When you’re considering getting a divorce in Tennessee, you may be surprised to discover that divorce mediation is required in most instances. But is divorce mediation right for you?

Anyone who has gotten a divorce can tell you that they can be expensive and time-consuming; however, divorce mediation can lessen those impacts. Divorce mediation is essentially an informal discussion of issues and proposals of how to resolve those issues.

Divorce mediation may be successful for you for several reasons. Mediations take less time — since so many courts are backlogged with other cases, they cannot hear cases as quickly as those involved in a divorce might desire. Mediation can allow a speedy resolution of issues without spending time waiting for a court to hear your case. Since mediation happens on your own time, it’s easy to schedule meetings at the convenience of the parties and the lawyers, without relying on the court to set a date. Mediations also cost less than litigating a case in court. In addition, you have more control in mediation, because you can choose whether to sign the final agreement — in traditional litigation you leave yourself at the mercy of a judge. Mediation is not binding. If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of the mediation and you don’t reach an agreement, you can still proceed to court as usual.

There are several drawbacks to mediation, and it may not be right for everyone. Without proper cooperation on both parties’ sides and without a competent lawyer, time and money might be wasted, and you could end up signing a bad agreement. Despite these possible downsides, mediation can be beneficial for resolving certain issues. Moreover, because divorce mediation is required in most cases in Tennessee, it’s definitely worth a shot.