If you plan to file for divorce in Atlanta, Georgia, there is a high chance your judge will refer your case for mediation at some point. You may also participate in no-cost mediation at the time of scheduled status conferences. Parties may also request mediation on their own without waiting for a referral.
Mediating some or all of the contested issues in your divorce can offer several benefits. However, mediation may not always be the best option. Your attorney can tell you more about whether mediation would benefit you based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Mediation often saves time and money for the parties. Because it is less formal than a court proceeding, everyone spends less time on formal requirements, making more time avialable to tackle substantive issues. Generally, mediators may offer greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and location as well. Courts may also provide free mediation sessions.
Communication and compromise
Negotiating contentious issues in a mediation setting can also be less stressful than fighting them out in court. Mediators typically work to enable communication and encourage compromise. They may also suggest possible solutions, which the spouses may accept or reject. Even soon-to-be-ex-spouses who have difficulty communicating with one another may find it easier in the context of mediation.
Not always the best option
Sometimes, however, mediation lacks the resources to address certain types of problems. In such cases, participating in fruitless mediation can waste time and potentially harm your case. Some examples may include abuse or intimidation by one party, possibility of fraud or asset concealment. In other cases, it can become clear that compromise is not feasible. Mediators have no power to order either of the parties to disclose evidence or agree to anything. Thus, the success of mediation often depends on the parties' good-faith willingness to cooperate.
An experienced family law attorney can help you throughout mediation and all other stages of your divorce. Your lawyer can help you protect your interests and give you the information you need.