Houston divorce mediation and why it is better than trial.

Houston Divorce and Mediation

Mediation is a formal settlement conference in which parties in a lawsuit may settle some or all of their issues, negating the need for further litigation. Mediation is especially useful in Texas Divorce cases because of the many issues often presented. Once parties reach a mediation agreement, the signed agreement or “mediated settlement agreement” becomes binding on the parties. That means either party may present the agreement to the court for judgment. I have outlined a few benefits to mediation, as opposed to litigation, below:

1. Parties can avoid costly litigation:

Contested Divorces in Texas are expensive, and the more time your divorce lawyer spends in court, the more you will be billed. With divorce attorney’s fees ranging from $350.00 per hour and up and trial taking anywhere from a few hours to a few days, it is easy to understand why litigation costs so much money. Mediation, on the other hand, generally lasts a few hours. By attending mediation, the parties can sit in a calm environment and discuss the issues with no pressure. Often, a good mediator, along with the help of skilled attorneys on both sides, can craft an agreement that will benefit both sides.

2. Custom agreements can be made:

Courts follow the Texas Family Code when ruling on cases before them. The Code gives the court guidance based on state law, from which the court has limited power to deviate. For instance, the Code allows parents to agree that no person shall be the “primary” parent but rather the child’s residence remains within a geographical area. This can be achieved by agreement only, and the court cannot implement the provision independently. Many people are unaware that this option exists in a Texas divorce, and it is too late once it is in trial. By mediating the issues, parents can discuss these options and make decisions that otherwise may not be available.

3. Your case can be resolved much faster:

A court can divorce parties on the 61st day after filing a divorce action. If a case is set for trial, the process can take six months to a few years to be heard by the court. Attorneys can quickly schedule mediation at any time, often prior to the mandatory 61-day period. Courts recognize the benefits of quickly resolving a case and often require mediation.

Readers have found the following articles helpful:

  1. Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in Texas
  2. Divorce in Houston Texas: An Overview

Contact a Houston divorce lawyer today to discuss divorce and mediation and its benefits in a Houston divorce case or call at (713) 781-7775.