In the realm of family law, disputes and conflicts are inevitable. The emotional and sensitive issues of divorce, child custody, property division, and more can put you in a long drawn-out battle between you and your spouse. However, Texas family law embraces mediation as a powerful tool to promote communication, collaboration, and ultimately achieve amicable resolutions. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process, and a key component of the Texas family law system. By mediating parties can facilitate a more harmonious and cost-effective way of addressing their family law conflicts.
Mediation is a process that allows parties involved in a family dispute to meet with a neutral third-party, the mediator. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication, guide discussions, and help the parties explore potential solutions to their issues. The mediator does not make any rulings like a judge would; instead, they help the parties to reach mutually agreeable resolutions that address their unique circumstances and needs.
In Texas, mediation is a crucial aspect of family law proceedings. While it can be engaged in voluntarily, many courts in the DFW metroplex either require or “strongly recommend” that parties at least attempt to mediate their case before going to trial on contested issues. This requirement emphasizes the court’s preference for resolving disputes outside of litigation whenever possible. By encouraging mediation, the Texas legal system aims to reduce the burden on courts, minimize the adversarial nature of family disputes, and prioritize the best interests of the parties involved, especially children.
Discussions held during mediation are confidential. The mediator cannot be brought on the stand as a witness to testify as to what you said in mediation. This allows you to speak openly and freely, increasing your chances of arriving at a mutual agreement without having to worry about being on the record. secure sharing their concerns and needs.
It is very important that you don’t go into mediation looking to “win”. You go in looking to compromise. Is it possible to receive your best day in court during mediation? Yes, but often times you will receive a little less than the best possible outcome. The trade-off is that you will often receive much better than your worst possible outcome. Mediation is a safe bet compared to the unpredictability of a trial.
Another major bonus to mediation is that it is significantly cheaper than going to trial. Litigation can be financially draining for families. For an experienced legal team to go to trial on your behalf you are looking at thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Whereas mediation can see you case completed for much less. Additionally, mediation will also see your case resolved much faster. Family law cases can take months or years to complete. Mediation can settle your case in a fraction of the time.