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The Value of Divorce Mediation



My name is Sean Smallwood and I am an Orlando divorce attorney discussing what is divorce mediation and why is it important?

In Central Florida, every single divorce case that is contested, where the parties are disagreeing on any issue in the divorce, is going to have to go to a mandatory settlement conference called mediation.

If the parties don’t really have a lot of money to spend on private mediators then there is court-provided mediation that takes place at the courthouse.

In divorces in Orlando, FL where the parties have a little more money to spend they can rely on private mediators. I have used a lot of court-provided mediation and I have used a lot of private mediators and I’ve got kind of a neutral opinion about both options.

This is because I have had a lot of great experience as court-provided divorce mediation but I’ve also had a lot of poor experiences there.

Similarly, with private mediations, there are some fantastic private mediators who do a really good job of trying to reach settlements in the divorce, but there are also some who really didn’t do that good a job.

For this reason, whichever route you choose to go is something you should discuss with your Orlando divorce lawyer to decide which is appropriate.

As I said this is a mandatory settlement conference that the parties and their attorneys are going to be attending. After a party files for divorce and have completed divorce discovery you will have a really good idea of what the assets are in the case as well as what the incomes consist of. Only once you have a clear financial picture of the case you are ready to schedule mediation and are ready to talk settlement.

I’ve had a very experienced judge in divorce court that I appreciate very much who told me when I was a new lawyer that the essence of a good negotiation in mediation was one where both parties walked away equally upset.

This is because this means that they met in the middle and that particular judge defined that as a good day of mediation.

Reviews of Sean Smallwood, P.A.

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Florida Divorce Attorney Sean Smallwood

These are just some of our 67+ Google reviews.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I have nothing but great stuff to say about Sean. He is very personable, knowledgeable, his presence is inviting and he makes your case feel like his own. His meticulousness to detail in my case was clutch, which turned out to be a huge favorable turning point for the results at mediation because of a discrepancy in financials from the opposing party, one that could have been easily missed if the right questions weren’t asked. Without getting too detailed and from my short experience dealing with him you can tell that Sean really loves what he does, takes his job very seriously and he makes his client’s concerns the preface before any major actions…. my overall experience from beginning to end was fantastic and would highly recommend Sean for any family cases, you wouldn’t be disappointed.” –Domino B.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Highly recommend! I cannot say enough good things about Sean Smallwood and his team! They were amazing to work with! They always put my best interest and my daughter’s best interest first. They took the time to talk to me and understand my situation to formulate a strategic plan of action. I’m so grateful for this firm!” –Jennifer R. B.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I am so thankful that I had Sean and his team to help me through this difficult process. Their compassion and knowledge really helped to guide me. My opposition was very challenging, which created a lot of strain and stress for me, but Sean and his team were always quick to explain the situation and what our plan of action would be. If it weren’t for their understanding, confidence, and support, I probably would have given up. Not only did they understand the legal process, they understood the mental process as well. Sean and his team picked up on this several times, such as when I was dragging my feet in the beginning because I was still in disbelief that it was all happening. Even with deadlines looming, they did not quit on me. Sage advice was given and they helped me through it…. I am truly grateful for the help, guidance, and perspective that was provided to me.” –Charles R.

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