When you envision how your divorce case will be settled, you might see a judge issuing orders regarding who gets the cash in the bank, the house and the kids. However, many divorces in Georgia are resolved quite differently. Alternative dispute resolution, also known as mediation, could be used instead of litigation.
What is alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution is a type of conflict resolution that takes place outside of the courtroom. It’s confidential, so the family law judge won’t know what was discussed to reach the agreement. If you are able to compromise with the help of a mediator, the final agreement you reach could become part of your divorce decree and be binding.
Reasons to use alternative dispute resolution
The most common reason mediation is used in divorce cases is to save money. The cost of a lengthy custody battle far exceeds the cost of a few hours with a mediator. Parents who can work together through mediation to decide what is best for their children may be more satisfied with the arrangement.
Alternative dispute resolution might also be appropriate if you have special circumstances, such as an unconventional work schedule or you travel a lot. In those cases, a boilerplate parenting plan might not work for your family. A mediator could help you and your spouse negotiate a schedule that allows your children to spend time with both of you.
Mediation may be used in addition to litigation or as a way to settle all of the issues in your divorce. Although it may not be appropriate for every divorcing couple, it may be an effective way of saving money and easing conflict for those who are able to come together in a room with a mediator with the intention of reaching a compromise.