Mediation in divorce is an important process that couples may take part in prior to finalizing their divorce. Mediation involves meeting with a third party (Mediator) to consult on which issues can be addressed without the court’s involvement throughout the divorce process. Often, attorneys recommend mediation as it reduces legal time and costs.
The Mediation Process
In Georgia, issues pertaining to marital property division, child custody and support, and alimony must be resolved before your divorce can be finalized. For couples who are unable to reach agreements on their own, the court, or their attorneys, may refer them to mediation.
During divorce mediation, the goal is to get you and your former partner to work through issues without court intervention. The mediator is not a judge and he/she has no stake in either party. The mediator’s client is the deal, so he/she works hard to get the parties to compromise. While the mediator may make suggestions regarding potential ways to resolve issues related to finances,property, or children in your divorce, the mediator is not your attorney and it is still up to you to work with your attorney to make the final decision.
In most cases, at least some issues will be resolved during mediation. If not all issues are resolved, the parties will enter into an agreement regarding those that are resolved and either keep working through attorneys after the mediation concludes or go before a judge to have him/her make the final decision (unless the parties have opted for a jury trial). Attempting to settle at least some of the issues is extremely helpful and can help both parties save time and money.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
Statistics show that mediation helps the parties work better after the divorce is finalized. As stated above, mediation has the potential to save both parties time and money. The most important benefit to mediation is the control a party has in his future. If a matter proceeds to court, a judge or jury will decide the outcome. In mediation, you can control the outcome. Your voice and desires are heard and negotiated.
Is Mediation in Divorce Required in Georgia?
Many counties in Georgia require that you attend divorce mediation prior to scheduling a final hearing. For those that don’t many, mediation is still an option. If your attorney believes at least some of the issues can be settled, he or she may recommend mediation or ask the judge to order it.
How to Prepare for Mediation in Divorce
Preparing for divorce mediation requires a high level of meticulous planning. You need to be thoroughly prepared when you step into that room. Everything from who gets the leather couch to child custody will be discussed and agreed upon. An attorney can help you create a plan that is fair to you and any children involved.
A common list of divorce topics for which you need to be prepared to go over during mediation include the following:
- Your wishes for marital asset division, including real property, retirement accounts, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds;
- The responsibility for certain debts, such as car and credit card loans, the home mortgage, and more. negotiated.
- Child custody, visitation, parenting plan, and child support;
- Alimony or spousal support
Let Us Help You Today
Before and after any divorce mediation sessions you attend, Georgia divorce attorney Crystal Wright will work with you to ensure you are clear on your rights and your options. Reaching a divorce settlement agreement can be challenging, but we offer tried and true strategies designed to help you get the best possible results. Please contact Crystal Wright Law to request a consultation today.