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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

What happens in mediation?

Mediation is required in divorces, before the parties can see a judge. So what happens in mediation?

The petitioner will generally state the issues at the mediation, and then the other party lays out his or her issues. The mediator will then take each issue separately and deal with it between the parties to attempt a resolution.

The mediator can be an attorney, accountant or licensed mental health professional or someone who has training in this area. The court offers lay people who do mediation and are very qualified at the courthouse. The fee is $60 to $120 for each two-hour session per person, based upon the incomes of the parties.

Some people desire a professional mediator, and those are available on an hourly basis as well. Based upon the personalities of the parties, sometimes it is better to use a professional mediator who can sometimes be a little bit more aggressive in the settlement process.

Sometimes mediation resolves all of the issues. Sometimes it resolves some or none. Either way, once mediation has been completed, the mediator will provide a report to the judge. Then the parties can then feel free to schedule a hearing.

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