Mediation is a wonderful tool for negotiating a property or custody agreement in Texas divorce cases. Most counties, Travis and Williamson included, will require an attempt at mediation prior to scheduling a contested hearing before the Judge.
Mediation is a private process in which a neutral third party (a mediator) helps couples reach an agreed settlement of the issues in their case, including property division, child support, custody and visitation. A mediator is not a judge or counselor, but assists the parties in reaching an agreement, referred to as a Mediated Settlement Agreement, or MSA.
Mediations can vary in length, but your attorney will give you a good idea of how long they anticipate the Mediation lasting. They are generally booked in either half or full day sessions, but depend heavily on the willingness of the parties to compromise, the complexity of the issues, and exchange of information between parties prior to Mediation.
You and your spouse, will be placed in different rooms with your attorneys to ensure privacy. The mediator starts with the Petitioner and visits with them to gather their information and suggested settlement proposal. The mediation then does the same with the Respondent. The mediator then goes back and forth between parties trying to find a point of compromise for the parties to agree upon. A great mediator may have suggestions for compromise that the parties and their attorneys had not considered yet, and should be knowledgable on the current statutes and case law applicable to your case.
Mediation keeps the overall case cost down as a day in mediation is less expensive than a contested hearing. It also keeps the proceedings out of the public record, as there is no recording of what is discussed within the mediation. The final agreement (MSA) does get recorded with the county, but there is no testimony to be recorded as there is with a hearing. Mediation gives you and your spouse the ability to create your own arrangements for child custody and support tailored to your co-parenting needs, rather than leaving that decision to a Judge. Since you are compromising and coming to an agreement together, hopefully co-parenting will be easier going forward as the lines of communication are open.
Once you have an agreement, the attorneys can draft a Final Decree of Divorce based on your agreed terms and a prove-up may be scheduled to finalize your divorce.
If you are a current client of our office and feel your case is a good candidate for mediation, please let us know.
If you are looking for a mediator for your Travis, Williamson, Burnet or Hays County, Texas divorce, please feel free to book Mr. Harris via our online booking tab above. Mr. Harris is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has completed the additional 40 hour certification for mediators.
Our office is conveniently located in Leander, Texas, easily accessible from Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, and Austin. We have two conference rooms to ensure client privacy and a fully stocked guest lounge for your client's comfort.