Memphis Divorce Mediation Lawyers
Attorneys for Rule 31 Alternative Dispute Resolution in Tennessee Family Law Cases
When a couple gets a divorce, they are likely to have at least some issues on which they disagree including, the division of marital assets, spousal support, child custody, and visitation. Reaching an agreement or compromise on such concerns can be extremely challenging for a couple getting divorced. In many cases, any discussion about the divorce and related issues can quickly turn into bitter arguments that do not lead to make any progress toward a workable agreement. The number of concerns that must be addressed can often be overwhelming, leaving the divorcing spouses uncertain of even where to start.
If you are facing a situation such as this, you might be preparing yourself for full-on litigation, including various motions, hearings, and a trial. The good news is that litigation is not your only option. Alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation, could help you and yours on your path toward an agreement regarding your divorce. The team at Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, can provide guidance with your mediated divorce, and we will do everything we can to resolve your issues without having to go to court.
The Mediation Process In Tennessee
Divorce and family law mediation in Tennessee is generally guided by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31, which defines mediation as “an informal process in which a neutral person conducts discussions among disputing parties designed to enable them to reach a mutually acceptable agreement among themselves on all or any part of the issues in dispute.” The “Neutral” might also be a licensed attorney, but he or she does not represent either party in the divorce. Instead, the Neutral’s role is to facilitate productive discussions between the spouses and to guide them toward a workable settlement agreement.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, mediation could also include input and assistance from a variety of experts and professionals. For example, you might consult a child development specialist if you are working on child custody issues in mediation. If your disagreement is related to asset division, an accountant or financial planner could offer valuable insight.
Under Tennessee law, mediation may be initiated by the disputing parties, or the court could order the parties to attempt mediation. Mediation is often court-ordered in cases that involve child custody or visitation disputes in an attempt to get parents to work together to serve the best interests of their children.
Benefits of Mediation
Addressing a family law dispute through litigation can be stressful, time-consuming, contentious, and very expensive. As a cooperative process, mediation puts the parties themselves in control of the ultimate outcome rather than a judge. A divorcing couple can negotiate a resolution that meets their unique needs, and studies show that mediated family law agreements tend to have much better compliance rates than judgments issued as a result of litigation.
Enhanced privacy is another significant advantage of mediation. Courtroom proceedings, including most hearings, are generally matters of public record, but any discussions during mediation are confidential—with the exception of threats of harm and certain discussions alleging child abuse or neglect. According to Rule 31, the Neutral does not even need to report the specifics of the final agreement to the court.
Contact an Experienced Mediation Lawyer
If you are seeking a divorce and you have concerns that you and your spouse will struggle with reaching a compromise regarding property, child custody, alimony, or any other issue, the team at Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, can help you explore the possibility of mediation. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (901) 388-5805. Let us help you resolve your issues without the need for courtroom litigation.