What is Divorce Mediation?
Posted by Mary E. Ramos | Divorce
For many people, divorce is one the most stressful times in their lives. When a marriage ends, spouses experience a variety of feelings and sometimes act on those feelings in ways that hurt themselves and other people. One way that spouses can forego some of the pain associated with divorce is by using mediation to reach an agreement with their spouse. Divorce lawyers in Houston, TX can help with mediation and facilitate an agreement between the parties during divorce.
The Mediation Process
Mediation starts with the mediator gathering information from the spouses about the divorce, the issues in the divorce, the marriage, and the spouse’s lives. After the mediator has a good picture of the situation, there’s usually an initial meeting introductions between each spouse, that spouse’s attorney and the mediator. In the Houston area, spouses are generally in separate rooms and do not see each other at the mediation. The attorneys occasionally conference together with the mediator.
The mediator goes back and forth between the two spouses gathering information about their positions and what they’d be willing to accept in a divorce settlement. The mediator only tells the other spouse what each spouse authorizes them to tell. They also ask pointed questions about each spouse’s desires in an effort to find common ground. Because the mediator knows the extent of each party’s position, they can see where the positions overlap.
Divorce lawyers in Houston, TX sometimes act as mediators for their clients; counselors and former judges often have mediation firms as well. If the parties can reach an agreement, it’s a critical for each of them to review the agreement with their attorney. Throughout the mediation, the parties need to be open to communication and willing to make compromises in order for the mediation to succeed.
Benefits and Drawbacks to Mediation
In general, mediation can be less stressful, less costly and lead to a better life after the divorce. If the parties can agree to resolve their differences without litigation, they stand a better chance to have an amicable relationship after getting divorced. Also, divorce litigation can be costly because it takes a lot of time to prepare for hearings in front of the judge or jury.
Mediation may not be suitable for victims of domestic violence, although some people find the process empowering even after an abusive relationship. It’s not a perfect solution to everyone’s problems, which is why spouses should consult with their respective divorce lawyers while in mediation.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Before reaching an agreement with a mediator and your spouse, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to discuss your rights and what a reasonable settlement offer would look like. Divorce lawyers in Houston, TX review these settlements and advise their clients on the rights and privileges they may be giving up. If an agreement cannot be reached, the spouse can proceed directly to litigation.
At Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our divorce lawyers in Houston, TX are happy to help our clients with mediation and other divorce proceedings. Contact our office to speak with an attorney or learn more about divorce proceedings today.