Some clients believe that mediation is just a requirement they need to satisfy on their “to do” list for their dissolution action; however, it is more than that. It is an opportunity to resolve all or part of your case while keeping the decision making power instead of giving that power to a stranger in the black robe, the Judge.
When selecting a mediator, it has to be a person that you and your attorney believe is right for the specific facts in your case. You need someone with experience, not the least expensive person. Sometimes you need the expertise of a tax specialist or someone that focuses on child issues or even family business issues.
Not all mediators are the same, and they all have different personalities and styles of mediating a case. Some mediators are able to change the style of the mediation based on the personalities of the parties.
It is imperative to advise any potential mediator if there are domestic violence issues because certain accommodations must be made to ensure that the victim feels safe enough to have the ability to negotiate without the fear or duress that is often associated with domestic violence cases.
Both parties to a case should always have a preparation meeting with their attorneys, and the attorneys should advise the mediator as to what issues should be mediated and what needs their clients (you) have to create an environment for the most productive mediation possible.
Here at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, we always meet with our client to prepare for the mediation, ensure that the client understands the process, and confirm that all of their concerns are addressed prior to the mediation. Mediation can be a few hours or a few different sessions depending on the type of case and the personalities of the parties. The common goal for a mediation is to settle the case; however, there are other “mini” goals that can be accomplished at the mediation to pave the way for more successful mediation sessions in the future or trial preparation.
Ms. Schwam-Wilcox does not only represent clients with their mediations, she is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. Ms. Schwam-Wilcox has two (2) separate rooms in order to achieve the best outcomes for the parties as caucuses are very often necessary. The firm works on a sliding payment scale to ensure that all potential clients have the financial resources to have the benefit of a private mediation. There are half days and full days available. The firm’s success rate for settlement of mediation matters is almost 100% because Ms. Schwam-Wilcox facilitates the parties (with and without counsel) in their understanding of what is best for their family, with the reduction of stress while making these very difficult decisions…having our emotional support dog Shayna has come in handy too.