Some people are surprised to learn that their marriages don’t have to end with a litigated divorce once they decide to part. For many Atlanta couples, mediating their divorces is a far better alternative than airing all their dirty laundry in open court.
Yet, many couples are unaware that they have this option at all. Most, when they learn of it, are intrigued and want to know more about this legal process for ending an unhappy marriage. The below frequently asked questions can help you decide whether mediation is for you.
Is mediation only for divorce?
Not at all. Mediation can resolve many legal disputes, but for our purposes, this post will focus on mediation in divorce cases.
Can my case be mediated?
Many family law cases can be mediated, at least partially. Suppose that you decide on mediation and are able to reach accord on all matters except for some property settlement issues where neither party will budge from their respective positions. Those particular aspects of your divorce can still be litigated in court after all the other matters have been resolved.
What would disqualify my divorce from mediation?
Both parties have to embrace the spirit of the mediation process by agreeing to be civil to not just one another but also the mediator. Unless that is the guiding principle, mediation is doomed to fail. Also, divorce cases where there has been domestic abuse are not a good match for mediation because the abuser may attempt to coerce or browbeat the victim into acceding to their demands.
What role does an attorney have in mediation?
While mediation doesn’t require an attorney, it is always prudent to have your legal advisor present when mediating your divorce. They can ensure that your legal rights are respected during the process and help clarify the outcome that you are seeking.
Are the issues we mediate kept private?
Yes. While the court still must sign off on the settlement agreement, they — and the public — are not part of the mediation process and have no access to the mediation itself, only the final results. You can keep salary figures, custody questions and allegations of cheating or substance abuse from ever becoming part of the legal record by using mediation.
Still on the fence about mediating your divorce?
Learning more about the process can help you decide whether to try to mediate your divorce.