Category: Blog

Using a Mediator Can Make for a Less “Messy” Divorce

Messy divorces make for great celebrity gossip and juicy story lines in movies, but in real life a mediator can make a marital split less traumatic for everyone involved.

Using a Mediator Can Make for a Less "Messy" Divorce

Typically, a divorce begins when one party files a complaint against their spouse in a domestic relations court. Just like other lawsuits, the parties exchange discovery, negotiate vigorously over rights to property, and head to trial if they cannot resolve the issues on their own.  A judge then decides how property will be divided, who will have custody and who will pay support.  Mediation is a less volatile, more private method of accomplishing the same results.

Benefits of Mediation

There are several ways mediation can ease the tension inherent in divorce.

  • Privacy – Court proceedings are mostly public.  In fact, the filing of divorces are often listed in newspapers or legal journals. The hearings are open to the public, unless a judge rules otherwise.  Mediation is a private affair between the two parties and the mediator. It is conducted behind closed doors – not in open court.
  • Children – Mediation shortens the time it takes to get a divorce and places less stress on parents.  When parents have more time and less stress, they can focus on the extra attention children may need to work through the divorce process.
  • Cost – Mediation can lower the costs of divorce, allowing each spouse more resources to start a new life or give support to children.
  • Time – Courtrooms are subject to dockets, the schedule of all cases before a particular judge. Even if your spouse and you agree on everything, you may have to wait until the final hearing can be scheduled.  Mediators are more flexible and are dealing with fewer cases.
  • Control – The spouses are more involved in the mediation process than they would be in court.  They can control what goes into their agreement.

When does mediation begin?

Spouses should begin considering mediation at the start.  Once two people realize their marriage is over, they should discuss the mediation alternative.  Some couples employ mediators before even filing for divorce.  But, if you have already filed, mediation is still an option.  If both parties agree, most courts will temporarily delay divorce actions to allow a couple to try mediation.

Does mediation always work?

Mediation does not work in all cases.  During the process the two parties meet with the neutral mediator and state their positions.  The mediator may come up with a proposed solution, and if both parties agree, then they have a Signed Mediation Agreement to present in court for a smooth divorce.

However, sometimes it just doesn’t work.  The splitting spouses may be too far apart on their views.  One may not want to compromise on a particular issue.  When that happens mediation has failed and the parties need to resort to the conventional divorce process.

Mediation may not always work, but when it does it can shorten the divorce process, save money and reduce the trauma for the spouses and their children.  To learn more about how mediation may work for you in a divorce contact us.  We specialize in mediation, and we can help.

Using Mediation to Create a Parenting Plan

Mediation has become a beneficial tool for individuals looking to divorce or establish custody and child support without enduring a grueling legal battle. If you have gone through a divorce or are considering establishing custody for your child, you might consider mediation as a way to create a plan in the most stress-free environment possible. Using mediation to create a parenting plan could be all that is needed.

Using Mediation to Create a Parenting PlanWhat Is a Parenting Plan?

If you intend to share joint legal custody with your child’s other parent, establishing a parenting plan is crucial. With this plan in tow, you can demonstrate to the court that both of you are fit to co-parent the child successfully. Mediation helps you put together this parenting plan.

A parenting plan should provide clear information about physical custody and visitation. You need to create a plan that shows you have all your ducks in a row, creating a low-conflict schedule you are committed to following.

A good parenting plan will also consider the child’s current needs and well-being in addition to how these needs will change one day. Additionally, the best plans include a process for resolving disputes that may pop up with time. A mediator will ensure your plan includes the key components.

How Does Mediation Help Create a Parenting Plan?

In mediation, both parents will discuss their roles and responsibilities in the child’s life. For instance, you will discuss where the child will live, who will provide health insurance, what school the child will attend, and even issues like where the child will attend church services.

One of the biggest benefits of using mediation to create this plan is so you can avoid the courts establishing a plan for you. With mediation, you retain control over the way you want to parent.

Are you ready to work with a mediator? Mediation helps many parents resolve disputes and establish plans that create a better co-parenting relationship. Contact us to learn more about mediation for co-parents.

The Benefits of Choosing Divorce Mediation

Going through a divorce can be an extremely stressful and emotional time; however, this time will likely only become more tense if the divorce proceedings go to court and end up becoming drawn-out and expensive. Thus, if you and your spouse are both willing to sit down and discuss your divorce without going through attorneys, then you may want to consider the benefits choosing divorce mediation could provide. Here are just a few of the reasons you should choose mediation if you are going through a divorce.

The Benefits of Choosing Divorce Mediation

Mediation is Quicker

One of the primary benefits of divorce mediation is that it is much quicker than other divorce alternatives. While mediation can still take weeks (or even months in some cases), traditional divorce often leads to litigation that can last months or even years. Mediation then provides the quickest option for you and your spouse to end your marriage in a timely manner.

It Is More Cost-Effective

Another benefit divorce mediation provides is that it is often much cheaper than other avenues of filing for divorce. In fact, compared to the large expenses you can amass hiring a divorce attorney and going to court, mediation could end up saving you as much as 50%. Considering divorce can already be a stressful and expensive time, the money saved by choosing mediation can be a great relief.

Mediation Can Keep Things Peaceful

Tensions between spouses can be extremely high during the divorce process; however, bringing lawyers into the equation often only makes the situation worse. By using the traditional route of going through divorce lawyers to settle your divorce in court, the situation is likely only to escalate as your attorneys fight over every detail of the divorce. Mediation provides a more peaceful alternative where a third-party mediator helps the couple to come to an agreement that will be mutually beneficial, helping to prevent fights, tensions, and long-lasting hurt feelings. Maintaining the peace can be particularly beneficial if you have children as you will likely have to interact with each other in the future.

Going through a divorce can be difficult enough, do not add the additional time, expense, and stress of taking your divorce to court, as many people have found divorce mediation to be a much simpler alternative. Contact us to learn more about mediation and the benefits it can provide.

What is Mediation, and is it Right for You?

Mediation refers to a method of resolving a dispute between two parties. It involves a third, neutral party who will facilitate discussions. It is often confused with arbitration, but the two are actually quite different from one another. The mediator is not required to make any decisions, and is only there to help both parties reach a compromise.

What is Mediation, and is it Right for You?

When is Mediation Necessary?

There are certain situations in which mediation is necessary. For example, it may be used in:

  • Small claims court cases
  • Family courts
  • Housing courts
  • Neighborhood justice centers
  • Some criminal court programs

Mediation is intended to be very structured, and the goal is to reach a short-term solution. There may be a lot of bargaining involved, but the presence of the third party allows for less hostile communication.

What Happens After a Decision Has Been Reached?

Once both of the parties have agreed on a compromise, written documents are drawn up and signed. Every jurisdiction has their own laws about how binding a mediation agreement is. But in most cases, the document is admissible in a court of law. It is an enforceable contract.

There are many cases in which a judge will order both of the parties to work with a mediator to come to an agreement. When this occurs, the mediation agreement then becomes a court judgment.

What if a Decision Has Not Been Reached Through Mediation

While most mediation attempts are successful, there are those that fail. When this occurs, the parties must seek to resolve their issues through some other means. This might mean going back to court, as well as a lengthy legal process that follows.

Without knowing your specific case, it is difficult to say whether or not mediation is right for you. It is wise to talk with someone with a lot of experience in this field.

We can help you, and tell you whether or not you should consider mediation for your case. Please contact us today.

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.