Legal Question in Family Law in Florida

I do not have an attorney but my ex does and I was asked to have a psychiatric evaluation and so was she. Needless to say I paid for mine and she never took hers. Well today we returned back to court and nothing was said about her psychiatric evaluation. I passed my evaluation and it was recommended that we share a 50/50 custody of our daughter who is 12. Well in court her lawyer stated that we should have mediation. Should I have a lawyer present for mediation. How can I get this mediation to be binding, because I do not trust that she will live up to any agreement?

Asked on 9/18/13, 6:03 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

If the matter is settled at mediation , an agreement must be prepared and signed by all sides.

Her failure to attend evaluation should have been raised before the judge if you question her mental stability.

The best interests of the child is of paramount issue. Who will be primary residential parent?

Good luck.

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Answered on 9/18/13, 6:12 pm

Elliot Goldstein Law Offices of Elliot Jay Goldstein

The judge is not going to act as your attorney, and your wife's attorney certainly isn't going to do anything to further your interests. Unless you have counsel, it is going to be all on you to adequately pursue, and to protect your interests. There will not be any "do overs".

If you believe there is a good chance the case will settle at mediation, you might want to proceed without an attorney. Hire an attorney if you are getting bulldozed, and believe there is little chance the case will resolve favorably without an attorney.

In Florida, with family law cases, depending on the parties' comparative financial resources, the Courts have the discretion to hold one party responsible for all, or part, of the other's attorney fees and costs. In other words, if the other party has significantly stronger financial resources, while you will still have to pay the retainer, do not assume that you will not be able to afford to retain an attorney. Reimbursement can be sought.

If you opt to proceed without the assistance of counsel, be aware that you will not be entitled to a “do over” if things go badly.

An internet inquiry is no substitution for an in-office consultation with an attorney.

Contact me to schedule a no obligation office consultation. While telephone calls, and email responses, are encouraged, please do not send text messages.

Sincerely, Elliot Goldstein

Law Offices of Elliot Jay Goldstein, P.A.

1014 Ohio Ave., Ste. B

Palm Harbor, FL 34683

Tele. No.: 727/455-6596

Law Offices of Elliot Jay Goldstein, P.A.

550 N. Reo St. Ste. 300

Tampa, FL 33609

Tele. No.: 813/810-1500

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Answered on 9/18/13, 6:32 pm
John Smitten Carey and Leisure

Mediation is a voluntary process so if a deal is reached then it will be binding on the parties and the court will approve the mediation agreement. It is advisable to have a lawyer presnet at the mediation.

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Answered on 9/19/13, 1:33 am

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