Chattanooga Mediation Lawyer

Cases that flow through Chattanooga family courts have a reputation as being lengthy, nasty affairs. The two parties to a divorce or a child custody hearing likely have very different goals and may harbor intense personal animus.

Thankfully, not every family court case in Chattanooga needs to end with conflict in the courtroom. All parties to these cases must participate in mediation sessions that may help them to resolve their disputes in a relatively peaceful way. The court will require the parties to take part in mediation sessions unless one party can present a valid reason for an exemption.

In either case, a Chattanooga mediation lawyer may be able to help. Attorneys could work to explain the purpose of mediation and to represent the interests of people during all sessions while keeping their best interests in mind and working toward a compromised settlement.

When Can Parties Engage in Mediation?

For some people, engaging in mediation talks is an option. For example, parties who are having a dispute over the care and custody of children may work with an independent mediator in an attempt to create a mutually agreed to parenting plan. While these plans reflect the goals of the parents, courts retain the ultimate authority to establish a final order.

Parties may also engage in mediation prior to seeking a divorce. It benefits all divorcing couples to discover the goals and demands of the other party. A mediator may be able to help these people to discover common ground and to present a separation agreement with the initial divorce filing that outlines their desired final divorce decree.

Is Mediation Optional?

In some cases, participating in mediation is a requirement. Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-131 requires parties with a pending divorce to take part in court-ordered mediation sessions. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including:

  • One party is unable to afford the costs of mediation
  • The parties have a written marital agreement that resolves pending issues in the divorce
  • The parties have already participated in a court-ordered settlement conference
  • The court deems that mediation would be unlikely to resolve the matter
  • One party is a victim of domestic abuse and claims an exemption

Working with a Chattanooga mediation lawyer could help people to evaluate their legal options and provides guidance during court-mandated mediation sessions.

Why Might Mediation be a Worthwhile Option?

Mediation is one of many forms of alternative dispute resolution. These sessions can help parties to find common ground during a dispute and to air their grievances outside of a courtroom setting. A mediator will hear both sides of the story and to help the litigants to avoid costly court cases and to reach a settlement outside of court.

Are Divorce Mediators Held to any Standards?

Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-130 states that mediators have a duty to keep information that parties provide to the mediator confidential. This allows the parties to provide true and honest information to the mediator so that the mediator can do their best job to bring the case to a resolution. These factors combine to make mediation a solid option for any person with a matter before a family court who is willing to consider an alternative way to settle their disputes. A Chattanooga mediation lawyer could help to represent a party’s interests during all mediation sessions.

Let a Chattanooga Mediation Attorney Guide the Way

Every person has the chance to end their family law matters in a peaceful manner. Whether a person enters mediation through an order of the court or makes the voluntary decision to seek a settlement, these sessions can help litigants to find common ground and to avoid the unpleasantness of a full trial.

The purpose of mediation is to settle disputes in a compromised manner. The subjects of divorce and child custody are always emotional, but parties who feel that they have had a say in their futures tend to be more comfortable with the end product. Active participation in mediation sessions is a primary way to reach this result.

A Chattanooga mediation attorney could help to facilitate these sessions. If participation is voluntary, attorneys could help to select a neutral mediator and to express your desires during the sessions. If the mediation is court-ordered, an attorney works to protect your interests while finding room for compromise. Contact a Chattanooga mediation attorney today to schedule a consultation.

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