While the decision to divorce is never an easy choice to make, sometimes it is the right move for your health and well-being. But before you start thinking about scheduling a trial, know that there is an alternative solution with your legal separation attorney. Through the process of mediation, you may be able to come to an agreement with your spouse that prevents both of you from having to go court. The expert lawyers at Daniele Johnson & Associates will work closely with you to determine if your divorce can be settled through mediation.
What is Mediation?
Most counties in Georgia will require you to go through mediation before you can file for a temporary or final divorce trial. Mediation is the process of the divorcing parties discussing their disputes with an impartial, third-party mediator in an attempt to reach a settlement. Mediation could provide the ideal solution to your divorce because it can help you save on lawyer fees and expedite a final resolution for your separation. However, if you and your spouse are unable to be fair or come to an agreement during this process, then your divorce will have to go to trial.
Legal Separation Attorney: What is the Process of Mediation?
While every mediation is determined by the specific circumstances of the parties getting divorced, the process usually involves the following phases.
- To begin, you must file a Request for Mediation, unless you have already been referred to mediation through FINRA.
- After filling for mediation, you and your lawyer will be sent a list of mediators that have been preselected by FINRA. While they are all vetted and approved by the organization, certain mediators will have qualifications that are better suited to your case. You can work with your lawyer to determine which mediator will work best for you and your spouse. Once your mediator is chosen, everyone involved in the mediation must sign a Mediation Submission Agreement. This ensures that you, your spouse and the mediator will act in accordance with FINRA mediation rules regarding confidentiality and payment.
- Information gathering. Either before or after your first session, you and your spouse will need to start gathering information. This includes the current financial records of your bank accounts, wages, credit cards, taxes, stocks, IRAs, pensions and 401Ks. Be ready to have estimates for your home and personal property like vehicles and boats. Also, if you or your spouse are business owners, include the financial records and assets for your company.
- For the first mediation session, you and your spouse will meet at a mutually agreed upon date and location. At this session, the mediator will ask both of you to discuss the issues related to your case. In some instances, the mediator may also schedule individual sessions with you to determine your expectations for the settlement, as well as discuss the strengths and shortcomings of your case. After also doing this separately with your spouse, the mediator will then attempt to devise a solution to get both of you to come to an agreement that resolves the case.
- If you and your spouse are able to come to a resolution during mediation, you will both sign a written settlement agreement in accordance with FINRA rules. Once this is done, the settlement is considered executed, final and enforceable.
- While mediators and a legal separation attorney are generally good at resolving settlements through mediation due to their years of training and experience, it is possible that you may not be able to reach an agreement with your spouse. In this case, the mediation is considered to be at an impasse, at which point you will work with your lawyer to pursue a trial for your divorce.
Work with Daniele Johnson & Associates to Get Help with Your Divorce Proceedings
If you are in the midst of filing for divorce, know that when things seem like they are falling apart, they are actually falling into place. And though this is a tough life transition, the experienced lawyers at Daniele Johnson & Associates are here to provide you help every step of the way. Contact Daniele Johnson & Associates today to schedule an appointment
At Daniele Johnson & Associates, we protect what is most important to you.