Here in Central Florida the courthouses for Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia, Polk, and Lake County have postponed civil trials for family law cases. It is unclear when trials will resume.
What Are The Alternatives to Trial?
The best alternative to trial is a Settlement Agreement. A Settlement Agreement outlines in detail the terms of the divorce. A settlement agreement will include the details of the separation of assets and debts, as well as a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule if minor children are involved.
Issues That Can Be Settled At Mediation
- Division of assets, including real property, personal property, bank accounts, investment accounts and retirement benefits
- Division of debts
- Spousal support (temporary or permanent)
- Child support (temporary or permanent)
- Tax considerations
- Child custody and visitation schedules (temporary or permanent)
- Continuation of medical, dental, vision or other insurance coverage
Mediation begins and ends with both parties willing to compromise.
In mediation, the spouses seek a compromise of their issues. Unlike a trial that is adversarial, the details of your private lives are open to the public; Mediation is a private process. Mediation is attended by an impartial mediator, the parties and their attorney’s.
What Is A Partial Or Temporary Settlement Agreement?
If you and your spouse cannot agree on all the issues, a Partial Settlement Agreement is a good solution. Whatever cannot be settled at the Mediation, may be due to needing more information or a “cooling off” period. The parties can return to mediation as many times as they want. Mediation is a helpful tool especially now during these uncertain times, when a trial date may be 9 to 12 months away. Returning to mediation is far less costly than having a trial and allowing a Judge to decide your personal family matters.
This approach can allow you to eventually reach a full agreement on all issues, faster, without litigation or the considerable financial commitment of a trial.