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After Mediation: When Will Your Texas Divorce be Official?

Feeling anxious or eager to conclude an unpleasant task is a common experience how long after mediation is divorce final in Texas. Trips to the dentist often feel longer due to the discomfort involved. This feeling extends to many daily activities we wish to finish quickly. Our minds race to the end of these tasks as soon as they begin.

This feeling also relates to divorce, one of life’s least enjoyable experiences. It’s not only lengthy and challenging but also emotionally and financially taxing. While every divorce is different, most people start to look forward to its conclusion as soon as they file. However, you shouldn’t plan the end without first defining your personal goals and objectives.

If you’re considering a divorce but haven’t set clear goals, contacting the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is a smart move. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you establish valuable objectives for your case. Although it’s natural to want a quick end to your divorce, rushing can be detrimental. It’s important to carefully consider your goals and how to achieve them, including understanding how long after mediation is divorce final in Texas.

How Long After Mediation is Divorce Final in Texas

Our attorneys bring years of courtroom and mediation experience to tailor a strategy that fits your unique situation. While advice from friends or family who’ve been through a divorce may be useful, professional guidance typically yields better results. Our attorneys will guide you through the various stages of your case, analyze key factors, and help you set and achieve your goals.

Remember, consulting with our attorneys is free. You can contact us today to connect with a knowledgeable team member who will arrange your appointment. Our attorneys will listen attentively to your family law concerns and help you develop a strategic plan. Whether your divorce involves children, is the end of a brief marriage, or occurs later in life, we provide the strategic insight you need to approach your case with intention and focus.

What is mediation?

For such an important part of a divorce case, mediation is a subject that many people have little idea about as they embark upon a case. Let’s spend some time today discussing what mediation is and how it can impact your case positively. Mediation is a tried-and-true method for helping parties to a legal matter settle their case. It is used throughout the legal world but is especially helpful in the context of a family law case. Mediation involves meeting with a third party whose objective is to help you and your spouse settle as many issues related to your divorce as possible.

The mediator is a true third party. This means that he or she will have no connection to you or your spouse. As a result, you can trust that their perspective will not be based on any affinity for you or your spouse. Rather, you will be able to take their unblemished opinions and consider them as you get to various points in your divorce case. So much of the time in a divorce it is easy to feel like your concerns are not being heard or that your spouse is gaining some sort of advantage over you when it comes to your case. When you mediate your case, you can have some assurance that the issues before you are being dealt with fairly and that you have an opportunity to get your issues and opinions heard in a neutral setting.

Mediation typically occurs during two different stages of a divorce. The first time that mediation will likely occur in your case is during the temporary orders phase of your case. During a divorce, it is important to be able to establish some ground rules as far as how you and your spouse are going to conduct yourselves concerning all the different areas of your life. Whether we are talking about visitation with your children, child support, use of the family home, use of your bank accounts and so much more temporary orders occur relatively quickly in a case. The reason for this is that the court wants you and your spouse to have some ground rules laid and to begin to acclimate yourself to living under court orders.

You and your spouse should begin to negotiate on temporary orders quickly after your divorce is filed. This is important from a practical sense given that it is awkward and anti-productive to not have any ground rules for your divorce. Negotiation on temporary orders can occur informally. This means that you and your spouse kindergarten through these issues with one another to see if you can reach a conclusion that is mutually agreeable to both of you. This is also a more cost-effective method to do business with one another. The less you must involve your attorneys, the less likely that you will find yourselves in a position where the cost of your case tends to run amok.

However, your attorneys will be available to help you negotiate on temporary orders. This is especially helpful when you consider that there are several areas in a divorce that you and your spouse will both need guidance on from your attorneys. Specific issues related to child support, child custody, use of the home, and division of your household bills for the duration of your case are all areas where it helps to have someone with experience guiding you. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you agree to something for temporary orders and then find that it is not in your best interest. This means you could end up paying more money than you ought to or putting yourself in a bad position when it comes to your children in several different areas.

Most of the time, you and your spouse will struggle to settle every aspect of your case together, whether informally or through your attorneys. Remember, this doesn’t imply that settling your case is impossible. Instead, it suggests that you might need additional assistance to help both of you reach a mutually agreeable conclusion. Mediation plays a crucial role here. Although mediation can effectively settle your case, I advise you and your spouse not to merely schedule a mediation session and expect to resolve everything on that day. Doing so would be akin to having months to complete a school project but waiting until the last minute to start studying.

Mediation is also required of you to attend before a final trial. Most Texas family court judges will require that you attempt mediation at least once before a trial is held. The reason for this is that courts do not want to tie themselves up in a case that has not yet been mediated. Mediations are highly successful, and it is time-consuming and expensive to have a trial related to your divorce. Therefore, judges are very motivated to have your case mediated before ever setting it on their docket. A trial is seen by many as the last step in a divorce case. However, as we are about to see, there are additional steps involved before your case can officially be done.

A trial deals with matters that are touched on during mediation as well as subject matter that is unique to a trial. For example, think about the division of your marital property and how complex that discussion may get. While there will be financial matters discussed in temporary orders mediation there are no issues related to marital property division that are discussed in temporary orders. This is saved until final orders. You will also deal with a division of your time and conservatorship rights to your children as well as deciding upon a final number for child support.

Preparing for final orders mediation

Final order mediation requires you to diligently prepare to make the most of the opportunity that you have to settle your case before a trial. Make no mistake, settling your case in mediation makes a lot of sense if you can manage to do so. It can save you time and money by not having to go to a trial. With that said, you should evaluate your case on its merits and then determine if settling in mediation is in your best interests and that of your children. There is nothing wrong with going to trial, but you should also work as hard as you can to avoid that outcome if at all possible.

Coming to mediation prepared means thinking through the details associated with your child custody and conservatorship case. When you have minor children that means considering things like child support, visitation, possession, and everything in between. When you are negotiating on a subject like visitation and possession then you should realistically think about what your work schedule is so that you can determine if you are positioned to try and be named as the managing conservator of the children. If not, you should focus your attention on establishing visitation orders that are in the best interests of your children and that will be practical considering your work responsibilities. Again, the more you thought about this before mediation the better off you will be negotiating inside of mediation.

On the financial side of things, preparing for mediation means having already gone through financial documents to be able to assist your attorney in helping you develop your goals. You should have recent financial printouts for your investments, retirement savings, checking accounts, mortgages, and other relevant topics. If you and your spouse have debt, then you need to have an accurate understanding of what those debts are in their current balances. Making sure that the two of you are on the same page at least with the amount of each debt is important. Parties who come into mediation disagreeing about even the amount of your debts can mean that you are not able to settle those issues and mediation.

Is your divorce over with after mediation?

If you and your spouse resolve your disputes in mediation, a mediator will prepare a document called a mediated settlement agreement. This agreement outlines all the resolutions you and your spouse have reached. However, remember that this document does not replace the final orders in your divorce case. Instead, it serves to document your agreement, aiding in the drafting of final orders. These are the documents a judge must sign to officially finalize your divorce.

Even if you settle all issues in mediation, your divorce isn’t complete right away. Drafting and finalizing the orders is often a joint effort between you and your spouse. Your first task after mediation is to ensure the mediated settlement agreement accurately reflects all settlement terms. If it doesn’t, discuss any discrepancies with your attorney and the mediator before signing.

Once mediation concludes, altering the mediated settlement agreement is generally not possible except under rare circumstances. It’s crucial to be completely satisfied with the agreement. Afterwards, you and your attorney will refine the drafts of your final orders until everyone involved agrees. The final step involves signing the final decree of divorce. You, your spouse, both attorneys, and finally, a judge will sign this document. After the judge signs, your divorce is officially complete. You can then obtain a certified copy of the final decree for your records and start focusing on your post-divorce life.

If you have questions about how long after mediation is divorce final in Texas or any other details from today’s blog post, please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free consultations six days a week, in person, over the phone, or via video. These sessions are an excellent opportunity to learn more about Texas family law and how it might affect your family during divorce or child custody cases.

Other Related Articles:

  1. Exploring Divorce Mediation in Texas: What to Expect and How to Prepare
  2. Binding Beyond Ink- The Durability of Mediation Agreements in Texas
  3. How Mediation Can Reduce Divorce Costs in Texas
  4. Mediation and Negotiation- the bulwarks of Texas family law
  5. Mediation: the hidden gem of Texas family law
  6. What is temporary orders mediation and why is it important?
  7. The Role of Mediation in Resolving Family Court Disputes
  8. The Role of Mediation in Annulment Proceedings
  9. After Mediation: When Will Your Texas Divorce be Official?
  10. What is Mediation in a Lawsuit? A Comprehensive Exploration of Mediation in Texas Law

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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