Frequently Asked Questions
Can I attend family mediation before filing any papers at the courthouse?
YES! Family mediation is most successful when the parties attend mediation first. This type of mediation is called pre-suit mediation. In a pre-suit mediation, the parties work with a family mediator to create a Marital Settlement Agreement and a Parenting Plan, if needed. If the case is a paternity matter only (meaning the parties were never married), the family mediator would assist in calculating the child support and creating a Parenting Plan. Once the necessary documents are prepared, the parties can then go to the courthouse to file the documents.
Do I have to hire a family law attorney?
No! Family mediation can be conducted solely with a family mediator and the parties. Many couples choose to go through family mediation pro se, which means without attorneys. Jenny is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and is highly qualified to manage all aspects of a family mediation involving divorce and modifications to existing Marital Settlement Agreements, Parenting Plans and Child Support Orders. However, mediators can not provide legal advice only legal information. It is always recommended that the parties seek legal counsel before signing any agreement. Besides being a mediator, Jenny is a Florida Bar licensed attorney since 2006. Her extensive knowledge of the legal system can help navigate the parties through family disputes.
How can I modify an existing Child Support Order and/or Parenting Plan?
Family mediation is the ideal forum for changing a prior court order of child support and a Parenting Plan. Per Florida family law statute section 61.30, a party may seek modification of a child support order if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” The substantial change between the existing monthly obligation and the current guideline amount must be a difference of 15% or $50.00, whichever is greater. Instead of hiring an attorney to handle the modification in court, Jenny has the proper child support software needed to calculate the new child support amount.
What happens if we can not agree at the mediation?
If the parties can not reach an agreement during the mediation, the parties can agree to impasse. Impasse means no resolution was reached during the mediation. The parties will then have to ask the family law court to resolve the matter for them. However, if the parties need additional time outside the mediation session to make decisions, they can agree to postpone the session and resume mediating at another time.
Can both parties speak to the mediator before the mediation?
YES! It does not matter which party initiates the contact with Jenny. A family mediator does not represent either party. Jenny encourages both parties to speak with her prior to any mediation to ask any and all questions. Those conversations are confidential.
How long does mediation take?
Typically, a family mediation session can take approximately 3-4 hours. However, the length of the mediation is wholly dependent upon the cooperation of the parties. Mediations that do not involve dependent children usually take less time than those with children.
Where do you hold your mediation session?
Divorce In Peace is designed to be flexible for its clients. In today’s modern world, virtual mediation is simple! Jenny offers Zoom mediation as well as mediation through phone calls, text messages and emails. If the parties wish to mediate in person, Jenny meets at a law firm in Boca Raton, Florida, conveniently located off of I-95 and Glades Road. The method of mediation never jeopardizes the quality of the process.
How quickly can a mediation be scheduled?
Jenny can schedule a mediation as soon as both parties are ready to proceed. Scheduling a virtual mediation will always be easier and quicker as it allows the parties to mediate from anywhere.
What happens after the mediation session?
Once all family matters are resolved, Jenny finalizes the documents and gives them to the parties to sign. It is the responsibility of the parties to file the documents at the appropriate courthouse and initiate the dissolution or modification process. Although Jenny can provide the parties with general information about the filing process, she does not file any documents or attend any hearings with the parties.
Why should I use Jenny as my family mediator?
Jenny has been a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator since 2011. Divorce in Peace, formerly known as Family Focused Mediation, Inc., has been helping families all over South Florida since its inception. Jenny earned her Bachelor’s in Science in Psychology from the University of Florida and her law degree from Stetson University College of Law. The combination of Jenny’s knowledge of psychology, experience as a lawyer, wife and mother to three daughters makes her the ideal family mediator to understand the intricacies of family dynamics.
Need help navigating life post-divorce?
Jenny also provides family life coaching services. A family life coach assists a person or family in identifying a current problem and helps strategize various solutions to the resolve the problem. More simply, a family life coach is an objective person who can help you problem solve. For example, a recently divorced couple needs to sell their marital home but can not make joint decisions with regards to the sale. Or a newly, single parent has difficultly parenting and co-parenting and needs a sounding board when making child related decisions. See the Family life coaching tab to learn more!