Legal Services for Jacksonville

March 14, 2019

Should I Try Mediation or Go Straight to a Divorce Lawyer?

If a divorce is inevitably in your near future, you’ve probably thought about hiring a divorce lawyer. However, is it possible that mediation would work for you instead? And, what is mediation, exactly?

Mediation is the process of when a neutral third party helps a couple sort out and resolve issues related to the divorce. In a divorce, there are many decisions that need to be made and the mediator guides the couple through these decisions. Mediation is known to be a less stressful process than going to court with a divorce lawyer. Often, people prefer to do mediation when there is a child or children involved.

Is Mediation Right for Me or Should I Not Bother?

When you meet with a mediator, this person cannot give you legal advice, even if they are a lawyer working as a mediator. Unless you hire them as a lawyer, they cannot give you legal advice and they do not represent you or your spouse. What the mediator can do is give suggestions on how to resolve issues on decisions regarding important issues like children or finances, so a judge doesn’t have to make the decision.

With mediation, all decisions will be made about the divorce without going to court. If the couple can come to a final agreement, the mediator can prepare the agreement and help the couple fill out the proper divorce forms.

Without going to court and doing a lot of your own paperwork, mediation is a lot less costly than seeking legal counsel. However, through the mediation, each party can seek legal advice from a lawyer on things such as child support, debt, alimony, etc.

Overall, mediation is seen as an easier way to make a divorce happen. If you believe you and your spouse can agree on most issues, then mediation will work for you. The mediation process is less daunting and less emotionally draining for all parties involved, including children if there are any. If you are unable to sit down or meet with your spouse, mediation cannot work for you and separate divorce attorneys will need to be hired.

There are also many other reasons mediation may not work for you including:

  • You’re in a hurry. Mediation isn’t a fast process.
  • You don’t wish your spouse well. If you do not care about your spouse’s well being and do not care about his/her point of view, mediation won’t work for you.
  • If you can’t advocate for yourself or speak up, mediation will not work.
  • You had a violent relationship.
  • You don’t want to settle.

If you can work together with your spouse to reach a final agreement, mediation will work for you. The process will be less stressful for both of you and the children (if any).

Looking for a Mediator or Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

Through mediation, the hope is to help you and your spouse make decisions that lead to a final agreement in an easier, cheaper, less-stressful way than a traditional court divorce. If you think mediation would work for you, talk to your spouse about it before deciding to go to court.

At Dorsey Law Firm, we are knowledgeable in divorce and family law and we will do our best work for you by communicating about what you expect, conveying your needs in mediation or court, and convincing the judge or opposition to acquiesce or compromise.

Through mediation, we can help a client make better decisions for their future.

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. The law firm also practices criminal law and personal injury law.

Dorsey and his team work with clients every step of the divorce process, whether they choose mediation or to go to court. To request your in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office, call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information.

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211 North Liberty Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 (Duval Co.)

P: 904-346-3883 | F: 904-358-8060 | Email: Dorsey Law Firm

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