Uncontested and Amicable Divorce
Uncontested and Amicable Divorce
At Patterson Moore Butler, we focus our practice on what is best for the client. We often have clients reach out to us who are looking for an uncontested, respectful, or amicable divorce practices. We often hear from parties without attorneys who want us to act as the mediator in their case. We hear all of these terms used interchangeably, however, they can have different legal significance or process.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce does not reflect the parties’ intent to settle their case amicably, rather it means that by the time they are contacting a lawyer they have settled their legal matter. For an uncontested divorce, an attorney is only drawing up the paperwork for the parties to process the matter through the legal system. An uncontested case involves no negotiation between the parties, however, the parties cannot receive legal advice from the same attorney due to Georgia Bar Rules.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby the attorney acts as a neutral person to help the parties reach a resolution. Although the mediator is an attorney, he or she cannot give legal advise to either party. In this situation, the mediator works with the parties to find common ground and resolution to their issues so that litigation is not necessary. The goal of a mediation is for the parties to walk away with an agreement.
Mediation is a process that typically every family law case engages in at some point in order to attempt to reach a resolution. Mediation can occur prior to an action being filed or after. If the parties do hire attorneys, most often the attorneys attend the mediation with the clients. If parties elect not to hire counsel, they can attend a mediation without attorneys to reach a resolution. Parties who do not have counsel have the choice of being in the room together or being in separate rooms (called “caucus”) for their mediation.
What Is Amicable Divorce?
Amicable divorce is a divorce process which does look at the mutual intent of the parties to reach a peaceful result to their divorce without judicial intervention. Both parties enter the process with the reasoned expectation of settlement. The goal is for the parties to settle everything about their case prior to anything being filed with the court system to avoid the stress of deadlines imposed by the process. Just like with any other court case, each party must have their own attorney if they choose to seek representation. Parties may not have all of their details worked out, and may need the assistance of a mediation, parent coordinator or simple negotiation to work out their agreement. However, both enter the process agreeing to make every effort to resolve their matter which will keep conflict and cost low in a case. In the event that settlement based negotiations break down, court intervention is still allowed in amicable divorces with each party always having the right to have an attorney at any point in the process. Amicable divorce fosters a framework of efficiency and cooperation. Parties are urged to agree on any experts(psychological and/or financial) but are not required to enlist them if they are not needed.
Tracy Ann Moore-Grant with out firm is the founder of the Amicable Divorce Network. She can assist parties with the amicable divorce process and can refer spouses or clients to other professional members of the network including other attorneys, financial experts, psychologists, mediators and parent coordinators who can help the parties make agreements right for them and their family.
Does an Amicable Divorce Cost Less Than a Traditional Divorce?
It is difficult to effectively compare the two processes and we are unaware of any studies that have done so. However, family law processes which have open communication and come from the spirit of resolution, lead to the conclusion that amicable and respectful divorce processes will be cheaper as the parties are trying to resolve their issue without litigation, without unnecessary discovery and without hearings and motions in court. A goal of amicable divorce
What is right for me?
If you have questions about which of these processes, or even a contested divorce, is right for you, please contact us for a consult to address your questions and concerns. Please note that regardless of how cooperative a case may be, we can only meet with and give legal advice to one party as per the Georgia Bar Rules for Ethical Conduct. Therefore, please only have one of the parties attend the meeting. Please contact us at (770) 889-0846 or email@example.com schedule a meeting with Ms. Moore-Grant who specializes in amicable and respectful divorce practices.