Section 61.183, Florida Statutes 2003
61.183 Mediation of certain contested issues.--
(1) In any proceeding in which the issues of parental responsibility, primary residence, visitation, or support of a child are contested, the court may refer the parties to mediation in accordance with rules promulgated by the Supreme Court. In Title IV-D cases, any costs, including filing fees, recording fees, mediation costs, service of process fees, and other expenses incurred by the clerk of the circuit court, shall be assessed only against the nonprevailing obligor after the court makes a determination of the nonprevailing obligor's ability to pay such costs and fees.
(2) If an agreement is reached by the parties on the contested issues, a consent order incorporating the agreement shall be prepared by the mediator and submitted to the parties and their attorneys for review. Upon approval by the parties, the consent order shall be reviewed by the court and, if approved, entered. Thereafter, the consent order may be enforced in the same manner as any other court order.
(3) Any information from the files, reports, case summaries, mediator's notes, or other communications or materials, oral or written, relating to a mediation proceeding pursuant to this section obtained by any person performing mediation duties is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and may not be disclosed without the written consent of all parties to the proceeding. Any research or evaluation effort directed at assessing program activities or performance must protect the confidentiality of such information. Each party to a mediation proceeding has a privilege during and after the proceeding to refuse to disclose and to prevent another from disclosing communications made during the proceeding, whether or not the contested issues are successfully resolved. This subsection shall not be construed to prevent or inhibit the discovery or admissibility of any information that is otherwise subject to discovery or that is admissible under applicable law or rules of court, except that any conduct or statements made during a mediation proceeding or in negotiations concerning the proceeding are inadmissible in any judicial proceeding.
History.--s. 128, ch. 86-220; s. 4, ch. 89-183; s. 17, ch. 90-360; s. 10, ch. 92-138; s. 20, ch. 96-406.