Mediation in Texas

Your Houston Mediation Lawyer

If you are going through a Texas divorce, you will likely go to mediation. Most counties in Texas now require spouses to attend mediation before scheduling a court hearing. Mediation can save divorcing parties thousands of dollars and months or even years of litigation. Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, qualified family lawyers can help you navigate the process and prepare you for a successful mediation.  

What is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is a process whereby you and your soon-to-be ex come together with your respective attorneys to hammer out the details of your divorce under the guidance of a neutral third party – a mediator trained in law and negotiation. The ultimate goal of mediation is for you and your spouse to come to an agreement that serves both of you (albeit with significant compromises usually included). Mediation can be an extremely powerful tool but also a complicated process; if you are facing a divorce, you need an experienced Houston divorce attorney.

Mediation Lawyer in Houston TX

Mediation allows you to process the important details of your divorce in a more relaxed environment than that of the court. Still, mediation is nevertheless a serious process in which emotions are bound to run high. If your mediation is successful, you and your divorcing spouse will walk away with the details of your divorce determined in the form of a signed mediation settlement agreement. All Texas family law issues are handled in mediation, including grounds for divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, enforcement actions, property division, and spousal maintenance

Mediation Is a Compromise

When it comes to mediation, it’s important to have realistic expectations. You are not likely to come out of meditation feeling on top of the world. During the process, you will probably give up some ground that you’d rather not give up. Still, your attorney will help you stay focused on the larger picture and protect your future with the compromises you make. Mediation is all about compromise, meaning both parties must have a give-and-take attitude. In mediation, you and your spouse must make somewhat painful concessions. The outcome, however, should help protect your rights overall. It’s especially important to go into mediation with a clear understanding of your divorce priorities. You won’t need mediation if you and your spouse have no divorce-related sticking points. Still, most divorcing couples have sticking points that involve the division of marital property and/or child custody arrangements. Before mediation, your experienced Houston divorce attorney will carefully review the details of your divorce with you and help you prioritize your goals so that you’ll be better prepared to move forward when you do go to mediation.

The Divorce Mediation Process

The mediation process typically involves you, your divorcing spouse, and your respective divorce attorneys meeting with a mediator either at his or her office or in a predetermined mediation space. You and your spouse will likely begin in different rooms, and the mediator will go back and forth between you. Typically, the mediator will begin with the petitioner, who originally filed for divorce. Through speaking with both of you individually, your mediator will become familiar with your case and help you find ways to compromise. Mediators can often help divorcing couples explore options they may not have even considered. The best approach to mediation is to go in with an open mind and a keen interest in moving your divorce forward with purpose. While you are unlikely to walk away with everything you ever wanted, you should walk away with a divorce settlement that serves you and your children’s best interests. 

Mediation Is Confidential

It is important to keep in mind that anything that occurs during your mediation is confidential. Nothing that transpires can later be used in court – if your divorce isn’t settled via mediation. Further, the mediator can’t be called in as a witness in your divorce. Throughout the mediation process, your mediator will take information back and forth between you and your spouse, and you should assume that everything you say will be shared with your spouse. However, if you have some information that you and your experienced Houston divorce attorney believe is critical to shaping your case and that you don’t want to share with your spouse, you can tell your mediator that you don’t want the information disclosed.

Your Mediated Settlement Agreement

If your mediation is successful, you will walk away with a mediated settlement agreement signed by both of you that outlines the details of your divorce and will become binding. It’s especially important to recognize that if you sign a mediated settlement agreement, it will be binding and is not something you will have the opportunity to tweak later. With your agreement, you and your spouse will ask the court to enter a final divorce decree based on your agreement. 

Only under very limited circumstances is a divorcing spouse allowed to have a mediated settlement agreement set aside, and these circumstances generally include extremely serious matters like active fraud or the omission of substantial assets during the mediation process. Regret is not reason enough. In other words, you won’t be able to reconsider once the mediated settlement agreement is signed. Your dedicated Houston divorce attorney will work closely with you throughout the mediation process to help ensure that you can live with the compromises you are committing to and that these compromises help protect your rights. 

When Mediation Is Unsuccessful

Sometimes, couples can’t find a middle ground in mediation and move on to court – where the details of their divorce decree will be determined. Divorces that involve high assets or especially complicated or contentious components are more likely to be unsuccessful at mediation. However, it’s important to understand that the court has wide discretion regarding the division of your marital assets and can offer unexpected results.  

Contact Us Today for Your Free Case Evaluation, and Let Us Help You. 713-781-7775

If you need Mediation in Houston, Texas, call The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. We have the knowledge, trial experience, and professional staff to protect you, your family, and your property.