A mediated divorce is where a mediator helps a divorcing couple to reach a mediated settlement agreement about the issues of their case including child support, alimony, child custody and visitation, and property division. Learn what to expect from a mediated divorce in Texas.
It can be a much more affordable option to settle compared to taking a divorce case to trial in court. You and your ex-spouse have more control over the mediation process. This is different from a court case where a judge has all the control. Mediation is also a confidential process and private information provided to your mediators cannot be disclosed in any future court trial.
Some Texas counties may require mediation before parties can go to trial in court.
Mediators are typically family law attorneys who are trained in mediation. They are a neutral third party to help a divorcing couple reach a settlement. Both parties can engage lawyers to help them through the entire divorce mediation process.
How Long Does Texas Divorce Mediation Take?
A mediation will always be scheduled in advance so that both parties and their attorneys can be prepared. A single mediation session may take the whole day. The entire process could require a few sessions in one week or many sessions that stretch over months depending on the issues and whether both spouses are willing to negotiate.
Each spouse and their lawyer will typically sit in a separate room while the mediator goes back and forth to communicate offers. Once all parties are in agreement and the mediation is successful, the mediator prepares a mediated settlement agreement which both parties will sign. A lawyer will typically review the document to make sure it documents all the agreements.
Once all parties sign the final agreement, it will be effective immediately.
How Can You Prepare For Divorce Mediation?
Some documents you need to prepare for mediation include financial data, valuation of assets, and information about the children.
- Financial spreadsheets listing assets and liabilities and supporting documents
- Proposals for property division using the financial spreadsheet
- Proposals for child support and child custody and visitation issues
- Terms of ancillary agreements such as co-ownership agreements before selling property
- A letter for the mediator describing your objectives and any other relevant information that is important for the mediator to know
Sometimes attorneys may meet with the mediator in advance to identify the important topics for the mediation.
If you can prepare an offer and some agreement over certain issues before the mediation, the mediation time can be greatly reduced and the mediator can simply focus on issues of dispute.
Sometimes you may only reach a partial settlement agreement in which case the issues over which you still do not agree will be decided by a judge during a court hearing. However, the court hearing will require a shorter time.
What Happens After Mediation?
The mediator will file the agreement with the court for a judge to review. In some cases, one party may have to attend court. He or she will have to explain the outcome of the mediation and the terms agreed. This often takes place in cases regarding children.
The judge will then review the agreement to ensure that it complies with Texas law. After approval, an attorney will request an entry date. All parties will sign the final decree and submit it to the court by this date.
This legal document will generally be reviewed by both sides and their lawyers before prior to submission.
Get a No-Cost Case Review
Mediation is usually the more economical way to resolve any disputes, encourage compromise between two spouses, and help them end the relationship on a good note. Engaging an experienced family law attorney is important to help when negotiating and to tell you what to expect in a mediated divorce in Texas.
Let the Family Law experts at Sean Lynch help you with your case. Contact us today for a no-cost case review.