Do I Need to Personally Attend All Mediation Negotiations to Settle My Divorce in Florida?
When you choose divorce mediation, your future and the futures of your children depend on the results of the negotiations. While Florida law has provisions that allow you to give permission for others to act on your behalf, most divorce mediation lawyers strongly discourage this practice. Rare circumstances may prevent you from making your own decisions during mediation. However, in most cases, no one can protect your interests better than you when negotiating the terms of your divorce settlement.
Under new rules approved by the Supreme Court of Florida, anyone can appear on your behalf in mediated negotiations. However, that person must have a Certification of Authority that grants the ability to make legally binding decisions on any imaginable issue without consulting you. Before granting this level of authority, you need to ask yourself if anyone you know has the capacity to make these vital decisions better than you can make them. In most cases, the answer to that question is no.
This does not mean you must go it alone when making decisions pertaining to your divorce settlement. An attorney experienced in divorce mediation can help both parties to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of each choice they make — and how those decisions relate to other parts of the settlement agreement.
The attorneys at Weiner & Weiss, LLC strongly encourage most clients to negotiate their divorce settlements rather than leave these vital decisions in the hands of a judge. However, we believe settlements negotiated in divorce mediation require full engagement on the part of both parties affected by the final divorce decree. We have nearly four decades of experience guiding clients through challenging negotiations. However, in the end, the final decisions should remain in your hands.