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Mediation in Georgia Divorce and Family Law Cases

Macon GA Mediator

The state of Georgia is one of the most mediation friendly states in the US. Georgia has 96 counties that use sponsored alternative dispute resolution program. Most counties in Georgia insist on a good faith effort by couple who are planning to get divorced. Through the process of mediation they can come to agreements regarding important issues. The divorcing couples are not forced to agree on anything but are asked to attempt to find a solution by themselves before their case is presented in front of a judge.

 

The courts in Georgia give the couples an opportunity to come to agreements regarding their divorce particulars with the help of their legal counsels as well as a mediator if required. This leaves the couple happier once they are divorced since most of decisions have been taken with their consent and convenience in mind. Hence the judge does not have to deduce the acceptable terms. Mediation is very beneficial since couples get to decide on important issues concerning them and their children like child support, alimony, visitation rights, personal property dispersal etc. Since these decisions have been taken by the couple themselves they are more likely to stick to their decisions.

 

In Georgia, there are two avenues of mediation –

 

Private mediation – a mediator is hired even if both parties have legal representation and agreement negotiated before developing into litigations. The agreements reached during mediations are legal documents and parties signing this are legally obliged and bound to it. Civil court considers broken agreements as evidence of broken contracts.

 

Court Referred Mediation – mediation process is initiated after having entered the court system. Agreements reached here are also legally binding and parties involved may or may not have legal representation.

 

Most of the mediators in Georgia are legal professionals who have additional qualification making them mediators. They are usually registered with Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. It is also recommended that divorce mediators take part in a Domestic Violence educational workshop to gain in depth knowledge of the same.

 

Taking advantage of a mediator is very convenient and economical when compared to financial burdens that accompany a full fledged trial and even then one cannot be sure of the verdict. In a mediated divorce, interests of both parties are given priority and settlements worked out around their routines and liabilities. Many times even child custody and visitation routines are planned and decided through mediation. This ensures that, they are happy with the decisions taken and hence do not have to put up half hearted efforts to honor them.

 

Mediation is the method followed in uncontested divorces in Georgia. There are no formal trials and judge approves the settlement agreed upon unless it is found to be unfair to one of the concerned persons.