Dividing property can be one of the most difficult issues in a divorce, especially in those cases where the parties have accumulated significant assets during the marriage. Tennessee law requires the divorce court to order the parties to participate in mediation to resolve their differences, including the division of marital assets. While many people have a general understanding of this requirement, persons facing a divorce do not always understand how the process works and how it can be beneficial.
Mediation requires the services of a third party, usually a retired judge or specially trained lawyer. The mediator is trained to listen to the parties and to understand their positions without judging the legal merit of the argument. Perhaps the mediator's most important function is to explain a party's position to the other party, thereby ensuring that a dispute is not the result merely of misunderstanding. A mediator can be especially helpful in resolving complex property division issues by suggesting alternative means of valuing or dividing particular assets.