In Texas, you can pursue an uncontested or contested divorce depending on your situation. A contested divorce means that you and your spouse cannot agree on at least one aspect of the termination of your marriage. You have the option to go to trial or to attempt an alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration.
Mediation offers a wide range of benefits for many couples and an increasing number of judges request that couples that cannot reach an agreement on all terms of their divorce first go through mediation before moving forward with litigation. This aims to allow the couple to work with a neutral third party and possibly their respective lawyers to negotiate and resolve their issues. The mediator is not here to make decisions but help both spouses communicate their needs and goals more openly and efficiently.
#1 A Time and Cost-Efficient Alternative Dispute Resolution
Two of the main benefits of choosing mediation as your alternative dispute resolution is that it can save you time and money. Although you can expect to need more than one mediation appointment, which typically lasts several hours, the process can move forward more quickly than during litigation where multiple court hearings are necessary with weeks or months between each.
Avoiding numerous court hearings also helps you save on legal expenses as you do not need to bring your lawyer to court on a semi-regular basis. You may decide that you simply want to meet with your lawyer between mediation sessions or that you would like them to be present with you during mediation.
#2 Positive Co-Parenting Foundations
If you share minor children, mediation can help you set the tone and foundation for how you envision co-parenting. Although a judge always needs to approve any plan concerning minor children, you and your spouse working together toward your child’s best interests shows your commitment to their upbringing despite the termination of your marriage.
If your children see both of their parents negotiate respectfully and work towards solving problems together, it can reduce their stress during these challenging times. If you and your spouse are willing to make things work for your children even as you are ready to move on with life separately, mediation is a helpful opportunity to improve your communication skills.
#3 Increased Privacy and Control Over Your Divorce Proceedings
Meditation records are confidential, which can grant you substantial privacy for your divorce negotiations. This may be something you desire as a personal preference or that may be more convenient for your career if you are a public figure in any capacity.
Since the mediator has no decision-making authority over the terms of your divorce, this gives you and your spouse more leeway to negotiate them. Although the judge needs to issue the final ruling, the more you and your spouse resolve issues on your own, the more likely you are to achieve your respective desired goals.
#4 Reduced Stress Levels
The aforementioned factors can result in stress alleviation compared to litigation. Even if you are the one who filed for divorce, the process can be stressful and involves a lot of steps. The privacy and convenience of mediation can help you make progress with your divorce proceedings without too many unexpected interruptions in your daily life.
One of the benefits of mediation is that contrary to court hearings, you have the ability to schedule them. Although your spouse, mediator, and possibly your lawyers, also need to attend, there are fewer individuals involved in those appointments. This means you can make schedules work more efficiently with your other responsibilities.
Choose Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. to Guide You Through Divorce Mediation in Houston
Although Texas does not require you to consult an attorney to file for divorce, hiring a reputable attorney can make a positive difference in navigating the legal process, including if you desire to pursue an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation.
Attorney Cynthia Tracy has extensive experience with mediation, from having gone through the process when ending her marriage to creating and implementing a mediation program for the Texas court system during her time as an associate judge. She also trained multiple mediators in the court’s program.
At our firm, we focus on personalized and compassionate advocacy for our clients to support you at every step of the divorce process, including mediation if you choose to follow this route or if the court requires that you and your spouse attend mediation sessions before going to trial.
Are you considering divorce mediation in Houston or its surrounding areas? Call Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. today at (281) 612-5443 or use our online form to schedule a consultation!