A divorce need not end with a nasty court battle that results in both parties financially and emotionally overwhelmed. Mediation is a highly effective alternative to more traditional divorce litigation. Many individuals in the state of Georgia, however, are unaware of exactly how the mediation process unfolds.
What the Mediation Process Involves
Courts have placed an emphasis on providing couples the opportunity to craft divorce agreements because conventional wisdom often holds that individuals who resolve divorces on their own terms are more likely to follow the established conditions. Mediations are preceded over by a “Domestic Mediator” who must have either a Bachelor in Arts or a Bachelor in Science, prior mediation training, and the successful completion of an approved domestic mediation training program. Couples can expect a divorce mediation to cover a wide variety of topics including alimony, child support, custody, debts, and the division of property. The time required for mediation depends greatly upon the nature of the dispute and the number of parties that are involved in mediation. Often, a mediation session lasts between four to eight hours. Some mediation sessions, however, have been known to run over 12 hours.
Advice for Individuals Involved in the Mediation Process
There are some essential steps that individuals should remember regarding mediation, namely that the process is designed to quickly and effectively resolve divorce instead of battling things in court. There are several recommended steps that individuals should follow regarding mediation:
- Act Cordially: The negotiation process will proceed more smoothly if everyone acts cordially to each other during the mediation process.
- Consider All Potential Proposals: Individuals must avoid overreacting if a former spouse’s resolution point is nowhere near that of the individual. Negotiations often begin with a starting point and then build to a mutually agreeable point.
- Do Not Use Ultimatums: Using ultimatums against a former spouse during the mediation process can ruin any progress that the couple might make and can even stop the process of resolving the dispute.
- Make the Initial Move to Settle: Initiating the first step in the mediation process shows confidence and can help move a settlement along instead of waiting for the other individual to make an action.
- Never Negotiate Backwards: Often during the negotiation process, one spouse may have a change of perspective and try to pull back on a deal. Negotiating backwards is only harming the individual and his or her ability to make a proper settlement.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
There is a great risk that the divorce mediation process in Georgia can be particularly complex and even intimidating without the assistance of a skilled attorney. A talented attorney will be able to ask as an advocate on your side to help you protect your interests. If you would like to talk with one of the family law attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C., either fill out our online form or call the firm at 678-736-7700 in order to initiate your consultation.