Why put your life in the hands of a Judge-- someone who doesn’t know you and your family?
Why risk it? Instead, we strongly encourage clients to resolve their disputes in more amicable proceeding outside of court. We can help you in a mediation process, either as a mediator, or as your attorney and advocate.
But how does it work? What is a mediator, anyway? A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates the settlement between the two spouses, helping both parties communicate what they want and why. Most of the family law mediators in our area are also practicing lawyers, but cannot provide legal advice to either party.
Mediation can be used when both parties desire an amicable divorce and truly feel they can work together to come up with positive result for all; these couples can voluntarily participate in mediation to resolve their dispute by agreement. In most cases, mediation proves successful and allows everyone to avoid the costs of trial. And in Tennessee, most judges require divorcing parties to attempt mediation prior to allowing the case to go to trial. Even high conflict divorces can be resolved in mediation with the right combination of factors.
Benefits of Mediation:
- It puts the power back into the hands of the families. You have more control of the outcome and are not subject to the judge’s ruling at trial.
- With better and longer-lasting parenting agreements. If both parties own the mediation process, the agreement will last longer and be more durable.
- A better example for the children. Parents who mediate are more like to remain cordial, working together for the good of the family. Model what you want your kids to become.
- It’s not as emotionally taxing. Mediation usually avoids the extreme emotional rollercoaster of having to go to court.
- It’s much faster. Getting your case to mediation typically takes 3 to 6 months, whereas litigation can average 2 years before you have a trial.
- It’s less expensive. Mediation costs are usually shared equally by both parties, and can cost between $2,000 to $5,000. Litigation, however, can cost more than $20,000 per person.
- It’s confidential. Unlike in the courts, discussions about finances and other personal information are not part of the public record or open to the public.
- And offers more creative, fulfilling solutions. We’ll structure a plan to fit most any nontraditional work or life situation to achieve the most appropriate solution.
Choose the right mediator for you.
The selection of a mediator is an important component because he or she controls the process. Some mediators conduct mediation with both parties in the same room. Others utilize the shuttle system, whereby the parties are in separate rooms with his or her attorney, if present, and the mediator goes back and forth between the rooms.
Mediators can help the parties come to an agreement from their respective positions, and some can offer an opinion regarding how a particular position would be perceived in court and suggest alternatives in an effort to settle the matter.
Ms. Harrington is trained as a mediator and will truly listen to both parties’ concerns. She can introduce unique solutions to marital disputes and help prioritize goals. Harrington Law can also represent you at any stage of the mediation process. We can be your coach while you mediate directly with your spouse and another mediator, or we can fully represent you at a mediation.