Litigation may be the most common route for married couples seeking a divorce, but it is not the only one. There are alternate dispute resolutions you can choose to use. One is mediation, which the state of Georgia requires all couples to try before going to trial.
Just because it is a requirement does not mean it will be effective, and you may end up having to go to court in the end. However, there are certain signs to look for that will let you know if mediation will work for you.
- You both want a divorce. Not every divorce case involves both spouses wanting to end the marriage. Sometimes one of them tries everything to keep it intact, making the process difficult. If you both want out, cooperation is likelier.
- You both are willing to try mediation. If one of you is only there because the law mandates it, then mediation is unlikely to be successful. Mediation requires setting aside hostility and revenge to work toward a satisfactory solution.
- You both commit to honesty. The mediator facilitates communication, but it is up to each of you to make sure you are completely honest during the proceeding. If you know your spouse is lying or suspect he or she is hiding something, litigation may be necessary.
If your spouse is set on litigation, do not give up hope right away. Perhaps he or she does not quite understand the numerous benefits that come with utilizing mediation. You two are in more control over your divorce agreement, instead of a judge, and the mediator has no authority to force you into any action. Mediation saves you time and money, as well, and can have a positive impact on your children.
Before you begin, consult a family law attorney with experience in Georgia mediation. You still need your own lawyer to ensure protection of rights and to offer guidance, and if things lead to the courtroom, then you will already have someone familiar with your case.