Mediation Coordinator
Kristen Debyah
352-569-6949

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. In all mediations, you are the decision maker, not the mediator.

The Sumter County Mediation Services Program offers mediation in domestic, dependency, and small claim cases. The mediations are conducted by Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators.

Small Claims

A small claim case is a legal action filed in county court to settle legal disputes among parties where the dollar amount involved is $5,000 or less, excluding costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. Forms that have been approved for statewide use are located within the Florida Small Claims Rules and on our website.

Small claim mediations are held every other month on the day of the Small Claims Pretrial.

Dependency Mediations

The Court may order a dependency court case involving you and your children to mediation. Mediation is an opportunity for the parties involved in the case to reach agreements about the issues in the case. The mediator is a trained and certified, neutral person who helps facilitate communication between the parties.

Dependency mediations are scheduled on Fridays throughout the year except for holidays.

Domestic Relations

The domestic relations mediations involve dissolution of marriages, paternity actions, timesharing with the minor child(ren), and child support within these matters. The mediation takes place in a private conference room at the courthouse guided by the mediator who is a neutral party with no opinions in your case. The mediations are conducted prior to the trial date or final hearing to give the parties an opportunity to negotiate and resolve their case without the added expense and stress of trial. In domestic relations mediations, as is the case with all mediations, the parties retain control and the power to make their own decisions. If the parties reach a settlement in mediation, the mediator, or their attorneys, draw(s) up a written agreement for the parties to sign. The original agreement is then filed in the court file and the parties are given a copy.

To schedule a case for domestic relations mediation, a referral order must be entered by the Judge presiding over the case before a date and time for the mediation may be set. Our domestic relations mediations are scheduled for three hour blocks of time.

Domestic Relations Mediations are scheduled on Fridays throughout the year except for holidays.

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