An Experienced Texas Divorce Mediation Attorney Explains the Mediation Process
Are you headed for divorce and concerned that you'll be at the mercy of a judge who will rule unfavorably on your case? Fortunately, most Texas divorces end in a mediator's office, not in court. This may surprise you if you've heard divorce horror stories from friends and family that ended in a courtroom drama.
With the help of an experienced divorce mediation attorney, your case will likely be settled, and you won't even have to talk to a judge.
Today's blog post from experienced divorce mediation lawyer and Certified Mediator, Tycha Kimbrough, explains what mediation is and how working with a mediator can allow the parties to control the outcome of their case and avoid the courtroom.
What Is Mediation?
In Texas, most divorce cases are settled rather than going to trial. The majority of settlements are reached through mediation. You and your spouse would hire a third-party attorney/mediator to intervene in your case, whether by court order or mutual agreement, to help you settle your case. If you and your spouse can't agree on a mediator, the judge can choose one for you.
A mediator is typically a divorce mediation lawyer with experience in family law cases and training in mediation. Although the mediator may have a working relationship with your attorney, they will not be biased in favor of you or your spouse.
The mediator meets separately with each party and their legal counsel to address the contested points during mediation. Unless there is a compelling necessity for a joint encounter, parties in family law mediation often achieve an agreement without seeing one other. Here are a few key points to remember about mediation:
- Although mediation is not a legal proceeding, the results are legally binding if the parties sign a Mediated Settlement Agreement, which is a written agreement.
- Mediation can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the circumstances.
- The goal of mediation is to help the parties reach an agreement, and unlike court proceedings, mediation is private.
What a Mediator Can and Cannot Do
The mediator's role is not to weigh the relative merits of your and your spouse's arguments on a particular issue and then rule in favor of one of you. To put it another way, a mediator is not an arbitrator. In your case, the mediator is impartial and has no authority or legitimacy other than to assist you and your spouse reach an agreement. Their fees do not change depending on whether your case is resolved.
The mediator will be candid with you about the relative strength of your positions. For example, you can expect a mediator to tell you whether your argument about dividing marital assets will go well or poorly with the judge. The mediator will attempt to understand who you are, your objectives, and what you believe they need to know.
What Happens If My Mediation Fails?
Unfortunately, there are times when divorce cases filed in Texas end up going all the way to trial. The reasons for your divorce may not be amicable. It may be incredibly challenging to settle due to the circumstances. You or your spouse (or both of you) may believe that reaching an agreement is impossible. In that case, your chances of going to trial skyrocket.
However, there are other options to consider before ending up in court.
- Try mediation again after taking a break.
- Find a different mediator who might be a better fit for both parties.
- Agree to use arbitration rather than mediation. Unlike mediation, the arbitrator has the authority to issue binding decisions on the parties.
- Consider a Collaborative Divorce. It is a less expensive and more efficient process than a typical divorce. Divorcing spouses can engage with trained professionals to settle financial, parenting, and other difficulties. It's a method that allows spouses to invest directly in solutions rather than expensive litigation.
In the end, mediation is typically worthwhile. If parties can settle their divorce or family law dispute through mediation, it can save them attorneys' fees and court time. This is not always the case, so it is essential to understand your options if your initial mediation fails.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC: Your Texas Divorce “Mediation Lawyer Near Me”
Divorce mediation attorney Tycha Kimbrough is also a Certified Mediator, who focuses her mediation practice on divorce, child custody, child support, and other complex and high-conflict family law matters. As the Founding Attorney of Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, she advocates for individuals in family and criminal law matters.
With offices in Austin and San Antonio, we offer 24/7 online client portal access and a by-your-side attitude. If you are searching for a divorce “mediation lawyer near me,” call us today at (833) 553-4251 or fill out our online form for more information about confidential divorce mediation in South Central Texas.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.