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Why do we have to mediate our Tampa family law case?

Tampa divorce attorneys are constantly asked by their clients why it’s necessary to mediate and pay a mediator, when they know that they will not agree on anything. In short, the temporary standing order from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, which we discussed extensively elsewhere on our Tampa divorce attorney blog, requires parties to do so. In our experience, the requirement to mediate is essentially threefold.

First, it requires parties to actually sit down and discuss their differences, as opposed to their attorneys simply doing so via email. Anyone that’s sending emails in a professional setting knows that folks are more likely to posture and gesture via email, as opposed to when they are actually forced to sit down and speak to someone face to face. Further, mediation requires parties, with the assistance of a mediator, to literally look at each other again, and recall some of the prior experiences they had. This, in some ways, makes them more likely to work out and compromise on small issues initially. In our extensive experience with mediations, once parties make small concessions and begin resolving minor issues, they’re more likely to resolve major issues. This is why one of our more common mediation tactics is to begin with smaller, ancillary issues, get some agreement between the parties, then work towards larger, more important issues to our clients.  In many ways, resolving minor issues at mediation truly creates positive momentum towards resolving a case.

Secondly, a good mediator can make both sides to become aware of the shortcomings and strengths or their cases. For example, a good mediator can look both sides in their face and tell them, ‘You may win because of x-y-z, but you may lose because of a-b-c.’  As difficult as it is, this also often gets parties closer to resolving issues because they are hearing a neutral, third-party provide the weaknesses of their case for the first time.

Finally, mediation requires the parties to show their hand in some capacity, as to their potential trial strategy, potential witnesses, and any issues which they deem the most important. This is one great opportunity you will have with an experienced Tampa family law attorney. It gives you an opportunity to consider, and begin dissecting the other party’s trial strategy prior to trial. For example, if at mediation, the only issue the other party wants to discuss is retaining the marital home, this shows this is obviously their most important issue and they may be more willing, and are likely to neglect preparation on other issues, such as timesharing, alimony, and/or attorney’s fees. This is a critical observation to make during mediation because it can put people into a significant advantage when preparing for a final hearing.  Further, it can lead to a more effective mediation strategy.

If you have questions concerning your family law mediation or family law case, contact the Tampa family law attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handled hundreds of mediations and family law issues in the Tampa Bay area.  If you would like to contact one of our Tampa family law attorneys immediately, please use the “Contact Us Now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. One of our Tampa family law attorneys will contact you immediately once the email has been sent. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa family law attorney blog. If you have further questions about family law, we encourage you to check out our other blog articles, as we’ve discussed a multitude of issues in our blog. We look forward to hearing from you and look forward to working with you.