Savannah Divorce Mediation Specialist with Three Decades of Trial Experience in Family Law

Let me work with you to resolve the five issues relating to divorce. Whether the issue is equitable division, alimony, child custody, visitation, or child support, you are faced with two choices: use the traditional advocacy model where each attorney advocates for their client and the judge decides what is fair or use the mediation model where the decisions remain with the parties and not with the courts.

Divorce Mediation with a Trial Attorney’s Perspective

As a review of my resume will suggest, I have tried hundreds of bench trial and dozens of jury trials in the domestic field during the last 30+ years. This interaction with the judges, the lawyers and the people provides unique insights into methods and techniques that are available to resolve the issues which divorce presents.

Relationships with domestic attorneys

As the former Chairman of the family law section of the state bar and former President of the Savannah Bar Association I have had the privilege of knowing many of the most prominent family lawyers in the State of Georgia and especially in Southeast Georgia. Working with the lawyers to fashion a resolution approved by the clients is something that helps find a resolution for the clients which was not envisioned when the mediation started. The relationships are important and aid in understanding the case from the lawyer’s perspective.

Mediation as an alternative

The traditional civil courts have handled divorces for hundreds of years and people that participate in the civil courts do not enjoy the process. It is rules driven. For example, the Complaint for Divorce must be answered in thirty days. The Discovery period (to investigate the case) last for six additional months. Once discovery is finished a pretrial conference with the judge must be scheduled which takes approximately two months. Scheduling a bench trial takes 3 months or more and scheduling a jury trial takes 5 months or more. Thus, the traditional divorce, unless settled, takes a year or more to finish. Imagine the number of pages of documents generated by this process and the time of the attorneys consumed by this process with the resulting charges to the clients.

Notice the traditional process is designed to get a case ready for trial, not resolution. The traditional process places the court in charge of all timing and scheduling not the parties. The court system is public with financial affidavits showing the parties income, assets, and debts being part of the public record

Mediation is an alternative which is designed to empower the parties to control the outcome. The scheduling of the mediation is at the discretion of the parties, not the court. The mediation permits the parties to choose their mediator to help, not have a computer assign one, like is done with the judges. The option to choose mediation and work hard to find a solution is an option that should be seriously considered by both parties. The mediation is private and confidential with no requirement of a financial affidavit or disclosure of the parties’ assets and debts being part of the public records.

Are attorneys necessary for mediation?

I will act as a neutral mediator, representing neither party, provided each party agrees that the resolution is not binding until each party has the agreement reviewed and approved by an attorney. My purpose is to help the parties find a resolution upon which they agree provided each has the protection and advice of an attorney.