Mediation is frequently successful for divorcing couples in large part because the
mediation process allows for a more informal setting and encourages input from the divorcing spouses.
Mediation also allows for parties to be more creative in forming a solution that
will work for their particular situation.
The parties and their attorneys can agree on a competent mediator, or have
the court choose one for them.
Family law mediators typically have extensive experience as practicing
family law attorneys and/or as former family law judges. During the
mediation, each person will have a chance to describe his or her view of the case
to the mediator and make offers to settle all or part of the dispute.
The mediator will discuss these facts and offers with each party in an
attempt to facilitate a compromise. All of the communications with the
mediator are confidential, and the mediator can only disclose to the judge
whether the parties did or did not reach an agreement.
Houston Divorce Mediation
At The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, our
Houston divorce attorneys provide highly effective representation for clients participating in divorce
mediations. During the process of any
family law proceeding, there is a high likelihood that the court will require the parties to
attend mediation. The general purpose of
family law mediation is to facilitate an agreement between the parties on disputed issues.
There has been an increase in the number of Texas family and divorce courts
that mandate parties to attempt to form agreements through mediation prior
to going to hearing on
temporary orders and/or trial.
Generally, persons involved in family law litigation have much more flexibility
to enter into creative and tailored solutions to the issues involved in
the lawsuit if they do so at mediation. The court can order the parties to
mediation; however, it cannot mandate that the parties reach a compromise. If a
compromise cannot be reached, the litigants must then submit their disagreement
to the court and the judge will make a ruling.
Mediation is Confidential
In order to encourage people to negotiate in mediation Texas rules of procedure
provide that mediation is confidential. In other words what happens in
mediation, stays at
mediation. This means that any offers that are communicated during mediation cannot
be used as evidence in future any future court hearings.
Agreements Reached in Mediation are Final
If an agreement is reached in
mediation it will be reduced to writing in a document called a mediated settlement
agreement. The parties and their respective attorneys execute the mediated
settlement agreement. That
mediated settlement agreement (MSA) becomes a contractually binding agreement that cannot be changed
absent a showing of fraud, or coercion or duress in the procurement of
the mediated settlement agreement.
One of the most important Texas Supreme Court cases on this matter was
“In re Lee” which upheld a mediated settlement agreement in
a family law case.
The Judge in “In re Lee” refused to enter judgment based on
the agreement. Mother filed a motion to enter judgment, while Father filed
to withdraw his consent to the agreement. The Judge heard testimony and
concluded that the agreement was NOT in the best interest of the child
and refused to enter judgment.
The Texas Supreme Court holds that the statutory language which makes mediated
settlement agreements in family law cases irrevocable and a trial court
may not deny a motion to enter judgment on a properly executed mediated
agreement. So a trial court will not have grounds to set aside a mediated
agreement just because the trial court disagrees with the agreement reached.
The Court held that the mediation rule – Texas Family Code section
153.0071 – trumps over any conflicting statute because the mediation
statute uses the language “notwithstanding… another rule
Prepare for Divorce Mediation
At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan we believe the best way to settle any type of
family law lawsuit is to be prepared prior to going through the mediation process. One of
the things we will discuss during our initial consultation is what things
we will need in order to be prepared for
Prior to mediation we will ask you to bring us the most recent financial
statements of any bank account, retirement account, stocks, as well as
any documents evidencing debt. Blue book values on automobiles, boats
and other vehicles are valuable as well.
If children are involved, it is important to bring us personal calendars
that chronicle the children’s activities and any relevant events
that have occurred during or immediately prior to the litigation.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- 5 Things to Do to Prepare your Texas Divorce Case for Mediation
- What is mediation?
- What is Divorce and Family Law Mediation in Spring and Houston Texas?
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn't: What can I do?
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and