Divorce Mediation—Tennessee Options To Reach a Settlement
Divorce in Tennessee can be an easy process, but only if you follow the state procedures for a no-fault, uncontested dissolution. An uncontested divorce requires you to have a divorce settlement agreement in place before your first court hearing.
One of the ways to reach a settlement agreement is through mediation.
DoNotPay takes a look at divorce mediation, Tennessee divorce procedures, and what you can do to keep your Tennessee divorce easy and hassle-free.
Whatever type of divorce you are aiming for, your first steps are as follows:
The Tennessee divorce process begins when you file your papers with the clerk of your county court.
The forms you file will include a:
- Petition for divorce
- Financial affidavit
- Final divorce decree
You will have to pay the filing fee of around $260 when you file your papers.
You need to arrange to have copies of your divorce filing hand-delivered to your spouse, and written confirmation of the service has to be filed with the court.
As an alternative, your spouse can sign an acceptance of service that means you don’t have to have the papers served.
Once the divorce papers have been filed and your spouse served, your divorce is in motion.
If you want the divorce to be granted quickly and cheaply, your next step is to negotiate an out-of-court settlement agreement.
A settlement agreement is a legal document that regulates the dissolution of your marriage.
Tennessee law states that a divorce must be fair and equitable and that your settlement should ensure that:
- Your children are adequately provided for
- Both spouses can live acceptably after the divorce
- All your joint financial and familial loose ends are tied up
Negotiating a divorce settlement agreement can be a complex process, but it is in your best interests to work together towards a friendly divorce.
If you are successful in finalizing a settlement agreement before your case comes to trial, you may be able to:
A divorce settlement agreement needs to cover:
- Child custody, shared parenting, and child support
- Division of your assets, real estate, and debts
These can be difficult topics, and many couples feel more comfortable if they don’t have to negotiate face to face or without support.
The traditional route to reach a settlement agreement is to engage attorneys to negotiate on your behalf.
While this can be effective in complicated or hard-fought divorces, it can also quickly become expensive.
Divorce attorneys in Tennessee charge an average of $250 per hour, and negotiating a divorce settlement agreement can take upwards of 30 hours, even in simple cases.
This could easily land you with costs of $7,500 per spouse.
Mediation is a more cost-effective way but still enables you to focus on outcomes and avoid emotional battles.
In a mediation process, a trained mediator facilitates the negotiation between you and your spouse, ensuring that you stay focused on:
- Desired outcomes
- Compromise in the best interest of both sides
- Win-win solutions
The mediator is not allowed to give legal advice but can help you avoid blame games, recriminations, and unproductive arguments.
Mediators in Tennessee charge between $250 and $300 per hour per couple. If you and your spouse already agree on the principal elements of your divorce settlement, mediation could help you iron out the details for a fraction of the cost of attorneys.
Once mediation has helped you reach a settlement with your spouse, you can go ahead and have it drafted as an agreement.
The agreement has to cover all the points in your:
- Original financial affidavits that you submitted when you filed for divorce
- Negotiated settlement you have achieved through mediation
If anything is missing, or if the agreement is biased or unclear, it could be rejected by your judge. This would result in your case being declared a contested divorce—you would have to fight it out in court.
To have your agreement drawn up, you can use:
|Settlement Agreement Resources||Explanation|
Attorneys can draft your agreement, but they will typically charge up to $1,500 for the service and may even attempt to reopen negotiations between you and your spouse
Many mediation services offer an additional drafting service for your agreement. This comes on top of the money you have already spent
Various online providers offer cheap, downloadable templates for you to fill out—these should be treated with caution as many of them are highly generic and may not cover all the points you and your spouse have agreed on
Your best alternative is DoNotPay—we can generate a tailor-made settlement agreement for you without you spending a cent in lawyers’ fees!
DoNotPay is committed to making your divorce as easy and painless as possible!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement product makes the job of drafting your settlement easy, fast, and free from lawyers’ fees.
You will get a watertight, comprehensive settlement agreement that matches the terms you and your spouse have fought hard to reach.
Here’s how to set your settlement agreement up:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Go to our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Fill out the terms you and your spouse have agreed on
Once you have given us all the details, we will create your agreement in an instant.
If you need specific info on divorce procedures in your location, DoNotPay can help!
Here are a few examples of the areas we cover:
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