With some exceptions, for example when it is not safe to hold a mediation because of domestic violence, mediation will be required in most divorce and other family law cases in Broward and Dade counties, before the case can go to trial. Both Broward and Dade County have a court mediation program to provide family mediation at a reduced rate when the parties’ combined gross income is below $100,000 per year (see my post,The Process for Divorce Cases in Broward and Dade Counties (Part II), for links to these programs).
For other clients, or clients who prefer to use a private mediator, there are many private mediators in town. If you’re represented by an attorney who is handling your case, you will almost certainly work with your attorney who will coordinate with opposing counsel to select a mediator acceptable to both sides. There are cases though where the clients – both spouses, will call a halt to litigation and go off on their own to try to mediate and resolve the case without their attorneys, although this isn’t all that common, and your attorney may have some concerns about that. The spouses can also choose to go to “pre-suit” mediation, before beginning any litigation, and with our without attorneys.
Family law mediators come from varied backgrounds – e.g. attorneys or counselors/therapists, and will have different styles or approaches. One issue would be the comparative “success” rates for attorney vs. mental health family mediators, but an approach some people advocate is “co-mediation” with two mediators – one an attorney and one a therapist or other mental health professional. It’s a complicated issue with many factors to consider, but in the end, it may come down to the personal skills or traits of each particular mediator.