Family Mediation Services in Tampa & Sarasota
In addition to our divorce services, Sessums Law Group, P.A. offers confidential family mediation as an alternative process to resolve disputes. Our highly qualified mediators guide parties through the issues that will be included in a Mediated Settlement Agreement. When the mediation is complete, parties will have everything they need to finalize their dispute without the necessity of extensive litigation.
As a way to educate the public and help anyone navigating their options find clear answers in a trying time, we’ve conducted a thorough question and answer session with both of our mediators, Ms. Jensen, and Ms. Boulos. We asked them the following questions to get their answers out to you.
1 – Who could benefit from mediation?
Anyone can benefit from mediation. It allows the parties to decide the outcome of their case, since they are decision makers in mediation. It also allows the parties to stay in control of their lives, rather than having someone else make decisions for them (such as a judge).
2 – Is mediation mandatory?
The mediation process is a voluntary process.
3 – What can I expect at a mediation with you?
You can expect to be in private, separate conference rooms or offices that incorporate calming elements to help create a collaborative environment utilizing technology when appropriate. Mediation sessions are a minimum of 2 hours long but can be scheduled in advance for as long as the parties’ expect they will need to come a resolution.
4 – Does the mediator represent me?
A mediator is a neutral party and does not represent either you or the other party in your case. The mediator cannot give either party legal advise.
5 – What is your role as a mediator?
The role of a mediator is to be neutral, help identify issues to be resolved, explore options for resolving those issues, reduce obstacles of communication between the parties and assist them in reaching a mutual agreement.
6 – Do I need an attorney to attend mediation?
You may attend mediation without an attorney. You may also attend mediation before you have filed with the court. You may resolve all of your issues without the need to go to court or hire an attorney, depending on the issues in your case. You may also attend mediation if one party has an attorney and the other does not.
7 – What qualifications does a mediator have?
A mediator has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court and is required to participate in continuing mediation education every year. A mediator must take classes and have experience mediating before they will be certified. In addition, Sessums Law Group mediators are also licensed and experienced family law attorneys who represent clients in court in addition to handling mediations.
8 – What points/topics are discussed in mediation?
The points/topics discussed at Sessums Law Group mediations are focused on family law matters that can range from dissolution of marriage with or without children, paternity, enforcement of Court
Orders/Judgments, child custody, child support, spousal support, temporary relief issues, modification and other family-related topics.
9 – How can I prepare for a mediation?
To prepare for mediation, you should think through all the issues in your case. You should consider what evidence you have and what evidence the other party has that a court might consider. You should think about what issues are most important to you, and what areas you may be willing to compromise. Most importantly, you should prepare yourself for open communication and flexibility as you will be
working together with the mediator and the other party to resolve the issues involved in your case.
10 – Can I bring someone with me to a mediation?
Only parties and their attorneys are permitted to attend a mediation except in limited special circumstances.
11 – Is a mediation confidential?
Yes. Everything said and learned in the context of mediation is confidential. If you reach an agreement, only the signed agreement will be filed with the court. Any other documents, notes, or other
information remains confidential. Everything you tell the mediator is confidential and everything the other party tells the mediator is confidential. You may not tell anyone else what you learned from or about the other party during mediation.
12 – How can mediation save cost?
Mediation saves cost because it is an effective way of settling disputes without the necessity of extensive litigation.
13 – How much does a mediation cost?
Mediation cost at Sessums Law Group is determined by the parties’ total combined gross annual income as evidenced by each party providing their respective most recent paystubs, federal tax return and W2s (if applicable), no later than seven days prior to scheduled mediation. However, failure to provide all necessary financial documentation will prevent application of any reduced rate and the
standard rate will apply.
REDUCED RATE IF COMBINED GROSS INCOME OF LESS THAN $50,000 ANNUALLY
PER PARTY: $75 per hour
TOTAL: $150 per hour
REDUCED RATE IF COMBINED GROSS INCOME BETWEEN $50,000 – $100,000 ANNUALLY
PER PARTY: $100 per hour
TOTAL: $200 per hour
STANDARD RATE AND APPLIES TO COMBINED GROSS INCOME IN EXCESS OF $100,000 ANNUALLY
PER PARTY: $125 per hour
TOTAL: $250 per hour
14 – What happens if we do not come to an agreement?
If you do not come to an agreement at mediation, your case will continue in the court system and will be set for hearing in front of a judge. The judge will then decide what happens.
15 – What if we do reach an agreement during the mediation?
If you reach an agreement during mediation, we will put the agreement in writing and both parties will sign the agreement. Then, the mediator will notify the court of the agreement and file a copy of the agreement with the court. The next steps and whether you will still need a brief hearing will depend on what the issues are in your case, and whether you came to a full agreement (resolved all your issues) or a partial agreement (resolved some issues but left some for the court to resolve).
Contact a family law mediation lawyer at Sessums Law Group, P.A.
Are you interested in learning more about the mediation process at Sessums Law Group? We’re here for you! The family law mediation lawyers at Sessums Law Group, P.A. are experienced professionals who can help you achieve whatever arrangement you seek. Call us at 813-435-5058 or contact us online today for more information.