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The Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation in Texas

There is more than one way to get a divorce in Texas. Although you may imagine a long and bitter courtroom battle when ending your marriage, the truth is that most divorce cases settle out of court. Mediation is one process that is very useful when trying to reach a settlement with your spouse. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which you and your spouse meet with a third party mediator. The mediator is a neutral and objective party and their only job is to try and foster compromise and communication between the two parties.

Mediation has many benefits for couples who are divorcing. As with anything else though, it can have its downsides. Below, our Texas divorce lawyer explains the pros and cons you may face when going through mediation.

The Pros of Using Mediation During Divorce

There are many reasons why you should consider using divorce mediation to resolve the different issues with your spouse. They include:

Saving money: Divorce litigation, which requires a full trial, is the costliest way to get a divorce. By keeping your case out of court, you can avoid court fees and other legal fees that are associated with taking your case to trial.
Saving time: Litigating a divorce will also take the longest amount of time to resolve your issues. You will be at the mercy of court schedules and cases can drag on for years. By going through mediation, you can avoid this wasted time and resolve all issues in your case in just a matter of weeks.
More control: When taking your divorce case to court, a judge will make all the decisions on any disputes. You will have no say in those decisions, but they are final and legally binding. When going through mediation, you can negotiate with your spouse about every issue, giving you much more control over the process.
Improve communication: It is often difficult for people to work together peacefully after a divorce, particularly when child custody and support issues are involved. Mediation can help you learn how to better communicate with your spouse during divorce, and afterwards.
Confidential: Anything that happens in court becomes a matter of public record. For some, this is a problem because they want to keep their financial matters or other issues private. Mediation is not a public proceeding and so, any records created from it are kept confidential.
Informal: Court hearings are very formal and can cause people to feel more stressed, which can lead to them being more combative. Mediation is much more informal, which can make people feel more relaxed and better ready to negotiate in good faith rather than fight tooth and nail over certain issues.

The Cons of Using Mediation During Divorce

While mediation does hold many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. These are as follows:

Mediators do not provide legal advice: Mediators are sometimes attorneys but even when they are, they do not provide legal advice. As such, you should always bring a lawyer to mediation sessions with you when possible.
Mediation does not always work: Mediation is often very successful but there are times when it may not work. If your spouse is dishonest, abusive, or uncooperative, mediation may not be successful.
Hidden assets: Spouses sometimes try to hide their assets during divorce. During litigation, it may be easier to find these so they can be included in property division than it is during mediation.
Might be unnecessary: Not all divorce cases involve conflict. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on your own, there is no conflict to resolve and so, you do not need to enter mediation. Instead, you can agree to the terms and one of you can hire a lawyer to officially draft it.
Prolong the inevitable: Mediation does not always work and when that is the case, you will have to go to trial. In this instance, it will only prolong your case and make it take longer before you can move forward in your life.
You may not have legal representation: Some mediators allow attorneys to be part of the process, while others do not. Lawyers are not usually allowed in sessions if only one party has representation, because it is seen as an unfair advantage. This does not mean that you should not use mediation, but it does mean you should meet with a lawyer outside of sessions who can provide sound legal advice.

Our Divorce Lawyer in Houston Can Help You Through Mediation

At Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our Houston divorce lawyer can help you through the mediation process, ensure your rights are upheld, and help you obtain the full settlement you deserve. Call us today at 713-225-6200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Mary E. Ramos

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Mary E. Ramos

Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is recognized and respected throughout the Houston legal community for dedication in effectively representing clients’ rights and interests. Mary understands the emotional side of divorce and brings a special compassion to each and every case.

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