CoParenting Solutions is a 501 (c )(3) charitable and educational non-profit corporation located in East Tennessee providing a high quality, impartial, and efficient forum for resolving disputed parental rights and responsibilities through mediation, parent education, and related services.
We provide services to needy and disadvantaged clients regardless of their ability to pay; thus reducing harm to children and families in conflict, and the burden of handling such cases on the court and service agencies We also conduct training and research in support of these objectives. Our team includes mediators, lawyers, educators, therapists, socials workers, and community volunteers. We work together, and with other agencies, to provide support and services to parents needing help raising children in separate homes, and parents dealing with child custody issues and readjustment problems due to military service.
The core of all our programs is mediation. Mediators are trained facilitators, who help parties with problems dealing with others find mutually beneficial solutions. In most cases we all sit informally at the same table, with co-mediators (one male and one female) keeping the participants focused on finding new solutions and gently steering the conversation away from rehashing old hurts and familiar arguments.
The mediation process is confidential, and the agreements are tailored to the needs of the situations. The mediator is not a judge and does not make a decision or impose a solution on the dispute. Rather, the mediator helps those involved in the dispute talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves. The mediator manages the mediation session and remains impartial. The parties are always free to consult a lawyer before an agreement is signed, and also to have one present with them during a session. No one can be made to sign a mediated agreement against there that they do not wish to approve.
The final agreements are contracts that are presented to the judge for approval. Once signed by the judge, they become the order of the court. We realize that many clients may be unfamiliar with mediation, the legal process, and parenting plans. We provide an educational seminar as part of our program that helps the parties understand the process and prepare for mediation. We also have special types of mediation for cases involving domestic violence and/or abuse; as well as when either the Department of Children's Services or a relative is involved because of allegations of child abuse or neglect.
With the help of local lawyers, we also provide a free legal clinic for persons who need advice on a legal matter. The lawyers offer a free short consultation, not full representation. Our services are offered for free or on a sliding scale, based on income and need. The objective is to help parents and caregivers who would be unable to obtain services due to cost, or have special needs due to the impact of military service. We also offer training programs to both our own staff and other professionals interesting to improve their skills to help our clients.