counties in South Florida - Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade. Give her a call now, and let her help you see each other's points and reach an amicable solution without involving the courts.