Mediation is mandatory for family law cases in Georgia. In mediation, the parties and their counsel, with the help of the mediator, work out agreements on the issues in the case. Some agreements are reached quickly, but other times it is more difficult and takes time and work to reach an agreement. The mediator's role is to assist in the decision making by helping people identify their goals, open the lines of communication, offer alternative resolution ideas, helping the couple understand what the “legal” result would likely be if the issue was presented to the court, and help the individuals understand the other's perspective in an effort to reach a resolution.
There are a multitude of benefits to using mediation, including:
Parties in control. The main advantage and benefit of mediation is that the parties are in control of the outcome of the case. You and the other party determine the outcome. Not the mediator, a judge or an arbitrator.
Collaborative versus adversarial. Mediation is a collaborative process that promotes healthy interactions between the parties. Taking part in mediation allows the parties to develop communication skills to work through this conflict and future conflicts. Working cooperatively, mediation participants find common ground for creating mutually beneficial agreements.
Decreases hostility and tension. Mediation often reduces the hostility, tension and misunderstandings that are usually prevalent when people are in conflict with one another. By identifying each parties goals and interests, the mediator helps the parties feel heard and move toward resolution.
Privacy protected. Mediations are held in private conference rooms. Your personal issues are not made public in a courtroom full of strangers. Everything that is discussed in mediation is confidential.
Flexible and creative. The court system can only offer the limited solutions allowed under the law. This may mean that both parties lose out. Working together, mediation participants craft creative solutions to their conflicts. Because you the other party know your situation best, it's much more satisfying than 50-50 compromises or court-imposed remedies.
Parties set the schedule. Unlike litigation, where court appearances are determined by the court's schedule, parties in mediation can arrange their mediation sessions according to personal scheduling needs. This can include the logistics of the session such as the length and number of breaks, as well as structuring mediation in order to complete any pre-determined time lines.
Lower costs and less time consuming. When compared to traditional litigation and other adversarial processes, mediation will help you save time and money. Resolutions can be achieved within hours or weeks, rather than months or years. The difference between paying for two attorneys to litigate versus one mediator, whose fees can be split, is significant even if mediation lasts longer than expected. There are far fewer expenses than litigation and many of them can be shared.
Higher satisfaction and compliance. The majority of people who mediate rather than go to court are satisfied with the process as well as the outcomes. Additionally, mediated agreements have a higher rate of compliance than litigated settlements and court orders.
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If you have questions about mediation, you can contact us today at 770-444-3399 to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, or click here to access our online scheduler. We serve clients throughout metro Atlanta, including those in Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County and Bartow County.