Divorces can be expensive – both financially and emotionally. Some couples can avoid some of the financial and emotional expenses by settling their divorce through mediation rather than litigation.
How Divorce Mediation Works in Tennessee
To settle a divorce through mediation, an experienced divorce mediator will meet with the parties to help them come to a divorce settlement agreement. The mediator should be experienced in Tennessee divorce law and have the skills necessary to help couples reach an agreement. That way both parties can be assured that their legal rights are being honored and that their individual opinions are being heard. Often, mediation can take place in the divorce mediator’s office and the parties do not have to take the stand against one another or go to court.
The Benefits of a Mediator
Divorce mediation is a good option to consider for couples who are both able to speak up for what they want and need and for couples who can handle the process maturely. For couples who are splitting on relatively amicable terms, especially couples with children who will need to communicate long after the divorce is over, mediation can be a first step to establishing good post divorce communication. While mediation can be valuable for many couples, it is often not a good choice if one spouse has been verbally or physically abused. In those cases, both spouses may need their own legal representation.
A traditional Tennessee divorce proceeding is going to require both spouses to hire their own Knoxville divorce attorney. This takes money from the marital estate and leaves both spouses with less money once the divorce is final. It can also lead to more contention and disagreement than is necessary. Thus, many couples can find a more peaceful and less expensive alternative in divorce mediation.
If you are a spouse and your ex-spouse has been refusing to uphold their mandated payments you can hire a Child Support Lawyer in order to appeal to the court system, who then has the ability to garnish an ex-spouses paycheck or order that their state tax refunds be withheld on the basis that the owed child support be repaid. If you are a spouse who owes child support, you should never withhold these amounts from your ex-spouse or child, even if they have not upheld their commitment to the divorce decree, as courts do not look favorably on this form of self-mandated assistance. It also portrays you in a sense of animosity, which does not bode well under review. Although one spouse may pay child support, like Spousal Support, to another spouse, the true benefit of this payment is for the child who has their own personal right to be treated fairly, supported by both parents.
A mixture of objective calculations and the subjective weight of competing parties determine final child support amounts. Each parent will be required to assess their income, expenses and time spent with the child(ren), which will help the courts determine what a reasonable percentage for child support will be, and mandate it to the court as well as to you and your spouse. It isn’t possible to agree upon or set your own amounts for child support before your divorce has been finalized, and it’s quite possible that even if you choose to do so, that a judge or court circuit will simply toss it out and mandate their own requirements anyways. You can however, use these types of talks between you and your ex-spouse, as a starting point for your lawyers to work with.
Generally, child support is an amount that will be paid until a child is 18, or has graduated from their high school diploma program, whichever happens later. In the even that a parent dies before a child turns 18, there are options that you have as far as settling the remaining amount to be paid, yet you should be sure to ask these types of questions to your Child Support Lawyer directly for the most accurate advice. Failing to pay your child support is a poor option for those ex-spouses who are required to pay it. If you continue to refuse to pay a mandated child support payment you may even see yourself served with a misdemeanor criminal charge, a conviction that has the potential to put you in county jail for up to six months.
If you are owed child support, or if you are in the process of seeking out a tried and true Child Support Lawyer, please be sure to visit The English Law Firm website or contact us at 865-673-4441 for more information.
This is a important read for all who practice in these area’s of law…