What to Expect from Divorce Mediation in Tennessee
Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on July 15, 2022
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Even when you know a divorce is right for you, going through this process can still be extremely stressful. However, there are some cases where you may be able to settle problems related to your divorce outside of court. Of course, many people want to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation as much as they can. In Tennessee, divorce mediation is required in most divorces, so it’s possible for you to have the communication you need to settle issues with your spouse.
However, going into divorce mediation can feel intimidating, and you might not know what to expect. Here are a few things you might want to know about divorce mediation in Tennessee.
What is a Divorce Mediator?
When you go through divorce mediation in Tennessee, you’ll meet with a divorce mediator. Mediators are often lawyers with special training. Divorce mediators in Tennessee are neutral third parties who are unable to provide advice to the divorcing couple. Rather, the mediator’s role is to help facilitate an agreement. Because of this, it’s best that you have your own divorce attorney on your side who can help guide you through this process.
What Happens During the Mediation Process?
Divorce mediation can look slightly different for everyone depending on their unique situation and who their mediator is. Often, each party will be placed in a separate room, along with their attorney. The mediator will move from room to room to discuss with each party privately. However, there can be cases where everyone is able to be in the same room and work towards an agreement together. Your divorce attorney can help you prepare for mediation and explain what documents and information you’ll need to prepare ahead of this. In most cases, what goes on during mediation is confidential. If you reach an agreement through mediation, the attorneys will draft a document with the agreed-upon terms, which is a binding agreement between the parties. A final settlement agreement will later need to be approved by the court.
However, just because you’re required to go through mediation doesn’t mean to have to come to a resolution during it. It’s possible that even with mediation, you and your spouse might not come to an agreement on the important issues in your divorce. While even complicated divorces can reach a settlement during mediation, it is still possible that you might not reach an agreement during this process. As mediation involves coming to an agreement on important issues, such as child custody and property division, you don’t want to agree to anything you aren’t confident with. Although you don’t have to come to an agreement, you are expected to make a genuine effort to avoid needing litigation.
Can You Avoid Going Through Divorce Mediation?
Most divorcing couples in Tennessee will likely have to go through the divorce mediation process. However, there are occasions where this might not be required. T.C.A. 36-4-131 states various situations where divorce mediation may be waived.
Have a Divorce Attorney Help You Through Divorce Mediation
Going into divorce mediation can feel intimidating, and you want to be as prepared as you can. It’s also essential that you have someone looking out for your best interests to help you achieve a fair settlement. Having an experienced divorce attorney with you through this process can help you reach the outcome you deserve.
Contact the divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC for more information.
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