Linda Schaeffer


2700 Paces Ferry Road SE
Suite 605
Atlanta, Georgia 30339


Alimony, Asset Distribution, Business, Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Co-Parenting, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Legal Separation, Same Sex Disputes

Linda is a  recently retired partner of Frazier & Deeter, a regional CPA Firm, where she led the Firm’s Litigation Consulting Services practice. In that capacity she worked with clients and attorneys with all financial aspects of divorce and child support matters. Linda has been a qualified expert in matters such as valuation issues, tax implications of divorce and forensic accounting in a variety of courts. During her career in accounting, she was the expert on the winning side in two landmark NJ Supreme Court cases.
Prior to Frazier and Deeter, Linda was a partner with the regional accounting firm of WithumSmith+Brown as a Partner and Director of Marital Dissolution Consulting Services. She was in public accounting practice for over 40 years, prior to her retirement from public accounting. Linda now works solely in mediation.  She works with attorneys, with private mediations and with the courts to help couples resolve their disputes.
Linda was featured in The Journal of Accountancy discussing the importance of a neutral CPA in divorce cases. She is also a frequent speaker at various meetings, conferences and seminars, including  expert guest appearances on Good Morning America, CTN, and several radio stations in NJ, Philadelphia and Atlanta.  She has spoken at the American institute of Certified Public Accountants Litigation Consulting conferences, NJ Judicial College, the Georgia Family Law Institute, ICLE and AAML seminars.
Linda  attended the master’s program in taxation at Pace university, New York and received her Bachelor of Accounting Degree  (cum laude) from Seton Hall University. She was trained as a mediator with the Atlanta Justice Center.
Linda is a commissioned Stephen Minister and leads the Divorce Recovery Support Group at Peachtree Presbyterian in Atlanta.

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that "ordinary" negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator's skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

The benefits of mediation include:

While a mediator may charge a fee comparable to that of an attorney, the mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a lawyer or a court may take months or years to resolve, mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means expending less money on hourly fees and costs.
While court hearings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential. No one but the parties to the dispute and the mediator or mediators know what happened. Confidentiality in mediation has such importance that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court as to the content or progress of mediation. Many mediators destroy their notes taken during a mediation once that mediation has finished. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. In a court case, the parties obtain a resolution, but control resides with the judge or jury. Often, a judge or jury cannot legally provide solutions that emerge in mediation. Thus, mediation is more likely to produce a result that is mutually agreeable for the parties.
Because the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable, compliance with the mediated agreement is usually high. This further reduces costs, because the parties do not have to employ an attorney to force compliance with the agreement. The mediated agreement is, however, fully enforceable in a court of law.
Parties to a mediation are typically ready to work mutually toward a resolution. In most circumstances the mere fact that parties are willing to mediate means that they are ready to "move" their position. The parties thus are more amenable to understanding the other party's side and work on underlying issues to the dispute. This has the added benefit of often preserving the relationship the parties had before the dispute.
Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process. The mediator helps the parties think "outside of the box" for possible solutions to the dispute, broadening the range of possible solutions.
2700 Paces Ferry Road, Suite 605
Atlanta, GA 30339

P: 404-626-0445
E: [email protected]