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Mediation

Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator

Experienced mediator in Florida helps you resolve disputes outside of court

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what it should be. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Joan Nassar is available to mediate cases involving:

  • Family Law
  • Appellate Matters

The mediator’s role is to reduce obstacles to communication, assist in the identification of issues and exploration of alternatives, and otherwise facilitate voluntary agreements resolving the dispute. The ultimate decision-making authority, however, rests solely with the parties. Decisions made during a mediation are to be made by the parties. A mediator shall not make substantive decisions for any party. A mediator is responsible for assisting the parties in reaching informed and voluntary decisions while protecting their right of self determination. (Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators).

Joan Berry Nassar has been certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Family Mediator from 1996 to the present.  She has also been a Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator since 2008. Certification as a mediator requires training, for example, in Family Law the observation of family mediations, conducting family mediations under the supervision and observation of a certified family mediator and good moral character. A certified family mediator is required to complete continuing mediator education to maintain certification and is governed by the standards of professional conduct as set forth in the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. 

Understanding the Mediation Process

Joan Berry Nassar mediates cases in which parties have attorneys and cases in which parties do not have attorneys.

If you do not have an attorney, it would be advisable to seek the counsel of an attorney prior to mediation to determine your legal rights on the various issues. The mediator will provide to you a financial affidavit and parenting plan (if there are children) prior to mediation. These should be filled out prior to the scheduled mediation. During mediation, any issues that are in conflict may be discussed.  

If you do have an attorney, discuss the choice of the mediator with your attorney as he/she will be able to give you valuable insight.

The result of mediation may be one of 4 outcomes:

  • Full Agreement – This is everyone’s expectation and we will work hard to achieve this.
  • Partial Agreement –  In certain circumstances, there may not be enough information to make a decision, there may not be enough time to resolve all issues or one party may not be quite ready to sign an agreement.  In that case, the parties can sign a partial agreement to the issues they do agree to and come back to mediation to resolve the remaining issues when ready.
  • No Agreement – Though many people feel this is a failure and waste of money, it is not.  It is a work in progress.  The mediation will have given both parties an opportunity to see the other party’s position on matters that they may not have anticipated.  When attorneys are involved, it gives them an opportunity to see into the case of the other attorney. It is better to see it at mediation than for the first time at trial. 

During the COVID pandemic, mediations are currently scheduled via video conferencing (Zoom).  Many parties feel more comfortable doing it remotely because they do not have to be in the same room or building as the opposing party.  Zoom allows for “breakout rooms” so the mediator can meet with one party outside of the “presence” of the other party, while all remaining on the video conference.  

The time involved in a mediation varies from case to case. Some have been resolved in a few hours and others may take all day or more.  An hourly rate is charged and that rate is divided equally between the parties, unless the parties agree otherwise.

Contact a knowledgeable Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator to schedule an appointment or book online below

The Law Office of Joan Berry Nassar, P.A. assists Brevard County residents with all types of family law concerns, including mediation, divorce and support matters. Please call 321-405-0042 to schedule an appointment with our Melbourne mediation lawyer or schedule a consultation online here.

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