I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. ~ Dr. Seuss
Divorce is a legal process and it’s an emotional one. I have found Transformative Mediation to be the best way to navigate both paradigms simultaneously in the most efficient and cost effective way. Using the legal system alone focuses on past wrongs and hurts. It is about “building a case,” and given that 95% of all cases settle before going to court, spending your time, energy, and financial resources in this way makes no sense. Mediation focuses on the future and seeks to answer the question, “Given this reality, how can I make the most of my future?”
Mediation is private.
Mediation is cost effective.
Mediation is voluntary.
We couldn’t navigate our marriage together, so how are we going to navigate our divorce together?
That’s where the mediator comes in. There are several kinds of mediation, and I practice what is called transformative mediation. My practice is grounded in the principles of Nonviolent Communication which dives under the “he said-she said” to the needs underneath. We will quickly get to the heart of the matter and start focusing forward.
‘Power with’ has to do with finding common ground among different interests and building collective strength. Based on mutual support, solidarity and collaboration, power with multiplies individual talents and knowledge. ‘Power with’ can help build bridges.
When two people work together to create their own solutions, the decisions made are more lasting and sustainable. There is buy in on both sides. This is especially impactful when children involved. You are going to be co-parents for the rest of your lives and your relationship still has value, so start now learning how to relate to each other in a different way. Mediation can be this opportunity. The benefits can be long lasting, especially for your children.
WHEN DOES MEDIATION HAPPEN?
Mediation can begin when the decision to divorce has been made, before or after one spouse has filed a Petition for Divorce, or after retaining an attorney… basically anytime in the process. This is your divorce and your life. You get to make the decisions of how it is going to play out.
HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?
Mediating a divorce usually takes 3-4 sessions. We will gather financial information and work together to ensure both of you are fully informed and can make financial decisions for yourself. Sometimes there is the need for an outside expert such as an accountant or a financial specialist. I can provide resources.
When children are involved, Tennessee requires a Parenting Plan for shared parenting and a Child Support Worksheet. We will work through both of these.
Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding which will be the basis of your Marital Dissolution Agreement. One or both of you will hire an attorney to draft the legal documents for presentation to the court and vet your agreement to ensure that your legal rights and responsibilities are covered. Attorney fees usually range from $1,000 to $1,500 for drafting legal documents and representing you in court, and they range from $250-$500 for a consultation to review agreements.
Tennessee Agreed Divorce The requirements for an Agreed Divorce and Pro Se (without legal counsel) options for divorcing couples vary by county in Tennessee. Williamson County, for example, has expanded their pro se options to include divorce with children and property. You can call the County Clerk’s office in your county for specifics about your divorce options.