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Why Mediate Your Divorce, Post-Divorce or Custody Issues?

  1. With the exception of issues relating to child support, Tennessee law requires you to mediate your divorce and post-divorce issues if you are not able to reach an agreement informally.
  2. Mediation provides an opportunity for a more speedy resolution of your case. Mediation can be commenced soon after a case is initiated, and a case can be fully resolved at the conclusion of a single mediation session. A trial, and the preparation required for trial, including written discovery, depositions, obtaining expert witnesses, etc., can take months, and sometimes years to conclude.
  3. Mediation gives you control over the outcome of your case. No one but you and your spouse or former spouse should be making decisions about your finances, property, and most importantly, the lives of your children. As much respect as we have for the Judges and Chancellors before whom we practice, they will only have a brief snapshot of your lives and the needs of you and your children. When you reach an agreement in mediation to resolve an issue, it may not be the perfect resolution, but it is a resolution you created and can live with. That may or may not be the case when the gavel falls at the conclusion of a trial and the Judge or Chancellor announces his or her decision.
  4. Mediation works! In our experience we find that many, if not most, family law cases settle in mediation, allowing the parties to avoid the financial and emotional stress of contested litigation. Mediation is significantly less expensive than the cost of taking a case to trial.
How Does Mediation Work?

Most attorney family law mediators in the Knox and the contiguous counties conduct “shuttle mediation.” This means that the parties are in separate rooms during the mediation process and the Mediator goes back and forth between the two rooms discussing the outstanding issues and proposed solutions to address those issues. The Mediator is an impartial neutral, not a judge. Unlike a Judge or Arbitrator, a mediator does not make a decision about any issue in your case. The Mediator’s role is to facilitate a resolution by helping each party more fully understand the position of the other party on the outstanding issues, and to help the parties to explore alternative solutions they may not have yet considered. All of this is done in an effort to fully address the concerns, needs and desires of each of the parties, for themselves and their children, so that an agreement that provides solutions to those concerns, and ways to meet those needs and desires, can be reached. When the parties have reached such an agreement, the Mediator will reduce the agreement to writing and, with the advice of their attorneys, each person involved in the mediation will sign the agreement.

Let the experienced Attorney Mediators at Smith, Higgins & Lehberger, PLLC help you resolve your divorce, post-divorce and custody issues without the need for an expensive trial.