Mary Gay McDaniel MGM Law, P.A.
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Pensacola Florida Family Law Blog

What role does a mediator play in a divorce?

In Florida, many couples choose to rely on mediators when going through a divorce. But do you know what a mediator's purpose ultimately is? Unfortunately, many misunderstandings surround the role that they play in a split.

Huffington Post lists different myths regarding divorce mediation. For example, there's an old-standing belief that divorce mediation is not accepted by the legal profession. However, that hasn't been the case since 2000, when the American Bar Association embraced divorce mediation as a smart and even preferable method of handling a divorce.

Handling a home in a collaborative divorce

Florida residents who are considering ending their marriages understandably might be hesitant about this in part due to all that they have to lose. One of the things that many divorcing spouses are concerned about losing is their home. It is normal for people to want to maintain stability for their children and even themselves but caution should be exercised when pushing to keep a home in a divorce.

Spouses who are able to be collaborative in their divorce may have a better chance of keeping a home than those who are more adversarial with each other. As Time Money explains, one of the pitfalls that disputing spouses face is the lack of trust in each other to follow through with a commitment. If one person keeps the home and the current mortgage and says they will make the payments, the other person's credit is at risk if the first person fails to stay up on the mortgage.

5 benefits of using collaborative law to get a Florida divorce

Getting a divorce is often a frightening situation. You may not know what steps to take now to begin the process or ensure the best outcome. Your future is changing, and you may experience backlash from loved ones for this choice. Even if you feel confident, the cost and time involved may worry you.

Some parts of the divorce process are out of your control, such as how others respond. The good news is that you can eliminate many of the fears by choosing the right approach. Litigation, or fighting in court, may be the tradition, but collaborative law is the improved way to divorce.

What are misconceptions of collaborative divorce?

As a divorcing couple in Florida, you may have heard of the term collaborative divorce before. Mary Gay McDaniel, P.A., is here to help guide couples through the divorce process and help you understand the true purpose of collaborative law, which is often mired in misconceptions.

Collaborative law in relation to divorce is usually misinterpreted by people who are unaware of its true purpose. For example, some think that only couples on great terms can collaborate. Others believe that mediators, who often help with collaboration, are there to make the final decisions for you and your ex-spouse. Neither is true. It's possible for any couple in any situation to use collaborative law to help reach a final decision that every party can be satisfied with.

Understanding the benefits of collaborative divorce

When you watch divorces play out on TV or in the movies, there is often considerable stress and strife involved. Often, the two former partners find themselves competing with one another for the court’s favor, which can impact not only the emotions of both parties, but also those of any children involved in the mix.

While TV and movie divorces are frequently highly contentious, real-life splits do not have to be. In fact, many divorcing couples are increasingly opting for what is known as collaborative divorce, which is a relatively new and progressive method of ending a marriage for those looking to do so in minimal time, and at minimal expense. In collaborative proceedings, each party in the marriage has his or her own attorney, but everyone agrees to work together to avoid court and devise a solution that meets the needs of everyone involved. Collaborative divorce can offer many benefits, and these include:

Tips for emotionally positive coparenting

It is a well-documented fact that getting a divorce is one of the most stressful experiences a person may endure. Many a resident in Florida can likely attest to this having gone through divorces themselves. While some stress may ultimately be relieved as a person begins to move forward and rebuild their life, when they share children with a former spouse, there can never be a complete break. In these situations, some level of stress and challenge may remain for years to come.

Learning to parent with a former spouse is nothing short of an art unto itself. Psychology Today indicates that parents may want to employ a relatively high level of consciousness to help them make coparenting easier and more positive.

What are common misconceptions about divorce mediation?

As a Floridian couple who has decided to dissolve your marriage, you're going to be running into all kinds of divorce options, as well as opinions from just about everyone regarding which ones are the best. Here are a few things you should know about divorce mediation, which tends to be shrouded in misconceptions.

Divorce Magazine writes about three of the most common misconceptions regarding divorce mediation. For example, one of the most pervasive fears couples have is that the mediator is there to make decisions for you, acting as a judge in a slightly less official capacity. However, this isn't true at all. Mediators are only there to do what their title implies: mediate the situation. While they may have suggestions to give, they will never be actively trying to impose their will or decisions over your own/

What method of handling divorce is best for you?

When Floridian parents decide it's time to split, you actually have a number of options when it comes to determining how you want to handle the divorce. Is the aggressive route best? Or would you benefit more from collaborative law?

Collaborative law usually involves coming to decisions that both you and your ex-spouse agree with, and likely sharing joint custody. FindLaw defines this as both physical and legal custody of the child, with both parents taking an equal (or nearly equal) share of parental burdens.

Remain civil during divorce procedures

When Florida couples divorce, they may be more concerned with ending the marriage than remaining on good terms with each other. It can be beneficial for couples to remain amicable throughout the process, though, especially if they have children.

It can be helpful for people to remember that the end of their marriage is not a war. The American Psychological Association says that many couples may benefit from mediation. People typically are more satisfied with their divorce when they sit down with their ex-spouse and talk about important issues, such as how they will divide property and parent their children. Some people may want to write a list of important issues before meeting with their spouse so they have a guide for the conversation. 

How does the collaborative process work?

You are ready to file for divorce, but the daunting process of the whole thing is holding you back. How long will it take to sort out your disputes in court? Will your divorce be expensive? How can you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse ever come to an agreement when your disagreements led to the divorce in the first place? Like many Florida residents, you may have heard how uncontested divorce options are becoming a popular substitute for litigated divorce. Collaborative law is one of these options.

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