Not every legal issue requires a trial. Sometimes having a neutral party to facilitate discussions can help resolve a legal matter without trial, which saves money and can be faster than litigation. In the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, any domestic case has the potential to be assigned to mediation before a final hearing. Our office is experienced in conducting mediations and reaching mutually beneficial solutions. Ms. Harrison is a Certified Mediator and Arbiter capable of handling domestic mediations for your case. In the Fourth Judicial Circuit (northeast Florida) all divorce cases are referred to mediation and can either use a mediator provided by the Circuit or hire a private mediator. Our office is experienced in conducting mediations and reaching mutually beneficial solutions.
Is Mediation good for my case? Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) instead of going to court. Mediation can be good in a case where both parties might not be far off in the goals they want. Mediation can save you in costly legal fees associated in preparing and conducting a trial. Mediation can also help narrow legal issues before a trial, which can also save in legal fees. What happens if we cannot agree in mediation? Sometimes, parties cannot reach an agreement in mediation. If you do not reach an agreement, you will proceed towards a trial or hearing in Court. How much does mediation cost? Mediators are paid an hourly rate, which is typically divided equally between the parties, but can be paid based on another agreement of the parties. My attorney, or my spouse and I, have chosen Ms. Harrison to mediate my case. What should I know about Ms. Harrison? Ms. Harrison is a certified Mediator and Arbiter as she has completed the courses required by the State Bar of Georgia. However, her strength as a mediator, is that she brings the perspective of a family law attorney who has been there, tried cases, advised litigants and is familiar with the local courts, judges and particular rules and customs of each court.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Preserving Fragile Relationships Serving as a mediator is gratifying for Ms. Harrison since a successful mediation will usually save both parties thousands of dollars in legal fees in addition to preventing even further deterioration of the relationship between the parties. This concept becomes even more important when children are involved since parents who litigate usually find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate after the litigation.
- Realistic Compromise As an active practicing family law attorney, Ms. Harrison is able to engage in “reality testing” to enhance the mediation process. In essence this allows both parties to get an idea of what may happen if the case is decided by a judge or jury, thus giving you a better idea of whether a mediated resolution which may be “on the table” is worth considering.
- Avoiding Costly Legal Fees Ms. Harrison charges an hourly rate for mediation. This cost is usually split evenly by the parties, but that is subject to the agreement of the parties. Payment is due at the conclusion of the mediation and there is a two hour minimum.
- Impartial Arbiters Parties are welcome to come to mediation with or without an attorney. However, if you already have an attorney, you are encouraged to discuss mediation in depth with your attorney before the process begins. When Ms. Harrison acts as a mediator, she does not act as an attorney for either party and does not give legal advice. The only legal advice upon which a participant in mediation should rely is that of their own, independent attorney.