Kerrville Mediation Lawyer Providing Legal Services and Advice for Clients Seeking Mediation in Texas
Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution. The mediation process relies on a neutral party (a mediator) whose role is to facilitate communications between the two opposing parties with the goal of reaching a mutual agreement on a variety of relevant issues. Our firm explains what you need to know about mediation in Texas divorces and how working with a mediation attorney is important to help you achieve a positive result.
What Are the Benefits of Mediation During a Divorce?
There is no doubt that litigated divorces are often expensive and can take several months – even years, in some cases – before a final divorce order is reached and the case is finalized. For that reason, many couples may choose to try and cut down on costs and time needed to reach an agreement by attempting to use mediation to resolve their issues.
The financial aspect is not the only benefit of mediation. Because the mediation process tends to be less confrontational than a litigated divorce, requiring no court appearances and having as an ultimate goal mutual cooperation between you and your ex-spouse, many people believe it to be less stressful and cause less emotional impact on their lives and families as opposed to a tense, never-ending divorce in court. If your divorce ends up in the courtroom, your private matters are no longer kept private and become accessible to anyone. Mediation is also confidential, meaning all matters discussed during mediation meetings remain completely private.
When Is Divorce Mediation Necessary in Texas?
The mediation process can be done in a voluntary manner by spouses who wish to seek an uncontested divorce and work together to agree on all relevant issues. This can happen before the divorce or even after the divorce process has begun. In other cases, a judge may order the spouses to go through mediation before allowing a litigated divorce process to continue.
It is entirely up to the judge to decide whether court-ordered mediation will be required in a divorce process or not. If you are filing for divorce in Texas, the county where you are filing may have certain rules concerning court-ordered mediation – some counties almost always require it, while others may not.
The issues covered during mediation meetings may include but not be limited to marital property division, child custody, child support, parenting schedules, and spousal maintenance or support. Many judges find it beneficial to give spouses one last chance to come to an agreement and make their own decisions before a final hearing takes place.
Do I Give Up My Litigation Rights by Choosing Mediation?
Some people may hesitate to go through mediation because they fear they may not be able to bring their case to trial if the mediation process fails. The truth is mediation is simply an alternative route to try and settle disagreements between two parties, and the mediator does not typically have the powers to make legally binding decisions or decide who is right and who is wrong. If, at the end of the mediation process, the parties were unable to reach an agreement, the case may still continue on to a court trial.
Mediation is not legally binding up until the point in which a final agreement is written and both parties sign it. You may even change your mind during the mediation process and initiate litigation instead. However, once the final agreement is signed, you can no longer walk away from it, and it becomes legally binding.
How Does Mediation Work in Cases Involving Domestic Violence?
Mediation is typically not recommended in cases in which one of the spouses has had a history of domestic violence, abuse or has otherwise exerted excessive control over the other spouse. In some cases, a judge may order a case to go through mediation, but if one of the spouses is a victim of domestic violence, they may file an objection before the mediation order is finalized.
If mediation is still necessary in a domestic violence case, the mediation order may include protective measures such as virtual meetings or having each party meet with the mediator separately. The goal is to minimize or eliminate any face-to-face contact or the need for the victim and the abuser to be in the same room.
How Can a Mediation Lawyer Help?
Mediation can be beneficial for many divorce cases, but it is necessary for both parties to be willing to negotiate and make compromises in order for the mediation process to be effective. A mediation lawyer can be an essential ally in the process, advising you on whether mediation is the right choice for you and guiding you through each step. Parties in a mediation process may choose to have attorneys join them at every meeting or prefer to have their attorneys available by phone for a more cost-conscious option.
The Law Office of S. Dylan Pearcy offers legal services and advice for clients seeking mediation in Kerrville, TX. Our team is composed of seasoned professionals who have assisted countless clients in reaching a successful outcome and moving on with their lives after a divorce. If you are considering mediation for your divorce or have questions, contact the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy by calling (830) 222-8629 and requesting a no-commitment initial consultation to get answers to your questions and learn whether mediation is right for you.