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How divorce mediation works in Texas

If a divorce is in the works, mediation is one of the important topics you need to know about. If your divorce includes issues concerning custody and visitation, the court will likely order you to participate in mediation geared towards producing a parenting plan. Even when not required, many divorcing couples choose to try mediation instead of launching into a court battle right away.

Mediation can offer many benefits but may also present some drawbacks. Your attorney can give you more advice about mediation for your individual case.

Better communication

A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates discussions between the divorcing spouses. Many find it helpful to have an impartial person to moderate the conversation, frame issues and suggest solutions. Emotions can run high at a marriage's end, preventing rational discussion and compromise; a good mediator can help the couple redirect the argument and scale down negativity.

Confidentiality

Mediation is generally confidential, except for abuse allegations, which a mediator may legally have to report. This enables the parties to speak honestly and look for solutions.

Cost-effectiveness

Another common benefit is the typically lower cost of mediation as compared to full-scale litigation. Because mediation involves fewer formalities and paperwork, the process works faster. You should, however, still have your attorney with you, as the mediator cannot help you with legal advice.

What can be mediated

Mediation can deal with a variety of issues, including custody, visitation, spousal support and asset division. However, the law may impose some limits on what spouses can agree upon. Notably, spouses may not choose to bargain away legally mandated child support.

When to reject mediation

In some cases, mediation's benefits will not outweigh disadvantages. This tends to hold true when one spouse acts deceitfully or just refuses to cooperate. The mediator lacks the power to force the parties to produce information or to agree to anything and is therefore unable to enforce proper behavior. When allegations of abuse exist, many also consider mediation to be potentially harmful.

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