Mediated Property Agreements

If you have read some of our previous articles regarding property division, you would know that any type of income or property you have gained during your marriage is considered community property in Texas. Not only that, but same goes for the debts you and your spouse incurred during the marriage too. If you want some of the property, assets or debts to be considered separate property, you need to present evidence in court to prove that the presumption of the court is incorrect. This can be done by showing the courts that the property in question is a gift solely for you, or that a certain property is a part of your inheritance. There are a lot of people who are all about fighting in court for property division that is acceptable to them. However, you also have another useful alternative: mediation.

Mediation on Community Property and Avoiding a Trial

Mediation is an effective and successful tool that you can use to settle community property division and other issues regarding your divorce. If you opt to go for mediation, you can avoid fighting in court – you can just settle everything without a trial with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This option will ensure a peaceful divorce and a positive outcome for you and your spouse. Going for mediation means taking matters into your own hands and not take a risk on what the judge has to say about your property. Your agreement with your spouse can be more satisfactory, sensible and flexible. For sure, more than what the judge can know about your family, you and your spouse know better. You know each other well, and if you try to set aside your pride, anger, and other negative emotions, you can really reach a fair and satisfying agreement for both parties.

Community Property Division Proposals

When you and your spouse will meet your mediator, you will likely bring your attorneys along, and they would already have proposals prepared regarding the community property that you have to divide. A common method of dividing community property is to create columns of community property and separate property with the designated value. These will then be analyzed and evaluated by both parties. The proposals that your attorneys will bring to the mediation will likely include information on the qualification of each property: whether community or separate. These proposals are great starting points to learn about what each party wants out of the divorce and property division. Knowing this information will help you meet in the middle amicably, ideally eliminating conflict and unnecessary difficulties.

Preparing for Mediation and Property Division

If you want to be well-prepared for your mediation, it is important that you work closely with your attorney before the actual mediation schedule. You might have to complete various worksheets to detail each property that you have during your marriage along with the individual value of each property and the characterization you believe it deserves. Debts are also relevant, as well as retirement accounts, stock holdings, and mutual funds.

What if Mediation Does Not Solve Your Property Division Issues?

Each divorce case is different. It does not mean that when you choose mediation, it will automatically result in a settlement. If your property division issues cannot be solved through mediation, it is highly likely that your case will end up in court and you will have to fight against your spouse in a trial. If that’s the case, the judge will have the final say about the issues you have in ending your marriage, and that includes community property division. The judge will make a decision to settle any dispute between you and your spouse before the divorce is completely finalized. The trial can last a few or several hours, sometimes it could take a few days too. It’s usually not enough time to present to the judge everything regarding your case.

If possible, it is best to go for a mediation and try to reach a settlement that is favorable for both parties. It will be less pleasurable to go through your disputes and issues during a trial. You don’t need to walk out of a mediation feeling that you won and the other party lost for a mediation to be considered successful. It is best to concede on some things when needed. Let go of some and gain some in return. It’s the best way to make negotiations work. A mediation is truly successful when both you and your spouse are feeling satisfied with the settlement terms. It is a whole lot better than risk the ruling of the judge and live with the court’s decision for the rest of your life even though you’re extremely unhappy with it.

The following two tabs change content below.
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