How Mediation Can Help Resolve Marital Issues in Texas
During your divorce proceedings, there may be a time when specific issues appear to be a roadblock to resolving your marital dispute and the idea of having them linger on for what seems to be an indefinite time is unacceptable. Often times, many issues that confront all couples going through a divorce can be resolved through mediation.
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which can help to bring parties together, facilitate communications, and arrive at an amicable settlement. It has several advantages over litigating every issue in a divorce, including costs and time. While mediation can often be completed in a single, one-day session, litigation may take months or years to finally be resolved. Ongoing divorce litigation can run up considerable costs for attorneys' fees, depositions, expert witnesses and other things. By comparison, the cost of mediation is generally far lower, typically ranging from $500 to $2,000 per day, depending on the complexity of the case and the issues to be resolved. Nevertheless, it is far less stressful and expensive than going through a full blown trial. Another distinct advantage to mediation is that the vast majority of mediated cases result in a settlement that the parties agree upon.
Mediation can be court ordered under the Texas Family Code or chosen as a way to resolve certain issues independently by the parties. Typically, a mediator chosen to mediate family law matters is a highly trained and skilled impartial third party who brings the two sides together to voice their needs and facilitate communication between them. His or her job is to help referee the differing opinions of each side and use their skill to effect a settlement. Prior to beginning mediation, the parties will be required to sign an agreement agreeing to mediation and agreeing to abide by any settlement reached. Such an agreement is binding on the parties, and enforceable by the court.
The general mediation setting is very informal, compared to being in a courtroom with a judge and jury. It will usually take place in a conference room of the mediator or one of the attorneys for the parties. The parties will typically meet initially all together in one room and then be separated in two different rooms. The mediator will then go back and forth between the two rooms with demands, proposals and rationale for coming to terms for as long as it takes for the parties to reach a settlement.
Once an accord has been reached by the parties, the mediator will reduce it to writing and submit it to the parties' attorneys. Thereafter, the settlement agreement will be drafted and approved by the attorneys for execution by each spouse. Once again, this agreement is binding upon all parties and enforceable by the court.
If you, a friend or family member are contemplating divorce, have questions regarding your rights, obligations and mediation of marital issues in divorce proceedings, you need to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in family law matters.
San Antonio family law attorney Allan R. Manka has over 40 years of experience practicing family law in Texas and has built an excellent reputation with judges and other attorneys for his commitment and dedication to his clients. His practice is devoted solely to handling a wide array of family law matters, including divorce, property distribution, spousal maintenance, child custody and support, paternity, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, division of retirement benefits and military family law issues.
He has helped many clients in San Antonio and the surrounding areas of Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Hondo, Boerne and New Braunfels, in addition to serving those at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases and others throughout the state.
Contact us at (210) 807-8629 or (866) 621-7085 (Toll-free) to schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation to sit down and talk to us about your particular situation.
Texas Family Code, Alternative Dispute Resolution
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