Right before you filed for divorce, you might have had worst-case scenarios running through your mind—shouting matches in court or, worse, in front of your kids. Popular media has warped many people’s minds about how a divorce usually goes. Those divorcing in Texas have the option to enter into a process called mediation. In fact, many Texas judges require couples in a contested divorce to attempt a mediated settlement before they may proceed to litigation.
How Does Mediation Work?
Besides the divorcing couple and each spouse’s legal representation, the central figure in family law mediation is the mediator. The mediator is a neutral third party who is tasked with facilitating a conversation and, hopefully, an agreement between the two spouses. Mediators in Texas must have certain credentials and go through a minimum amount of training.
The vast majority of family law mediations are over in one day. To start, generally, each spouse (and their legal counsel) will be in separate rooms. The mediator and parties will discuss their desires and the areas where the divorcing spouses disagree; common topics include child custody, property division, and financial support. The mediator will shuffle from room to room to understand each spouse’s position and find areas of agreement.
What’s the Result of Mediation?
Again, the purpose of mediation is to help the two spouses come to a Mediated Settlement Agreement. This is a written agreement that addresses one or more disputes within the divorce. Once the spouses sign the Mediated Settlement Agreement and the mediator sends it to the judge, it becomes legally binding. So, while mediation might not feel as official as litigation, any written agreements produced as a result of mediation are legally binding and enforceable.
Even though mediation is a collaborative process, spouses engaging in family law mediation aren’t often in the same room as each other. This can allow each spouse to speak more freely with the mediator. What’s more, mediators must keep the discussions under wraps. Mediators may not be compelled to testify in court about things said during mediation.
Spouses in mediation are not required to sign a written agreement. While most mediation sessions result in an agreement, litigation is certainly an option for spouses at an impasse.
Attorney Tycha Kimbrough Would Be Honored to Be Your Mediator
Kimbrough Legal provides services in a wide array of family law areas In addition to representing people in mediations, Attorney Tycha Kimbrough enjoys being the mediator for spouses and co-parents needing to go through the mediation process. Empathy, professionalism, authenticity, and accessibility are four traits Attorney Kimbrough embodies in the courtroom and negotiation room. Our firm would love the chance to speak with you about your legal needs; contact us here to discuss your options or fill out an intake form.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
4425 S MoPac Expy Ste. 105
Austin, TX 78735
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
1777 NE Loop 410 Ste. 600
San Antonio, TX 78217