In Florida, parties are required to attend family mediation one time before a court hearing can be set. Some people believe litigation is the best way to protect their interests. However, going to court can be costly, emotionally draining, can make the process extend for months to years, and is governed by formal rules of procedure. Family mediation is cost effective, protects emotional well-being by being quicker than going to court, and allows the parties to reach a collaborative solution tailored to meet their needs. All communication in family mediation is confidential and inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent legal or criminal proceedings, unless both parties agree otherwise.
Most importantly, family mediation is an opportunity for the parties to control the outcome of their case versus have a judge decide for them. No one truly wins in these situations, but family mediation can allow for a more satisfying resolution to issues that are important to the parties.
As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Dr. Sheriece is a neutral and impartial third-party facilitating negotiations and communication between the parties in a divorce or family law matter. Parties can be present on their own (pro-se) or can choose to have an attorney present through this process. In the role as a family mediator, Dr. Sheriece does not advise either party, cannot provide legal advice, and does not decide the issues for the parties. This is not couples therapy, however, with Dr. Sheriece's background she can provide a unique style to working with parties in emotionally difficult cases.
Her role is to facilitate the parties negotiations towards a Settlement Agreement on:
Divorce / Division of Property and Debts
Child Custody and Visitation (Time-Sharing)
Paternity (Time-Sharing, non-married parents)
Modifications of family law orders
What is the difference in using a mental health provider versus an attorney as a family mediator? There is no difference. All certified family mediators attend the same training and have to abide by the same guidelines, such as not giving legal advice, being impartial and neutral facilitators. The one advantage to utilizing a mental health provider as a family mediator is that our training allows us to be able to manage the emotions in the room that can help the process move quickly to a resolution.
Family Mediation Rates:
$250 an hour total
Three hour minimum (each party pays $375.00)
Cancellation fee $375 if less than 48 hours notice
This is a service she provides in her office and will travel to a neutral location in Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the surrounding communities in the Tampa Bay region.