Divorce Mediation

in Tennessee

Divorce can be difficult to navigate alone...

...let us be your guide.

Divorce Mediation Overview

One alternative to a litigated divorce for divorcing spouses seeking to stay out of court is divorce mediation. Going through a divorce can create an immense amount of emotional and financial issues. While divorce is a difficult situation to go through for anyone, some divorces can be simple while others can include extensive property, assets, children, custody, retirement, investments and other factors that require careful consideration. Adding expensive, lengthy, and stressful divorce litigation to this already difficult time is simply not the best use of your money, time, or energy.  In addition, divorce litigation puts you and your children’s future financial and emotional wellbeing in the hands of a stranger in a robe, a court judge who doesn’t know you or your children. 

 

Luckily, divorce litigation is not the only way to resolve your divorce.  You and your spouse have options when it comes to how you will approach your divorce.  You can choose to resolve your divorce in a more cost efficient, quicker, and amicable matter by choosing divorce mediation instead of litigation.  Divorce mediation puts you and your spouse in control of your divorce settlement.  Divorce mediation helps to limit anxiety, increase your ability to effectively co-parent, and prevent you from depleting your hard earned assets to pay for costly attorney fees and court costs that are often incurred during divorce litigation.

 

During divorce mediation, divorcing spouses attempt to negotiate a fair and reasonable divorce settlement between themselves with the assistance of a trained, neutral divorce mediator. The divorce mediator may be an attorney, mental health professional, or someone who simply enjoys helping people resolve conflict without resorting to litigation. 

 

Attorney Nakeshia Walls is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator for family and general civil matters with special training in domestic violence.  This means that she has met strict education, work, and training requirements that qualifies her to assist you and your spouse with resolving your divorce with dignity.  In addition to being a divorce mediator, Attorney Walls is also a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney.  Her numerous years of divorce experience allows her to provide you and your spouse with helpful information about divorce in Tennessee to help prepare you for what lies ahead.  If you decide to mediate your divorce with us, our divorce mediator will give you and your spouse a clearly defined plan of action to help you reach a resolution and educate you and your spouse on the divorce process, your rights, and your divorce options.  This will enable you to confidently negotiate for yourselves and your children without having to waste money on retaining attorneys to litigate your divorce in court.  Because our divorce attorney is acting as a neutral third party during your divorce mediation, our divorce mediator will not represent either spouse or provide legal advice. The divorce mediator’s job is to educate you about divorce and facilitate good faith negotiations between you and your spouse to help you discuss the issues and find solutions in a way that you and your spouse might not be able to do on your own.

 

During your divorce mediation, you and your spouse along with the assistance of trained divorce mediators, mental health professionals, financial professionals and a team dedicated to your matter will attempt to resolve your issues so that they work best for you. The issues include parenting rights, parenting agreements, child custody,  visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), and the distribution of your assets and debts.  The hope is that, you and your spouse are able to reach a final agreement to be drafted and reviewed by each spouse.  Each spouse will have the opportunity to review the drafted agreement with their own review attorney if they wish to do so.

 

Divorce Mediation allows you to utilize creative problem-solving to reach a divorce settlement that works best for you and your children. Thus you can rest assured knowing that your agreement will be comprehensive and designed specifically for you and your unique situation. Once your divorce agreement is executed by you and your spouse and entered by the Court, it will have all of the effect of a formal Court order without having to subject yourself and your children to the negative effects of a litigated divorce.

 

By choosing to mediate your divorce, you are demonstrating to your spouse and your children that you want to resolve your divorce with dignity and keep the family unit intact. If you and your spouse have children together, you will be a part of each other lives for the rest of your lives.  Choosing divorce mediation over litigation can reduce hostility between you and your spouse to help make it easier to co-parent.

 

Divorce can be more devasting for children than it is for the adults. Throughout the divorce process, your children will likely have to deal with a lot of transitions, uncertainties, and emotional issues.  It is your job to ensure your children are protected throughout the divorce process. Choosing divorce mediation over litigation will help protect your children and allow you to design a divorce agreement that considers what is in the best interests of your children.  Showing your children your willingness to put aside your personal differences will demonstrate to your children that you and your spouse love them and want to ensure and they are protected throughout this difficult transition.

 

If you and your spouse do not have children, divorce mediation is still better than litigation. If you and your spouse are able to cooperate with another to reach a divorce settlement, it will allow you to maintain a cordiality that may be helpful in the future.  Another benefit of mediation is that it will allow you and your spouse to maintain privacy.  Divorce litigation is public and anyone can access your court pleadings and be present in the court room during your court proceedings.  You do not want all of the delicate details of your marriage, relationship, and finances to be publicized and made available for everyone to see for many years to come.

 

In addition, being able to keep the assets that you have worked so hard to build, instead of having to liquidate them to pay for expensive divorce litigation is another benefit of divorce mediation. In this economy it is not a good idea to deplete your family savings plans, retirement accounts, 529 plans and the like, all to fund divorce litigation against each other.

 

At the Walls Law Firm, we want to help you resolve your divorce with dignity and reach an agreement that works for you and your family.  Issues such as health insurance and college expenses have moved to the forefront with new laws passed by Congress. The real estate market has created additional issues that are unique to our time and financial state. Many homes are “under water” with more debt than equity. Spouses have small businesses and are unsure how to value and divide it.  Parents have conflicting work schedules and both want to ensure that they are an active part of their children’s lives.  Whatever your dispute may be, we can work with you to help you reach an agreement on issues that are seemingly impossible to resolve.

 

To make divorce mediatsion more affordable we offer low cost flat fee divorce mediation packages that include a Divorce Planning Session to provide you and your spouse with information about divorce in Tennessee and a clearly defined plan of action to help you reach an agreement.  Our Divorce Mediation Package also includes a four hour divorce mediation session with our divorce attorney acting as a neutral divorce mediator.  When you and your spouse reach an agreement, our divorce mediator will assist you with preparing your divorce documents based on the terms of your agreement and assist you and your spouse with executing your divorce documents.  Our divorce mediator will also inform you how to file your divorce documents with the court. 

 

Continue reading to learn more about our Divorce Mediation Packages, such as what is included, what is required, and the price.

 

Our Divorce Mediation Process

 

 

When you and your spouse choose to divorce using divorce mediation.  We will compassionately guide you through the divorce mediation process. Below you will find a brief overview of our divorce mediation process:

  • Schedule Divorce Planning Session – Once you and your spouse decide to resolve your divorce by divorce mediation, then you can give my office a call at (901) 315-0559 or visit us online to schedule a Divorce Planning Session.  You and your spouse will both need to attend the Divorce Planning Session.    You and your spouse may attend in person in our office, by video conference, or by telephone.  You may choose the method that is most convenient for you.

  • Divorce Planning Session – The Divorce Planning Session will be our first meeting. During this meeting, you and your spouse will meet with me to discuss the mediation process in detail as well as other divorce options that are available to you to resolve your divorce. If you and your spouse decide to proceed with divorce mediation, you will both need to sign a Mediation Agreement at the end of the Divorce Planning Session. At the end of the meeting, I will discuss your next steps and schedule your first mediation session.  If you and your spouse think you can benefit from the services of a therapist and/or a financial expert, then I will discuss that option with you as well.

  • Information Gathering – I want you to be informed throughout the divorce process.  That is why I will provide you and your spouse a copy of my divorce guide, Divorce with Dignity, to provide you with information about divorce in Tennessee.  Before you negotiate a divorce settlement, it is important that you and your spouse fully understand the contents of your marital estate, including the values of all assets and all debts, if any. To assist you with this, I will provide you and your spouse with a detailed list of all of the information you will need to gather before your first mediation session. Sometimes that process includes having a house appraised or working with other third parties (such as a CPA or business valuator) to gather all of the information needed to craft a fair settlement for both parties.

  • Mediation Session(s) – Once all of your information gathering is complete, I will work with you and your spouse during mediation sessions to help you reach an agreement on all of the issues that will need to be addressed in your case. Most sessions last between two and four hours each, but that can vary based on the clients’ particular needs and other variables. If you and your spouse have children together, we will negotiate a Permanent Parenting Plan in the first mediation session, including a residential schedule, allocation of holiday time, decision-making authority, and all financial aspects related to the children, including child support. In the subsequent session(s) we work on fairly and equitably dividing all of the marital assets and debts. Finally, if the case is a case that includes alimony/ spousal support, that issue is typically addressed last. The total number of sessions depends on how many and how complicated the issues are to be addressed in the divorce, as well as how fast the parties are able to agree to settlement terms. Some clients are able to settle their divorce in one or two sessions, but many take at least three sessions to cover all of the issues.

  • Preparation and Review of Divorce Settlement Documents – Once an agreement has been reached on all of the issues in your case, I will assist you and your spouse with preparing an Agreed Permanent Parenting Plan, Marital Dissolution Agreement, and Final Decree of Divorce. In Tennessee, mediators cannot give legal advice to their mediation clients.  Thus, you and your spouse are always free to have the prepared divorce settlement documents reviewed by your own attorneys (and/or CPAs and/or financial advisors) before you sign anything.

  • Signing of Divorce Settlement Documents - Once you and your spouse have consulted with any other professionals with whom you wish to consult, I will schedule a Signing Appointment for you and your spouse.  During the signing appointment, you and your spouse will sign the mediated divorce settlement documents and your signatures will be notarized.  After you and your spouse sign the divorce settlement documents, they will need to be filed with the Court to be used as the basis for an uncontested divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences.

 

Schedule a Divorce Planning Session today to talk with me about how divorce mediation can help you navigate your divorce with dignity.

Our Divorce Mediation Packages

No Minor Children

No Joint Assets/ Debts

 

starting at

$1750 Mediator Fee

plus $325 Court Filing

Fee/ Expenses

No Minor Children

With Joint Assets/ Debts

 

starting at

$1850 Mediator Fee

plus $325 Court Filing

Fee/ Expenses

With Minor Children

No Joint Assets/ Debts

 

starting at

$1950 Mediator Fee

plus $425 Court Filing

Fee/ Expenses

With Minor Children

No Joint Assets/ Debts

 

starting at

$2050 Mediator Fee

plus $425 Court Filing

Fee/ Expenses

Don't worry if you can't pay the entire divorce mediator fee upfront...we offer flexible payment plans that fit almost any budget!  Click the following link to learn about our Payment Plans.

 

The Walls Law Firm provides divorce mediation services to people residing in Shelby County, Tennessee (including Memphis, Cordova, Germantown, Cordova, Lakeland, Shelby Farms, Collierville, Millington, and other surrounding cities and counties).

 

To qualify for one of our Divorce Mediation Packages, you and your spouse must meet all of the following requirements:

1. Voluntarily disclose your assets, debts, income, and financial interests to one another; 
2. Be willing to participate in divorce mediation to reach a fair and reasonable divorce settlement; and
3.  Be willing to attend the mandatory Parent Educational Seminar if you and your spouse have minor children together.
 
 
When you purchase one of our Divorce Mediation Packages, here's what you get:
  • You and your spouse begin with a joint Divorce Planning Session with our Memphis divorce mediator, who is also an experienced divorce and family law attorney.  (You and your spouse will need to attend the Divorce Planning Session together.);

    • ​The Divorce Planning Session will leave you both with:

      • A Plan of Action. Our knowledgeable divorce attorney who will act as your neutral divorce mediator will help you and your spouse to create a clearly defined plan to help you reach a resolution.

      • Education.  You will be informed of the Tennesse laws relating to divorce so that you can know your rights and options.

      • Confidence.  You will have peace of mind knowing that you can successfully negotiate for yourselves and your children without wasting money on retaining attorneys to litigate your divorce in court.

  • Up to 6 hours to use for divorce mediation sessions;

  • When you reach an agreement with your spouse, we will:

    • Assist you and your spouse with preparing your divorce documents based on your agreement with your spouse;

    • Provide you and your spouse with a copy of your divorce documents in pdf format for review; 

  • ​One Document Signing Appointment, during which, we:

    • Assist you and your spouse with executing your divorce documents;

    • Provide you and your spouse with a copy of your executed divorce documents in pdf format; 

    • Inform you how to file your divorce documents with the court; and

  • We provide you and your spouse access to our e-book entitled "Divorce with Dignity".

 

 

Divorce Mediation Packages Prices

 

Starting prices for our Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee Divorce Mediation Packages:

  • No minor or dependent children, No marital assets or debts - $1750

  • No minor or dependent children, With marital assets or debts - $1850

  • With minor or dependent children, No marital assets or debts - $1950

  • With minor or dependent children, With marital assets or debts - $2050

 

If necessary, additional mediation sessions may be purchased for $250 per hour.

 

The filing fee and court costs are not included in the Divorce Mediation Packages.  The initial filing fee and expenses for a divorce with children in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee is $425.  The initial filing fee and expenses for a divorce without children in Memphis and Shelby, County Tennessee is $325.   To get started, schedule a Divorce Planning Session with our Memphis Divorce Mediator.

 

Mediation FAQs

What are the advantages of divorce mediation?

First, divorce mediation usually costs less than traditional divorce litigation. Second, research and experience show that two parties, working with a trained mediator, can usually reach a more satisfactory divorce settlement than any judge can impose. By using divorce mediation, parties can agree to unique solutions and unconventional arrangements which no judge could order. Third, when parties agree to a divorce settlement, they are usually more inclined to honor it and they feel better about it later. Fourth, divorce mediation is private. If parties do not wish to air their dirty laundry, they can resolve all of their issues in private, off the public record. Secrets revealed in the course of divorce mediation are confidential and cannot be used in subsequent divorce litigation unless the parties agree otherwise.



 

What are the disadvantages of divorce mediation?
We don’t believe there are any real disadvantages to divorce mediation. That being said, not every divorce can be mediated because divorce mediation requires two willing participants. But if you have two willing participants, any perceived “disadvantage” can be overcome by proper planning and process. Some people are afraid they might be taken advantage of in divorce mediation. If you were to ever feel that was happening, you have the right to immediately withdraw from the process and pursue traditional recourses. If you still wanted to remain in divorce mediation, either or both parties can retain independent counsel and continue to work with the divorce mediator. This can be useful when the relationship dynamics include a lack of assertiveness or intimidation. If either party thought the other was being dishonest, the attorneys can agree to engage in traditional fact-finding methods and they may utilize neutral or independent experts to review the information gained. If the other party refuses to cooperate, you can always pursue traditional divorce litigation, but the information and communications exchanged during the divorce mediation are confidential unless the parties agreed otherwise in writing.

 
What is the advantage of mediating with an divorce attorney as the divorce mediator?
In Tennessee, anybody can call themselves a mediator and charge for those services. Sometimes they are not properly trained and they can derail a divorce which might otherwise have resolved. Sometimes they employ subtle strong-arm tactics to force a divorce settlement which can result in an unfair but unassailable judgment since the divorce mediation process is confidential. A divorce mediator who is not a divorce attorney cannot thoroughly inform the parties about what is "fair or standard”  or draft the divorce documents, since that would be the unlicensed practice of law.


Why are some divorce attorneys opposed to divorce mediation?
If an attorney who is familiar with all of the facts of your case advises against mediation, ask them “why?” The attorney might believe public disclosure of the facts is necessary, or they may have some other reason why mediation is not advised. If they are not familiar with all the facts in your case, their motivation may be based on the higher fees they can charge for traditional adversarial litigation.


What is the difference between traditional attorney representation and divorce mediation by a neutral divorce attorney?
Traditionally, an attorney owes an absolute duty to zealously defend and tirelessly advocate for their client. Our Memphis divorce attorney is experience in this traditional role and she excels at it.   When appropriate, we perform this traditional service.  However, a divorce mediator’s duty is not to an individual client, but to both parties’ goal of reaching a divorce agreement while avoiding court. This prevents the divorce attorney acting in the role of a divorce mediator from serving as an advocate for either party. If both parties want to work with one neutral divorce mediator, we can help you. If you want an advocate, we can help you. Our Memphis divorce attorney is experienced and comfortable serving in either role.  However, with rare exceptions, we cannot change between the roles once we have begun working with you.  Thus, if you are interested in our Memphis divorce attorney serving as your divorce mediator, then you will need to bring your spouse with you to the Divorce Planning Session.

How does divorce mediation work?
Mediation begins with the spouses scheduling a Divorce Planning Session with our Memphis divorce mediator.  Prior to attending the Divorce Planning Session, the parties will need to complete the Divorce Intake Form.  The Divorce Intake Form provides the divorce mediator with the context and background for the divorce mediation. Sometimes parties do not complete the divorce intake form thus depriving the divorce mediator of the basic information necessary to proceed. In that instance, the divorce mediator will have the parties complete the Intake form for divorce during the divorce planning session. This time is counted against the package purchased, so it makes sense for each spouse to complete the intake form before the first meeting.

 

What if my spouse and I need more than 6 hours to negotiate a divorce settlement? 

If you and your spouse need additional time to negotiate a divorce settlement, you and your spouse may purchase additional mediation sessions at $250 per hour.

 

Will you mediate my divorce based on an hourly rate instead of a flat fee?

Yes, if you and your spouse may choose to purchase mediation services based on a hourly rate instead of a flat fee.  You will be billed $250 per hour for the time that our mediator spends on your case.  This includes preparing for your mediation sessions; communications with you, your spouse, and others(therapsits, financial advisors, child specialists, etc.) regarding your case; and preparation of mediated divorce settlement documents. 

The Four Core Areas of Divorce

Throughout the divorce process, you will have to make many decisions that may have an immense effect on you, your finances, and your children.  There are four core areas that you will have to make decisions regarding.  They are child custody and visitation, child support, the division of marital property, and spousal support.  Click the links below to learn more about each of the core areas of a divorce.

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Learn what you need to know NOW to protect yourself, your finances, and

your children throughout the divorce process!

By reading Divorce with Dignity, you will learn:

  • 12 important steps to take when contemplating divorce,

  • How to determine whether or not you need a divorce lawyer,

  • How to choose the right divorce lawyer for you,

  • How to save on attorney fees and court costs,

  • How child custody is determined in Tennessee,

  • How child visitation is determined in Tennessee,

  • How child support is determined in Tennessee,

  • How alimony is determined in Tennessee,

  • How property is divided in a Tennessee divorce,

  • How to maintain control throughout the divorce process,

  • How to reduce tension between you and your spouse,

  • How to protect your finances throughout the divorce process, and

  • How to protect your children throughout the divorce process.

Walls Law Firm


Telephone: 

901-315-0559

 

Fax:

901-466-6981


Email address:

n.walls@YourPerfectLawyer.com

 

Address: 

Walls Law Firm

1661 International Drive

Suite 400

Memphis, Tennessee 38120

                               



 

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Our law office is located in Memphis, Tennessee, but we also serve all of Shelby County, Tennessee including Bartlett, Germantown, Collierville, Millington, Shelby Forest, Lakeland, Eades, Fisherville, Arlington, and Rosemark, Tennessee.

 

 

You must be 18 years or older and a resident of, or authorized to do business in, the State of Tennessee in order to use the legal services offered by this web site. The information on this website is for advertising purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, nor guarantee particular results.

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© 2013 by Nakeshia Walls, Esq.