- About Mediation
- Impartial Facilitators
- Court Order/ Sponsored Mediation
- Benefits of Mediation
In private mediation, a neutral third party facilitates the discussions between the parties in an attempt to help the parties resolve their dispute. The timing of mediation depends on the parties, their attorneys (if represented by counsel), the availability of the mediator, and the nature of the dispute. An effective mediator will explain the process and create a mediation plan so that you can better gage a reasonable time line for your particular case. The mediator will prepare the parties to discuss their problems in an orderly fashion and seek creative solutions. The parties maintain control with regards to the final resolution of their dispute. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, their dispute will go to trial unless another dispute resolution process follows.
Litigating parties are welcome to attend mediation with or without an attorney. However, if you already have an attorney, you are encouraged to discuss the mediation process in depth with your attorney before you begin. It is important to remember that the mediator will not act as an attorney for either party and will not give legal advice. The only legal advice upon which a participant in mediation should rely is that of their own independent attorney.
In a court-ordered or sponsored mediation the parties participate in mediation before they try their dispute in court. The Court will determine the time-frame when mediation will take place based on when the matter is scheduled to be litigated. If the case is assigned to a mediator, the court administrator sends the assigned mediator an appointment letter. The mediator checks his or her calendar for possible dates, times, and locations for the court-sponsored mediation and typically contacts the parties.
Although the court-sponsored mediation has no mandatory format, it usually contains the following steps:
- Opening statement by the mediator
- Opening statement by each attorney, or the parties (if not represented)
- Settlement discussion, which may include private caucuses, between the mediator and each party
- Closing-where the agreement, if any, is finalized and signed
Benefits of Mediation
Avoiding Costly Legal Fees
Settling a dispute during mediation can save the parties thousands of dollars of litigation expenses. A mediator’s typical hourly rate can range from $175-$225 an hour (our hourly rate is $175.00 an hour). This cost is usually split evenly by the parties. Payment is due the day of the mediation, so each party should plan ahead to bring their form of payment. Most mediators require a minimum of two hours for mediation.
Preserving Fragile Relationships
One of the most valuable benefits of mediation is that successful mediation will usually help prevent further deterioration of the relationship between the parties. The concept of mediation becomes even more important when children are involved, since parents who litigate usually find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate after the litigation.
Mediation can allow both parties to gain a healthy perspective for what may happen if the case is decided by a judge or jury, thus giving the parties a better idea of whether a mediated resolution is worth considering.
The answers provided on the Frequently Asked Questions pages and other published pages on this website are only generalized statements believed to be accurate at the time the corresponding web pages were published. Do not rely on or act upon any information found on this website; rather, use the information to help you form and articulate questions for your attorney regarding your particular legal matter. The information provided on this website DOES NOT constitute an attorney/client relationship. The members of Georgia Adoption & Family Law Practice offers no legal advice until an engagement contract is executed by Attorney Vernadette R. Broyles and by an approved client of Georgia Adoption & Family Law Practice and an appropriate retainer for legal services is received… DO NOT send confidential information to the Georgia Adoption & Family Law Practice without expressed consent from Attorney Vernadette R. Broyles.