Both managing members of Girard & Johnson, LLC are instructors of the financial section for the Family Mediation Certification Training in the Tampa Bay area and have extensive experience with the mediation process. After 25 years of combined experience as forensic experts in the litigation support field, we understand how complicated financial disputes can be. Going to court may be expensive, consumes your time, greatly affects your personal life and most importantly, may be detrimental to your children.
With our financial knowledge and expert witness experience, we bring a unique approach to the mediation process. Because some of the main aspects of your divorce are financials, it makes sense to have a financial expert understanding your specific situation. For example, a neutral mediator will assist you and your spouse with the division of your assets and liabilities, alimony and child support. The end goal is to have a written agreement which spells out all aspects of your divorce, including a parenting plan as needed.
A mediation is an alternate dispute resolution method which helps spouses resolve disputes without a trial. You may or may not be represented by an attorney during the mediation process. The mediator is trained not only to resolve disputes but also to equally serve both spouses. The mediator does not have to be a lawyer, nor should a mediator provides legal advice. During mediation, many options will be discussed, and none are binding until both spouses agree and have the documents drafted in a legal document and filed with the court.
The mediation process is voluntary, therefore either spouse can end the process at any time. As opposed to leaving the outcome to a judge who does not know your situation, you retain control of the outcome, while keeping the cost much lower than if you were to go through the court system. Mediation is a confidential process and helps spouses keep a sense of dignity and self-respect. It also allows spouses to focus on achieving an optimal outcome while minimizing a hostile environment.
Note that your mediation may be more than one session. We can also recommend outside experts as needed and requested by the couple, such as real estate appraiser, child specialist, mortgage broker, etc. Each family is different, and we have the knowledge to assist you so that you can feel confident you have the information needed to reach an agreement.
At the conclusion of your mediation, if an agreement is reached it will be documented in a Memorandum of Understanding. We recommend that both spouses seek legal counsel to make sure your rights are legally protected. Once the agreement is reviewed by an attorney and signed by both spouses, an experienced divorce lawyer can prepare the necessary paperwork and assist you with filing an uncontested divorce in your county to obtain the final divorce decree.
We offer virtual mediation as well.
Talk to us today about how we can mediate your situation.
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