Divorcing couples usually know a little bit about mediation when they go into their attorney’s offices and have a basic idea of what it is. However, mediation is much more than what people know. It is both integrated into the court system and also, separately, offered as a paid, private service by trained Mediators.
What is court-ordered mediation?
Under Texas law, if the parties have disagreements on matters of child custody and divorce, the judge in the case can order both parties to attend mediation before the final hearing in court to work out the disagreements between them.
What is private mediation?
Private mediation is when the couple decides to hire a private mediator by themselves instead of going through the court process. They can choose to do this at anytime. The couple can hire a mediator with their attorneys if they choose.
Mediating a case between parties with significant problems and issues communicating can be challenging in mediation, which requires voluntary participation and readiness to negotiate. Mediators are not judges- they are impartial third parties.
Mediators do not make decisions for the parties. Instead, they provide structure to and facilitate a conversation between the parties in order to negotiate the substantive issues that the couple has.
Having experienced attorneys represent and negotiate on behalf of their clients in mediation can be very helpful and increase the possibility of reaching an agreement.
If an agreement is reached and both parties agree, this agreement can be drafted into a binding document submitted to the court for the judge’s signature and approval.
Regardless of which method you choose for your divorce, the process can be extremely difficult and more challenging than the parties expect before the divorce. However, having proper counsel advocate for you can take the legal aspect of the divorce off your shoulders and allow you to deal with all other aspects that come with divorce.