Divorce can easily get messy, making it cost more. Not only does a contentious, litigated divorce mean more cost for the couple, but it also demands more time from the courts. Tennessee requires divorce mediation in most cases to help take the strain off of the family courts.
Couples ready to end their marriage will typically have to go through mediation or qualify for an exemption based on domestic abuse or similar circumstances before they can litigate their divorce. Although mediation could be a frustrating experience for you and your ex, you have the opportunity to make it work for you.
Those in an LGBTQIA+ marriage may particularly benefit from working through mediation together rather than aiming for litigation.
Mediation lets you set the terms for your settlement
During a litigated Tennessee divorce, the judge decides how to split custody and who gets what property from your marital estate. You can present evidence about what property you have or the relationship you maintain with your children, but the judge is the one with the authority to decide what happens to your family and your property.
Mediation allows for the exact opposite. You and your ex can work with your own lawyers and a neutral mediator to create a divorce settlement. Particularly for LGBTQIA+ couples with children, that control is invaluable. The Tennessee courts have yet to fully catch up with the legal nuances of LGBTQIA+ marriages and divorces.
Shared custody in an LBGTQIA+ relationship can be particularly complex. It is not uncommon for only one parent to have a biological connection to the children or for only one to have adopted the children. That can lead to a potentially inappropriate family court ruling. By negotiating a settlement in mediation, you can retain control over how you split custody, regardless of what the state might decide during litigation.
Children need the love and support of both parents
One of the reasons that divorce is so hard on children is that it disrupts their bond with their caregivers.
You and your ex may not agree on much anymore, but you probably want the kids to be as healthy and happy as possible. Agreeing to cooperate during mediation can ultimately result in a better custody solution for your family and less stress and pressure on the children.
Recognizing the unique challenges that can crop up during LGBTQIA+ divorces can help you plan for your marital dissolution.