There are times when a divorcing couple has little choice but to fight out their differences in court. This could be because there is a history of violence or control over one spouse, the couple has complex assets, or one spouse simply refuses to negotiate. However, in many cases, spouses who decide to divorce are more inclined to choose a gentler path to part ways.
It is not always easy to negotiate every critical decision with a spouse who has betrayed you or when your emotions are still raw. These situations often lead Texas couples to examine the benefits of mediation as a way to resolve their differences and arrive at a civil and dignified end to their marriages.
How does it work?
With mediation, you and your spouse, along with your respective attorneys, meet with a qualified neutral party to discuss and negotiate the terms of your divorce. The mediator acts as a facilitator of these discussions, keeping the conversation from going astray and offering suggestions to guide you in your compromises. The mediator does not make the decisions for you, and nothing is legally binding until you and your spouse sign the agreement and your attorney files it with the court.
Not every couple can benefit from mediation over litigation. For example, if you feel your spouse is hiding assets or information from you, you may need the advantage of pretrial discovery. Mediation works best when both spouses agree to be honest, to be open to negotiation and to seek what is best for each other.
The advantages of mediation
If you prepare carefully for mediation, you may see it as a surprisingly positive way to divorce. Many couples find they are able to reopen avenues of communication during mediation, and this helps them move into their post-divorce lives better able to work with their former partners, especially if co-parenting. Some other benefits of mediation include these:
- It is more private than litigated divorce.
- Mediation is often faster and less expensive than a trial.
- The objectivity of the mediator often ensures fairness to both parties.
- You maintain control of your divorce, including the settlement you agree to.
For the best results, it is wise to have a solid grasp of your post-divorce needs and those factors on which you are unwilling to compromise, especially if you are speaking for your children during mediation. Your attorney can advise you on the best way to prepare for your sessions with the mediator.