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ADR Frequently Asked Questions

Will my case be referred to mediation?

Any contested domestic relations case is subject to mediation. Since referral is made on a case by case basis, your case may or may not be referred. Factors considered are amount of time the case has been pending, legal issues presented (proper service, venue etc.) , residency of parties (out of state parties), status of the case.

Magistrate and warrant application cases are subject to mediation by the presiding judge at the time of the hearing. Mediation is generally conducted at the time and referred back to court that day.

How are cases referred to mediation?

Cases are referred to mediation by the presiding judge. In Superior Courts, the Program Director or Mediation Coordinator screens domestic relations cases. If there are allegations of domestic violence in the pleadings, the case is screened further, pursuant to the proper screening procedures. In magistrate Courts, the judge may send civil cases and warrant application cases to mediation on the day of court hearing or arrange a specific time for mediation sessions.

The parties may choose their own mediator and negotiate a fee with that mediator as long as the mediator is registered with the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution. If the parties wish the Program to pay the mediator, they must choose a mediator from the Program list attached to the order for mediation. If the parties fail to notify the Program of the agreed upon mediator, the Program will assign a mediator.

How will I know if my case is referred to mediation?

You or your attorney, if you have one, will receive a copy of the Order of Mediation. If your attorney receives the order, they will be in touch with you.

What do I do if my case is referred to mediation?

The first thing to do is not panic. Our Mediation Coordinator will be in touch with you or your attorney, if you have one, to schedule a mediation session. The Mediation Coordinator will send a confirmation letter when the case is set for mediation.

What do I bring to a mediation session?

Generally, you should bring any information and/or document which is relevant to your case. Particularly in domestic relations cases, the following information is helpful as it relates to your case.

Documentation of income:   paystubs/W-2s

    last three years tax returns

                                                         business profit and loss statement (if applicable)


Division of assets:                    valuation of real property (appraisal)

                                                         tax bill on real estate

                                                         statements for savings accounts/stocks/bonds/mutual funds

                                                         statements for pension/retirement accounts

                                                         information on life insurance

                                                         valuation of vehicles

                                                         valuation of personal property

                                                         list of household furnishings


Division of debt:                       credit card statements

                                                         balances on debt


Insurance:                                   information on health insurance


Child Support:                           child support worksheet and documentation supporting



Parenting:                                   custody/visitation/time sharing

(these topics should               communication between parents

be addressed in the                 contact with child(ren) (telephone access etc.)

Parenting Plan)                         transportation arrangements for child(ren)

                                                         health insurance (premiums/deductibles/co-pays/

                                                         uncovered costs)

                                                         religious upbringing

                                                         decision making for child(ren)

                                                         how to handle disagreements

What is the effect of an agreement from mediation?

A signed agreement from a mediation session is binding upon all parties. If a party’s attorney is not present at the mediation session, the attorney has three business days to review the agreement and object. After the three business days, the agreement is binding.

What do I do if I want to be a mediator in this Program?

All mediators must be registered with the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution (godr.org) Our cases are paid at a flat rate per case: $200.00 for a domestic relations case, $50.00 for a magistrate case and $150.00 for a superior court non domestic civil case. We do not pay travel expenses unless you are traveling from Dublin, Georgia to another county in the Circuit.