Dispute Resolution Through Mediation

Mediation is used more and more as a way of resolving family law matters in a less adverse setting. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is estimated that only 5 percent of divorce cases go to trial, with the rest being settled in mediation.

In some counties in Georgia (Fulton County, for example), before a judge will hear a divorce case, the parties are required to attend mediation, either by hiring their own mediator or using the mediation services provided by the court. Sometimes, all the issues are resolved in mediation and there's no need to go to trial, and other times some of the issues are resolved in mediation and the parties need to go to trial only for the remaining issues (saving both time and money). In a small number of cases, no issues are resolved in mediation, and all the issues are heard before a judge.

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When parties approach their divorce or child custody action in mediation, they decide the life-changing issues, rather than leaving decisions up to a judge or jury. As active participants in deciding their future, the parties who have to live according to the settlement or court order can attempt to establish a workable arrangement on their own.

Mediation is not appropriate for every case, such as when one individual in the relationship has a tendency to be controlling. Overall, however, mediation has been viewed favorably by judges, attorneys and clients.

Another benefit to mediation is timeliness. Mediation can be scheduled almost immediately, whereas a trial may take months to schedule due to the number of cases waiting to be heard.

If you are considering mediation as a method of resolving your family law issues, call us or email the firm. As a trained mediator attorney, Ed Hecht has the expertise to help you understand the process and its benefits and limitations. He can also represent you in mediation. Discuss your case in a consultation at our Alpharetta office.