If you are considering a divorce or custody dispute in the state of Tennessee, mediation may be the furthest thing from your mind. Knowing the basics of mediation will help you navigate your life transition with confidence. During mediation, a neutral third-party mediator meets with the divorcing couple/parents to help them resolve their disputes without having to go through an expensive and often stressful court trial. The mediator’s job is to try and help couples resolve some or all of their contested issues. A mediator does not force the couple into agreement. Instead, a mediator helps parties arrive at their own solutions regarding child custody and visitation, property division, splitting of debts incurred during marriage, division of assets, and alimony.
Tennessee law requires all divorce and most family law cases to go to mediation before allowing parties to have a trial, with few exceptions. Typically, by the time the divorce or custody complaint is filed, spouses have already separated. Communication between them may be difficult, and a neutral mediator can serve as a bridge between parties. Mediation can help spouses settle and move on with their lives.
Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution. In that, it’s an alternative to litigation and trial. This process is referred to as alternate dispute resolution (ADR), and is covered by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31. Tennessee divorce mediation, specifically, is an integral part of family law cases. It has helped many spouses reach agreement, even in high conflict custody cases. Statistically, 60% to 85% of divorce and post-divorce mediations result in settlement. Even if the case does not settle, mediation is almost always more cost-effective when compared to trial. However, because a mediator cannot give you legal advice, it is also important to have an experienced attorney represent you in your divorce and help guide you during the mediation process.
Every mediator has a unique approach to mediating certain disputes in Tennessee divorce. Experience matters. At Herndon, Coleman, Brading, & McKee, LLP we have over 127 years of combined legal experience. We provide skilled Tennessee Rule 31 Family Mediation services, and we have the expertise, knowledge, and resources to meet even the most challenging cases. Se habla español.