By Sandi Bott
Mediation is a very valuable settlement tool that has been utilized in this community for years. With the adoption of the parenting plan legislation in the late 1990’s mediation became a more formalized process. The legislation mandated mediation in divorces with children as a tool to reduce conflict. As we all know, when the parents dictate the way and manner in which the needs of their child will be addressed by an agreement between them, it is a healthier situation for the child than when the court does it without parental input.
Subsequent to the adoption of the mandated mediation by the legislature, the Tennessee Supreme Court adopted Supreme Court Rule 31 which formalized the credentialing of mediators. At that time, mediators such as I, who had been mediating for years, obtained the official certification through the Supreme Court. I have continued to practice in the family law area and find it very rewarding and look forward to continuing to exercise my skills in this area while working with Arbitration and Mediation Services and continuing to practice law. I will continue to maintain my office at 735 Broad St. as well as mediating through Arbitration and Mediation Services.