Are you currently exploring your options for divorce? These days, more and more divorcing couples are looking to explore alternative methods to dissolve their marriage. Mediation has become an increasingly more popular options these days due to the cost efficiency, privacy, and ability to communicate directly while working through issues.
At Renken Law Firm, we work with couples from all different backgrounds to reach amicable agreements in their divorce cases. Mediation provides a more private and affordable divorce alternative that can benefit you in many ways. If you are unsure if divorce mediation is right for you, read this blog post to gain insight into who divorce mediation is most successful for.
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a trained, neutral mediator to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce. Mediation sessions often take place in an informal office setting, but you might also be able to go through your mediation online.
A mediator can help you reach agreement on the issues you and your spouse need to resolve in order to finalize your divorce, such as child custody, child support, and property division. Mediators don’t make decisions or offer legal advice, but rather serve as facilitators to help spouses figure out what’s best for their situation.
When spouses reach agreement through mediation, most mediators will draft (and possibly file with the court) a divorce settlement agreement.
Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce?
Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after. Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court).
- Cost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial.
- Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce.
- Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions.
- Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles.
- Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice.
- Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process.
- Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts.
Successful mediation makes the rest of your divorce easier: Because you’ve done all the hard work of hammering out the details in the mediation, you can file an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and faster than litigated divorces (divorces where the couple battles in court).
With an uncontested divorce, you’ll save money on attorneys’ fees and the costs of going to trial. Also, many courts fast-track uncontested cases because everything has been worked out in advance, meaning that a judge will be able to finalize your divorce faster than if you’d gone to trial.
Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Consider Divorce Mediation
Mediation can work for many if not most divorcing couples, even ones who have hard feelings and lots of issues to resolve. While mediation is worth trying for most pairs, not all of them belong in mediation. Mediation might not be for you if:
- You have experienced domestic abuse or fear for your or your children’s safety. If you are currently experiencing or recently experienced domestic violence or the threat of violence, mediation isn’t for you—you should seek assistance from a lawyer or other qualified source. If there was abuse in the relationship but it was some time ago, you should weigh the pros and cons of mediating carefully. Depending on the circumstances, some who have been abused might find it empowering to meet on the level playing field of a mediation session. Also, most mediators will take precautions to ensure that mediation occurs in safe conditions (for example, by meeting with the spouses separately). Others who have been abused, however, could reasonably find it traumatic to have to mediate or might feel the power or intimidation dynamics are too great—they might choose to have a lawyer do their negotiating for them. Also, some mediators won’t take cases that involve domestic violence.
- Your spouse has a history of being deceitful or untrustworthy. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, wasting funds, or lying, mediation probably isn’t worth your time. You won’t be able to successfully negotiate unless both spouses are truthful, make full disclosures, and play by the rules.
- You suspect your spouse wants to delay the proceedings. Because the mediator can’t order either of you to do anything, a person who wants to delay the proceedings or avoid paying support can abuse the process by agreeing to mediation and then stalling the process.
- One of you is claiming fault or has hired a lawyer. When a spouse is claiming that the other is legally at fault for ending the marriage (a claim you can’t make in all states), a successful mediation is less likely—but not impossible. If your spouse has already hired a lawyer, you should strongly consider hiring one, too. Your lawyer will help you decide if participating in mediation is worth it based on the facts of your situation.
For divorces without those kinds of circumstances, divorce mediation can be a great option. It’s especially effective when both people show up open to compromise.
Don’t reject mediation just because you and your spouse see a particular issue very differently—in other words, don’t give up before you’ve begun. Mediation is a powerful process, and many cases that seem impossible to resolve at the beginning end up in a settlement.
Divorce Mediation Near Me
Divorces can be extremely difficult for everyone involved. At Renken Law Firm we work with families to find affordable and amicable solutions for divorce. One of the simplest methods to cut back on costs is by forgoing a traditional divorce and electing to pursue divorce mediation.
At Renken Law Firm, our team understands how draining it can be to go through a divorce and figure out how to divide assets and debt. you. We know each family’s situation is unique and will come with its own specific set of needs. Let us help you navigate your needs in a safe and non-combative setting to find a divorce agreement that works for your long term needs.
Many people couples traditional divorce interferes with their lifestyle and is often not in the best interest of either party. Courtroom divorces can be long and drawn out, offering no privacy. This is because everything that is said or done in a courtroom divorce is public and on record. Whenever you choose to have a mediated divorce, the agreements you come to will be private between both spouses and a neutral third party who acts as the mediator. The mediator will be responsible for ensuring the agreement the couple reaches is fair and mutually beneficial.
If you have any questions or concerns about the mediation process, reach out to our office today. We will speak with you and help provide you with the information you need.
Why Choose Renken Law Firm?
Attorney Dawn Renken is a practicing family law attorney in Texas, that specializes in divorce cases in Houston, TX. Attorney Renken received her mediation license through ADR Services International Inc. in 2014. Since this time, she has worked with a wide range of divorcing couples looking for alternatives to traditional courtroom divorces. Mediation offers the opportunity to divorce without public court appearances or back and forth litigation. Mediation is a private method of divorce that allows both parties to work together to reach an amicable solution as a neutral third-party mediator works to ensure both parties are fairly represented in the final agreement.
Family Law Practice Near Houston
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.