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Mediation

Divorce mediation in Texas is a process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps a divorcing couple reach mutually acceptable agreements regarding various aspects of their divorce, such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. Here's how divorce mediation typically works in Texas:

  1. Choose a Mediator: The first step is to select a qualified mediator. You can choose a mediator through recommendations from your attorney, online directories, or referrals from friends and family. Ensure that the mediator is experienced in family law and is certified by the state of Texas.
  2. Initiate Mediation: Either you, your spouse, or your attorneys can contact the chosen mediator to schedule a mediation session. Both parties must agree to participate voluntarily.
  3. Pre-Mediation Preparation: Before the mediation session, both parties should gather all relevant information and documentation related to their assets, debts, income, and expenses. This information is crucial for the negotiation process.
  4. Mediation Session: You and your spouse will be in separate rooms. During the mediation session, the mediator will facilitate the exchange of offers and counteroffers between you and your spouse. They will help you identify the issues that need to be resolved and guide the conversation to reach agreements.
  5. Communication and Compromise: You and your spouse will have the opportunity to communicate your concerns and preferences. The mediator will work to find common ground and help you both understand the potential consequences of various decisions.
  6. Drafting Agreements: Once agreements are reached on each issue, the mediator will help draft a Mediate Settlement Agreement [or MSA]. This agreement will be reviewed and signed by both parties. This document is essential because it can be presented to the court for approval and become legally binding.
  7. Legal Review: It is advisable for each party to have their own attorney review the final agreement to ensure that it protects their legal rights and interests. However, having an attorney present during mediation sessions is not required but is often recommended.
  8. Court Approval: Once the parties have reached agreements and signed the mediated settlement agreement, it will be submitted to the court for approval. If the court finds the agreement fair and in compliance with Texas law, it will become part of the final divorce decree.

Mediation is often a more amicable and cost-effective way to resolve divorce-related issues compared to litigation. It allows the parties involved to have more control over the outcome and fosters a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
Keep in mind that while mediation is a valuable option, it may not be suitable for all situations, especially if there is a history of abuse or extreme power imbalances in the relationship. In such cases, the court may recommend other dispute resolution methods or a traditional divorce trial.

If you have questions, we have answers.

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