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Going through a marital break-up is never easy, and the highly charged emotions associated with divorce can cloud a person’s judgment. This can make resolving the key issues in a divorce (e.g. property division, child custody, child support), more complicated and add to the tension. One way to avoid a contentious, protracted legal battle, however, is an alternative to litigation known as divorce mediation.

What is divorce mediation in Texas?

Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution  in which the spouses work with a neutral third party, known as a mediator, to reach a negotiated divorce settlement. This can be a more expedient and less costly way to end the marriage, rather than litigation the divorce, which often entails a lengthy discovery period, court filings and appearance, which will increase the attorney’s fees and other legal expenses. 

Divorce mediation, on the other hand, typically requires  3 to 6 sessions for the spouses to resolve their issues. Another benefit of mediation is that it can reduce the tension that often occurs in a contested divorce. The process is designed to create an atmosphere of empathy and understanding so that the parties can have a mature discussion, thereby avoiding a bitter dispute. Moreover, when the parties work in this way, it is possible to limit the harm that children often experience in a difficult family transition. For divorce mediation to be successful, however, both spouses must be able to negotiate in good faith, and “buy-in” to the process and resolve the matter. 

How does divorce mediation differ from collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is another form of alternative dispute resolution that is designed to enable the parties to engage in a good faith exchange of information and avoid litigation. This process  does not involve working with a mediator, however. Instead, the parties and their attorneys collaborate with a team experts, including financial professionals and child psychologists, to resolve the key issues. The parties and their attorneys must agree in writing not to litigate the matter, however, and work toward a negotiated settlement. If they are unable to do so and court intervention becomes necessary, they must retain new attorneys.

The Takeaway

If you wish to lessen the emotional and financial burden of a divorce, mediation may be a viable option to you. While divorce attorney cannot participate directly in the process, they can provide invaluable advice and guidance to protect your interests.