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4 Reasons It’s Important to Be Flexible in Mediation


Mediation is almost always required before trial in family law cases in Tennessee. For good reason, while litigation often leaves one winner and one loser, mediation focuses on finding win-win solutions and, with hope, helps preserve relationships and lay the groundwork for future co-parenting efforts. Mediation is also a lot less expensive than trials. It’s important to go into mediation with an open mind and a willingness to be flexible both about the issues in dispute and the way to resolve them—doing so leads to better outcomes for both parties.

  1. Accommodates Changing Circumstances

Flexibility allows you to get closer to a win-win solution. As you and the other party discuss different aspects of your case, you may find that you’re willing to compromise in certain areas and concede to the other party’s wishes in other areas. Staying rigid encourages friction, while flexibility keeps you open to other solutions.

  1. Saves Time

When both parties and their attorneys remain flexible about the mediation process, it can move much more smoothly. A skilled mediator will adjust their techniques to suit the unique needs of the parties involved, and following the mediator’s recommendations can often lead to a more peaceful resolution in less time. While many attorneys are most comfortable with shuttle mediation when both parties are kept in separate rooms and the mediator communicates with each party separately, it’s important to be open to other styles of mediation. If you and the other party are willing to sit down at a table and calmly discuss some of the issues at hand, you may wrap up some of the less difficult issues more quickly. This frees up more time to hash out tough issues like custody, spousal support, and the division of assets.

  1. Breaks Down Misconceptions

Many times, both parties bring their own misconceptions to mediation. You may think you know what the other party wants to get out of mediation; but until you have a clear discussion about it, you’re likely working off of your own assumptions. The same is true for them. Mediation is a good chance to lay everything on the table and make sure you’re working with accurate information while making decisions.

  1. Reaches a Mutually Beneficial Solution

In matters of family law, it’s essential to come to a decision that benefits everyone. Not only do your decisions impact your and your spouse or ex-spouse’s life, they affect your children. When you maintain your flexibility throughout mediation, you remain open to solutions that allow your children to maintain relationships with both parents, build secure bonds, and enjoy the benefits of a peaceful co-parenting relationship between their caregivers. Mediation can help people in a variety of legal situations, allowing individuals to protect their privacy and minimize time spent in the courtroom. To learn more about your legal options, contact Irwin Kuhn today.

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4 Things a Will Does Not Accomplish


Estate planning can be a tricky process to navigate—there are lots of options to consider, and without legal advice, it can be difficult to know which solutions are right for your needs. Many people believe that a Will is the best choice for their family. However, there are several things a Will cannot do that you may be able to accomplish with a living trust.

  1. Avoid the Probate Process

A Will does not help your family avoid the lengthy and potentially costly probate process after you pass. During probate, your assets are held while the court validates the authenticity of your Will, pays off bills and taxes, and distributes the remains of your estate to your beneficiaries. If you want your beneficiaries to have immediate access to your assets and funds after you pass, a Will may not be the right choice.

  1. Manage Your Assets While You’re Alive

A Will does not go into effect until you pass away. Individuals who choose a living trust act as the trustee of the trust, allowing them to manage assets, add beneficiaries, and make changes to their estate plans. Individuals can also transfer their assets into the trust if they continue to accrue assets after drawing up the living trust. A Will is not legally enforceable until the named individual dies. If you are suddenly unable to manage your trust, your named successor can manage your assets on your behalf.

  1. Keep Legal Matters Private

Wills are made public when they go through the legal system, so some of your family’s most private matters become accessible by the general public. This is especially important for those who are local celebrities, politicians, or in the public eye. The media is likely to obtain court records and expose the details of their financial matters. A living trust is not made public, making it a more suitable option for those who want to keep these matters in the family.

  1. Protect You if You Become Ill or Disabled

While a Will outlines what you want to happen after your death, it does not detail what will happen to you or your assets if you become ill or disabled. If you’re unable to handle your affairs and you only have a Will, the court will assign you a guardian. In comparison, a living trust allows the successor trustee to step in immediately once you become incapacitated.

Taking the time to properly plan your estate can provide for your family after your passing and ensure that all of your hard work continues to benefit your loved ones. If you’re ready to start planning for your family’s future, contact the law office of Venick, Kuhn, Byassee, Austin & Rosen, PLLC to set up a consultation.

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