Just what is mediation?
If you have children then you have probably acted as mediator and not even known it. Mediation is a process where an impartial third party listens to a couple’s dispute and then helps them resolve the issue by coming to an agreement. Although the court may require you to attend mediation, it is a voluntary process for the most part and requires each party to act in good faith.
What can and can’t the mediator do?
The mediator is there to help the parties communicate and work through their problems. The mediator isn’t just concerned with the facts as in a court case, but the mediator will allow the couple to have a say and vent their emotions in a positive way. This allows the couple the opportunity to work through their feelings and come to an understanding. A mediator cannot give any kind of legal or financial advice to either party as that is strictly prohibited.
A few things to remember about mediation
- Once an agreement has been reached, it is put into writing and signed by both parties. If you attempt further litigation then you will most likely be bound by your mediated agreement.
- Over 90 percent of family law matters are resolved through agreement.
- A mediator does not represent either party in mediation. The mediator is completely neutral.
- If the case has been filed with a court, then the side that filed will usually present their side to the mediator before the other side. It can also be done as a group depending on the case and its participants.
- Mediations are kept strictly confidential unless there are issues of domestic abuse, and the mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify in court about what was discussed during mediation.
- A court may order a couple to go to mediation but they cannot force them to reach an agreement. An agreement has to be voluntary.
- Either party can terminate the Mediation process at any point.
At Waggoner Hastings LLC our attorneys have years of experience guiding clients through a vast array of family law matters. Our partners are both trained mediators. In most cases, the majority of disputes surrounding custody, property division, or support can be resolved through the process of mediation. We provide representation to clients in communities throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Marietta, Canton, Woodstock, Cumming, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Blue Ridge, and Ellijay.
Call 770-641-8200 or email us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys. We’re conveniently located with offices in Midtown Atlanta and Alpharetta, Georgia.