Mediation is a useful out-of-court process for solving almost any kind of dispute in Texas, including divorce. Before you consider it, you should know that it may or may not work for you, depending on your circumstances.
Understanding divorce mediation in Texas
At its simplest, divorce mediation is an out-of-court method of settling issues in your separation, including property division, child custody and alimony. A neutral third party, also called a “mediator,” will assist you in negotiating the terms of your divorce but won’t influence you in any way to make a decision. If you are able to reach an agreement, the mediator will draw up a contract that both of you will sign.
It’s important to note that mediation is an informal process. Even if you both sign the mediation agreement, its terms won’t hold legally until a judge notarizes it. So, after working it your issues, the mediator will send the contract to the court for approval. A judge can also disapprove of your terms if they believe that you or your partner didn’t fully understand divorce laws or didn’t voluntarily agree to the uncategorized resolutions.
Pros and cons of divorce mediation
Divorce mediation may be your best option if you are looking to:
• Reduce the cost of getting a divorce
• Get divorced quickly
• Have more control of the outcome of the divorce
• Keep the details of your divorce private
However, it may not be a good choice if:
• You or your spouse has been the victim of domestic violence
• There is a large power imbalance between you and your spouse
• You or your spouse isn’t able to negotiate in good faith
• The issues in your divorce are very complex
Mediation is undoubtedly an alternative to explore when considering a divorce in Texas. However, weighing its pros and cons against your unique marital circumstances is important before you choose it.