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When to Call a Family Mediator in South Florida

When to Call a Family Mediator in South Florida

Family mediation has many different definitions, according to other people. It can be very informal, with the help of a friend, family member, or elder, to talk through issues. Still, it can also be formal with the use of professional mediators.

According to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, family mediation is a cooperative way of solving problems with a neutral professional who clearly defines the issue in contention and helps reach agreements in everyone’s best interest.

Sometimes family disputes are just between two parties. Other times, they involve the whole extended family. When conflicts are about child custody, the entire family may need to conference as a group during mediation.

When a warring family cannot resolve issues through mediation, the problem may have to go to family court for a judge ruling. Legal battles are often long, tedious, and expensive. The point of family mediation is to avoid getting to this stressful point.

Professional family mediation in South Florida

For years, Ann Goade has been helping warring parties in divorce and custody disputes reach binding settlements; and now, there’s a new type of mediator specializing in conflicts related to seniors.

Family members can end up arguing about various matters related to seniors, including estate planning, assisted living, and end-of-life care. Mediation helps conflicting parties to work out their differences and compromise safety. It helps avoid tedious and costly legal battles. There’s no rulebook on when families should bring in professional mediators. It’s always wise to think through all aspects of the conflict first.

Mediation is helpful in the following situations.

  • When one or both parties in a disagreement are not willing to compromise
  • When trying to resolve issues on your own, one or more family members feel like their issues are not considered.
  • When private DIY resolutions break down.
  • When family members are fighting each other over stuff, they are encouraged to use professional family mediator’s services to resolve their disagreements instead of relying on family law courts.

Family mediators may help in issues relating to:

1.   Separation or divorce

At one point or another in a divorce process, professional mediators’ services may be requested by involved parties or ordered by a court. Separation and divorce mediators help parties decide the following:

  • Equitable and fair sharing of assets and debts
  • Alimony and other entitlements
  • Parenting, including visitation rights, child support, children’s insurance, education, and medical expenses responsibilities.

2.   Marriage reconciliation

Family mediation is not always about helping families agree on how they’ll live apart. After a breakup, families may use a mediator’s services to re-establish communication, harmony, and trust and get back together. Family mediators provide spousal mediation and reconciliation services so separated or divorced couples can find solutions to particular marital problems.

3.   Elder issues

Some mediators specialize in adults and elders, too. Families may experience difficulty deciding which child to put in charge of medical care decisions, when the senior should give up driving, etc. Such issues do not necessarily call for legal action. Unfortunately, most elders have never heard of elder mediation, and their first instinct is to lawyer up in case of family conflicts. Elder mediation may help resolve issues such as:

  • Living arrangements
  • Guardianship issues
  • Financial issues
  • Intergenerational relationship issues
  • Religious issues
  • End-of-life planning
  • Real estate planning, wills, trust, power of attorney, etc.

4.   Addiction or any other psychological or physical issues

Addiction not only ruins the adducts life but is a stress on their family, too. In some cases, the addict is aware of the toll. But in other cases, they go on, ignorantly, in their drunken stupor. But families cannot afford to wait for the struggling family member to come around. With the help of mediators, you can arrange for an intervention.

Intervention is a creative process carried out by a person’s loved ones to help him/her get professional addiction treatment. A family mediator can help manage the intervention process so your friend or family finds the help they need.

Why choose mediation over litigation?

Court cases can be long, stressful, and expensive. No one wants to endure that. Mediation can be more effective. It’s preferred by parties who wish to maintain control over the dispute resolution process instead of fighting in court. Plus, it comes with many benefits such as:

  • It doesn’t take much money, unlike court and attorney fees
  • It avoids subjective rulings by judges. In family court, judges listen to the arguments and make decisions, which might not necessarily be objective.
  • A mediator’s solution suggestions are non-binding; however, failing to honor the agreement may make the other party take the matter to the courts.
  • It helps avoid court backlog
  • It gives both parties a chance to be heard

What happens during mediation?

During mediation, the warring parties present their arguments, and the mediator listens to the facts and legal breakdown. He/she then assist each party in seeing the benefits and disadvantages of their arguments and makes suggestions. Lastly, he/she provide creative solutions on how the parties can compromise and reach an amicable solution.

Mediation is private; nothing discussed can be used in litigation if negotiations break down. However, the mediated settlement agreement must be filed with the court case in court-ordered mediation. Both parties should keep copies of the agreement. When memorialized this way, mediation agreements are binding!

Family Mediation services near me

Families have disputes all the time. Sometimes it’s over minor matters. Other times, the issues are serious. Some families manage to work out the issues privately, on their own. But in other cases, they may need a neutral professional’s help to work out their issues.

Do you need the help of a professional mediator in South Florida? Get in touch with Ann Goade mediation services. She is a premier family law mediator with over 35 years of experience in the field, helping families reach amicable solutions out of court. You can contact her for in-person or even online mediation here. Remember, not all matters need a judge’s ruling!

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