A mediator is specially trained to help both parties negotiate the legal issues of their divorce without taking sides. When an agreement is reached, the mediator writes up the final agreement. At RDS, your mediator will be an attorney who understands the fine points needed to write up a legally enforceable settlement agreement.
It’s often said that it takes two people to marry, but only one party to divorce. Unfortunately, even if you don’t want a divorce, you may still end up there. Our goal is to help you go through the process as civilly as possible and better position both parties to move forward.
Hiring attorneys and choosing to litigate will not prevent the divorce. In fact you will still end up going to mediation, but after spending a lot of time and money. The Tampa Bay area counties (Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco) all require mediation before you can take your case to trial (with some exceptions, such as cases of domestic violence).
If you reach an agreement ahead of time, there’s no trial. Instead, you will have the Settlement Agreement you need to move forward with an Uncontested Divorce.
Your spouse might be worried that because you proposed or contacted RDS, the mediator won’t be neutral. However, it doesn’t matter who initially contacted RDS. The mediator is a trained neutral party and will not take sides.
Click here to sign up for a free 15 minute phone consultation and encourage your spouse to sign up for his or her own free consultation so they can see for themselves that this is a neutral zone for both parties.
If personal attendance is not possible or a hardship, we also offer virtual mediations.
You don’t need to hire lawyers to have a Divorce Mediation. In fact, even if you have already hired lawyers, you can still try Divorce Mediation to resolve those issues. You can attend with or without your lawyers.
Absolutely! You don’t have to litigate all or part of your divorce. These issues can be resolved privately in mediation. These include child custody, child support, alimony, property division, debt allocation, and paternity issues. We offer the separate service of preparing the legal documents. Read more about Document Preparation here.
The mediation process is billed hourly at $275 per hour. Generally, the cost of mediation is shared equally unless the parties agree to a different cost-share. Most of the time, this process is equal to or less than the cost of a retainer/downpayment for one attorney. Most divorce attorneys require a retainer of $2,500 to $5,000. If both parties retain an attorney, you could both be out $10,000 at the outset.
If you’re in agreement about the issues, but don’t know what to do next, Mediation is the perfect forum. We meet and go over the agreement you’ve reached, make sure you’ve covered everything that’s important to you, and write up a legally enforceable Settlement Agreement. See more information about Uncontested Divorce here.
Mediation can take place in the course of one or two meetings, or over numerous meetings. It depends on the complexity of the issues and the dynamics of the situation. Most mediations are completed in only a few sessions.
We also offer virtual/online mediations to accommodate parties who may be traveling or are located in different parts of the country.
After you reach a Settlement Agreement or if you’re already in agreement, we offer the separate service of preparing all of the required paperwork for obtaining your Uncontested Divorce. This includes easy to follow instructions for obtaining the divorce. This is provided for a flat fee.
Read more about Document Preparation here.
Sometimes parties can agree on some things, but not others. A partial agreement can be prepared for the agreed items, which will limit the issues for the Court to decide.