Divorce Mediation Preparation Checklist
In Georgia, couples getting a divorce are often required to go through a divorce mediation proceeding. This hearing involves both spouses, their lawyers, and a divorce mediator – a neutral observer, usually a former judge. The mediator’s job is to review the matters that must be settled before the divorce can be finalized, listen to each spouse and their attorney, and offer a compromise acceptable to both parties to secure a final divorce settlement.
Divorce mediation allows divorcing spouses the chance to settle their divorce outside of court. Divorces that go to court are public, expensive, and time-consuming. Mediation outside of court through a divorce mediator is private, less expensive, and quicker. Divorce mediation precedes and is an asset to divorce courts in Georgia.
Mediation is meant to settle all outstanding matters at issue in a divorce, such as those involving:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Marital asset information
With that in mind, here are a few things you’ll want to locate and bring with you to your mediation session:
- Personal identification
- Financial statements, including bank statements, tax returns, income documentation, and retirement/investment records
- Property appraisals and mortgage statements
- Insurance policies
- List of assets
- List of debts
- Monthly budget
- Child custody proposal
- Spousal support proposal
- List of questions or concerns
- Pen and notepad
- Personal calendar
Bringing these documents to divorce mediation is crucial, as they provide an accurate and objective foundation for discussions, helping to establish a clear understanding of the couple’s financial situation, assets, and liabilities. Having all relevant documents readily available can save time and streamline the mediation process, reducing the need for multiple sessions or follow-ups to gather additional information. This enables both parties to make informed decisions about the division of assets, debts, and support arrangements, considering their individual financial situations.
How Will Divorce Mediation Help Me?
Divorce mediation can be a valuable resource for couples seeking to end their marriage in a more amicable and cooperative manner. By choosing mediation, couples are often able to avoid the adversarial nature and high costs associated with traditional litigation. This alternative dispute-resolution process focuses on communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, which can lead to a more positive and less emotionally taxing experience for both parties.
One of the primary benefits of divorce mediation is the potential for a more personalized and flexible outcome. During mediation, couples have the opportunity to discuss their concerns, needs, and priorities openly, allowing them to craft an agreement tailored to their unique circumstances. This collaborative approach can result in more satisfying and lasting resolutions for potentially contentious matters such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support. In contrast, traditional litigation often leaves these decisions up to a judge, who may not be able to take into account all the nuances of a couple’s situation.
Another advantage of divorce mediation is the preservation of relationships, particularly when children are involved. The process encourages respectful communication and compromise, which can help minimize animosity between the parties. This fosters a healthier post-divorce environment for co-parenting and can have long-term benefits for the emotional well-being of children.
On top of all this, the American Bar Association estimated that divorce mediation is 40% to 60% less expensive than a standard divorce litigation process. It will probably cost you less than $350 per hour to sort out all the loose ends of your marriage in a divorce mediation session. Most divorcing couples split this bill, each paying somewhere in the order of $1,500-$4,000, depending on the complexity of the case. Ultimately, going with mediation will save you thousands of dollars in the context of your divorce.
Finding the Right Attorney to Help You Prepare for Divorce Mediation
Sorting out disagreements in a divorce is frustrating and will likely impact the rest of your life. That is why it’s essential to consult an experienced divorce attorney sooner rather than later. They can connect you with a fair divorce mediator and help you prepare for any further legal action.
Lawyers at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC excel at facilitating productive divorce mediation hearings. We know how difficult marital separation is and will work hard to make the process as quick and pain-free as possible. Our seasoned attorneys are proud to represent people from all walks of life and always strive to deliver the outcomes our clients deserve. Call us today at (404) 688-8810 to speak with one of our Atlanta divorce mediation attorneys about your case during an initial consultation.