Texas Family Law Courts: Mediation and Divorce Essentials

If you’re just joining us for our discussion on Texas family lawcourts, I would recommend going back to yesterday’s blog post and reading through some of the basic information that we provided to readers regarding Family Law courts in Texas.

That information will reinforce the subject matter that we are discussing today, that of mediation. This subject is at the core of many family law cases and the information we will be discussing can go a long way towards helping you feel more confident about taking on a family lawsuit.

Mediation- Who is it for and how can it help?

In the first part of our series of blogs on Texas family law courts I mentioned that it is unlikely that your divorce or child custody case will even be heard in front of a judge because it is probable that your case will settle first. You may be skeptical of this assertion I just made.

In fact, you’re pretty sure that your spouse or child’s other parent is the most hardheaded and stubborn and mean person on the face of the earth. The chances of your case settling are about the same as a snowball’s chance in…well, you know where I’m going with this.

Rest assured, you can do the research and see that the odds are certainly in your favor that your case will settle before a temporary ordershearing or trial is even necessary. This is by design. Many family law courts require that you mediate your case prior to a temporary orders and most definitely by trial.

Family law courts are busy, busy, busy. Go to the docket call any morning in Harris County and you may find yourself listening to cases being called for upwards of thirty minutes on very busy days. This means that the courts will do whatever they can to assist you in settling your case, thereby limiting the cases that judge ultimately has to hear.

Mediation Essentials

Mediation is a formal settlement process that is confidential. This means that what you, your spouse and your attorneys tell the mediator is confidential unless you want the mediator to make what you said to him or her known to the other party. You, your attorney, your opposing party and their attorney will mutually select a third party mediator in your area, likely a family law attorney, to try and resolve any outstanding issues in your case.

The mediator will make his or her office available to the parties and you will be in one room with your attorney while your opposing party will be with his or her attorney in another office. The mediator will act as a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth between the rooms to communicate messages, settlement offers and generally attempting to push both sides towards a resolution.

A mediator will help both sides to refine their goals and discuss the likelihood of a particular result occurring in trial. For instance, if your goal is to get sole custody of your child in the divorce the mediator will likely sit with you and your attorney and discuss whether or not that is a possibility. If you are hoping for a result that is not likely a good mediator will make sure you are aware of the remote chance that your goal has of coming to fruition.

This typically helps a party understand that it is not worth pushing forward to trial for a result that is unlikely to occur. Likewise, if you and your opposing party are having difficulty in hammering out specifics for possession, visitation or any other issue related to your child the mediator can put on his or her problem solving cap and help you all come up with a creative solution that works for all parties.

Benefits of mediation versus going to a hearing or trial

Staying out of court to decide the outcome of your case is generally a favorable way to go about your family law case. For starters, your judge is going to be ill equipped to come up with a solution that works well for you and your opposing party. Judges are well meaning but he or she will have nowhere near the knowledge of your case as you or your opposing party do.

My thoughts on the subject are always that you and your spouse, no matter how angry you are at one another, know more about your lives and that of your children than the judge ever will. What makes you think that the judge will be able to come up with better solutions to your problems than you and your spouse?

Of course, a judge could hand down a better outcome for you than what you would have stood to receive in mediation. On the other hand, your spouse could be the one who comes out smelling like roses while you are left upset at the outcome.

The point is we just don’t know how a judge will rule on a particular subject on a particular day. Your attorney may have a general understanding of how your judge typically rules on a subject but he or she certainly doesn’t know beyond the shadow of a doubt. It’s that uncertainty that makes mediation much more palatable than going to trial or hearing with a judge.

Finally, the cost of mediation pales in comparison to going to a hearing or trial. The preparation inherent in a hearing or trial is more than that of going to mediation which means your attorney will be spending more time researching and readying your case.

More time spent working on your case means more time spent billing your case. A hearing at the family law court can also mean that you end up spending an entire day in court. Your attorney will be billing you for this entire day, not just the time spent in the hearing itself. For a fee of $300 or $400 you can settle your case without spending the emotional or monetary output that you would going to court.

Divorce to be discussed tomorrow in part three of this series on family law courts

The subject we’ve all been waiting for- divorce- will be discussed in tomorrow’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. If you have questions about divorce, child custody or another subject in family law please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our consultations are free of charge and one of our licensed family law attorneys will be happy to sit with you and answer any questions that you may have.

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Other Articles you may be interested on regarding Houston Court Local Rules:

  1. Texas Family Law Courts: Mediation and Divorce Essentials
  2. Texas Family Law Courts: What to Expect
  3. Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 245TH Judicial District Local Rules
  4. 247TH Judicial District Local Rules
  5. 246TH Judicial District Local Rules
  6. Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 308TH Judicial District Local Rules
  7. Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 257TH Judicial District Local Rules
  8. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  9. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  10. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  11. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  12. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
  13. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce

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.

Our 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, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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