Going through a divorce is often a challenging experience. Using the family law mediation process can be incredibly helpful. Divorce mediation has become more popular as more couples seek a less adversarial process that isn’t as financially and emotionally draining.
At Carter/Pilgrim, we have extensive experience in the process of family law mediation. Through mediation, we help our clients effectively resolve disputes that arise in a divorce or child custody dispute. A successful meditation can help you avoid contentious and drawn-out court proceedings. If you are interested in divorce mediation, we are here to help. Contact our experienced Atlanta mediation lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.
Understanding Family Law Mediation
The mediation process allows two divorcing parties or those with a dispute related to another family law matter to agree outside of the courtroom. Each party hires his or her legal representation. The parties meet and present their sides of the dispute to a neutral third-party mediator. The mediator, also called a facilitator, works with each of the parties. The goal of the mediation process is to allow both parties to share their goals and find a solution that is acceptable and fair to both sides.
Mediation Is Non-Adversarial
When couples divorce through the court system, the process often becomes adversarial, even when the parties agree to be civil in the beginning of the process. Our legal system is, by nature, adversarial. One party presents evidence, and then the other party can challenge that evidence.
Unlike the often adversarial court process, the mediation process allows both parties the time and space to present their goals without demeaning the other party. At the beginning of the process, both parties agree to make a serious effort to resolve disputes in a fair manner outside of the court process.
The Role of the Third-Party Mediator
Instead of presenting evidence to a judge, the parties present their points to a third-party, neutral mediator. The third-party mediator does not represent one party over the other party. Instead, they carefully listen to both parties and provide direction to both parties as they go through the process.
At Carter/Pilgrim, we are trained in all of the areas of family dispute mediation. We use our experience to advocate for your best interests, while at the same time working with the other party and the third-party mediator to resolve your divorce or custody issue amicably.
Mediators don’t take sides. They don’t criticize or judge the parties involved. Instead, they seek to help the parties arrive at an equitable and fair settlement agreement that works for everyone involved. At Carter/Pilgrim, our experience in divorce litigation, as well as in mediation, allows us to provide informed advice for our clients as they go through the mediation process. We will ensure that the mediator continues to work for both parties and that our clients’ interests are represented during this non-adversarial process.
The Benefits of Family Law Mediation
When you choose to use family law mediation, you don’t need to wait until the end of an adversarial trial process to see how the judge rules your case. Instead, you will be able to actively participate in the outcome of your divorce or child custody matter. You will be able to discuss challenging issues with the other party in a non-confrontational way. Litigation requires a win-lose mentality, while mediation offers a win-win mentality.
Divorce Mediation Benefits Children
Family law mediation benefits children greatly. No matter how hard parents try to avoid involving their children in divorce litigation, it is almost impossible to keep children out of the conflict. Parents may become angry toward the other parent and lose sight that their high-conflict divorce could result in significant emotional damage to their children. When parents experience less stress, children will also experience less stress.
Settling Child Support Issues through Mediation
When parents arrange a child support agreement through family mediation, the child support is more likely to be paid a year after the court enters the agreement into the record as a judgment. Perhaps this successful result is because the parent paying the child support feels more involved in the child support determination process. The mediation process can also result in better child-parent relationships overall when compared to parents who go through the litigation process.
Family Mediation Is Confidential
The fact that family law mediation is confidential is incredibly appealing for many of our clients. Confidentiality agreements bound family law mediators, and everything you say during mediation sessions is confidential. Trials, on the other hand, are not confidential in most cases. Most of us don’t want to air any of our challenging family situations in public.
Children also benefit from the confidentiality of the process. When it comes to mediated cases, the only information available in open court is the agreement that you and your co-parent arrive at yourselves. Nobody will have access to the negotiations and discussions that took place before you come to a final agreement.
Mediation Costs Less
Another major benefit of family law mediation is that it costs less. During the litigation process, all communication needs to go through an attorney, causing the process to take longer. In a mediation, the parties can speak face to face with their professional mediator. By allowing direct communication, all aspects of the divorce process become less cumbersome. Effective mediation will often result in a better outcome and a substantially lower cost overall for the parties involved.
Is Family Law Mediation for You?
At Carter/Pilgrim, we understand that mediation will not work for everyone. We encourage couples to consider the process of mediation, however. If you’re interested in family law mediation for your dispute, child custody, or other family law matter, we can help. Contact our Atlanta family law firm as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. We can discuss whether going through the family mediation process would benefit you and your family.