Dispute Resolution Services
My focus is to assist families navigate their way through the dissolution of marriage by identifying the presenting issues, exploring settlement alternatives and reaching resolutions in order to preserve your family’s financial and emotional assets.
Our approach develops solutions that are in the best interests of all family members. This is achieved by balancing the needs of the parents and children to aid in the creation of a holistic resolution for the family. We understand that going through the divorce process can be a sensitive and personal matter and therefore we treat each party with respect and dignity. Mediation saves time, money and reduces stress by allowing each partner to resolve matters quickly and confidentially. Family Mediation is an optimal way to settle your divorce on your own terms without having to go through the emotional and financial strain of disputing matters in court and allowing a judge to make final decisions on behalf of your family.
Tania comes with extensive experience as a licensed mental health counselor, is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and is qualified as a parenting coordinator. She is fully prepared to handle the diversity of issues that arise during the dissolution of marriage and address concerns unique to each family. One of the factors that sets her apart from other family mediators is her relaxed but firm style. Her desire to listen to her clients and their goals in order to help them reach a mutually satisfying agreement they can live with and move forward in their life.
What is a parenting plan?
Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes that governs family matters requires the court to order a parenting plan in proceedings involving children. A parenting plan is a document created to govern the relationship between the parties relating to decisions made regarding the minor child(ren), and it must contain a detailed time-sharing schedule for the parents and the child(ren). The parenting plan may include issues concerning the child(ren)such as the child(ren)’s education, health care, social, physical, and emotional well-being.
What is a social investigation?
A social investigation is a process performed by an impartial mental health professional who is qualified to provide the court, the parties, and the parties’ attorneys with information and recommendations regarding the best interests of the child(ren). The investigator compiles all relevant information into a written report for the judge to consider when making decisions in cases involving disputes about shared parental responsibility, decision making, time-sharing, and other family law matters. The social investigator will draft a recommended parenting plan that addresses the parents’ decision making authority and specific time-sharing schedules for the court’s consideration.
Who is qualified to be a court-appointed social investigator?
Social investigators can be psychologists licensed pursuant to Chapter 490, Florida Statutes, or clinical social workers, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselors licensed pursuant to Chapter 491, Florida Statues. Investigators are required to have multiple skills, including techniques for interviewing an assessing adults, children and families; conducting home studies and field investigations; identifying, organizing and understanding important collateral sources of information; administering and interpreting standardized questionnaires, surveys and other data collection tools; and report writing.
Investigators are also required to have knowledge, training and experience in the areas of child development, family systems, the effects of divorce on children and families, other issues common to families in crisis (domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse, etc.), and the accepted standards of professional conduct governing their respective professions.
What can I expect from the social investigation and parenting plan recommendation?
The areas of assessment may include, but are not limited to any or all of the following:
Interviews with each child, parent, step-parent, or adult in a parenting role.
Contact with relevant professionals, such as teachers, doctors and employers.
Interviews with objective character references submitted by each parent.
Visits to the homes of each parent.
Background checks of relevant police and court records.
Completion of relevant surveys and questionnaires as requested by the social investigator.
Presentation of facts to the court offering responsibility, and time-sharing arrangements that are in the best interest of the children(ren).