by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
All parties to a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, must attend mediation at least twice in the course of a case, prior to taking the matter into the court room. The first mediation occurs shortly after mandatory disclosure documents are received and analyzed by the opposing side. The purpose of this mediation is to establish an agreed order on temporary relief pending the rest of the divorce proceedings.
Things to be decided include: children’s schedules, child support, alimony on a temporary basis, and who is to pay for which of the household bills to maintain the status quo during the divorce.
If that mediation results in an agreement, it is reduced to an enforceable agreed order until a final order on the entire divorce issues is entered by the court. If there is no agreement, or partial agreement, then the parties, having satisfied the mediation requirement, can seek a temporary decision from the judge.
The second time the parties must attend mediation in Palm Beach County divorce cases, is when trial for the entire divorce is set by the court. Sometime prior to that trial date, the parties must return to mediation to see if they can reach a global settlement on things like permanent alimony, equitable distribution of assets and debts of the marriage, time sharing schedules long term and the like.
If the parties can settle the entire divorce, the terms are drafted into a marital settlement agreement and that becomes part of a final judgment of divorce. If the parties cannot agree, then they are free to continue on to court for the divorce trial, having met the mediation requirement yet again. About 70% of this Firm’s cases settle in mediation. It is a useful way to proceed, even with attorneys and CPAs present at the mediation. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com for more information.