When to Use a Mediator in a Family Law Case
01 July 2023IN: Family Law
Mediation Can Provide Several Benefits in Some Family Law Cases
Mediation is a method of dispute resolution that allows two parties to work toward an agreed-upon resolution with the help of a Rule 31 Listed third-party mediator. It can be helpful in some family law cases when there is a certain amount of agreement between the parties concerning important issues and help to avoid a lengthier, more expensive litigation process.
It is also important to note that Tennessee law requires mediation in all divorces, parentage, custody, and custody modifications before allowing parties to engage in a divorce trial. In some cases, a judge can waive this requirement.
When it is and is Not Helpful
Mediation can be helpful in cases where:
- Both sides are eager to negotiate a solution and avoid going to court
- Both sides are committed to taking that agreement obtained from mediation and making it legally binding by turning it into a settlement agreement
- Both parties are interested in sitting down to discuss various issues of importance while retaining the ability to say “no”
- Both parties are interested in working with a third party who may have ideas on how to resolve issues in ways they have not yet thought of
- Both parties are interested in seeing if they can spare the expense of litigation by trying mediation first
However, it is less helpful in cases where there is no hope of compromise (as the mediator cannot impose a resolution on the parties).
What to Expect as Parents
If you are preparing to engage in mediation pursuant to your divorce or are seeking it out in order to help with critical decisions in other areas of family law, such as child custody and visitation, mediation in the context of child custody is going to steer you toward focusing on what is in the best interests of the child and coming up with a parenting plan that reflects this. In general, the mediation session(s) will:
- Encourage communication and cooperation between two parents
- Help the two parties decide, amongst themselves, what is best for their child(ren)
- Help provide creative ways to solve any issues that come up
- Encourage the parents to preserve the strength of their relationship as parents
- Will keep the session confidential
Keep in mind that it is the mediator’s job to:
- Remain impartial
- Not provide legal advice
- Not serve as a judge in a courtroom
- Not provide decisions in any dispute(s)
- Ensure that each party has the ability to express their interests during the process
Murfreesboro & Rutherford County, Tennessee Family Law Mediation Services
Having a family mediator guiding the process can help couples to navigate and resolve difficult issues that can otherwise cause divorce and all of the important related areas to drag out over time, causing more pain for a family. At the Law Office of David L. Scott, we are prepared to help you through mediation: Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation today to learn more about our services.