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Divorce And The Mediation Process 1

Divorce can be a very long process and it is full of twists and turns.  It doesn’t help that there are a variety of different ways that you can go about the process.  One step that you might encounter in the process is mediation.  In today’s article, you will learn about the process of mediation in a divorce and what it is like.

What is Divorce Mediation?

In a divorce mediation, a third party is brought in to objectively help both sides of the divorce to reach a settlement.  This third party is a neutral person and is called a mediator.

A mediator will work with both parties to come to an agreement in the following areas:

What Does a Mediation Process Look Like?

Each mediator will run the process slightly different.  Many mediators will want to meet with each party individually before the process begins.  This allows them to learn about the case and the party.  It helps the mediator to develop the background information they need to make the process fair.

During the process the mediator will determine where you and the other party(s) agree and disagree.  Areas where you agree will be taken care of quickly while others might require documentation and negotiation.  The mediator will guide the parties through the negotiations.  Part of their job is to come up with unique resolutions to conflicts.

When is Mediation Used?

Mediation is used in most divorce cases to determine the division of physical and monetary assets along with custody of children.  In many counties in Texas you will be required to attempt mediation before you are allowed to take asset division to court.

Travis County is an example of a county that requires mediation.  However, it only requires mediation if the hearing will be over 3 hours.  In most cases your hearing will be long enough to warrant mediation.

A court of law can always order that you attempt mediation before it will hear a case.  This will typically save time for both you and the court.

Why Would You Choose Mediation?

Many people wonder why you would choose mediation over having your case heard in court.  The biggest answer is that you have a higher chance of getting an agreement that you will like.  It works by compromise, not order.

Here are some other reasons you might like divorce mediation in Texas:

  • On average it is cheaper to use mediation than going through court with a lawyer
  • Most people resolve their property and custody issues through mediation without the need to go to court after
  • The process of mediation is not a public process as such, it is kept confidential
  • Mediation stands the chance of making future agreements and communication easier between both parties
  • Lawyers can still give advice and potentially participate if needed

How Long Does it Take to Mediate a Divorce?

The mediation process is very fluid and can take a varying amount of time.  Most cases will take between one and two visits if all parties are willing to compromise.  However, if your case is more complex it can take months to properly mediate the case.  In almost all cases the process of mediation is faster than going to court.

In order to have the quickest mediation you should be prepared to compromise and come up with a list of things that you would rather not compromise on so that you are prepared.

How Does Mediation End?

At the end of the mediation process you will have one of two solutions.  The best outcome is to have all of the decisions written up into a binding agreement known as a Rule 11 Agreement.

Should you be unable to come up with an agreement your case will be sent to court where a judge will make decisions on anything not agreed on.  Chances are that you might not like all of the decisions made.

Divorce is a lengthy process that involves a lot of work.  Mediation can help speed up the process and make all parties more satisfied with the allocation of assets and custody agreements.  When both parties are happier, they are more likely to go away with a healthy relationship for future interactions.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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