Courts and litigants today are increasingly exploring alternatives to traditional litigation in the form of various types of collaborative law. As a reflection of this movement, Georgia courts typically require divorcing couples to attempt mediation before proceeding to litigate.
Knowing what mediation entails can help you get the most out of your sessions. Even if you are ultimately not able to resolve all issues via mediation, the process can help you define your goals and improve communication.
Will mediation help you?
One common misconception many people harbor is that mediation only works if both parties already get along well. The truth is that even very acrimonious and difficult cases can benefit from mediation if everyone approaches it in good faith and willingness to work toward a resolution.
How does the process work?
Mediators are trained, neutral professionals. Their role is to facilitate communication between the parties with the aim of achieving a workable compromise. Mediators can suggest solutions and help the parties define their positions. However, they cannot offer legal advice or issue orders. For this reason, mediation can pose a problem if one party engages in deceit or concealment.
What are some benefits of mediation?
The mediation process can offer several advantages over traditional divorce litigation. Because mediation moves quicker and has a more streamlined, informal process, the parties can potentially save costs and time. Mediation’s conciliatory approach focuses on finding common ground, thereby lessening the level of negative emotion that often prevails during a divorce. This can be especially important if the couple has young children; in such a case, communication between the parents can substantially affect a child’s wellbeing.
Do you need a lawyer?
The law does not require you to have an attorney for mediation, but having your lawyer’s help during this process can be valuable. As the mediator cannot provide advice, you will need your attorney to explain matters such as the legal ramifications of a particular choice you are considering. Your lawyer can also help draft and revise an agreement to submit to the court. If you encounter problems during the process, your lawyer may help you address them effectively.