It is no secret that the divorce process is emotionally and financially straining on many couples. When you are looking for an affordable option to file for divorce, divorce mediation can be an excellent alternative for you. This will help to reduce the divorce cost, while also ensuring you are getting quality legal advice to guide you through the process. Working with a divorce attorney can help you handle all of the divorce forms and issues that come up with family law cases in the state of Texas.
If divorce mediation does not work for you, there are other options such as filing for a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce in Texas. Call us today to learn more about your options for divorce.
Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing couples to meet with a specially-trained, neutral third-party to discuss and resolve common divorce-related issues. Mediation is typically less stressful and less expensive than a divorce trial, and it usually proceeds much faster. Because you and your spouse have the final say over your divorce matters, mediation also allows couples to maintain the power and control in their divorce, as opposed to asking a judge to decide.
Mediation gives you and your spouse the opportunity to build your communication skills, even in situations where a lack of communication was the cause for the relationship’s demise. With the help of a trained professional, even the most communication-challenged couples can succeed in mediation.
How Do Parents Choose a Mediator?
There’s no doubt that divorce becomes more complicated when it involves children. Parents seeking a divorce will need to select a mediator who is trained to handle the various issues that come with divorce, like child custody, visitation, and child support.
Your mediator should be trained in conflict resolution and have extensive knowledge of your state’s divorce laws. Additionally, your mediator should be willing to work with you and your spouse to facilitate a meaningful conversation about the issues at hand, which can help eliminate the finger-pointing and other drama that usually accompanies divorce. Typically, mediators will keep you on track and may make suggestions to help you resolve any lingering issues. However, your mediator can’t make decisions for you, force either spouse to accept a term, or insist that either spouse sign a contract.
How Does Mediation Work?
The mediation process starts once you and your spouse agree to use this method of alternative dispute resolution and choose your mediator. In most states, mediation is voluntary, so if either spouse disagrees and wants to follow the traditional divorce route, a court won’t force your spouse to engage in mediation. That said, there are some states where the court requires couples to demonstrate a good faith effort in mediation before scheduling additional court hearings.
Mediation will only work if both spouses are open to negotiating the terms of the divorce. Typically, you’ll set up an initial meeting between the spouses and the mediator. During the first meeting, each spouse will have the opportunity to explain expectations for the most common divorce-related issues, including:
- property division
- child custody and visitation
- child support, and
- alimony or spousal support.
This initial discussion will help the mediator gain an idea of how far apart you are and what areas need the most work.
Aside from statutory limitations of divorce, mediation doesn’t have a time limit. You can continue to mediate and work on your divorce judgment for as long as you, your spouse, and the mediator would like. Naturally, the longer it takes and the more meetings you have, the more expensive it becomes. You can decide to meet once per week, monthly, or at any other time. Most couples can resolve mediation with a few sessions, which typically costs thousands of dollars less than litigating your case in court.
Once you agree on all the outstanding issues, the mediator will draft a divorce settlement agreement for both spouses (and their attorneys) to review, sign, and present to the judge.
Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX
Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.