About Mediation
  SOUTHWEST FLORIDA DIVORCE & FAMILY MEDIATION SERVICES Serving all of Florida, including Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and Tampa
Southwest Florida Divorce & Family Mediation Services
Mediation is the process in which a neutral and impartial third person encourages and facilitates the resolution of a dispute without recommending or advising what the resolution should be. The mediator is neutral; he/she is unbiased and has no personal preference in the outcome and final decision. The mediator is also impartial, meaning that he/she does not and will not favor either one of the disputing parties over the other. Mediation is an informal, non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator’s role is to assist in identifying the disputed issues and help the disputing parties work through those issues so that they can make informed decisions. The objective is to find solutions that are agreeable to the disputing parties for both the short-term and long-term. Unlike a court proceeding and trial where the judge makes the decisions, during mediation the disputing parties are empowered to find a solution and come to a voluntary agreement. The disputing parties control the outcome. The mediator controls the process. The eventual goal of the mediation is for the parties to come to agreement and to memorialize the agreement in writing. The written agreement is then filed with the court. What is discussed at mediation is confidential and privileged. Confidential means that the information cannot be disclosed to any party outside the mediation except to a disputing party’s attorney. Therefore, neither of you nor the mediator will discuss what occurs or is said during mediation. A final written and executed agreement can be disclosed but not how the agreement was reached. What is discussed at mediation is also privileged. Privileged means that if mediation fails and a trial is necessary, the information cannot be disclosed in court. Therefore, if during mediation one party makes a settlement offer, that offer cannot be disclosed to the judge in order to assist the judge in making a decision. These rights are meant to enable the disputing parties to speak freely during mediation in an effort to come to an agreement. Optimally, mediation is completed in a single session, with both parties at the same table with the mediator. Subsequently, the parties could break out into separate rooms, with the mediator going between the two rooms to speak to each party privately. Alternatively, the parties could each start the mediation in a separate room. Depending on the circumstances, mediation may be conducted via video conference, telephone conference, or even by separate telephone conversations, with the mediator conducting a series of separate telephone conversations with each disputing party. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a written settlement agreement for the parties to review and sign. The settlement agreement may address the details of such family matters as the division of all financial assets, debts, alimony, child support and co-parenting issues. As part of the mediation process, and as necessary, the mediator may also prepare a written parenting plan and perform child support calculations. Southwest Florida Divorce and Family Mediation Services will also assist the parties in completing the necessary forms to be filed with the court.


Southwest Florida Divorce & Family Mediation Services

239-631-6755 michael@guidingpathmediation.com