If you are reading this blog post it is likely that you are either contemplating a
divorce or one is already in the works. It is normal to feel nervous, apprehensive
and stressed out about the challenges that you and your family are facing.
From everything you’ve heard about divorce it isn’t a fun
process and is one that can get expensive quickly. Maybe you’ve
hired a lawyer already or maybe you’re just poking around to see
what your options are.
Out of all of the divorce consultations I have done as an attorney with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, the most widely held belief in regard to divorces that people seem to
hold is that divorce always ends up in court with a judge deciding the
outcome of your case. While this is certainly a possibility it is not
the normal conclusion to a divorce.
The majority of divorces conclude with the parties to a divorce attending
mediation to negotiate and settle their case on all subjects rather than heading
downtown to talk to the judge. Many people are unfamiliar with what mediation
is and you may be no different. With that said, let’s discuss mediation
and how it can help you and your spouse avoid the sort of divorce that
keeps you awake at night.
What is the role of mediation in the context of a Texas Divorce case?
A mediator is an independent party (typically a practicing
family lawattorney) whom the parties to a divorce mutually select to intervene and assist
in working out a settlement on any disputed issue in their case. This
property, etc. are all fair game to be discussed and mediated.
Think of any issue that you believe a judge would have to decide in your
divorce. A mediator can step in and work as a go-between for you and your
spouse so that the judge does not have to be involved.
In most scenarios you and your attorney, your wife and their attorney and
the mediator would select a day to attend mediation at the mediator’s
office. You would be in one room at the mediator’s office and your
spouse would be in another, each with your respective attorneys. The mediator
acts as a “ping pong ball” of sorts going back and forth between
the rooms to help you all negotiate any issues that need resolving.
If you all are having trouble agreeing to a
visitation schedule for the children then the mediator can help both sides brain
storm and come together for a solution. Or if you and your spouse cannot
agree on how to divide up your marital estate then the mediator can likewise
assist in this area.
Is mediation required before going to court?
Some former clients have held the opinion that their spouse is the most
stubborn, rotten and hard to deal with individual in the history of the
planet and there was no way that a settlement could be reached in mediation.
You may have read that prior sentence and thought that it could have just
as easily described your own spouse.
Most courts in southeast Texas counties do require mediation both before
temporary orders hearings and
trials. The reason for this is that the success rate for cases settling in mediation
is so high, and courts are so overburdened with litigants that it is a
no brainer to require mediation prior to actually taking your case to a judge.
So even if you think your spouse will never work with you in mediation,
most courts require it anyways. Even so, I would say most people would
believe their spouse to be unyielding and difficult to deal with if they
are going through a divorce. The rate of success at mediation is contrary
to this idea though.
Advantages to mediation over going to court
There are two main advantages in my opinion to working out a resolution
in mediation as opposed to going before a judge:
Mediation with a private mediator in Harris County will typically cost
somewhere between $300 and $500 for a half day session. Costs can vary
from mediator to mediator, however, based on the skill and experience
of the mediator. With that said a few hundred dollars pales in comparison
to the investment you would be making in taking your case to a temporary
orders hearing or trial to resolve any outstanding issues.
The time spent at the courthouse and preparing for a hearing are hours
that you will be paying your attorney. It is not unreasonable to think
that all in all a contested hearing or trial could cost you five to ten
times as much as your mediation session in terms of attorney’s fees.
A resolution tailor made for your family
Nobody knows your family as well as you and your spouse do. Nobody is saying
that once you walk into the mediator’s office that your past will
be forgotten and you and your spouse are going to hammer out an agreement
in five minutes. What I am saying is that despite the difficult circumstances
you are going through resolving the issues together is a better alternative
than going to see a judge.
A judge is bound by the
Texas Family Code and its laws on dividing up property as well as dividing time, resources,
rights and duties for your children. A judge is not able in most cases
to get creative with solutions to any of these issues. He or she will
listen to testimony and then make a decision that probably will not suit
either party all that well.
The reason being is that judges, absent overwhelming evidence in favor
of you or your spouse, will probably go right down the middle and award
property evenly and stick closely to a
Standard Possession order for your children. If you and your spouse want to carve out a more flexible
agreement that takes your individual circumstances and desires into consideration
then you would be best served to work hard at mediation to make that goal
Additional questions on divorce mediation? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any other questions on divorce, mediation or any subject having
to do with
family law in Texas please
Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. One of our licensed family law attorneys is available to meet with
you six days a week to answer questions and to discuss our firm and the
services we provide to our clients.
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:
- Mediation Essentials for a Texas Divorce
- 3 Great Texas Divorce Mediation Ideas
- 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 Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Divorce lawyers in Spring 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