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What is Pre-Suit Family, Divorce and Civil Circuit Mediation

Pre-suit family mediation can reduce stress and costs and help preserve family relationships by avoiding the process of litigation.

Finding yourself in a legal situation involving family, business partners, or friends is stressful. Removing the stress of litigation with pre-suit mediation is the ideal alternative dispute resolution method. It involves the parties in conflict voluntarily agreeing to sort their issues out before going to litigation. Instead of a judge and lawyers being involved, you employ the services of a trained mediator who comes in as a neutral party to assist you in reaching an agreement. 


Pre-suit mediation allows both parties to determine the length of sessions and the overall structure of the process. It's essential to note that the decision reached is not legally binding until both parties sign a settlement agreement. However, the involved parties can continue working with a mediator to attain a resolution where all parties reach a binding agreement.


Pre-suit mediation is applicable in various family situations. At TriDialogue Mediation, we have experience helping Florida families navigate complex legal issues while avoiding a prolonged litigation process and the costs of going to court.

How Pre-Suit Mediation Applies to Family Issues

Since conflict involving family members is a sensitive matter, pre-suit mediation should be preferred over litigation because it helps to facilitate communication, improve understanding, and eventually preserve the relationship. During the process, the mediator helps both parties identify common interest areas they can compromise on, leading to a quick and fair outcome. Let's look at how pre-suit mediation applies in the following family areas:

  • Family disputes: Immediate or extended family disputes involving parents and children, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, and grandchildren can benefit from pre-suit mediation because it offers a confidential setting to deal with delicate family matters. The involvement of fewer people provides a safe and open avenue for everyone involved to express their concerns. This aspect enhances the probability of resolving the matter without the emotional and financial burden litigation brings.

  • Paternity: Matters concerning the biological father of a child are often sensitive and need a private setting to preserve the dignity of both parents and the child. Pre-suit mediation offers this secure set-up and increases the chances of preserving the relationship. An experienced mediator can assist in putting the crucial issues, including a potential co-parenting plan, at the center of the mediation.


  • Divorce: Separation and divorce carry many issues that need addressing, including child custody and support, visitation plans, alimony, spousal support, and property division. Pre-suit mediation facilitated by an experienced Florida mediator can keep vital issues at the forefront without damaging both parties' reputations and finances.


Dealing with legal family matters can be emotionally and mentally draining. You need an experienced Florida mediator.

Benefits of Pre-Suit Mediation

Pre-suit mediation removes the need for legal fees, court fees, and other litigation-related expenses. This simplified process offers a more cost-effective method for both parties to resolve disputes than litigation. It also prevents the need to hire separate lawyers to develop lengthy arguments to argue a point that can quickly be addressed in pre-suit mediation. Other benefits of pre-suit mediation include:

  • Less draining: Lawsuits can lead to emotional, financial, and physical exhaustion due to the lengthy process that makes simple matters more complex. This burden can affect your personal life, work, and overall health. 

  • Keeps family matters private: Pre-suit mediation ensures issues discussed remain private and confidential with little to no risk of the public knowing the details. Once a case goes to litigation, it becomes a public record. 

  • More control of the speed and structure: Litigation proceedings leave you at the mercy of the court calendar, prolonging the process to weeks or months. Pre-suit mediation allows you to speed up the process and gives you flexibility on the process and outcome. 

  • Maintains relationships: Pre-suit mediation supports healthy communication between the involved parties. In litigation, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to feel forced to resort to painting the other in a bad light. It is more future-focused, especially when children are involved. 

  • Better need-based and interest-based outcomes: Litigation often focuses on specific demands and getting them at whatever cost, while pre-suit mediation encourages parties to explore the fundamental concerns, leading to a better outcome where the core issues are addressed. 


According to a 2019 report by the American Bar Association, 85% of mediations resulted in successful resolution.

Other Areas Pre-Suit Mediation Applies

Pre-suit mediation can be used in other civil-related matters involving individuals or companies that want to settle matters before going to court or desire to preserve the relationship. These areas include the following:


  • Homeowners association disputes: The issues involved include rule violations, assessment fees, and architectural guidelines.

  • Landlord-tenant issues: Conflicts can arise regarding security deposits, property damage, evictions, lease agreements, and rental payments. 

  • Real estate transaction disputes: These can include disagreements over renovations and repairs, title defects, inspection issues, and contract negotiations.

  • Construction issues: Disputes can come from defective workmanship, contract breaches, payment issues, and project delays. 

  • Commercial and business disputes: Disagreements can arise due to breach of contract claims, employment-related issues, and intellectual property conflicts. 


Finding the right person to mediate your pending legal matter can be challenging. Shay Manibog is a reliable and trusted Florida court-approved mediator who has handled numerous family-related mediation cases and is committed to finding equitable resolutions that help avoid the need for litigation. Book your first appointment today.  


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