Do you hope to complete your divorce process by the end of the year? Are you looking for a divorce mediator in Tampa Bay who can meet with you and your spouse in a non-adversarial setting?
We have slots for end-of-the-year divorce mediation open throughout December (including around Christmas). With us, not only will we work with your schedule, but you will find a different mediation experience than other local mediators offer. Our model is based on our experience working and authoring a book with internationally-respected leaders in the mediation field.
Let me explain a bit about how we are different in that we encourage face-to-face mediation. This offers several advantages over the caucus-style mediation that is more common in Tampa Bay.
Face-to-Face Mediation – A Quicker Resolution
First, our mediation sessions tend to be quicker. When you and your spouse are in the same room, you are hearing the same thing at the same time. The mediator does not have to go into different rooms repeating himself. Misunderstandings can also be more quickly resolved. Further, options can be more swiftly generated with the spouses working together rather than lobbing offers and counteroffers from one room to another.
Face-to-Face Mediation – Encouraging Co-Parenting
Second, face-to-face mediation encourages co-parenting. If you have children, your marriage may be dissolved, but your relationship as co-parents continue. You and your co-parent will likely need to make many decisions together going forward that affect your children. When you and your spouse are mediating in the same room, you are setting the table for future joint decision-making. You likely will not want someone to have to go back-and-forth between you and your co-parent every time there is a dispute in the future. You might as well learn face-to-face dispute resolution now.
Face-to-Face Mediation – Humanizing Divorcing Spouses
Third, face-to-face mediation helps to humanize divorcing spouses. In caucus-style mediation, I have noticed that there is a tendency to think the worse about your spouse in a different room. The long stretches of time when a mediator is with your spouse and you are alone (or with your lawyer, if you have one) fosters anxiety and a fear about what is going on in the other room. That anxiety and fear oftentimes lead to anger, causing spouses to demonize one another.
Face-to-face divorce mediation, on the other hand, can help remind spouses that they once loved one another. Though the marriage may be irretrievably broken, you probably do not want your spouse to be your enemy. It is much more difficult for your spouse to attribute ill intent on you when you are together in the presence of a professional. And when you share your fears and concerns with one another while also addressing your hopes for the future, all facilitated by a neutral mediator, you may find yourselves more empathetic to each another and more ready to come to resolution.
Face-to-Face Mediation – An Interdisciplinary Option
Fourth, our face-to-face mediation offers the option of working with other experts. We offer the opportunity to work with a licensed mental health counselor as a co-mediator. The counselor is not performing therapy. Rather, she is helping to facilitate communicate between you and your spouse. We all know that divorce can be highly emotional. Your spouse may take anything that you say the wrong way. The counselor co-mediator can help keep communication productive, focused on the future rather than on arguments of the past that might have led you to divorce. The counselor co-mediator can also help ensure that your parenting plan is tailored to your children. She can focus the parenting plan on your children’s specific emotional needs and developmental stages.
Another option we offer is to have an accountant co-mediator. The accountant is not providing tax advice. Rather, she is helping to ensure financial transparency (think “trust, but verify”) so that you both can make informed decisions. Further, the accountant co-mediator can help develop various options if you have a private business or sophisticated finances. These options will be geared towards meeting you and your spouse’s goals.
End-of-the-Year Divorce Mediation
To get started with your end-of-the-year divorce mediation, all you need to do is contact us. Keep in mind that, though your divorce mediation process may be completed by the end of the year, you may not be able to get in front of a judge to finalize the divorce by December 31. Further, the pace of the mediation and opportunity to be finished in 2019 will largely depend on you and your spouse’s ability to be reasonable and to consider each other’s interests. Still, our face-to-face divorce mediation gives you a great chance at a quick and durable resolution.
Adam B. Cordover is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and co-author with Forrest S. Mosten of an American Bar Association book on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Adam has taught other professionals about mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution around the U.S., Canada, Israel, and France.