Mediation is a process through which spouses negotiate the terms of their divorce using a specially trained and impartial guide (or “mediator”) throughout the process. During mediation, spouses can come to an agreement on all divorce matters, including marital property division, child support, spousal support, child custody, and visitation. In fact, as long as both spouses are represented by attorneys and there are no allegations of abuse, Texas mandates that family law cases involving custody and visitation issues must go through mediation.
If you are considering divorce, you may wonder if mediation is right for you. In this article, we will look at five common questions about divorce mediation. Keep in mind that an experienced Texas divorce attorney is your best choice for legal divorce advice.
Is a Divorce Lawyer the Same Thing as a Mediator?
Although many mediators are family law attorneys, the role of a mediator is different from that of an attorney. While an attorney represents one side in a divorce case, a mediator is responsible for helping both sides. Spouses can each hire their own attorney, and then share the cost of the mediator.
Can Spouses Who Disagree Use a Mediator?
Part of a mediator’s job is to defuse tension and help spouses work on conflict resolution so they can reach an agreement despite their differences. While mediation may not be a good choice if your relationship with your spouse is truly hostile, some disagreement is normal for couples who pursue mediation.
Does Using a Mediator Completely Get Rid of the Need to Appear in Court?
If you and your spouse have a successful mediation process, you will only need to go to court twice: once to file for divorce and to let the judge know that you plan to use mediation, and once to submit the final divorce agreement. In some cases, it may even be possible to carry out these steps electronically rather than making an in-person appearance.
What if We Cannot Work Together?
If mediation fails because spouses cannot reach an agreement, the mediation process will end and the couple will move towards a court trial (litigation). However, if a couple has been able to mediate at least some parts of their divorce agreement, that is a success.
Is Litigation More Expensive than a Mediator?
This depends on the couple and their circumstances. A very simple divorce may be able to go to trial fairly quickly, while a complicated mediation process can take some time. Generally speaking, however, couples who divorce using mediation save themselves time and money on court fees and attorneys’ expenses.
Work With a Collin County Divorce Attorney
Mediation can be a helpful tool during the divorce process, but it may not work in every situation. For help understanding whether mediation is right for you, speak with a skilled Plano, Texas divorce attorney. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, Attorney Brian Bagley has experience with different divorce strategies and can help you create a plan that works for you. Call us today for your free consultation at (972) 843-7158.