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What is the Difference between Mediation and Arbitration?

With more and more people turning to the courts to solve disputes, courts have become backlogged with cases. As a result, the courts have tried to fast-track cases by facilitating options for alternative dispute resolution. The two most common types of alternative dispute resolution are mediation and arbitration.

What is the Difference between Mediation and Arbitration?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party, a mediator, helps two parties reach an agreement. The third party is supposed to be impartial and cannot make decisions as to who is right or wrong. Even if the parties cannot agree to resolve all of their problems, a mediator can help narrow them down so that the parties can take only the issues they cannot agree on to trial. Mediation is relatively inexpensive in comparison to paying legal fees for going to trial.

Arbitration is also a form of alternative dispute resolution. The difference between arbitration and mediation is that in arbitration, the parties plead their case in front of an arbitrator who decides the outcome. The arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties, unlike in mediation, where the mediator only helps the parties reach an agreement. It can be difficult to overturn an arbitrator’s decision in many cases. Typically, parties will use arbitration because it was a process agreed to through a contract to avoid going through lengthy and expensive litigation. Many business and employment contracts have arbitration as their choice for dispute resolution because it is binding.

However, if the parties can agree, mediation is the best option. It gives the parties the freedom to craft their own terms and negotiate with one another. If you are in the middle of a legal dispute and you need help sorting out the issues, contact us for more information on how we can assist you with your case today.

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Using an Online Mediator for your Divorce

Getting divorced is never easy. Trying to keep your drama out of the courtroom is always the best way, though it can be challenging. For this reason, many people turn to divorce mediation, hoping that they can work out their troubles without ending up in front of a judge. Some people even try to do it online, with some success.

That being said, mediation can be the hardest thing that you may ever have to do. Here are some tips to help you through your online divorce mediation.

Using an Online Mediator for your Divorce

Know what you want, need, and would like. When you start negotiations, it is important to know what are deal breakers for you. What aren’t you willing to negotiate on? Is it the house? The children? The dog? Maybe you got your grandparent’s car and you think that you should be able to keep it.

Then, decide what you would really like, but you are alright with doing some negotiating on. You may also want a list of things that you don’t really care about at all. By doing this, you are coming to the meeting prepared.

Always remember that if you can’t compromise, you are going to end up in court – costing you precious time and money. If you are struggling to get through mediation, it might help to remember that you could be in court. If you keep arguing, you could end up battling in court, so take a deep breath and just try to get through this difficult time.

Get it in writing. It is important that, as you hash out the details of your divorce, you get them in writing. Everything that you decide needs to be put in the contract, even if you think that your spouse will agree to it. It is better to have it written down than be sorry down the line when things change.

Before you even get started, you need to have a plan. What things can you live without and what are deal breakers? You need to have some place to start, and this should help. As you go through mediation, you also need to remember that, if you aren’t willing to give at all, you could end up in court, which will end up costing you a lot more time and money.

Contact us to help you get through this difficult time.

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Frisco Divorce Mediator Benefits

Divorce mediation is becoming more and more popular as people want to work through their divorce without going to court. Since we live in an age filled with technology, we don’t even have to be in the same room as our ex-spouse in order to get divorced!

Online divorce mediators can help anyone, though there are some people who benefit more from using someone online. Here are some people who may need (and prefer) this option.

Frisco Divorce Mediator Benefits

Busy professionals. Many people are busy with work, and they don’t want to have to set up time that works for everyone just to get divorced. In fact, busy professionals can go online and negotiate when it works for their schedules. They don’t even have to be on at the same time!

People who have already moved away from each other. There are times when people may separate and move across state lines, making it hard to find the time (and a place) to meet for mediation. They can each go online and work on their negotiations no matter where they are (even if they are traveling for business).

Couples who need space from each other. Many couples really struggle to be in the same room when they are fighting for what they want. This is especially true when children are involved. These couples may do better using online mediation because they can have the space that they need to go over their different options.

Couples dealing with abuse. If one person is afraid of the other, they aren’t going to feel confident in mediation, unless they are separate. These divorces are best done in the (separate) privacy of their own homes.

Divorces done through mediation often save people time and money. Instead of spending weeks (or even months) in a courtroom fighting over their possessions, many can come to an agreement that works for everyone. Online mediation works even better for those that are too busy, live in separate areas, and people who need space from each other.

Contact us to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

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Divorce Mediation: Tips to Decide Child Custody

Many parents go through mediation in order to get their divorce settled quickly and efficiently. However, one of the worst parts of dividing up everything is figuring out who should get your children and when. In fact, it can really slow a divorce down. However, it doesn’t have to. Here are some tips to help you decide child custody while you are undergoing mediation.

Divorce Mediation: Tips to Decide Child Custody

Think about your children and their needs. Depending on the ages of your children, they may have different needs. If they are babies, they are going to need their mother, especially if she is breastfeeding.

If they are struggling in school, they are going to need the parent who is best able to help them with it. If they are teenage boys, they may need their father to help them negotiate this stage.

Also, think about who has the time. Even if your children need their father, if you work twelve hour days, you aren’t going to be able to spend the time with them that they need. However, you may want to take them on your days off.

If your wife stayed home to raise them until they went to school, you may want to support her so she can continue to do so.

Work together and be flexible. Once you have a child custody and visitation schedule figured out, it doesn’t mean that it can’t change. If you are both willing to work together and be flexible, it can only help your children.

If it is your weekend, but there is a wedding on the other side of the family, you need to be big enough to let them go. They deserve the experience. If you have a week of vacation and you want to spend it with your children, you can only hope that your ex-spouse will allow you to. By being flexible, you are giving your children the best of both worlds.

It can be hard to give up your children, but it is important that you think about them and their needs. You also need to be realistic with your own abilities. You may not be everything that your children need at this time. They may need you more later.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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Tips to Choose the Right Divorce Mediator

Mediation can be a great way for a couple to split up their assets and move on quickly, with less stress and cost. However, in order to do so, you need to choose the right mediator.

Tips to Choose the Right Divorce Mediator

So, how can you make sure that you have the right mediator? Here are some tips to help you find the right one.

Ask your friends and family. Unfortunately, most people know at least one or two people who have gone through a divorce. Some even have probably gone the mediation route so you should start by asking them.

If not, you could always look online. Many people don’t hire anyone without reading reviews, so that is always a good place to start to find a good mediator. However, you can’t place everything on them because one person can’t please everyone. This simply means that everyone is going to have at least one or two bad reviews.

Look for mediators who have gone through cases like yours. If you have children, you are going to want someone who has helped other parents through this difficult time. If you have a lot of money (or hardly any), a mediator who has helped others in similar situations may make the whole process go that much smoother.

You should also choose someone who is trained to deal with conflict. Divorces can get heated (and quickly) so you are going to need someone who is going to be able to keep everything moving even when you hit some of the trickier subjects.

Choosing the right mediator will make a big difference. In fact, the right one can make the whole process go that much smoother. Ask around or look online to find a few options. Then, you need to make sure that they have handled divorces similar to yours.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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How Divorce Mediation Works

Mediation can be a blessing when you are going through a divorce. It is a way to divide up your assets without going through the court system. However, in order for your divorce mediation to be successful, it is important that you understand the process. Below we will discuss how divorce mediation works.

How Divorce Mediation Works

Here is what you should expect if you end up going through mediation for your divorce.

First, both parties need to agree to go through mediation. If one of you doesn’t want to, you will have to go to court to hash out your divorce.

Once you start the process, you will likely to talk to a mediator over the phone. At this time, you can talk about your marriage and family. You will also have this time to talk about any background information that they need, as well as the issues that you are most worried about.

Then, you will have the first meeting. During this time, you and your spouse will get to meet the mediator in person. You may work together or be separated for this first meeting in order to get to the bottom of the divorce. The mediator uses this first meeting to get comfortable with both you and your spouse.

During this time, you may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

After your first meeting, you will be able to come up with a schedule that works for both of you. You may want to come in weekly or monthly until you are able to divide everything up. It can take as long as you want, though the longer it takes, the more expensive it will be. For this reason, many like to get their issues resolved in just a few sessions.

In order for mediation to work, both parties have to want it. They have to be ready to go to meetings with the mediator to divide everything up. You can get it done quickly or it could last for months if you want it to.

Contact us to help you through this process.

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Times when Divorce Mediation Works Best

The simple truth is that not all divorces are terrible. There are times when it is a mutual decision to split. When nobody is going after the other person, you might want to try mediation, which can save you time and money.

Times when Divorce Mediation Works Best

However, meditation isn’t for everyone. Here are some times when mediation might be best for everyone involved.

Both parties need to be willing to work together for mediation to work. You won’t get anywhere if neither one of you are willing to negotiate. In fact, you need to go into it knowing that you aren’t going to get everything that you want. By being prepared for this, you are more likely to have a simple divorce that can be solved quickly.

If there are children involved, mediation can help keep the environment less hostile. When parents go through mediation and think about what is best for their children, they are more likely to come out stronger on the other side. They have already worked through some of their issues and are going to be more prepared to co-parent together.

You are not hiding anything when it comes to your finances. Finances are another tough spot when it comes to divorce. It can also be a good reason why some divorces are so drawn out. However, if you both are adult enough to talk about the delicate topics and work through them, mediation would be a great place for you to start.

Mediation can be a great way to get divorced without all of the drama. As long as both parties are determined to work together, it can go quickly and smoothly. You could be divorced quicker than you ever thought possible!

Don’t hesitate to contact us to help you through this difficult time. We will make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Divorce Mediation: Things to Split Up

When you decide to get a divorce, trying to divide everything up can feel overwhelming, especially if you aren’t really sure what you need to do. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a skilled mediator to help you through the process.

Divorce Mediation: Things to Split Up

However, to get started, you are going to need to know about the most common issues that you will need to talk about during your divorce (and through the whole mediation process). These include:

Dividing up your property. Not only will you need to decide who keeps the house and everything in it, you also need to look at your finances. You are going to have to divide up your savings accounts, retirement funds, and much more.

Discuss child custody and visitation. Child custody can be the hardest part of a divorce. Most people don’t want to lose their children. They want them all of the time, even if it isn’t feasible. However, you need to really think about what your children want and need before you decide custody and visitation.

Come up with a good plan for child support. If you aren’t going to be the one who has your children most of the time, you are going to need to help support them. They are your children, and they deserve to live the same way that they did prior to your divorce.

See if you or your spouse is eligible for alimony or spousal support. Alimony and spousal support are often considered the same thing. It is money given to your spouse after your divorce to help him or her get back on his or her feet.

If you have worked so that your spouse could stay home with the children, he or she is still going to need help to continue to do so if you wish. If your spouse was in college and you supported him or her during your marriage, you should consider doing the same afterward. He or she deserves to get the degree that he or she was working so hard for prior to your divorce.

Though you may only think about dividing up your home and splitting up your children, there is a lot of other things that you need to think about during a divorce. You are going to have to split up all of your bank accounts (including your retirement funds). You may also have to consider child or spousal support, depending on your situation.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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Are You a Good Candidate for Online Mediation?

Mediation is a popular alternative dispute resolution tool that allows clients to resolve their disputes informally in a more cost effective and timely manner as opposed to an often lengthy and costly litigation process. Online mediation takes that informal and flexible nature of mediation further, as it is not limited to a geographical reach. All parties involved are able to participate from the comfort of their own chosen location. It is also easier to incorporate online mediation into the hectic day-to-day time constraints most people are navigating. If you see yourself in any of the below mentioned situations, online mediation may be beneficial to you.

Are You a Good Candidate for Online Mediation?

You Are a Busy Professional

If you or your spouse travels or has a stressful work environment, you may find it more helpful to pursue mediation. This prevents either of you taking time away from work to come to mediation sessions, especially when you are already living with the financial strain of ending a marriage.

You Live in Another State

Divorce mediation is made more difficult when one of the spouses has moved far away. You may have been separated for a long time and don’t have the finances or time to come back for the necessary mediation sessions. Online mediation can provide some assistance for people in this situation.

You Are Immobile

Not everybody can easily leave the home, perhaps due to disability or health status. One spouse may be able to make it to an office while the other is at home, connecting to the session via the web.

You Have a High-Conflict Relationship

While mediation is not always right for couples with high levels of conflict, you may be able to undergo online mediation if you feel the process would ease some of the hostility. When you have a professional mediator involved, you may see that he or she can relieve some of the tension.

Virtual mediation offers many benefits you can explore by getting in touch with a professional mediator. Contact us to learn more about mediation and to speak with a professional.

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Tips to Make Mediation Work

Going through a divorce can be a very stressful process and is filled with a broad range of strong emotions. Often, litigating your divorce can escalate that stress and emotional roller coaster. Divorce mediation is a positive alternative to litigation as this alternative dispute resolution method gives all parties an informal venue to work though difficult issues. It further saves all parties involved a significant amount of time and money. In addition to the flexible and client focused nature of the mediation process, parties who have children involved in their divorce often find that mediation allows them to achieve a more positive, successful and most importantly, sustainable co-parenting plan. Mediation does require all parties involved to be active participants in the process in order for a successful outcome. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for entering into the mediation process.

Tips to Make Mediation Work

That being said, it isn’t always easy. Here are some tips to make mediation work:

Go in with an open mind. 

Go in with the understanding that your participation in the process is essential to it being successful. Mediation is not litigation, it’s an informal open communication process that your mediator will guide you through. The mediator will help you identify, understand, discuss, negotiate and resolve all the issues pertaining to your divorce. The goal of the mediator is to assist you in reaching a settlement agreement that both parties find fair and are able to work with. However, the mediator is not representing any party, providing legal advice, or telling any party involved what decisions to make. The mediator will act as the facilitator, while you and your spouse will work together to navigate the process and reach equitable decisions.

Be willing to compromise.

Mediation is not a tool that can work without the understanding that both parties will need to compromise in order for a fair and equitable agreement to be reached. If your determined to approach the process with a right fighting attitude and are unwilling to compromise, you should reconsider using mediation as an option to resolve your dispute.

Take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and mentally during your divorce regardless if you decide to mediate or litigate. Divorce is a difficult event in life and it can take a serious toll on your overall health and well being. The extreme level of stress that is often experienced when going through a divorce can sometimes mean a loss of sleep, not eating properly and a high level of anxiety. Aside from not being good for your overall health, not taking care of yourself can lead to poor judgement when making decisions. Mediation can help reduce your level of stress as it’s non adversarial approach is designed to create a calm and informal environment that allows each party to be heard and participate in an open discussion in order to reach mutual agreements. It’s important to surround yourself with a good support system of family, friends, and if necessary, medical professionals so that you are able to participate fully in your mediation.

Contact us if you believe that mediation is going to be the best for you.

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THE FINE PRINT: THIS WEBSITE PROVIDES GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND CANNOT BE RELIED UPON FOR LEGAL ADVICE. APPLICABILITY OF TX LEGAL PRINCIPLES REFERENCED HERE MAY DIFFER SUBSTANTIALLY IN INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS. ANY PARTY ENTERING INTO MEDIATION, UPON COMPLETION SHOULD CONSULT WITH REVIEW COUNSEL PRIOR TO FILING ANY DOCUMENTS.