What is a Contested Divorce? – Explained by Memphis Divorce Attorney Bradley Cordts
Hello again, Bradley Cordts, Attorney At Law, here to talk to you once again about divorce. Last time we met, we talked a little bit about Irreconcilable Divorce or Uncontested Divorce in Tennessee. If you cannot agree on all aspects of your divorce in Tennessee, you must have grounds to file a divorce. That is what I consider a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, it works just like a lawsuit. You file a Complaint, the other side has to Answer, you do Discovery to find out what the other side has knowledge of, what documents they might have that might pertain to your divorce. It progresses just like any other lawsuit. Once the case is underway, almost all cases must go to mediation before they can go to trial. Mediation provides an opportunity for everyone to calm down, step back, and work with what’s called a Rule 31 Listed Mediator that deals with family law to try to get to a narrowing of what the issues are. Very often cases can settle at mediation. I myself am a Rule 31 Listed Memphis Family Law Mediator and do mediations for other attorney’s clients and I also participate with my own clients at mediations. It’s very important to have an attorney at mediation because that attorney can advise you as to your legal rights as opposed just what you’re trying to negotiate as well as prepare the final documents. The mediator is not supposed to prepare the Final Decree and/or the Marital Dissolution Agreement that you would settle your case on. Therefore, it is good to bring an attorney with you to mediation in my opinion. We suggest that with all our clients. In fact, when we go to mediation we actually bring a printer, a computer, all things necessary to produce a document that you know when you walk out of that mediation will be used to settle your case in court.