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Mediation for Pro Se Clients

Experienced Mediator Serving Residents of Nashville and Surrounding Areas

In Tennessee, there are various types of alternative dispute resolution, or processes that are used as alternatives to going to trial. Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution. It is frequently used in divorces and related matters. Not every person who goes through a divorce has an attorney. Certified Nashville mediator Amanda Raye Thornton understands that many people proceed pro se (without a lawyer), and she offers services to Tennessee residents who are in this situation.

Mediation for Pro Se Clients

When the parties to a divorce proceed pro se, their divorce case can be filed in a Tennessee Civil or Chancery Court. They will likely be required to go through divorce mediation, even though they do not have legal representation. Divorce mediation can help pro se parties come to an agreement. Mediation in Tennessee is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is facilitated by a neutral third party, who helps the parties get to an agreement about certain issues raised in a divorce or another family law matter. In Tennessee, divorce mediation has helped numerous spouses come to an agreement, even about areas that give rise to strong emotions, such as child custody.

Pro Se Divorce

You may be required to go through mediation under Rule 31 because it is mandatory to complete a Rule 31 mediation if your spouse and you disagree about parenting or child custody during a divorce. Although attorneys are encouraged in Rule 31 mediation, you may not have an attorney. In Rule 31 divorces, any proof of information disclosed, statements made, or actions taken in the course of mediation is kept confidential to the extent that the parties have agreed to confidentiality or another law mandates it. However, if your spouse and you sign a written mediation agreement, this agreement can be admitted as evidence to enforce an understanding.

Uncontested Divorce in Tennessee

Uncontested divorces are also considered simplified divorces. These are divorces in which the spouses agree on the terms, and fewer forms must be completed. Additionally, your spouse and you must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months, have no minor children together, mutually wish to terminate the marriage, and agree on all the issues in the divorce, including spousal support and the distribution of personal property. You cannot own a business or real estate with your spouse or have retirement benefits that need to be divided if you want an uncontested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses can come to an agreement without the cost and stress that emerge during trial. Usually, the uncontested divorce process is quicker and cheaper than a contested divorce would be. Sometimes it is possible to get to an agreement that leads to an uncontested divorce by going through mediation. Many people feel anxiety about the costs of a divorce, and sometimes it is possible to go through a divorce without legal representation by hammering out the terms of an uncontested divorce with the help of a mediator. When the spouses cannot agree about how to dissolve the marriage, they will not be able to get an uncontested divorce.

If you get a divorce without an attorney’s help, you will need to file all the correct documents in the proper court. The state’s counties are divided into 31 judicial districts, and there is one court in each judicial district in the state. Usually, a divorce would be filed in the county where you live. It takes at least 60 days to go through a no-fault divorce in Nashville.

Discuss Your Situation with a Certified Mediator in Nashville

If you are exploring the possibility of mediation as a pro se party, you should consult Amanda Raye Thornton. Ms. Thornton provides services as a certified mediator for people in Nashville and other areas of Davidson, Williamson, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Warren, and Wilson Counties. Call us at (615) 470-2222, or contact us online to learn more about this process.

Client Reviews

She made the worst event of my life end quickly and to my favor. So reasonable in cost. Generous with her time, calls back and helps right away. The best attorney I ever had. Such a thoughtful and capable attorney. Really so thankful I had her.

- JS

Amanda is a SMART, efficient advocate! She is very easy to communicate with. When she referred to our kids as, 'My boys', I was sold. She has the solutions and we can now rest easy thanks to her suggestions and actions.


Amanda was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Where I had questions, she had answers. She expedited the divorce process to the beat of her ability and I can not thank her enough for helping me turn the page and end that chapter of my life. She never once made me feel like she didn't have time for...

- Liz

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