Mediation Offers Alternative to Court-ordered Property Division in GA
Going through a divorce can be an overwhelming experience for everyone involved. Whether both parties are in agreement over the divorce or there is one spouse that is having a hard time dealing with the separation, it can be difficult to deal with all of the issues involved with a divorce. Parenting time, child support, child custody and alimony are all key topics that are covered in a settlement. Yet, dividing marital debts and property may be one of the most complicated matters. Georgia couples who have been married for a significant amount of time may have accumulated a large number of possessions and debt. There are several ways that a couple can discuss how to divide this property, through mediation or a court-ordered settlement.
Equitable distribution of property
Marital property in Georgia is divided according to the equitable distribution method. Using this method, the judge will determine who gets what based on what they feel is fair. Needless to say, this judgment can vary considerably depending on which judge is overseeing the case. Often times, the judge will consider how long the marriage has lasted as well as the ability of each party to provide for themselves when making their decision. The age, health and education of each party are also considered, according to the State Bar of Georgia.
Mediation vs. court divorce
While some divorce cases necessitate the involvement of the judicial system in order to carry out the creation and finalization of a settlement, other couples prefer to handle matters on their own, with minimal involvement from the courts. Mediation offers a great option for those couples who wish to play an active role in determining the distribution of property, yet still need guidance when discussing vital topics.
During a mediation session, a neutral mediator is present to direct the conversation and ensure that all details of the settlement are discussed. Each party is able to bring an attorney; however, an attorney is not required for the session to take place. Couples can expect to talk civilly with one another and come to an agreement regarding the distribution of their assets, property and debt. Here are just a few benefits of mediation when compared to a court divorce, as reported by the Huffington Post:
- Mediation is more affordable for some, as there are no court costs and the decision to hire an attorney is voluntary.
- Mediation provides a quicker outcome. Often times, settlements can be created during just one session.
- Mediation is non-confrontational. Each party is expected to discuss the matters in a civil and professional manner.
- Mediation has minimal involvement of the court system. This allows the couple to divide the property, assets and debt according to their preferences and needs.
Contacting an attorney
Although mediation does not require an attorney to be present, it is highly recommended that each party be represented by a lawyer who is looking after their best interests. An attorney can ensure that their client receives their fair share of the property and assets. They can also guide their client through the mediation and divorce process.