Mediation Frequently Asked Questions - Video Answers

Attorney, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg proudly serves the Divorce and Family Law Mediation needs of those in Orlando, Central Florida, and Montverde.

Call 321.209.1878 to schedule an confidential legal consultation regarding your Divorce and Family Law Mediation matters.

Mediation can be workable when someone's not local, however it's better for you to be there and be a part of the process. You can participate by phone, however the problem with someone not being available in the room is that if an agreement is reached, it can't be signed. So you do want to be there if possible, but if not, you can have one person not physically there.

Divorce is not an answer, it's a beginning and an end. It's the end of your marriage but the beginning of your life after divorce. Check yourself before you blame your spouse. Is your spouse the cause of your unhappiness or are you just unhappy with how he or she responds to your unhappiness? Is the grass really greener on the other side. You can divorce your spouse, but you don't divorce your kids. Communication does not get easier from afar, and it certainly gets harder when you add more parties. Your children will now have two homes, two lifestyles, new plus-ones, and possibly step-parents and step-siblings. Who will you be for your children? They now get to deal with your emotions about the divorce, your emotions about reentering the dating world, and the financial realities of life without a dual income household. Divorce will hurt your finances. The same amount of money you will now go to two separate households. There may be additional costs of providing childcare or getting your children to see the other parent. Is it really cheaper to keep her or him? If you are considering divorce, be sure you have done everything to know that it is your only option. Divorce is an answer, but is it the right answer for you and your family?

The mediator is a neutral third party and their job is to facilitate and assist the parties in reaching a resolution. They can help you resolve all of your case or part of your case. They are not a judge and do not take sides and they do not make rulings or take evidence. They're a facilitator and help you through the negotiation process.

You have three options at the end of mediation: you will either have reached an entire agreement, a partial agreement, or no agreement. Whatever agreement is reached is typically reduced to rating and signed by both parties. Anything that's not agreed to would then go before a judge for resolution.

Most courts require mediation prior to any evidentiary hearing. In a typical litigation process, you are going to be required to mediate. You'd be court-ordered to attend. The process thereafter is voluntary, and it's not uncommon for parties to mediate more than once if you're going to trial.

Mediation is a voluntary process. You are court ordered typically in order to appear, but thereafter you do not have to stay and you don't have to reach an agreement. Once an agreement is reached in mediation, it is a legally binding contract. Typically, it's also incorporated into a final judgment or court order and therefore also enforceable in court as such.

There are many alternatives to going to court in Florida. You can use a mediation process. You can use the collaborative divorce process. In each divorce case in Florida, a final judgment will be entered by the judge, but there are many ways to get there. The saying isn't untrue, "There are many ways to leave your lover."

In any family law process, including mediation, it's your option as to whether or not you have an attorney. If you have an attorney, they should certainly be a part of the process and assist you through it.

Preparation for mediation is extremely important. You should prepare as if you are going to present the entirety of your case. The mediator is not a person that takes evidence, but you should know your best case scenario, your worst case scenario, the things that are most important to you, and to be able to talk openly and know all of your options as to resolution of your case.

The cost of mediation varies based on the individual that you're using as your mediator. Most mediators charge in the vicinity of the same as attorneys, so it can be as little as $250 an hour and it can go up from there to $475 and higher. The costs of mediation on a per hour basis are split between the parties, in most cases.

You like chose meditation to keep things civilized, efficient, and to save money. You will be more likely to do these things if you are well prepared for your meditation. Prepare emotionally. You have to be able to think. Emotions can be blinding. Don't go in seeing red. Prepare yourself. If you get too emotional during the meditation, ask for a break. Don't let your emotions cloud your thinking. Know your numbers. If you are referring to values, know where you get your numbers from. Do the math before you get there. Be able to make sense of your financial needs and desires. Open your ears. Hear what the other side has to say. You do not always agree with them, but you would be surprised at what you will be able to compromise to if you listen actively. Lastly, know your options. What is your best and worst case scenarios? What are the other party's? Where in the middle might work for the both of you? The better prepared you are, the more likely you will be able to reach a resolution at mediation.

Parties can meet together or separately in meditation. When they meet separately, it's called a caucus. That is typically where you, your attorney, is one room, and then the other party and their attorney, if they have one, are in the other room. The mediator will shuttle in between the two rooms.

A mediators job is not to tell you of your legal rights, they are a neutral party and in telling you your legal rights it would have an appearance of advocating for one side or the other. They are, however, able to provide you information that may assist you in the resolution of your case.

There are certain very limited circumstances in which you would avoid the discretion and mediation; the one that comes to mind is domestic violence. Other than that it's a process that's owned by you as the party, therefore you can bring up anything that you'd like in a mediation process. The three things that can come out of a mediation, is that you can have an entire agreement, and deal with everything; you can have a partial agreement, and deal with some issues; and then you may have a situation in which you have no agreement out of a mediation.

Mediation is not a hearing. It's a process, and so it's going to be voluntary for you to be there. Attorneys can be involved in both or either sides, and their position would be to assist you through the negotiation process.

You certainly can bring an attorney to mediation, and if you have an attorney who's assisting you through any process, you should have them with you in your mediation. Moreover, you should meet with him or her prior to that in order to make sure that you're well prepared for your mediation. (silence.)

You can be ordered into mediation in a litigated case. It is not unlikely that you wouldn't be ordered into mediation more than once before trial.

In Florida, mediators do have certifications, and that certification is through the Supreme Court of Florida. That certification requires a minimum level of experience, training, as well as a number of mediations in which you observe them.

Call Orlando and Central Florida Lawyer, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg at 321.209.1878 to discuss your Divorce and Family Law needs and goals.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg has extensive experience in assisting Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Longwood, Central Florida and Montverde residents who require professional Divorce and Family Law Mediation services.

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Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Attorney at Law

Mary Zogg, formerly Mary Hoftiezer has a multidisciplinary background which helps to provide a unique experience for her clients. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Business Administration in addition to her law degree. This allows her to provide her clients with a full vision of the financial, emotional, and legal aspects of their cases.

Mary’s degree in psychology has provided her with the ability to listen and understand the emotional impact of a divorce or paternity action. She works to understand how you feel and takes these feelings into account when putting together a strategy as to how to resolve your case.

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