If you are contemplating divorce you are likely uncertain and anxious about what the future holds. You probably have several questions racing through you mind. Will I have custody of my children? How will the property be divided? Where will I live? Is my standard of living going to change?
Choosing mediation instead of litigation is one way you can have more control over the answers to these questions.
What is divorce mediation?
In mediation, a neutral mediator works with both parties to reach a mutually agreeable proposal. This agreement addresses all matters of the divorce and may be reviewed by each party's attorney before being finalized.
Divorce mediation is highly encouraged or required in many Texas counties.
What are the benefits of mediation?
The primary benefit of mediation is that you avoid the courtroom and a potential lengthy trial. This keeps the decision making process in your own hands instead of hoping for the best with a judge. Other benefits include reduced expenses and maintaining confidentiality (there is no public record).
The success rate for divorce mediation is high. Those that go through the process successfully also have a lower probability of future court litigation. The ability to work with your ex-spouse during a challenging time also helps to lay the foundation for a more positive post-divorce relationship. This is especially important when children are involved.
When is mediation not a good option?
For mediation to be successful both parties should be on equal footing. For marriages where there is a history of domestic abuse or substance abuse this is often not the case. In these situations, mediation may not be in both parties' best interests.
Do I still need an attorney if I choose mediation?
Even if you are not litigating your divorce the advice and guidance of an experienced family law attorney is still beneficial. A lawyer can advise you of your options so you can make informed decisions, and help facilitate the resolution of contentious issues. Having an attorney on your side helps ensure your interests are protected.