If you are in the process of a divorce, mediation can be very beneficial for both parties. For divorced couples, mediation can be helpful when issues resurface or new disputes arise regarding custody or financial issues. Depending on how complicated your divorce is, you will have to decide if mediation is the right choice for your Texas divorce. Mediation is a great resource as it can help with many legal matters such as:
- Child custody, visitation, and parent arrangements
- Interpersonal conflicts
- Dividing assets and property
- Prenups, postnups, and spousal support
The Benefits of Mediation for your Texas Divorce
Mediation is a process where participants meet in a safe environment with an impartial mediator who facilitates communication between the parties in an attempt to assist reconciliation, settlement, or a mutual understanding. It is the building block to the beginning of a healthy co-parenting relationship. Using a mediator can effectively help to resolve issues in your divorce. The goal is to work toward a satisfactory resolution of the issues, without the additional time and expense involved in litigation.
Mediation is a confidential process. You will have the ability to talk to your mediator without worrying about the other side hearing or knowing what you said. The majority of mediation sessions result in an agreement reached by participants. A mediator’s primary goal is to help to you reach an agreement so that you can move forward with your divorce.
A Mediator is not a licensed therapist, however, they may act in a similar way. You will find that some Texas family law attorneys can also act as a mediator to help resolve the conflicts within your divorce.
Is mediation mandatory in a Texas divorce?
No, mediation is not mandatory in the state of Texas. However, a judge will issue mediation sessions for ex-spouses that can not come to an agreement on issues such as child custody and division of assets.
In most Texas divorce cases, a judge will not let a divorce reach a hearing unless there has been an attempt for court-ordered mediation. If mandated mediation sessions are ignored, a judge may decide to dismiss the case entirely. If a couple has been ordered mandatory mediation then it is extremely important that both parties attend. There is also a huge benefit to mediation because you can both come to an agreement that is beneficial for both parties. If the judge decides on a decision it could be one that is not beneficial to either party.
However, it should be noted that if there is a history of family violence or abuse within the home divorce mediation would not be mandatory. This is according to Sec. 6.602 of the Texas Family Code.
The five stages of mediation
- Opening Statement – both parties will bring a list of their disputes and issues and what their goals for the session would include.
- Joint discussions – both parties will then ask questions and discuss their issues and how they would like a resolution to the situation.
- Private discussions – both parties will meet with the mediator separately. Each of you have the opportunity to explain your side and discuss your issues. The mediator will give options that could help to resolve the issues.
- Negotiation – At this time, both parties are ready to come to an agreement. The issues and solutions that were discussed in private will be suggested to both parties in order to reach an agreement.
- Settlement – both parties must reach an agreement in writing. If both parties can not come to an agreement then the divorce will then go on to trial.
Working with Your Texas Divorce attorney
It is important to work with a trusted Texas divorce attorney. An attorney who can help you understand the process and guide you through the mediation process successfully. This includes giving you the support and resources such as a qualified mediator that can help you resolve the conflicts within your divorce.