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In 2019, the Supreme Court of Tennessee amended The Tennessee Supreme Court Rules to add Rule 53 concerning the practice of Collaborative Divorce and Family Law. This new Rule added a new way for people to obtain a divorce or resolve their family law issue.  You can read the new rule on The Supreme Court of Tennessee’s website.

This new way does things differently. Instead of litigation in a court room where one single judge determines your fate, now if you want to be divorced or to have a family law matter resolved peacefully, you can participate in a collaborative setting. The process involves a team of professionals to facilitate the dissolution of your marriage or resolve your family law issue outside of the courtroom on your terms.

If you think your case is a candidate for the collaborative process you would sign a collaborative law participation agreement and you would be represented by a collaborative divorce lawyer. The opposing party would also have a collaborative divorce lawyer representing them. A team would be selected based upon the facts of your situation. An example of a team member may be a child specialist, a mental health professional, and a financial professional. Your matter would be resolved outside of the courtroom and on your negotiated terms.

The types of matters that are ideal for collaborative divorce and family law would be marriage, divorce, annulment, property distribution, parenting time, alimony, support, adoption, parentage, and premarital, marital and post marital agreements.

I have often said to my clients that the court you are in with your highly emotional family law matter, is unfortunately the same court that uses the same process to decide criminal cases, personal injury cases, workers compensation cases, malpractice cases, and business disputes. I believe that Family Law Matters are different.

Being thrown into the same setting as all types of litigated cases where rules of evidence and procedure are at issue is not the best way for some people in a family law setting. I have often said you are always going to be family with your ex-spouse or the other parent because of your children. A peaceful resolution is what many people want and can now choose. A Collaborative setting may be a better way for your situation than stepping into the litigation setting.

I have participated in a 2 day training session held by the Nashville Bar Association on the Collaborative Divorce and Family Law process. I would be happy to discuss with you the possibility of representing you in a Collaborative setting to peacefully resolve your Family Law Matter amicably.

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