Divorce can be a complicated process. There are many issues a couple must navigate and come to an agreement on before a dissolution can be finalized. In some instances, couples cannot agree, and lengthy and expensive litigation may follow. Mediation is a tool meant to encourage divorcing spouses to settle their differences out of family court to avoid adding more stress to an already difficult situation.
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, consider working with a Suwanee mediation lawyer. At the Atlanta Divorce Law Group, our team of talented divorce and family attorneys can help you and your spouse resolve outstanding issues and accomplish your separation more quickly, inexpensively, and privately than by taking your issues to court.
A mediator is a professional who is trained to be a neutral facilitator in resolving disputes. A mediator does not take sides or suggest solutions. Instead, they create an environment where both parties can express their positions and find common ground with one another.
Judges often order divorcing couples to mediation before scheduling a trial, as the Official Code of Georgia § 19-5-1 allows. Georgia courts prefer couples to resolve property division, child custody, and support issues rather than leaving it up to the judge to decide. If spouses can agree during mediation, the Suwanee mediator will formalize it in writing, and your attorney will submit it to a judge, avoiding the need for a trial.
Alternatively, a couple might try mediation before filing for divorce. If both individuals can agree on all major issues, they could file for an uncontested divorce. The uncontested divorce process is much faster, less expensive, and less stressful than a litigated divorce.
The number of sessions needed and the length of each session are unique to the couple undergoing mediation and will vary. Most sessions are a half-day. In many cases, the mediator will have a brief phone conversation with each party before meeting in person to get a sense of the issues you wish to resolve.
Depending on the circumstances and the mediator’s preferences, everyone might be in one or separate rooms. The mediator will introduce the disputed topics, and each person will state their position. The mediator ensures that neither party dominates the discussion and that both spouses are heard. When there is common ground, the mediator will often suggest that both parties acknowledge it and try to build consensus from that position.
Ideally, mediation produces an agreement between spouses. The mediator will formalize the agreement in writing, which becomes binding when both parties sign it. A Suwanee mediator will typically suggest that a spouse has their attorney review the contract before signing it.
In divorce mediation, a spouse’s attorney submits the signed agreement to the judge. The judge will review it and will usually incorporate it into the divorce decree. If the agreement involves child custody or support, the judge must ensure it meets the children’s best interests.
When divorcing couples cannot agree on an issue, mediation can help them find common ground. By working together to resolve disagreements, you and your spouse learn how to cooperate to achieve an important goal, a skill that could be essential if you co-parent children.
Contact a Suwanee mediation lawyer today for guidance.