Resolving Your Marital or Family Law Dispute Through Mediation

Christy L. Hertz is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Marital and Family Law Mediation. If you and your spouse, former spouse or other parent of your child are having difficulty reaching an agreement on how to resolve a family law issue, you may wish to utilize the services of experienced Miami family mediator Christy L. Hertz to mediate your family law dispute.

Typically, a conflict between the parties in a family law matter is handled through the adversarial process of litigation. Mediation is an alternative to litigation, where the parties can seek to resolve a dispute with the assistance of a neutral third party mediator. 

Benefits of Mediation

While both mediation and litigation are utilized where parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own, mediation differs in significant ways from litigation:

  • First, mediation, unlike court litigation, is confidential. The issues and matters discussed and resolved through mediation do not take place in a public courtroom, and the proceedings are not accessible through the public record. By law, generally, the mediation attorney is also bound by confidentiality.

  • Second, scheduling of mediation is not dependent upon a court calendar, but through the private arrangements of the parties and the mediation attorney. Consequently, it generally provides a more convenient and more timely method of resolving a disputed issue for the parties.

  • Third, because mediation is not bound by the rules and laws that govern court procedures and legally mandated remedies, mediated agreements can be more creative than those imposed by a court. The purpose of mediation is to fashion an arrangement that the parties themselves want, rather than what a court may impose. Consequently, parties often tend to comply voluntarily with mediated remedies, minimizing the likelihood that the agreement will later have to be enforced by a court order.

  • Fourth, the mediator is not a judge. Rather than imposing a result or dictating to the parties, the mediation attorney's job is to facilitate an agreement between the parties and to help them to negotiate a mutually satisfactory result among a broad range of possibilities. Whereas a judge controls the parties and the resolution of a dispute through the force of law, a mediator is specifically trained to provide neutral information and advice to the parties, and to minimize the contention between them in order to enhance the ability of the parties to formulate a resolution that satisfies their competing interests.

  • Finally, because mediation does not involve the extended process of drafting and filing pleadings, setting court appearances, and so on, resolving a disagreement through mediation rather than litigation can save clients money on legal fees and costs.

While, as a general rule, mediation is a voluntary process between parties in a legal dispute, Florida family courts may refer contested issues to mediation under Rule 12.740 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. However, the parties are entitled to choose and agree upon their own mediator, and they are able to be independently represented by counsel during the mediation. Unlike a court proceeding, each party has the option of discussing the dispute independently with the mediator or of meeting with the opposing party, depending upon the situation and the desires of the parties.

Florida family courts set a 75 day time limit upon when mediation must be concluded from the point the first mediation conference takes place. Once concluded, mediated agreements must be signed by the parties and submitted to the court for final approval, unless the parties agree to keep the agreement confidential. Mediated agreements become part of the final judgment or order in a family law case, and are fully enforceable by the courts. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution through mediation, the parties may ultimately have to resort to litigation.

As a Certified Marital and Family Law Mediator and an experienced family law attorney, Christy L. Hertz is prepared and qualified to mediate the settlement of divorce, child support, time-sharing and parenting plan, paternity, equitable distribution, spousal support, and any other marital and family law matters on which you and your spouse or ex-spouse cannot reach agreement. Her law office facilities provide an atmosphere in which you can confidentially and confidently discuss the matter with her, trusting that she will not be partial to either party. Through the process of mediation, Ms. Hertz, as a mediation lawyer can help you and your spouse, former spouse and/or the other parent of your child reach a fair, equitable, and satisfactory resolution to your conflict in a way that does not tax your time, your finances, or your personal dignity.

If you are in need of a qualified Miami Marital and Family Law Mediator to help you resolve a family law dispute, contact the law offices of Hertz Sager, online through this website, or at 305.444.3323.