Mediation as an Alternative to Custody Litigation in Georgia: Does It Work?
A custody battle can be extremely challenging for the entire family in Georgia. Putting aside the cost, time, and stress, litigation can also be very difficult for minor children involved. Faced with these challenging issues, many parents may attempt to create custody plans behind closed doors. This is indeed possible in Georgia, and mediation is commonly ordered by family law judges prior to having a hearing in Court on custody issues.
How Does Custody Mediation Work in Georgia?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Unlike litigation, this process does not occur in a courtroom. Instead, parents work out their differences in an attempt to create a mutually beneficial and agreeable custody plan that serves everyone’s best interests. Parties attempt to reach a custody agreement alongside a mediator, who is typically a trained lawyer with considerable knowledge of family law in Georgia. The end result of this process is a legal contract that both parents sign. If judges approve the custody plan that was reached in mediation, the agreement then becomes a legally-binding court-order.
How Does Mediation Help My Children?
Mediation may be beneficial for children in a number of ways. First,, it gives parents more control over their own families. If you go before a Court regarding custody issues,, parents are putting decision-making authority into the hands of family law judges during a litigated custody battle. Although Judges are experienced and knowledgeable, , they are not able to understand the intricacies of each family law casein the same way as the parents involved. The Mediation process ensures that the parents who truly understand their family dynamics can make the most informed decisions for their children.
Mediation may also be beneficial for children because parents work together in a collaborative manner during the mediation process. When children see their parents cooperating like this, it can lessen the trauma of a divorce, and it may provide them with more hope for the future. On the other hand, litigation can be highly combative in nature.
What Are Some of the Downsides of Custody Mediation?
One of the key limitations of custody mediation is the fact that both parents must agree to undergo this process. If one parent wishes to pursue litigation, there is little that the other parent can do. Another problem is that if the mediation process fails, both parents will be forced to pursue litigation. This means that if there is little chance of meaningful collaboration between parents, this entire process might not be worth their time (and money).
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Custody Attorney in Georgia?
Mediation is one option for spouses who wish to resolve custody disputes in Georgia, and there are many other choices to discuss alongside qualified Atlanta child custody attorneys. Choose Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French to discuss these options in more detail and get started with a custody plan that benefits the whole family. Book your consultation today.