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FACING DIVORCE ?
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You Get Caught Up in COSTLY Litigation
About Jan

OPEN LETTER TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS

My first contact with family court was many years ago when I was the Special Master of the Fourth Circuit Court of Davidson County. I investigated custody cases and submitted a factual report (no recommendations) to the Judge to assist him in his rulings. I often sat in the courtroom and observed high powered lawyers going at clients and each other in an effort to zealously represent their clients. I was encouraged by the Judge to go to law school and I believed from the very beginning that it was my job as an attorney to keep my clients out of court. I have always believed that it is the responsibility of all professionals whether Judges, attorneys, mediators or mental health professionals, not to make the divorce worse than the marriage. I believe that divorce is a problem to be solved, not a battle to be fought. When clients seek my help they are often emotionally raw and unable to use their integrated brain—operating from emotional brain and not the thinking brain. They are often focused on their role as a victim and are sad, angry but above all scared. I believe that people fight out of fear—fear that they won’t get a fair shake—fear that they will be taken advantage of and most often fear about their children. Understandably so.

In the almost 25 years that I have been a family and divorce mediator I have not met parents who do not care about their children. They are sometimes totally in the dark about how to protect them as the divorce proceeds, but for the most part I believe they are teachable when it comes to the needs of their children as they transition to spending time with each parent in different homes. I realize that some parents are unable or unwilling to shield their children from their conflict; or there may be safety issues resulting from coercive controlling domestic violence; there may be serious physical or mental illness such as personality disorders; chemical dependency or allegation of sexual abuse which present extraordinary challenges in creating an appropriate parenting plan. In may be impossible for the parents to agree and these are the cases when court cannot be avoided and the Judge has the overwhelming responsibility to create the best possible parenting plan in view of all the circumstances.

My belief is that the adversarial atmosphere of the courtroom should be a last resort. I believe that parties owe it to themselves and most definitely to their children to at least attempt a peaceful resolution of their divorce and parenting issues. I have dedication my professional life to assisting clients in protecting their emotional health and that of their children as well as protecting the family from the high cost of contested litigation. There is a better way.

I will meet with parties for 30 minutes at no charge to discuss the options available when facing divorce.

Jan Walden


Jan first trained as a divorce mediator in 1991 and has received extensive training from several nationally recognized mediation trainers. For the past 20 years she has continued her training by attending conferences and seminars throughout the country in an effort be informed of the most up to date research relating to the effects on children when their parents are not together.

Jan served as president of the first statewide mediation association and chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. Jan was a founding board member of both the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators and the Middle Tennessee Collaborative Alliance.

Jan is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She has been listed as a Supreme Court Rule 31 Family and Divorce Mediator since its inception.

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