attorney at law

Family Law And Civil Mediation Attorney

Mediation is a method of resolving disputes between parties by using a "neutral third party." This is an individual who has had training in assisting the parties in seeing beyond what they don't agree on to those areas that they can agree upon.

I am attorney Kathryn Hedden. I provide mediation services in divorce, child custody and other civil disputes. My law office is in Cumming, Georgia, and I serve clients throughout metro Atlanta.

Sometimes the mediation occurs just between the parties. Other times the parties may go to mediation with their attorneys so that they can get legal advice while the negotiations are taking place. In either scenario, it is ultimately the parties who make the decision to agree on a solution and what will be the terms of that agreement.

Why use a mediator?

When we get into a dispute with someone else, we tend to dig in, rationalize our position and stop listening to each other. A mediator is trained to listen, understand both the facts and the emotions that motivate us and then look for areas where compromise might work.

How is mediation different from litigation?

The mediator does not represent either side. And unlike a judge, the mediator does not have the authority to issue orders to either party; and a mediator does not decide who is right and who is wrong.

What does a mediator do that is different from court?

A mediator can allow parties to tell their entire story without interruption in a relatively safe environment. Judges and juries are limited by rules as to how a story can be told. Mediators can be creative in suggesting various different ways that a problem might be solved. Judges and juries are generally limited in the relief they can give either side.

What are the advantages of mediation?

It is confidential. This is to encourage the parties to be open about what they think and what they really want without fear it will be used against them in a courtroom. If your dispute is resolved in mediation you will not have to present all those details in open court for everyone to hear.

The parties are in charge. There is no limit to the types of solutions that the parties come up with as long as they all agree. If there is no agreement, everyone is free to use other means to resolve the dispute.

Often it is much less expensive than litigation. Litigation necessitates extensive discovery, interviewing and preparation of witnesses, waiting time in court and time off of work to prepare and go to court.

Kathryn Hedden has been mediating for over twenty years and has been involved in court programs in Fulton, Cobb, Forsyth, and Gilmer Counties and in court programs in New Jersey and South Carolina. Her approach to mediation is to allow the parties an opportunity to fully explain their position to the other side and then to assist them in identifying areas where they can agree to compromise and find a middle ground. If you are interested in using Kathryn as a mediator, please contact the office, (770) 755-5695, to get more details as to how to set up mediation and the cost for these services.