Just because a couple has decided to divorce, that does not mean they need to begin tearing each other to shreds in the courtroom. That may be hard to believe in the beginning stages when hearts may be raw and emotions uncontrolled, but it is possible to get there eventually.
Mediation allows divorcing spouses to reach accord on some or all of the aspects of their split. It's often a good way to settle custody matters because it keeps all of the divorce negotiations out of public access.
Custody is typically the prime hot button issue when parents divorce. When both parents are seeking the maximum time with their children, a mediator can be the voice of reason who helps move the process along.
A mediator can -- but might not be -- an attorney. Mediators advocate for neither spouse and remain neutral throughout the process. This is why it is crucial that both parties retain their own Tennessee family law attorneys. The attorneys will also be available for consultation during the mediation sessions and will review any proposed agreements to make sure their clients' positions are fairly represented.
There are other reasons to try to mediate your divorce. For estranged spouses who will be co-parenting, the requisite civility involved in the mediation process generally preserves a better relationship between the co-parents.
Mediation saves both sides money. Court time is reduced or eliminated entirely, which lowers legal costs in comparison to litigation. It is also faster to mediate your divorce than to litigate it.
When people choose divorce mediation, the parties remain in control of their post-divorce destinies as opposed to letting a judge make the important decisions. Each family's unique situations can be reflected in the terms upon which the parties agree.
There are situations when mediation should not be attempted. It's a bad fit if:
- There was abuse involved in the relationship.
- One spouse is stashing assets.
- One or both of the spouses has a drug or alcohol problem.
Mediation can be a good choice for divorcing couples who want to remain civil in their co-parenting interactions or just want to end their marriage without the stress, expense and delays of a litigated divorce.