The Role Of Mediation In Family Law
Mediation involves a neutral person, a mediator, trained in dispute resolution tactics. During this phase in the divorce litigation process, you explain your goals and learn more about the reality of your position. Every side of a lawsuit has one or more points on which it may be attacked by the other side at a trial. An experienced mediator will play "devil's advocate" with a party and his/her attorney behind a closed door. Effective evaluation of divorce issues involves a good deal of analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a litigant's position.
Mediators are often able to find creative ways to resolve disputes. A mediator does not decide the outcome. A mediator guides the litigants to an outcome with which they all can agree. Not all mediators are equal. Some litigants require someone to lead the parties through the process. A good mediator does not browbeat the parties nor impose his or her will upon them. A good mediator will lead them to "reason together."
In Texas, mediation is generally required in all family law matters. When filing a divorce petition, you sign a statement that says you will try "in good faith" to resolve conflicts outside of the courtroom. Negotiation and mediation can keep the outcome of a case in your hands. Mediation is the most assured way to retain control in the outcome of your case. You can be represented by a lawyer in mediation.
At W. Tyler Moore, PC, we are often able to obtain solutions to family law problems through mediation. Even when all conflicts are not resolved, this process is a way to limit the number of issues that remain for a judge to decide.
What Are The Benefits Of Mediation?
The most important might be that you have more control than with a trial. Mediation can provide a certain result in a shorter time frame. You also save money on trial costs and attorney's fees.
Because of the benefits associated with mediation, a significant percentage of divorce cases are settled this way. Successful mediations will resolve over 95 percent of family law cases. If the case is not completely resolved at mediation, often a portion of it is resolved, lessening the time required for trial.
Who Selects A Mediator?
In most cases, you will have the opportunity to select or agree on a mediator from a slate of qualified individuals in Harris County. You may want to select a mediator-attorney, but mediators do not have to be attorneys. Generally, you will agree to split the costs of a half-day or whole-day session.
Why Should You Have Your Attorney Attend?
Our attorney is available to attend mediation with you to assist you in making informed and reasonable decisions. Any agreement reached in mediation will later be presented to a judge for approval. You want to make sure that mistakes are not made at this point, because they can be exceedingly difficult to undo later. Divorce matters involve property, debts and children. Add to that mix the need to know what is admissible at trial and how to prove something in court, and a lawyer becomes essential for self-protection.
If an agreement is not reached through mediation, the case or remaining disputes proceed to trial.
Once you have made the decision to divorce, call our Houston office at 713-322-3950 or send us a confidential message to schedule an appointment. Seek the best possible legal counsel from the beginning.