When a couple is committed to mediation, they are often able to resolve divorce-related issues much more quickly and at a lower cost to everyone involved than if they had litigated the case in court. There are, however, a number of different kinds of mediation available to the parties to a divorce, one of which is evaluative mediation. This method requires the presence of an evaluative mediator who acts as a neutral third party to help couples come to amicable compromises about divorce-related issues like property division and child custody. If you are interested in pursuing mediation as a means of dissolving your marriage amicably, you should be represented by an experienced divorce mediation attorney who can ensure that your interests are protected.
What is Evaluative Mediation?
Evaluative mediation is a dispute resolution process, where a third party who is an expert in the legal aspects of divorce, known as an evaluative mediator, meets with the disputants and their attorneys and collects alleged facts, evidence, and arguments. At this point, the mediator evaluates the information and then gives an explanation of the weaknesses and strengths of each parties ‘arguments and what risks they face if they go to litigation. In this way, the mediator illuminates the law in such a manner that the parties are encouraged to modify their positions rather than risk a worse outcome in court. However, in order for the parties to come to an amicable solution, the evaluative mediator must be effective and qualified.
Each state has different requirements for mediators that depend on the specific type of mediator in question. In Florida, for example, family mediators must have a bachelor’s degree and at least 100 points. Points are given as follows:
- 30 points for completing a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediation training program;
- 25 points for education and/or mediation experience; and
- 30 points for completing a supervised mentorship.
Mediators also get more “points” for speaking a second language, having an advanced degree, or having a high level of experience. For instance, mediators will receive one point a year for every year that they mediate 15 or more cases. Alternatively, a mediator could receive up to five points for conducting a minimum of 100 mediations over a five year period.
This point system ensures that only the most qualified, effective, and professional mediators are appointed in divorce cases. However, you should still consult with your attorney to ensure that your own evaluative mediator is qualified and well-respected in his or her field, as this could have a significant impact on the outcome of your own negotiations.
Call Today to Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Divorce Mediation Attorney
If you’re going through a divorce and believe that mediation could be the right decision for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to contact dedicated and compassionate divorce mediation attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 or by sending us an online message today. And remember, initial consultations are conducted free of charge.