Is a Divorce Mediation Agreement Enforceable in Florida?
Mediation can be a great option to resolve your divorce without a big fight. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 44.102), mediation is defined as “an informal and non adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement.” When a successful resolution is reached, mediation ends with a written comprehensive settlement agreement—and that agreement is legally binding. On other occasions mediation may result in a written settlement agreement that resolves some of the issues. Within this blog post, our Clearwater attorney provides an overview of the key things to know about the enforceability of a divorce mediation agreement in Florida.
A Divorce Mediation Agreement is Legally Enforceable
To begin with a divorce mediation agreement is a legally enforceable document in Florida. When finalized properly, it is not a non-binding settlement. It can, and usually is, immediately submitted to the appropriate court to obtain a ratifying Order. Absent very specific circumstances, a global mediation agreement will finalize the terms of your divorce case. Notably, family law courts in Florida greatly respect these agreements and will enforce them except in specific circumstances. As long as you have a family lawyer assist you at mediation, you should not have any problems getting your agreement approved.
Mediation is Non-Binding (A Spouse Can Withdraw from the Process)
While a signed mediation agreement is enforceable, the mediation process itself is non-binding. In other words, you are not required to reach an agreement through divorce mediation. If you are looking for a non-adversarial resolution to your divorce, the mediation process can help to provide the solution. You and your spouse are not forced to agree to anything during mediation. That flexibility can reduce the pressure which in turn promotes amicable settlement.
A Mediation Attorney Can Help You Negotiate an Agreement that Works
You should be as prepared as possible before the mediation process. Of course, the goal is to get a settlement agreement, an unfavorable agreement could be worse than not reaching one at all. You need a top-tier attorney by your side every step of the way. A Florida divorce lawyer with experience handling divorce mediation understands the legal aspects of divorce and can provide valuable advice on the terms that are best. A one size fits all approach is not good enough for divorce mediation. Proper preparation is essential. A Florida divorce lawyer can help you get ready for the mediation process, analyze potential options and negotiate with your spouse to find a settlement agreement that addresses all material issues, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
Contact Our Clearwater, FL Divorce Mediation Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our Florida divorce attorney is committed to helping clients find amicable, cost effective solutions including this use of alternative dispute resolution processes like mediation. Questions about mediation? We can help. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online to set up your confidential case evaluation. From our Largo office, we handle divorce mediation in Clearwater and all across Pinellas County.