Alternatives to litigation for divorcing couples

Couples in Georgia who go through a divorce may want to consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation to come to settlements.

Any Georgia resident who has experienced a divorce knows the wide range of emotions and challenges involved in this process. The end of a marriage touches every part of a person's life. Loss is an unfortunate but inherent part of divorce but many couples today are finding ways to minimize some of that by seeking out alternatives to adversarial litigation.

Whether to determine child custody, property division or some other element of divorce settlements mediation is one way that some families are choosing to approach their divorces.

A look at mediation in Cobb County

The Cobb County government website states that the county created the largest mediation program in the state of Georgia in January of 1993. Like arbitration, mediation is an alternative to standard litigation. However, there are clear differences between mediation and arbitration.

An arbitrator can have the ability to make final decisions. A mediator, however, cannot do this. The job of a mediator is to be a facilitator, helping spouses work together to determine their divorce settlement rather than be at the mercy of a judge's decision.

The Huffington Post notes that in mediation there are no losers or winners. Parties are pushed to put their emphasis on the needs of all involved rather than the rights of any particular party. The goal is always on creating a win-win agreement that is in the best interest of all parties, especially those of minor children.

Technology also offers options to reduce for divorced parents

Mediation is designed to provide a less adversarial approach to identifying an ultimate divorce settlement. Once that happens, however, people with joint children must still find ways to work together effectively for the sake of their children. A report in the Huffington Post describes how some apps can help with this effort.

Some courts even require that parents use specific apps in order to avoid or minimize some contact between parents and the associated potential for conflict. Apps include those that can track expenses and even initiate transfer of funds from one parent to the other for the appropriate amounts. Costs such as extracurricular activities, medical co-pays, tuition and more can all be managed in this way.

What should couples do?

Couples who will be getting divorced in Georgia should always consult with an experienced family law attorney. Doing this at the beginning will help to provide guidance about which settlement methods are best for each situation.

Keywords: divorce, mediation, litigation