The divorce process is never easy. This is true whether you and your spouse have been married for just a few years or you have been married for a few decades. Unfortunately, sometimes divorce is unavoidable due to irreconcilable differences between spouses.
Movies and television often glorify going to battle with a spouse during a divorce, but in reality, going to trial can be extremely stressful and anything but glorious. Fortunately, you and your spouse may be able to take advantage of mediation, an alternative to traditional divorce litigation in a Tennessee court.
What is mediation?
With mediation, you and your spouse can take full control of making decisions regarding your future and planning your lives. Mediation is especially advantageous if you and your spouse have children, as you will have to continue to make joint decisions regarding them after the divorce.
The process for making decisions that you learn in mediation can be a model for you and your soon-to-be former spouse's future communications. An added benefit of this process is that mediated settlements typically have a higher rate of compliance since spouses are coming up with their own agreements, rather than relying on judges to make essential decisions for them.
What is the role of a mediator?
A mediator in family law is a neutral third party who has completed training to help you and your spouse to resolve your divorce issues. The mediator will ensure that both parties are given time to speak without interruption. He or she may also ask you to explain one of your points or restate it if necessary and can ask questions to ensure that your communication with your spouse is clear.
The mediator may also give you both information concerning how the legal system works and how judges might view particular issues. You can also receive information on any alternatives available for resolving your issues and receive a referral to a third-party expert for a service such as an appraisal, if necessary.
How does the mediation process work?
Your mediation process will likely involve multiple sessions that last between one and two hours each. The first meeting will allow you and your spouse to identify the issues you wish to address, such as property division, and then you can spend your subsequent meetings tackling these issues. It is within your rights during this process to pursue the most personally favorable outcome considering the circumstances surrounding your divorce while striving to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement with your spouse.