Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a voluntary and confidential settlement process whereby a neutral third party, called a mediator, acts to facilitate a resolution to the dispute, which is called a mediated agreement.
Q: What is the mediator’s role?
A: The mediator’s role is that of a neutral, impartial, third party who has no stake in the outcome of the dispute. The mediator acts to facilitate communication between the parties by identifying issues, brainstorming for options and allowing the parties to reach a voluntary agreement.
Q: After you have an agreement, what happens next?
A: The mediator, the parties or the parties’ attorneys will draft the agreement. The mediated agreement or settlement agreement essentially becomes a contract between the parties.
Q: When is it time to contact a mediator?
A: Contact a mediator before the conflict rises to the level of filing legal action or before the parties are unwilling to communicate. In divorce, many people think they must first hire an attorney to file their divorce proceeding. Not so. Contact a mediator first. A lawyer normally requires a retainer fee of about $2,500.00 or more, in order to begin any work on your case. Lawyers are prohibited from representing both husband and wife in a divorce. If your spouse also hires an attorney, the fees may represent $5,000.00 of the couple’s savings. This is just the beginning of the money that the divorcing couple will spend just to get the process started.
At Linke Mediation, Inc., we would speak with the spouses and explain the mediation process and that it is a voluntary process. The couple, with the mediator’s assistance, will find that they have the ability to work out their own settlement agreement. The mediator, helps the couple prepare the Marital Settlement Agreement and the Florida Supreme Court forms so the couple may file their divorce in court without attorneys. The parties may have all of the divorce papers reviewed for advice by separate attorneys before signing. The couple that divorces by mediation will “Save Time, Money & Stress.”
Q: What other benefits are there to mediation?
A: 1. Mediation is a confidential process. This means that the statements and communications made during mediation sessions cannot be used in any forum or administrative process unless required or permitted by law. Confidentiality allows the parties to be candid with one another and permits disclosure and honesty.
2. Mediation offers the parties the opportunity to create or craft a acceptable settlement agreement, as opposed to a stranger called a Judge, or a group of strangers, called a jury deciding your future. They will never know as much as you do about your own situation.
3. Parties show a high level of satisfaction with mediated settlements, which has also provided for a reduction of future legal actions and a better compliance to the mediated settlement agreements. Again, this is a reduction of future cost to clients.
4. Mediation normally can be scheduled within days of the initial telephone consultation. Mediation fees and costs are a fraction of attorney fees and court costs and the process is more informal, relaxed and less adversarial as compared to litigation and trial.