DIVORCE/DOMESTIC MEDIATION

Joe holds the Family Mediator designation by the Tennessee Supreme Court.  

A divorce reveals the rawest of our emotions.  The decision to end a marriage and live apart is perhaps the most difficult decision that one ever makes.  If there is a child born of your marriage, the anxiety level can be overwhelming. I will not pretend that Mediation will soothe or solve these emotions. However, it is preferable to resolving them in open Court before a Judge or Chancellor.

The reality of divorce is that the parties will either agree upon an equitable division of their marital property or the Court will do it for them. The same is true of the children.Every divorcing couple must complete a Parenting Plan or the Court will do it for them. The “best interests” of the child or children is the guiding beacon.

Since most divorces are granted upon the ground of Irreconcilable Differences (No-Fault) Divorce,Mediation is the logical dispute resolution concept to use to bring it to conclusion. Our traditional civil justice system is a “backward looking, fault based system”. This is not a criticism, but the reality of the system. 

On the other hand, Mediation is a “forward looking” non-fault based system. If we have no need to prove fault and assign blame, the forward looking Mediation system is the logical approach.

A marriage is ending, the parties are moving forward and there must be a plan developed by which to Parent the children of their marriage.  Accordingly,Mediation offers the parties a private, forum whereby they can address these very private matters and create their own Parenting Plan. It allows the parties to take ownership of the issues. Indeed, it was their marriage, their children,and it only makes sense that the future plan be of their own design and agreement rather than one imposed upon them by the Court.

My office is physically located on the Northshore (north side of the Tennessee River). The Hamilton County Courthouse is across the river. On Joe’s side of the River, the parties are in control and everything is by agreement. On the Courthouse side of the River, the Court is in control and imposes a resolution upon the parties.

Every week I assist people with domestic disputes. They come to Joes’ side of the River usually with their counsel. We all sit together and assist the parties with crafting their own divorce settlement and Parenting Plan (that considers their lives and their childrens’ ---not a “cookie-cuter”solution).

So, if you want to be in control of your divorce any your Parenting Plan, come to Joe’s side of the River.  


JOE’S MEDIATION BACKGROUND  

Training

  • AAA Basic Training, Atlanta,Nov. 1991 (13) hours  
  • Erickson Mediation Institute Mediator Training (40) hours, August, 1993
  • Assistant Trainer, AAA Mediator Training, Dalton, GA, Nov. 1994
  • Family Crossover Training  (25 hours) (2009)  

Mediation Certifications

  • Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator, 1997
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Family Mediator, 2008
  • Certified Mediator, Federal Mediation Program, U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Tennessee, 1997
  • Approved Neutral, U.S.District Court for Middle District of Tennessee, 1998
  • Registered Neutral Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution (Oct. 2001-Dec. 2002)

Mediation Publications

Joe is one of Tennessee’s most prolific writers and lecturers upon Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is the Senior Author of the Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Handbook (The Harrison Co. 1997). He is the creator andEditor of the Tennessee Mediation Pocket Guide (2000). By 1999, he was writing “Internet” Continuing Legal Education Courses on Mediation &Arbitration and these courses became known as “ADR Professor Series”(available at www.lawyerslearn.com ). And, Joe became the "ADR Professor". 

VISITING THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP