Tampa Divorce Mediation | Tampa Family & Divorce Arbitration | Tampa Family Matters Arbitration Attorney

Mediation over the last thirty years has been the primary way divorcing couples or parents of children have negotiated a divorce settlement or custody settlement. In Tampa divorce mediation, a third person (a mediator) helps the couple come up with sensible options for settling disputes about child support, health care, custody, visitation, alimony, spousal maintenance and support, division of property and assets, division of debts and liabilities, and sale or transfer to one spouse of the marital residence. Divorce mediation in Tampa and Hillsborough County is also a popular and economical way for couples to negotiate pre-divorce separation agreements, or resolve conflicts about post-divorce modifications to child support and visitation.

Tampa divorce mediation can be a "pleasant" alternative to litigation.

Typically, engaging an experienced Tampa divorce mediator can result in resolving issues arising from the break up of a marriage or partnership privately, faster, and much less expensively than litigating disputes at the court house. Couples who seek out divorce mediation in Tampa are looking for a way to avoid having a judge make important decisions that often do not take into account the individual needs of the spouses or their children. The spouses’ goal in divorce mediation is to do the negotiating themselves and to keep control of the outcome in their own capable hands rather than in the Hillsborough County divorce courts. No one knows what they need for themselves and their own family better than they do.

What is a divorce mediator’s role in a divorce in Tampa?

Use family mediation to avoid going to court on your divorce or post-divorce issues in Tampa.The Tampa divorce mediator's role is to remain neutral, meaning he or she cannot choose sides or advocate for one party over another during the divorce mediation. Unlike a Hillsborough County family court judge in litigation, a neutral Tampa divorce mediator cannot make any decisions for the parties or impose his or her judgment on them to force a divorce settlement. To put it another way, one real advantage of divorce mediation over litigation is that the parties in divorce mediation do not have to do anything they do not agree to.

Another advantage of divorce mediation over litigation in Tampa is that you get to pick your Tampa divorce mediator. You do not get to choose your Hillsborough County judge in divorce litigation, and the judge you draw can dramatically affect your outcome. When choosing a divorce mediator in Tampa, consider his or her background, personality, knowledge and experience in your type of dispute, and whether his or her style of divorce mediation is comfortable for you and your spouse. Tampa divorce mediators can be very effective using a number of different types of mediation. Are you looking for a stronger, more aggressive (evaluative) style of divorce mediation? Or do you instead want the divorce mediator to guide you to a peaceful agreement through transformative or collaborative mediation?


What role will my family lawyer or divorce attorney play in divorce mediation?

Tampa divorce lawyers play different roles in divorce mediation depending on where you are in the country. In some states it is very common for divorcing spouses to mediate before they even file for divorce. Often their family lawyers, if they have them, do not attend the divorce mediation. In other states, divorce mediation typically takes place right before trial with divorce lawyers by the spouses' sides throughout the entire divorce mediation. Ask your mediator what your options are, and discuss with your family lawyer what will work best for your individual circumstances.

Whether a divorce attorney or the divorce mediator drafts the legal paperwork that must be filed with the court to begin and to finalize the divorce also depends on the laws and rules of ethics of the state where the divorce mediation takes place. Typically, at the end of divorce mediation your mediator will create for your signatures a written document (a "mediated” or “compromise” settlement agreement) memorializing the terms of your divorce settlement. The terms in this agreement are binding under most circumstances. A mediator cannot give legal advice, so it is smart for you to have a knowledgeable family lawyer review your divorce agreements to be sure they are in your best interests before you sign a mediated settlement agreement. You should ask your mediator if he or she will draft any additional legal paperwork that you may need to finalize the divorce or if this must be done by a family law attorney.

How is divorce mediation different from collaborative law?

Although divorce mediation and collaborative law (or collaborative divorce) are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes designed to avoid court and allow couples to make their own decisions, divorce mediation and collaborative law work differently. In divorce mediation, the parties use a neutral third person (the mediator) to help them negotiate, and they may or may not have family law attorneys present. In collaborative law, the parties are represented by their divorce attorneys and use a team of neutral professionals to assist them. In collaborative law, the collaborative lawyers and their clients attend all the meetings, and usually a divorce coach (a marriage/family counselor) and other divorce professionals from the team are also present at each meeting. If the parties to collaborative law reach an impasse (their negotiations break down), they may consider calling in a neutral divorce mediator who has collaborative law or collaborative mediation training to attempt to move them toward a divorce settlement.

An important difference between collaborative law and divorce mediation is that in mediation, if the parties do not settle, their divorce lawyers may continue to present them in litigation. In contrast, collaborative lawyers must withdraw from representing their clients if they cannot settle during the collaborative law process.

Have you heard about the newest option for divorce called collaborative mediation?

Collaborative mediation combines the best and most successful strategies of collaborative law with the simplicity and cost effectiveness of divorce mediation. Collaborative mediation addresses concerns that spouses who want an amicable divorce have expressed about collaborative law including:

  1. The cost of collaborative law with the entire "team approach";
  2. The loss of the parties' monies when collaborative law is attempted and ends with no success; and
  3. The loss of both collaborative attorneys when an attempt at collaborative law fails, requiring both parties to hire counsel all over again.

To remedy those concerns, family lawyers developed collaborative mediation. It works like this:You still can have a happy family after divorce with the help of a family law divorce or collaborative mediator!

  1. The spouses retain a neutral attorney-mediator trained in collaborative law who helps them negotiate the terms of their divorce agreement;
  2. There is a divorce coach present at all times who is trained in behavioral psychology to help the spouses manage emotions, reduce conflict, and communicate constructively;
  3. The neutral attorney-mediator and the divorce coach use the proven negotiation strategies of collaborative law in mediated settlement conferences to achieve the spouses' goals and desires;
  4. In the collaborative mediation, the spouses may be represented by divorce attorneys if they wish to do so;
  5. The spouses in collaborative mediation can do their own divorce negotiations with the assistance of (a) the neutral attorney-mediator, (b) the divorce coach, and (c) other divorce professionals such as accountants, property and business appraisers, pediatric psychologists if there are children- but only when needed;
  6. In collaborative mediation the spouses' divorce attorneys do not have to withdraw or abandon their representation if the collaborative mediation fails; and
  7. If there are children and the parties wish to do so, the spouses draw up a plan for future interaction addressing (a) civility and (b) what is in the best interests of the children.

If you like the idea of divorce collaborative mediation and you are unable to locate a family lawyer who is trained to act as a neutral collaborative mediator, please visit DétenteTM Collaborative Mediation for Family Law, LLC which is not a law firm, but is an entity that offers collaborative mediation of separation, divorce, child support, child custody, and post-divorce modification disputes as well as national training of collaborative attorney-mediators, divorce coaches, financial, and other professionals.

What is family law arbitration in Hillsborough County, Florida?

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process to avoid divorce court. In family law arbitration, parties through their separate divorce attorneys present their positions to a neutral person or panel (an arbitrator) who renders a decision. Family law arbitration is similar to litigation, however instead of using a family court judge to decide the outcome and going through the formalities of trial, the parties agree to use an arbitrator in a less formal hearing to determine the terms of divorce.

Parties who agree to use arbitration in a Hillsborough County divorce sign a written agreement to place specific issues in dispute into arbitration. They must also agree on the rules the divorce arbitrator will follow when conducting the arbitration, and whether the divorce arbitrator’s decision (award) will be binding or not.

Unlike in divorce court where parties do not have a choice what judge they get, parties do have the opportunity to select their arbitrator. Choosing an experienced Tampa divorce arbitrator who has a reputation for fairness and expertise in the type of issues in your case is very important because the binding decision of an arbitrator is extraordinarily difficult to overturn.

Need a New Home?

If you are moving in Tampa or the surrounding area after a divorce, please stop by a realtor near you for help finding that perfect new home.

Regina A. Ramalheira
20401 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 994-0909
Debbie Zito
Palermo Real Estate Professionals
1501 S. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33629
(813) 637-0117
Paul Cavarretta
Keller Williams Realty
109 Harbor Village Lane
Apollo Beach, Florida  33572
(813) 469-7734
Eleanor O. Oliver
20401 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 994-0909
Michelle D. Undorf
14823 N. Dale Mabry Highway Suite 600
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 961-6000
Mike H. (Mig) Migliaccio
215 E. Davis Boulevrad
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 831-1700
Linda F. Donalson
20401 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 994-0909
Melanie Frisone
13033 W Linebaugh Avenue
Tampa, FL 33626
(727) 522-4122
Kathleen Culley
Buyers Only Lighthouse Realty
8240 Vendome Boulevard
Pinellas Park, FL 33781
(877) 747-2958
Mary Kay Vitro
Elite Realty Group
30840 US 19 N.
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Dennisse Nieves
Century 21 Shaw Realty Group
10009 Park Place Ave.
Riverview, FL 33569
Off:  813-671-5555
Paul D. Madden
14823 N. Dale Mabry Highway Suite 600
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 961-6000
James R. (Jim) Sacarello
13033 W. Linebaugh Avenue
Tampa, FL 33626
(727) 522-4122
Stephanie LeFew
Solaris Realty of Tampa Bay & TampaHomeBuy.com
218 E. Bearss Avenue 334
Tampa, FL 3313
(813) 991-1355
Ann Mitchell
Homeward Real Estate
12000 N. Dale Mabry  Suite 140
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 968-6300


For a FREE CONSULTATION, call one of the qualified Tampa family mediators, collaborative mediation attorneys, and divorce arbitrators listed on this site today.

Serving clients throughout Western Florida, including Bloomingdale, Brandon, Clearwater, Dunedin, Egypt Lake-Leto, Feather Sound, Gibsonton, Largo, Lealman, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Palm River, Pinellas Park, Riverdale, Safety Harbor, St. George, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Town ‘N’ Country, Westchase, areas in the vicinity of MacDill AFB, Tampa International Airport, and other communities in Hillsborough County.