Divorce is an emotionally draining process. Much of this is by nature, as it’s hard for people to avoid feeling pain while ending their marriage. Some emotional pain, however, can be avoided, and mediation is a good way to do this. There are many myths surrounding mediation, but the process benefits a variety of divorcing couples. Divorce lawyers in Houston are able to help with or conduct the mediation process.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a non-adversarial way to settle issues in a divorce through compromise. During the mediation process, the spouses are separated and the mediator goes back and forth between the spouses gathering information and relaying positions. The mediator is only authorized to tell the other spouse what the first spouse allows, but they have the benefit of hearing both sides of the divorce and can guide the spouses towards common ground. Hopefully, the process ends with an agreement on the major issues of the divorce.
Many divorce lawyers in Houston are certified to perform mediation. Judges will often order mediation as part of the divorce proceedings.
1. Mediation is inconvenient.
Mediation takes less time than litigating and is often less costly as well. For any divorce lawyer in Houston, preparing for custody, property and other divorce hearings entails many billable hours of work. By using mediation, the clients save this time and ultimately reduce the costs of divorce. Also, where divorce litigation may take longer to prepare and drag on for weeks, it’s possible to conclude all the issues in a divorce in a four-hour mediation session.
2. Mediation makes one side powerless.
Mediators are trained to recognize power imbalances and can call out one side or stop the session if one party is trying to dominate the other. Additionally, the mediators are only authorized to disclose what each side allows, and each spouse has complete control over what they offer to the other spouse. The spouses are usually not even in the same room, so there is less chance of feeling intimidated.
3. Lawyers aren’t involved in mediation.
Many divorce lawyers in Houston are mediators themselves or you should always have your lawyer with you during the mediation process. It’s in each party’s interest to have an attorney review the settlement and explain to them the rights and privileges they’re getting and giving up in the agreement.
4. Every Divorce Can Benefit From Mediation
Many divorces can benefit from mediation, but the process is not fail-safe. If there was abuse or criminal behavior in the marriage, then the abused spouse may not want to participate in mediation because they have little to compromise. Additionally, if one party wants the marriage to drag out, they can use the mediation process to try to coerce the other party to remain married or delay the final divorce settlement. People can speak with their divorce lawyer in Houston for advice on whether the process would be beneficial to their situation.
How to Decide if Mediation is Right for You
Like other issues in a divorce, mediation is a personal decision (unless the spouses are ordered to try mediation by the judge). If you suspect that your spouse is not committed to divorce or know they are abusive, you can try to forego mediation or quickly end the process. Otherwise, it’s something to consider as a way to find a beneficial resolution to a divorce. Mediations often speed the resolution of a divorce.
Our Ramos Law firm divorce lawyers in Houston are happy to assist our clients with mediation or answer any questions concerning the process. Contact our office for more information or to speak with an attorney.