Sometimes parties are able to agree on some or all of the many issues presented in a dissolution matter. Whether the parties can agree on everything from equitable distribution, alimony, child support, time-sharing and parental responsibility, or are only able to resolve some of these matters, it reduces the cost of the dissolution process if the issues that can be agreed to are resolved as early as possible in a divorce matter. Mediation is a meeting between the parties, their attorneys, if they are represented by counsel, and a neutral, third party facilitator - the mediator. The mediation is voluntary and the parties are not obligated to reach any agreement during the meeting. However, the parties are free to try to resolve as much of the divorce matter as they can and if an agreement is reached, it can be reduced to writing and signed the same day as the mediation. The process is confidential and often gives the parties an opportunity to flush out the issues, identifying what can be resolved without further litigation expenses, and what requires court ruling for final determination. Caroline Johnson is a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator. She is available for mediations for both pro se and represented parties. Call today for mediation rates and dates of availability for mediation.