Problems within the family are always a challenge. There is the emotional pain of arguing with those you care about, as well as the added layer of having to fight for the outcome you need most. Tennessee is unique in how it resolves these issues, though. Our state prefers to employ mediation over taking someone to court.
If you are unfamiliar, mediation is a process in which two or more people with an issue sit down together and hash out their problem. Most family law issues are required to go through mediation before someone can be taken to court for one very good reason: mediation works.
The mediation process
When you go to mediation, you and the other party will meet with a completely neutral third party – the mediator. Mediators are not judges. In most cases they are attorneys with specialized training and considerable experience in the area of law you are disputing.
The purpose of the mediation is to find a resolution favorable to both you and the other party. It is the mediators job to facilitate the conversation and suggest possible solutions. It will be the job of the parties arguing to remain reasonable through the negotiations.
The benefits of mediation
Mediation is often preferable to litigation because, for one, it is usually much cheaper and quicker. Where you can easily pay thousands of dollars for litigation and spend weeks awaiting court dates, mediation is typically a faction of the cost, can be done as soon as all parties have a schedule opening and can resolve matters in as little as one day.
You also have a massive amount of freedom in mediation that you would not have in court. A judge will render their determinations according to strict guidelines set by laws. In mediation you and the other party are in control.
For example, you could come to the agreement that one parent would receive a break on their child support payments in return for signing the title of their car to the other. You could agree to take on a former spouse’s debt in return for full custody of a child. The sky is often the limit and they decision would be legally binding.
Mediation is often required before going to court for family matters in Tennessee. If you think pursuing mediation to its fullest is the right path for you, don’t hesitate to speak to a mediator. They will help you resolve your issues peacefully and on your terms.