A Georgia divorce doesn't have to be a fight. You don't need to spend a lot of time and money on it. If you are having trouble reaching an agreement with your spouse, mediation can be the answer. Mediation is an important tool for any great divorce lawyer.
Let's explore what, exactly, mediation is and how it may be beneficial to you.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an informal meeting between the spouses (and their attorneys) with a neutral third party (the mediator). There is no judge there. The mediator is usually another experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney that is certified to mediate legal disputes.
The mediators are generally paid hourly, and their fee is divided between the parties. Their primary function is to hear both sides and then work out a compromise to settle the case in full, or at least partially. A mediator can work through all of the issues in the case: child support, child custody, splitting assets (the house, retirement accounts, bank accounts, collectibles, etc.). Mediation is so effective that many courts in Georgia actually require you to attempt mediation before they will even entertain having a trial. Like anything else, though, mediation doesn't always work.
What are the benefits?
Lower costs: It's no secret that getting divorced can be expensive. Anyone who watches movies or television or reads books or magazine knows that. Expensive divorce cases can make the national or sometimes international news. That's primarily because they can take a lot of time, particularly when the parties are fighting about everything and emotions are running high.
But attempting to settle your case at mediation saves the costs of preparing for and attending trial. In some counties in Georgia, in fact, the court will provide reduced or no cost mediation time.
Less stress, better results: Attending trial can be expensive and stressful. In a trial, you will be subjected to questioning from the other side, have all your personal details discussed in court, and the judge, of course, may make a ruling that you aren't happy with.
Mediation, on the other hand, is more intimate (just the spouses, attorneys, and the mediator), and you have more control over the details of the settlement agreement. Everything is negotiated!
You will work with the mediator to discuss your settlement preferences and negotiate the specific terms and conditions. In most mediations, the mediator can help both parties reach an agreement they can live with.
Do I need an attorney for mediation?
Absolutely. Even though the mediator is a neutral party, it's best to have an attorney representing you to make sure your specific interests are properly addressed and the law is followed. You need to fully understand the repercussions of what you might agree to.
In most divorce mediations, every aspect of the case is discussed, including: assets, debts, custody and child support. Each issue has a body of Georgia law associated with it and can be interpreted in many different ways. Not only should you have a great divorce attorney representing you, but that attorney needs to prepare just like there will be a trial. You need a divorce lawyer who thoroughly understands your matter and what your priorities are.
When you need help with a divorce or any family law issues, just call attorneys Valerie Sherman & Bill Sherman at 678-215-4106.