When you are involved in specific types of legal disputes in Georgia, such as divorce or legitimizing a child, a judge might order you to mediation before scheduling a final hearing or trial. Mediation involves a neutral third party who oversees negotiations between you and the other party to the dispute. Mediation is often effective, even when the parties have been firm in their positions for a while. Although the mediator is an attorney, they will not provide legal advice to either party.
A Cherokee County mediation lawyer will meet with you and the other party to help you have a productive conversation about the issues that divide you. They can often help you find common ground and encourage you to build on it to reach an agreement. Schedule a meeting with one of our trusted family attorneys for more information.
Mediators have special training in family law issues. They know the law well, but more importantly, they understand how emotional and difficult conversations about issues regarding divorce and children can be. A mediator’s training helps them remain neutral while allowing each party to express themselves while the other listens.
Relationship dynamics can be tricky. One individual might be used to doing the talking, and the other party often feels unheard. A Cherokee County mediation attorney can use their skills to ensure everyone involved has the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the discussion.
When spouses or co-parents do not communicate well, or when they both have firm positions regarding an issue and do not want to budge, they might think mediation will not work for them. While this could be the case, it is always worth a try. If a judge insists you try mediation, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
Mediation is a less expensive and more private way to resolve disputes than taking an issue to a trial or hearing. Although individuals will spend some time preparing for the mediation, it requires far less effort than preparing for a trial.
Everything both parties say in mediation is confidential. If they do not reach an agreement, the mediator does not disclose what either person talked about or report how close or far apart they were. Importantly, only the parties involved in the dispute and their attorneys may attend the Cherokee County mediation. However, if an issue must go to trial, anything said in court may be a matter of public record. Mediation is a far better option for people who want to protect their privacy.
Additionally, mediation keeps the control in the hands of the people involved in the disagreement. If parties take a matter to trial, the judge hears the evidence and decides what is best with an enforceable court order. Alternatively, if both parties can reach an agreement during mediation, they decide for themselves. The mediator will write down the agreement and submit it to Georgia courts for approval.
After a successful mediation, a family judge reviews the agreement. When the agreement involves minor children, as all legitimation agreements and many divorce agreements do, the judge must independently assess whether it is in the children’s best interests.
The Official Code of Georgia § 19-9-3 directs judges that the best interests of a child “shall be controlling.” That means if a judge does not think a mediated agreement is the best outcome for the children, they could reject it.
A Cherokee County mediation attorney can explain how a judge determines the children’s best interests. They will remind both parties to focus on those factors when developing an agreement for the best possibility of a favorable outcome.
Mediation is a non-confrontational, cost-effective, and private way of resolving disagreements. It is often effective, even when the parties have been arguing for months.
A Cherokee County mediation lawyer can help you settle your divorce or legitimation dispute without going to court. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation with a skilled team member.