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770-609-1247 | Divorce and Family Law Mediation Lawyers and Attorneys

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Coleman Legal Group, LLC

Phone: 770-609-1247

Mediation

Mediation is a process by which a third party neutral (a “mediator”) attempts to facilitate discussions between parties in order to help them best come to a solution to their disagreements. The mediator does not decide any issues in the case. Rather, the mediator listens to both parties (together or separately) and tries to guide negotiations to a solution that both parties will ultimately accept. The parties maintain control over this process and are free to reject any offers from the other party at any time. Because the parties are crafting their own solutions to their disputes, often the parties to this process find it a useful process to resolving their disputes.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential and informal negotiation process in which an impartial third party, a mediator, facilitates settlement discussions between disputing parties. Any settlement is voluntary.

Unlike a judge in a trial, or an arbitrator in arbitration, the mediator does not impose a decision upon the parties. In a mediation, the parties themselves decide whether or how to settle the dispute.

What is the role of a Mediator?

The role of a mediator is to maintain their neutrality and to use their training and skills to assist parties in exploring their concerns, identifying areas that must reach resolution and creatively exploring a wide array of possible solutions to the disputed issues. The mediator attempts to focus the attention of the parties upon their needs and interests rather than upon rights and positions.

Despite the mediator’s professional background, he/she may not provide counseling, legal advice or legal representation, and again, they do not have the authority to impose decisions.

Is Mediation Confidential?

Mediation is a confidential process by law and by agreement. In mediation, the parties will sign an agreement to mediate that includes provisions governing confidentiality.

According to the Georgia Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) rules, any statement made during mediation or as port of intake by program staff in preparation for mediation is confidential and is not subject to disclosure by the mediator or program staff, and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding.

However, if parties reach a settlement agreement in mediation, the written and executed agreement or memorandum of agreement is not subject to confidentiality, unless all parties to the proceeding agree so in writing.

Confidentiality in mediation of divorce and family law cases does not include:

(1) mediators and program staff reporting whether or not the parties appeared for mediation;

(2) threats of imminent violence to self or others; or

(3) if, the mediator believes that a child is abused or that the safety of any party or third person is in danger

Another exception to confidentiality is that a mediator or the ADR program may disclose information needed to defend their actions if a complaint is filed against them. However, only documents or communications relevant to such claim or complaint may be revealed only to the extent necessary, to protect the neutral or ADR program.

How Long Does Mediation Take?

The time required for mediation depends on the nature of the dispute and the number of parties involved. A typical mediation session lasts four (4) to eight (8) hours. However, our office has presided over meditations that lasted twelve (12) hours – but finally did settle.

But it is important to note:  Mediation can be scheduled and completed much sooner than it would take to complete a trial.

Is Mediation Binding?

If the parties reach a settlement agreement in mediation, the written and executed agreement or memorandum of agreement may in fact become binding. Parties should understand that signing a settlement agreement can have a significant effect upon their rights and upon the status of their case. However, reaching and signing an acceptable settlement agreement to the dispute is strictly voluntary.

If after going through the mediation process the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case will proceed in a regular fashion through the court process.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation?

(1) Mediation can lower the intensity or level of conflict enabling parties to better communicate and explore options that would resolve their dispute.

(2) Mediation empowers parties to reach their own decisions versus having outcomes determined by others, such as a judge.

(3) Mediation recognizes that all parties have legitimate needs and helps develop alternatives to meeting those needs.

(4) Mediation is typically less time consuming, less expensive and allows for greater privacy than going to court.

(5) Mediation can set the stage for future cooperative problem solving between parties where there is a need for an ongoing relationship.

How Should You Prepare for Mediation?

Each participant should come to mediation prepared to present and discuss a variety of ways to resolve the dispute to their satisfaction. If the parties are stuck on only one solution to the dispute, it will be more difficult to reach a resolution.  Each participant should also have a detailed checklist of items they want to resolve at the mediation so that no issue is overlooked and not settled.

For mediation to be successful, parties should come prepared to provide open and honest communication and statements, including providing each party with all information relevant to resolving the dispute.

Who Pays for Mediation?

Usually the parties split the hourly fee of a mediator equally which varies from one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per hour to three hundred fifty dollars ($350) per hour.

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Main Office, Alpharetta, Georgia:  5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 52, Alpharetta, GA 30022

Coleman Legal Group, LLC handles cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Inman Park, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings and Smyrna.

Our Georgia attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy, Business Law and Immigration. We have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Suite 52
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Dunwoody
Sandy Springs

1200 Abernathy Road
Building 600
Northpark Town Center
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth

410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Johns Creek
Duluth Georgia

11555 Medlock Bridge Rd
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Duluth Georgia
Sugarloaf

2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Lawrenceville
Huntcrest
1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Copyright © 2017 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All Rights Reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 52 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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