Nashville Collaborative Mediation Attorney
Experienced Collaborative Mediation Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee
Collaborative mediation under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 53 is designed to preserve the relationship between spouses, and to minimize legal proceedings by placing the emphasis on communication and problem-solving rather than litigation. The spouses agree to retain attorneys trained in the collaborative process, and contractually commit to that process. In fact, the parties are required to have attorneys to take advantage of this process. Our Nashville collaborative mediation attorneys are trained and experienced in collaborative mediation and rules concerning the collaborative process. Generally, a series of meetings are scheduled to produce the information necessary to resolve your case and to devote attention to individual issues and their resolution. For example, in the typical divorce case there may be two or three sessions of gathering information, reviewing appraisals, and valuing a business, and once the numbers are agreed upon, then sessions on the division of assets, debts, alimony, and if applicable, child issues and a parenting plan.
The parties sign a Collaborative Mediation Agreement stipulating that they will not resort to Court proceedings during the process and that if they are unsuccessful, they will hire litigation attorneys and not utilize the same attorneys that were involved in the collaborative process. Additionally, the process requires that the parties voluntarily disclose any and all information that is relevant to the issues of the divorce.
Other outside experts are often also utilized. A psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker may be involved as a coach during the process to facilitate communication, help with the emotional elements, and keep everyone on track. Financial experts are also often utilized to review budgets, and business incomes, consider tax consequences and answer financial questions. These can also be certified financial planners, certified public accountants, or forensic evaluators involved in the process. These qualified experts, in conjunction with your attorney, help parties stay focused on relevant topics that must be decided in the divorce.
The goal of the collaborative process is simple and straightforward: that the parties avoid the obvious adversarial system and the parties agree to every aspect of the divorce privately and without litigation. This would include the divorcing spouses agreeing to a parenting plan for minor children, calculating child support, determining a proper amount of spousal support, and equitably dividing the assets of the marriage. Clearly, this is not something done in short order; however, level-headed decision-making can help the parties efficiently move forward through the collaborative process in order to begin a new chapter in their lives.
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The collaborative process is well suited in disputes where there is a need for ongoing involvement with the other spouse, such as continuing to raise children or possibly for parents who do not want any of their divorce proceedings to take place in a public forum. It is well suited also for parents and parties that can sit together in the same room and problem-solve. If you are interested in trying a collaborative process, please contact our Nashville collaborative mediation attorney. We welcome any questions you may have since it is an important decision to make at the beginning of your legal issue. People that are able to successfully complete the collaborative mediation process have a sense of accomplishment from their active participation throughout the process and from having been heard in the decision-making that affects their lives.