You and your spouse are preparing to file for divorce. You have some disputes, but neither of you feel very enthusiastic about going to court. In fact, you are both amenable to the idea of resolving your disagreements through mediation, but you aren’t sure if this is the right choice, especially if you want to protect your children from much of the heartbreak. This is a valid concern for you and other Texas couples going through a divorce.
Mediation is one of the popular types of uncontested, or amicable, divorce, as FindLaw explains. Some of the benefits of mediation that you are likely to find worthwhile include the following:
- Typically costs less and takes less time to complete than litigation
- Shields you and your children from much of the conflict of a divorce
- Details are private, rather than public like in a court divorce
- Gives you and your spouse dignity while you negotiate solutions to your disputes
- Teaches you techniques in cooperation and communication
The advantages of mediation over litigation look good, you think, but you wonder how exactly the process works. Do you need your own attorney? Will you set foot even once in a courtroom? The choice is yours to hire an attorney, but it is not necessary with mediation. Many certified mediators are family law attorneys, in fact. Unless you cannot reach an agreement during your mediation sessions, you won’t be required to stand before a judge. You are only required to sit with your spouse and a mediator to discuss potential resolutions to your disagreements. The mediator may make suggestions, but he or she should remain impartial and unbiased.
Each marriage is different, and all divorces are unique as well. If you and your spouse can treat each other civilly and keep an open mind, mediation may be a good option for you. However, you will need to be informed of your choices before you decide if mediation, litigation or another divorce option is right for your situation, so this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.