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Alternatives to Court

Mediation FAQs

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way of solving problems without going to court. The people who have a disagreement meet with a trained mediator to try to make an agreement.

What happens in mediation?

The mediator works with the people who have a disagreement to:

  • Identify important issues,
  • Clarify misunderstandings,
  • Explore solutions, and
  • Come up with a settlement that all sides can accept.

What does the mediator do?

The mediator explains the rules of the mediation. The mediator helps all sides in the dispute explain their point of view, but will not take sides.

The mediator will ask each side to summarize his or her point of view. S/he will guide the people who have a disagreement to find a solution themselves. The mediator will work with each person until there is an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.

Is the mediator a judge?

No. The mediator is not a judge, and will not decide how your disagreement should be solved.

Can my lawyer go to mediation with me?

If you have a lawyer, s/he may go with you to mediation, if you want.

Can I meet with the mediator alone?

The mediator will meet with everyone together. But s/he may also meet with each side separately. Doing this gives each side a chance to tell the mediator what they really want. It also gives each side the chance to express anger or frustrations without the other side being there.

What happens after we make an agreement?

The agreement is put in writing. The people involved must sign it, after getting advice from their lawyer (if they have one).

More FAQs

Parent's Guide to Mediation

Find a Mediator

TN Supreme Court Rule 31