Atlanta, GA — Following two years of concerted effort, the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution (GCDR) has adopted new Rules for Mediating Cases with Domestic Violence. These rules will be used by court Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs to screen cases for intimate partner violence/abuse (domestic violence) in domestic relations cases.
The GCDR requires that these sensitive cases be carefully screened by especially skilled mediation court staff to determine whether the case should proceed to mediation, and, if appropriate, that the case be mediated only by state-registered mediators who have demonstrated proficiency in both practice and training.
The safety of victims of domestic violence is the GCDR’s highest priority. The new Rules specifically exclude any case from mediation that arises under the Family Violence Act, such as a Petition for a Protective Order, and exclude any criminal cases that involve allegations of family violence.
The current guidelines, first adopted in 1994 and amended in 2003 and 2005, have been updated to ensure best practices are used based upon the latest research and practices in the fields of mediation and intimate partner violence/abuse. At their August 22 meeting, the Commission on Dispute Resolution voted to both repeal the old guidelines for mediating cases with domestic violence and enact the new Rules for Mediating Cases with Domestic Violence. The new Rules are effective January 1, 2021.
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