Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can help resolve issues that arise in family court. Since the court prefers divorcing couples, especially co-parents, cooperate and agree on central issues, it often orders mediation before legal proceedings begin.
The mediation process employs an impartial third party who collaborates with the couple—and, in some cases, their dedicated divorce attorneys—to reach a settlement. Call a compassionate Frisco mediation lawyer today if you need sound legal advice or help settling disputes.
Mediation is a confidential negotiation that helps divorcing couples resolve conflicts amicably. Whenever possible, an impartial, trained mediator will facilitate the discussion to resolve disputes outside of court. Only the two parties, their attorneys, and the mediator are allowed to be present during the process.
The two parties usually stay in separate rooms while the mediator goes back and forth between them, exchanging ideas or offers in an effort to reach an agreeable settlement. A divorcing spouse can prepare for the session by speaking with an experienced Frisco mediation attorney about their desired goals for the mediation process. Points of debate may include visitation, property division, or amounts of spousal support or child support. The parties can also discuss the potential compromises to which they are amenable as well as the points on which they would like to hold firm. Attending the mediation session prepared with this information will help ensure better communication with the mediator and a greater likelihood of reaching an agreement with the other side.
The mediation process is both flexible and confidential. It is also quicker and more straightforward than ongoing litigation; is free; and is fair for everyone involved. Everyone wins when they work together to reach an agreement that serves all their interests. In addition, to protect everyone’s privacy, the mediator will destroy any notes on and records of the mediation process at the close of the session.
While a divorcing couple has the right to request mediation services at any time during court proceedings, they usually go through the process near the end. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 154.023, the family court prohibits mediators from imposing their own conclusions or thoughts on the parties undergoing mediation. The confidentiality requirement allows participants to speak freely without the fear that their words will hurt them down the road.
Divorcing couples may initiate the mediation process by agreement or by petitioning the court to request mediation; the court may also order mediation independently. The divorcing individuals also retain the legal right to proceed to trial if the mediation session does not reach an agreement of which they both approve.
Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution where the divorcing couple agrees to have an impartial third party review the situation, consider both side’s arguments, and make a determination on the best course of action.
While a mediator is an impartial party that helps a divorcing couple reach an agreement by seeking a compromise between their positions, an arbitrator offers their own version of the best solution based on the situation. A mediation attorney in Frisco could answer questions about differences between alternative dispute resolution methods and provide legal advice throughout either process.
Mediation takes place outside a courtroom in a less formal setting. These low-pressure sessions can be effective tools in helping divorcing couples reach a compromise without having a family court judge make critical decisions for them.
The impartial mediator will help direct and facilitate communication in an effort to find a solution that works for everyone. Contact a caring Frisco mediation lawyer today to review your case and start moving forward.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.