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Can a Court in Florida Require Divorce Mediation?


Are you preparing for a divorce in Florida? You probably have a lot of questions about what you can expect from the process. A common question: Are we required to try mediation for our divorce? While Florida law technically does not require mediation, Pinellas County has a standing order in place that requires most couples to try mediation before taking their case to trial. Here, our Clearwater divorce mediation attorney highlights the key points to know about how the process is handled in Florida.

Florida Law Does Not Require Mediation—But Pinellas County has a Standing Order in Place 

Mediation is a non-adversarial process designed to help parties resolve their differences in a collaborative setting (Florida Statutes § 44.102). State law does not mandate that divorce couples must try mediation. However, many counties, including Pinellas County, have a standing order in place that presumes that mediation should be required/attempted before couples can litigate.

  • If you are going through a contested divorce in Pinellas County, you will usually be ordered to try mediation.

To be clear, this does not mean that every divorcing couple in Pinellas County goes through the mediation process. It is not uncommon for couples to finalize an uncontested divorce after an informal negotiation. If you want to work out an uncontested divorce settlement with your spouse, an experienced attorney can help.

 Mediation is Always a Non-Binding Process in Florida 

To clarify, even though mediation may be required in a divorce case, it will not be binding unless both parties agree to terms in writing. The core purpose of mediation is to create a collaborative atmosphere whereby divorcing couples can try to resolve their differences. A mediator cannot force you into a divorce settlement. Further, a mediator does not have the authority to make any final decisions in your case. Instead, the mediator’s responsibility is to help facilitate a resolution to the extent that one is possible. If mediation does not work for a divorcing couple in Pinellas County, the mediator prepares a notice indicating that an impasse was reached.

 All Divorcing Couples Should Give Collaborative Solutions Good Faith Consideration 

All divorcing couples should consider collaborative solutions, including mediation. Divorce mediation offers a number of different advantages. To start, it is typically far less costly than divorce litigation. Another key benefit of mediation is that it allows couples to work out their issues in a

private setting. The divorce mediation process fosters open communication—encouraging couples to work together towards the best possible outcome. Even couples that are on bad terms, often have many mutual interests.

Contact Clearwater Divorce Mediation Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., we are focused on helping people find the solution that works best for their specific situation. If you are preparing for divorce mediation, please do hesitate to contact our family law team for a strictly confidential, no obligation initial appointment. We provide mediation services as well as divorce mediation representation in Clearwater, Pinellas County, and beyond.

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