Mediation typically is a voluntary process where two parties work with a trained mediator to resolve areas in dispute. While this can be helpful for business partners, mediation is also well suited for resolving family law matters. The family courts here in Texas agree, and judges will often order the two parties to attempt to mediate all or part of a Mediated Settlement Agreement ("MSA"). This approach can streamline litigation and thus reduce the cost and the amount of time the couple spends in court.
Useful for custody and parenting plans
Mediation also can empower parents to be collaborative and to create a workable parenting plan. Rather than have the judge determine a fair and appropriate arrangement, mediation enables the parents to look at their schedule and needs as well as those of the children to determine what works best as a compromise for everyone involved while still being fair and equitable.
Offers a useful perspective
An important part of the attorney's job is guiding clients with information based on experience and a deep understanding of the applicable laws. However, a trained intermediary can also provide insight into how the case will likely unfold, and can also offer useful strategies for solving issues in the present and moving forward.
Making it useful
Because they choose not to voluntarily mediate their divorce, some couples will look at court-ordered mediation as pointless. Perhaps one side is apparently unwilling to compromise, or the split is contentious. Nevertheless, it is often in the best interests of all involved if both sides take it seriously and try to find workable solutions. It may not be a desirable approach, but lessening the cost and speeding the process can inspire the parties to settle their differences themselves, as opposed to allowing a stranger (the Judge) settle their differences.
Litigation is still important
Litigation will often be necessary for resolving such issues as creating a safe home environment, a fair division of community property as well as setting amounts for child support or maintenance. Working with an experienced Board-certified family law expert attorney in Collin County, Denton County or elsewhere in Texas can be a tremendous asset to clients. Regardless of whether it is mediation or litigation, such an experienced expert attorney can help ensure that a client's individual and parental rights are aggressively protected.