10 East Park Square
Marietta, GA 30090
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a means of settling legal disputes in lieu of often costly and time-consuming civil court trials. ADR allows you to control your own disputes and resolve the problem yourself, rather than having a judge and/or jury decide it for you. For civil and domestic cases filed in Cobb Superior Court, two types of ADR are available: Mediation and Case Evaluation.
While parties may be ordered to participate in the ADR program, any settlement agreement is voluntary. In the absence of settlement, the parties retain their right to take their conflict before a judge or jury.
Superior Court mediations can be held in person, virtually or in a hybrid setting (where one party may be in person and one may be by phone or video conference). To best serve the needs of the parties, the Cobb ADR staff is available to assist in hosting and scheduling virtual mediations. Please contact our office at (770) 528-1812 for assistance.
What is Mediation?
Mediation involves a neutral third party who facilitates settlement discussions between individuals in conflict. More informal in nature, the mediation process is intended to focus the attention of each party on their needs and interests rather than rights and positions. The mediator may assist the parties in brainstorming solutions to the problems at hand, but will not offer an opinion as to how the case should be resolved.
What is Case Evaluation?
In Case Evaluation, all parties present their factual and legal arguments to a trained case evaluator. The evaluator, using his or her legal expertise and experience, weighs the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case and renders an opinion about the probable outcome of a court hearing. After the evaluator's opinion is presented, the parties may choose to mediate the issues or proceed with formal court action.
Case evaluation is only recommended for parties who are represented by legal counsel.
The Co-Parenting Seminar provides parents with information on such topics as the court process and how it impacts children, developmental stages of children, communication skills, identifying when a child may need help, and realistic expectations about stepfamilies.
Registration is required to attend.
Because of the extremely emotional nature of separation and its impact on children, the Cobb County Superior Court Judges enacted a local rule of court mandating parents involved in any custody matter that have children under the age of 18 to attend a four-hour educational seminar. This class is provided by Children of Divorce, Inc.
Evaluations have consistently shown that at least 94% of participants felt that the course was helpful to them during the process.
The course is conducted by qualified professionals who can help parents identify and respond to the best interest of their children.
Registration and Fees
The cost to attend is $50.00 per person. You may register online and pay with a credit or debit card. If you are unable or wish not to pay online, you may contact the ADR Office at (770) 528-1812 to register for an available date.
The morning course is held in-person and the evening course is held live by Zoom. Tickets are limited. Zoom links will be emailed to registered participants at least one business day prior to the class date. Please log in on time. Late arrivals will not be admitted into the Seminar and will have to reschedule. Registration fees are non-refundable but may be transferred to an alternative date. If you have already taken this course for a previous Cobb County case, please contact the ADR Office at (770) 528-1812 before registering.
Morning Class Schedule
You will complete the seminar by attending one morning seminar or one evening seminar. Morning sessions are held in-person.
|Thursday||June 2, 2022||9 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Click to Register|
|Monday||June 13, 2022||9 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Click to Register|
|Thursday||July 7, 2022||9 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Click to Register|
|Monday||July 11, 2022||9 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Click to Register|
Evening Class Schedule
Please call (770) 528-1812 for alternate class approval.
Family Law Workshop
The Family Law Workshop, a joint venture of Cobb Superior Court and the Cobb County Bar Association, is designed to help self-represented litigants gain a better understanding of the legal process and court procedures.
Some individuals do not have the desire or ability to hire a lawyer to represent them in a traditional fashion, but they may need legal help with a particular issue or portion of their case. The Cobb County Bar Association’s Family Law and Younger Lawyers Sections have worked together to provide a number of attorneys who will offer specific, limited legal services at set rates. Information on this type of legal assistance will be provided to workshop participants.
The free Family Law Workshop is mandatory for self-represented litigants, and it is being offered via Zoom videoconferencing. At the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to ask a family law attorney general questions via the Chat icon.
FREE Workshops will be held via Zoom on the listed dates from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Monday, April 18, 2022
- Monday, May 23, 2022
- Monday, June 27, 2022
- Monday, July 18, 2022
- Monday, August 22, 2022
- Monday, September 19, 2022
- Monday, October 17, 2022
- Monday, November 14, 2022
- Monday, December 12, 2022
You must attend the entire session to receive a certificate. A list of attendees will be recorded at the end of the session. Please log in on time. Late arrivals will not be let into the Workshop and will have to reschedule.
The ADR Program will email you a copy of your certificate as well as a copy of the Limited Scope Representation Attorneys within 48 hours of your attendance. A certificate will be filed with the Clerk’s office for those attendees who provide a case number.
This workshop will assist you with the following case types:
Navigating through the legal system can be extremely difficult. Each case is individualized by its own set of facts; however, there are some basic rules that all cases must follow which this workshop will address.
No workshop can teach you everything you need to know about representing yourself in any legal action, but this workshop is designed to answer some of the basic questions you may have:
- What information do I need in order to file?
- Are there mandatory forms that I need?
- How do I schedule my case for a hearing?
- What are the operating procedures of the Court?
Email your name, case number, and what date you would like to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, please contact our office. Attendees will be emailed the Zoom link on the day of the workshop.
You MUST register before 4 p.m. on the day of the workshop.
Contact Megan Hill at (770) 528-1537 with any questions.
Guardian Ad Litem
A Guardian Ad Litem is a trained professional appointed by the court to represent the best interests of minor children in custody cases where the parties cannot agree. These Guardians investigate the various aspects of the case by interviewing the children, the parents, and others who may have an interest in the resolution of the custody dispute.
After the investigation, the Guardian makes a recommendation to the court as to who should be granted primary custody and what degree of visitation by the non-custodial party would be appropriate. Because of the highly sensitive and emotional nature of the placement of minor children, the Superior Court Judges Council created strict requirements for certification of Guardians Ad Litem.
What are the Qualifications to Become a Guardian Ad Litem?
To be certified as a Guardian Ad Litem, individuals must:
• Be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia.
• Have practiced law for a minimum of five years.
• Have handled or observed six custody matters from start to finish.
• Have attended the Guardian Ad Litem Seminar sponsored by the Cobb County Superior Court.
• Have attended the Cobb County Seminar for Divorcing Parents.
• Either belong to Family Law Section of the State Bar or have attended a minimum of three hours Continuing Legal Education each year in a topic related to Family Law as determined by the Cobb County Guardian Ad Litem Program.
• Submit to a personal background check through the completion of a NCIC form.
• Review the Guardian Ad Litem handbook and submit a signed verification form.
Upon completion of these requirements, the attorney’s name is added to a list of certified Guardians that is supplied to the judges and counsel upon request.
How are Guardians Ad Litem appointed in individual cases?
Guardians Ad Litem are appointed one of three ways: the Judge may appoint a Guardian, the attorneys can agree upon a Guardian or the ADR Office may appoint a Guardian from a list of certified Guardians. Once a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed to a case, the appropriate orders are filed and copies are sent to the counsel for each party or to the individual party if he is not represented.
For more information, contact the ADR office at (770) 528-1812.
From the Court to the Classroom
From the Court to the Classroom is an interactive program provided by the Cobb County Superior Court that is designed to educate our youth on the court system and its functionality.
This is a unique program designed to offer a supplemental educational benefit to any study of civil government and the judiciary. But most notably, it is an opportunity that is offered free of charge for Cobb County students. Not only do students get to experience a hands-on approach to learning, they are able to experience our judicial system in a memorable way that goes beyond the four walls of a classroom.
We offer two types of experiences, and no matter which experience you choose for your students, we guarantee it will be a memorable and enlightening one. One that will enhance their knowledge of their current studies, and offer them an insight into our government and judicial system that cannot be found in any textbook.
You Be The Judge
You Be The Judge is a free three-hour interactive and hands-on learning experience for students and teachers alike. This experience is designed to introduce students to our legal system, while also helping them to develop useful knowledge about the law, questioning techniques, critical thinking, and oral advocacy skills.
Preparing For Your Visit
Court 2 You
Court2You is a free program offered by the Cobb County Superior Court to educate groups of interest on the court system and its functionality. This interactive program offers students insight on the day to day operations of the civil government and the judiciary.
Preparing For Your Visit