Exploring the civil alternatives to divorce litigation

Mediation has many benefits over tradition court litigation for those who can negotiate terms in a civil manner.

When couples file for divorce in Texas or throughout the U.S., there are a number of issues that must be resolved. Some divorces bring heavy emotions, anger and other feelings that may make it impossible to civilly discuss the matters surrounding the separation. In other cases, however, couples may be able to negotiate the terms of their divorce settlement and come to an agreement regarding the distribution of property, child support, parenting plans, post-divorce maintenance (alimony) and any other matters involved in the case. Mediation is one alternative to traditional court litigation that has many benefits for couples who are able to work things out in this civil fashion.

Mediation sessions

During a mediation session, couples meet under the direction of a third-party mediator. This person has no interest in the final outcome of the case and is present to answer legal questions and ensure all topics are covered. Each party has the option of bringing an attorney to the meeting, however, attorneys are not required unless Court-ordered to attend. Mediation sessions take place out of court, in a non-confrontational environment.

Benefits of the process

There are numerous benefits of going through the mediation process. First, couples are able to schedule their sessions at times that are convenient for them rather than wait for distant court dates. This benefit can help to expedite the entire divorce process, as many cases only need one or two sessions to complete the settlement. Second, couples are able to customize the terms of their divorce settlement according to their specific situation. This may mean arranging a parenting plan that would have otherwise been unavailable through tradition litigation. Couples are also able to divide their own marital property in a way that better suits their preferences rather than have it split by a stranger (the Judge), as would happen in traditional Texas divorce litigation.

Studies show that people who go through mediation often leave the marriage with better relationships, which is beneficial for parents who must continue to see one another once the divorce is finalized. Furthermore, people are more compliant with the terms of a settlement that they have had a part in creating.

An advocate by your side

Going through a divorce can be stressful and emotional, even if you are leaving the marriage on good terms. It is important to have a representative who is available to stand by your side, offer advice and help you make the choices necessary to get on with your life. A Texas Board-certified family law expert attorney should be an asset to your case.