A common concern with taking a divorce to trial is the cost. Court and lawyer fees can add up fast, especially if additional legal factors are involved like deciding on child custody and child support payments. This is when alternative dispute resolutions like mediation can help save time and money. Understanding the basics of mediation can help you decide if this would be a better option for you. Talking to a Tennessee family law lawyer can also help with navigating through divorce factors. 

Basics of Mediation

involves meeting with your spouse and a professionally trained mediator. Mediators possess training on how to resolve conflicts between multiple parties in a fair and structured manner that is designed to save time. They will provide you and your spouse equal time to share concerns and points of view so that both sides

can be considered. The goal is to reach some kind of compromise to avoid taking the divorce to court. 

The process of mediation works by first finding what conflicts need a resolution. Common conflicts involved with seeking divorce include division of assets, child custody arrangements, child support payments, and spousal support. Once this is accomplished and these conflicts are listed out, the mediator will tackle one issue at a time. Both sides of the issue will be heard and then the mediator will foster problem-solving to come up with a list of potential solutions. 

Solutions will be explored and weighed against each other to determine which solutions create the least amount of disagreement. After agreements are reached, the mediator will write out an official legal agreement that you and your spouse will need to sign to finalize this process. 

Many mediators will have information on legal aspects surrounding divorce, but will not be able to offer you legal advice. To seek legal counsel, be sure to talk to your local lawyer. 

Does Mediation Help?

Mediation may work better for some couples and situations compared to others. Everyone has a unique situation, and some may not be solvable unless the divorce is taken to family court. However, seeking mediation and legal counsel before going to court may be enough to find a solution for you and your spouse.

Whether mediation helps depends on your case, degree of conflict, and willingness to compromise. There are some overall  for those who can make this process work. Firstly, mediation saves money and time. Most people already know how tedious and expensive divorce trials can be. 

Some couples also report mediation as being less emotionally frustrating, likely because there is less legal pressure. No one is forcing you to agree or sign the contract at the end. You are in control of the outcome of mediation and can choose to leave at any time.