Divorce court is painful. Often, participants are already in a difficult emotional state, and going to trial only makes this worse. This process tends to create a battleground environment, turning families against one another. People focus on “winning,” or they sometimes just want to hurt the other person.
Mediation can help cut through all this strife. Our attorney, Beth Reineke, spent years inside the courtroom, and she has seen firsthand how bad it can get. Now, she is devoted to helping couples talk through their issues.
Our office is located in Tampa, but if you live in Clearwater, you can still mediate (virtually or in person) with a more experienced mediator and file your case in Clearwater. Attorney mediator Beth Reineke mediates all the time with parties living and working in Pinellas County, and she knows the legal requirements of the Pinellas County courts.
Trust Beth G. Reineke to help with divorce mediation in Clearwater.
To set up a free consultation, you can call us today at (813) 336-5012.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
In legal terminology, when you challenge something, you “contest” it. A contested divorce is one where at least one spouse does not agree, and the couple must take the matter to court.
An uncontested divorce is mutual. Both spouses agree to end the marriage, and they have reached an agreement, either on their own or with the help of a mediator, on all issues related to their divorce.
Mediation is there to help facilitate an uncontested divorce. Without legal guidance, it can be difficult to cover all necessary issues to reach a full agreement. Additionally, once an agreement is reached it needs to be put into a legally binding contract. This is where the participation of an experienced attorney mediator like Beth Reineke is vital to the process.
Through mediation, you will meet with our attorney mediator to discuss the terms of your separation and divorce. Our mediator works for both spouses. She does not favor either party, and she is not trying to help anyone “win.” Using her training and experience, she can help keep the conversation moving, and she can help everyone remain calm and reasonable. She can also offer suggestions and alternatives when couples cannot agree. Then, once a verbal agreement is reached, she can use her experience as an attorney to draft a legally binding contract which will be approved by the court.
What Decisions Can I Make Using Divorce Mediation?
Mediation allows you to reach any of the necessary conclusions that you would in any divorce.
Mediation lets you to bypass the state’s asset division system. Traditionally, Florida uses an “equitable” distribution model, but often the courts just slices everything down the middle regardless of the circumstances.
Through mediation you have more options; you can divide property in any way that is fair and reasonable to both you and your spouse, taking into consideration all relevant financial issues.
Ultimately, alimony is there to keep one spouse from becoming financially destitute after their divorce. However, it should not leave the paying party empty-handed, and it should not allow the receiving spouse to live lavishly off another’s finances.
Our mediator will review the financial details of each spouse. Her goal is to help you create a support system that works for everyone. The amount should be fair, meeting both parties’ needs, while the receiving party works towards financial independence. It should also last a reasonable length of time, allowing both parties to eventually be separate from one another.
The court can be rigid in respect to its child support rulings. This can create payments that are either too burdensome on the payor, or the amounts are too small to help the kids Support should be based on the incomes of the parent but should also consider the actual needs of the kids.
Remember, both parents pay child support. One spends money directly on the kids, and the other helps supplement that cost. Mediation can help parties consider the actual needs of the children and determine whether traditional guideline child support is the best course of action.
Child Custody and Visitation
Judges try to be fair, but they are only human. They often enter cases with their own biases, and these can affect your time with the kids.
Our mediator is here to listen to the needs and concerns of both parents. She will interact with you directly, as people. Ultimately, she is not there to make decisions for you; she is there to help you agree to custody and visitation agreements that you both feel are in the best interests of your children. Using this standard, gender biases and condemnations of non-traditional marriage should not affect the outcomes of your divorce.