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Should mediation play a role in your divorce?

In recent years, mediation has become a big part of the family court process in Georgia and many other U.S. states. In fact, in some jurisdictions, divorcing couples are required to make an attempt at mediation before they are allowed to schedule a traditional hearing in family court.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties to a divorce or other dispute work together to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. A neutral third-party mediator assists them with that process, guiding them through disagreements and helping to brainstorm unique solutions. If the parties successfully reach an agreement, it must be approved by a family court judge before it becomes legal.

So should you use mediation to decide your divorce? While the answer to that question depends largely upon the circumstances surrounding your case, there are several benefits to doing so. We have listed some below.

  1. Mediation is less expensive and time-consuming. Instead of paying your divorce lawyer to draft, file and argue countless legal motions and responses, mediation can be completed within a number of days, if not less. This can save a significant amount of time and money.
  2. Mediation is more flexible. You and your spouse are able to craft a unique, creative agreement that meets the needs of your family. In traditional family court, the judge will not have the time or ability to issue such an order.
  3. Mediation is less adversarial and offers greater stability. If all goes well, you and your spouse will be able to work together during the mediation process, which will allow you to continue to do the same after your divorce becomes final.

Source: Huffington Post, "Celebrate Mediation Day: Top 10 Reasons To Mediate Your Divorce," Sherri Donovan, Esq., Oct. 18, 2012

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