While many child custody battles end up in court, it does not have to be this way. Spouses may argue about a number of different issues leading up to their separation, but they may agree on certain aspects of their divorce. If both spouses can come to an agreement about child custody, then there is no need to go through a lengthy and expensive legal battle. You can do this in a number of different ways, including an uncontested divorce, a collaborative divorce, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or mediation.
Although these options may save you the time, effort, and costs associated with a court proceeding, you should still hire an experienced attorney to help. These legal professionals can make sure that there is nothing wrong with the mutual agreement before you move forward.
Uncontested divorces occur when couples have resolved all of their marital issues. Not only do you need to agree on child custody, but you also need to agree on things like child support, alimony, and distribution of assets. If you can agree on all of these issues, there are a few steps you need to take. These include filling out a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit, a divorce complaint form, and an Acknowledgment of Service. Finally, you will need to create a divorce settlement agreement before attending a hearing in court, which is usually quick and easy.
Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation
The Georgia Planning Act has outlined specific guidelines and procedures for those who wish to resolve conflicts through mediation. If you choose mediation, you will need a mediator. This is a neutral party that guides both spouses through the resolution of their dispute. Specific issues that may be covered include all aspects of a divorce, including child custody.
The goal of a collaborative divorce is to reach an agreement without going to court. Each party is still represented by an attorney, but there is no litigation or legal action involved. You may also enlist the help of specialists and experts, such as child psychologists, financial advisers, mediators, and others. Once you have come to an agreement, your attorneys will petition the court to adopt your settlement agreement into the Final Judgement and Decree of Divorce. If you both agree on how certain aspects of your divorce should be handled, this method can save you time, effort, and significant legal costs.
Other options include parenting coordination, judicially-hosted settlement conferences (JHSCs), and late case evaluation. A parenting coordinator helps parents agree on a parenting plan. These professionals can be helpful when settling small disputes. Both parents can give the parenting coordinator permission to make decisions for them when they reach a standstill. Judicially-hosted settlement conferences involve an outside judge who evaluates each party’s argument. Late case evaluation involves a neutral evaluator who steps in and helps to resolve disputes.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you are trying to minimize the costs and stress associated with a divorce, a qualified attorney can guide you in the right direction. Reach out to Tyler Moore Law today.