We’ve responded to the community’s most frequently asked mediation questions in the section below. If you have a different question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is mediation?
1. Facilitated. A process facilitated by a third-party neutral, a mediator. The mediator explains the process, facilitates the conversation, helps brain-storm solutions and documents the agreement for the parties.
2. Confidential. What you say in mediation cannot be used against you in a court case. Mediation is a safe place where you can speak up for yourself and present ideas for solutions.
3. Voluntary. You may be ordered to participate in mediation but you only enter into an agreement by choice.
4. A Settlement Conversation. The mediator has no authority to make a decision or give advice in your case. Only you can decide how to settle your case.
5. Informal. The mediation is an opportunity to speak about your side of the case in terms you understand and about issues that matter to you.
Can I mediate if I don’t have a court case?
Yes. The Mediation Center mediates conversations at all stages of a concern. Initiating the process is voluntary for all parties. If the outcome of the mediation results in an agreement, the agreement is a binding contract between the parties. If you would like to initiate mediation and all parties agree to the process, please complete this form: Facilitation or Mediation Services For additional questions, please contact email@example.com.
Mediations are conducted virtually via Zoom. Dependent upon the type of mediation, you will receive Zoom connection details in the mail or via email. If being sent to your email, you will receive the Zoom connection details at least two business days prior to your mediation. If you’ve never connected to a Zoom meeting, you can perform a test here. You can use Zoom on a computer, tablet, or phone. Using a computer is best. Make sure your speakers work or you have headphones, and your device can maintain a charge. Please ensure you’re in a quiet location and the conversation will not be overheard by others.
How to Prepare for Mediation for Self-Represented Litigants
1. Mediators cannot and will not give you legal or financial advice. You have a right to seek legal advice before you come to mediation.
2. Gather and review any documents, pictures, or evidence that support your side of the case. Examples of documents to bring: contracts, leases, invoices, estimates, letters, pictures, offers of settlement, drawings, canceled checks, bills, etc.
3. All Superior Court family cases (divorce, legitimation, contempt & modification) MUST respond to the Standing Order for Production of Documents 5 days BEFORE MEDIATION. #1 of the Standing Order requires you to fill out a Financial Affidavit. Click here to fill out your Financial Affidavit. Click here to fill out your Response to the Standing Order.
4. Bring all documents to support your case or in Response to the Standing Order (for Superior Court family cases) to the mediation if it is an in-person mediation. If your mediation is by Zoom, you can scan and email the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org (for Superior Court domestic cases or Probate Court cases) or email@example.com (all other cases) or mail it to The Mediation Center 5105 Paulsen Street Suite #125-D, Savannah GA 31405.
3. Think ahead about what you want to say to the other side. Make notes that would help you speak to the other side.
4. Come prepared with ideas on ways to settle the case that fit into your budget, schedule, and abilities and that will be acceptable to all parties.
What is the difference between going to Court and going to mediation?
In court, the judge makes a ruling and enters a judgment based on that decision. In mediation, the parties have an opportunity to discuss the issues, brainstorm options, and document an agreement instead of facing the risk and expense of trial.
Do I have to have an attorney?
No. Attorneys are welcome to attend with you but it is not required.
- Save Time & Money
- Avoid Risk at Trial
- It’s Confidential
- Preserve Relationships
- Provide Flexibility in finding solutions
- Parties have more control over the outcome
- Less expensive than ongoing litigation
Who will attend mediation?
Only the parties listed in the name of the lawsuit. Witnesses, friends, or family do not attend mediation with you. Some cases may involve an insurance adjuster. For mediations by Zoom, make sure you are in a private space, free from distraction and other people. No one else can be in the room with you during your virtual mediation. You added privacy, we suggest using headphones.
Children can’t be present during your mediation or within hearing distance is conducted by Zoom.
What happens in a court-referred case if the parties do not reach an agreement during mediation?
If an agreement is not reached during mediation, the case is returned to the Court and the Court will notify you of a hearing date.
What happens during mediation will remain confidential. The mediator and Mediation Center are required to keep confidential “all matters, including the conduct and demeanor of the parties and their counsel during the settlement process.”
Is there a fee for mediation?
Chatham County Probate, State or Magistrate Court cases: There is no additional cost for mediation.
Chatham County Superior Court or a non-Chatham County Court, each party is required to pay $300.00 for mediation. Click here to pay your mediation fee. Participants in Chatham County Superior Court cases may apply for a fee reduction. Please complete this form (Request for Fee Reduction Form) to apply for a fee reduction and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I have an in-person mediation, where is the Mediation Center located?
Our address is 5105 Paulsen Street, Suite 125D, Savannah, GA 31405. We are located in Midtown Savannah, on the corner of 68th and Paulsen.
Are there other resources available to me?
Family Law Resource Center
Assisting self-represented parties with paperwork to file a family case in court.
Georgia Legal Services
(Savannah Regional Office)
6602 Abercorn St #203, Savannah, GA 31405
[Cases accepted based upon type of case and financial need of each individual]
Consumer Credit Counseling Service
of the Savannah Area, Inc.
7505 Waters Ave. Suite C-11
Center for Domestic Violence Services
(912) 628-8888 (crisis hotline)
Family Justice Center
The Chatham County Family Justice Center provides assistance with obtaining services for victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Child Abuse and Human Trafficking.
Call for assistance 24-hours a day (912) 659-5282.