Mediated Divorce: This procedure is completed with our State Certified Mediators and is designed especially for those who are ready for a Divorce and still need to work out issues pertaining to the Divorce.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates our Mediators are State Certified by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution that is governed by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Our Mediators have over 750 collective cases of mediation experience resolving issues for parties through this process. The Mediated Divorce Procedure is especially designed for those people who are ready for a divorce and still need to work out issues pertaining to the divorce and can do that in an amicable fashion.
If you think that a Mediated Divorce is right for you or if you would like to learn more about the process, then please kindly feel free to contact us for your free consultation by any or all of the following means by phone at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, by email at email@example.com, and Contact Us on our website. We will be able to asses your situation and determine along with you whether a Mediated Divorce is the best way to obtain a divorce for you in the State of Georgia.
The Mediated Divorce process is usually broken down into steps, for example:
Step One: Both parties call the Attorney simultaneously for a free consultation to discuss how the process works, and to ask any questions that you may have regarding this process. After this initial meeting, each party will be asked to execute a Waiver of a Conflict of Interest as we will not be representing either of the parties; rather the role of the Mediator is to assist both parties in resolving any unresolved issues, and also to prepare the proper documents to finalize the divorce that you may present to the court.
If you elect to proceed with this process, then during the first telephone conference, an initial retainer and hourly rate will also be discussed. The retainer is based upon the issues of the divorce and the length of time that it is determined it will most likely take to resolve the issues of the divorce, prepare the paperwork, and finalize the paperwork to be presented to the court by you. This retainer is split equally by the parties. As such, each person would pay an equal amount towards the retainer.
Once the Waiver has been executed, and both the Waiver and Initial Retainer have been returned to the Mediator, then we will proceed with the following steps.
Step Two: After the initial consultation, we will mail each of you a packet that will contain questionnaires and other documents that you will need to complete before our first meeting. We will then set up a 2 – 4 hour meeting at a mutually agreeable time and date to discuss the documents and any other issues of the divorce. Our mediators have collectively mediated over 750 cases as well as have extensive legal experience so we are accustomed to assisting people in working out any legal issues that you may have that will need to be resolved in order to finalize the divorce. After this first meeting, we will have drafted and be ready to file the following documents with the court:
- The Complaint for Divorce and Verification (i.e. the Affidavit that will be attached to the Complaint);
- Agreement to Take Final 31 Days from Service, Waiver of Trial by Jury, and Defendant’s Acknowledgement of Service and Waiver of Venue and Personal Jurisdiction;
- Answer to the Complaint for Divorce; and
- Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit completed by each Party.
- This package will then be mailed to the court to begin the divorce proceeding.
Step Three: We will begin preparing the Settlement Agreement for Divorce based upon the information we have received from the questionnaires and our first meeting. We will exchange this document via. email in adobe format, and any revisions will be discussed with both parties. We will make any revisions that are agreed upon.
We will also prepare a Parenting Plan (if children are involved) along with a Child Support Worksheet (if children are involved) that we will exchange these documents via. email in adobe format. Similar to the Settlement Agreement, any revisions to these documents will be by mutual consent of both parties, and we will make the revisions.
If at any time during this process there is an issue that arises we can either set up another meeting to discuss these issues, or we can discuss these issues via. conference call with the Mediator, and both parties.
Step Four: We will set up a final meeting that will last approximately 1-2 hours where we will review and finalize the following documents:
- Settlement Agreement;
- Parenting Plan (if children are involved);
- Child Support Worksheet (if children are involved);
- Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.
- Rule Nisi (this sets your court hearing for the final divorce with the court).
Upon finalization of the aforestated documents, both parties will sign the documents, and this package will be mailed to the court.
Step Five: Depending upon the jurisdiction in which your case is located, your divorce may be finalized with or without a hearing with the Judge. Please kindly note that we do not represent either party so, if there is a hearing, you would be attending that hearing without us unless we discuss this in advance. These hearings are customary and very standard and the documents prepared should not be an issue in the divorce. The hearing is a formality.
At any time during the process, either party is entitled, and encouraged, to have an independent attorney and/or accountant of their choice to review the documents and express any concerns. We do not render legal or tax advice in these types of cases.
This process has been devised as a vehicle for those who would like to obtain a divorce, who have not resolved all of the legal issues involved in obtaining a divorce, and wish not to spend an exorbitant amount of money in litigation. The process was also devised to assist parties in saving legal fees in obtaining a divorce. All fees are split equally by the parties. The parties are responsible for all court costs associated with filing the divorce. The court costs vary from county to county.
Parties who have children will also be asked to attend a Divorcing Parents Seminar. This seminar is required of all people who are divorcing in Georgia where minor children are an issue in the divorce. The Divorcing Parents Seminar is usually 4 hours in length and usually costs $ 35.00. Parties will need to have proof of completion of this seminar before the court will finalize the divorce. You may find more information about this seminar on the county’s website in the jurisdiction of your divorce.
Please kindly note that this process is not recommended for situations where the parties are not open to agreement of the issues of divorce. In these situations, most people obtain their own attorney to represent their interests and should see the section on this website about Contested Divorces. We are still available, however, as a mediator to assist the parties, along with counsel, to resolve the issues of divorce.
If you have prepared all of the documentation listed above, and would like a review of the documentation, we are glad to do so and you may see the rates set forth in the Uncontested Divorce Tab of this website.
We recognize that divorce is not an easy situation for anyone. Even if the parties desire a divorce, there are legal issues that need to be resolved, and that is why we have devised a method that is non-adversarial in nature and affordable. At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates our Mediators are State Certified by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution that is governed by the Supreme Court of Georgia. If you think that a Mediated Divorce is right for you or if you would like to learn more about the process, then please kindly feel free to contact us for your free consultation by any or all of the following means by phone at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Contact Us on our website. We look forward to hearing from you soon.