Divorce Through Mediation
While obtaining a divorce can be a contentious and lengthy process, it does not have to be. Instead, some people are able to obtain a relatively efficient and amicable dissolution of their marriage by engaging in divorce through mediation. Mediation offers many benefits, but it may not be suitable in all cases. As such, it is important for people considering ending their marital relationship to fully understand the process and potential ramifications of mediation before deciding whether it is appropriate, and they should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. If you or your spouse intend to take legal measures to dissolve your marriage, the seasoned Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group can advise you of your alternatives and help you to pursue the option that will provide you with the best chance of obtaining your desired outcome.The Divorce Through Mediation Process
The Texas Family Law Code explicitly provides for the option of resolving disputed issues in a divorce case via mediation. Specifically, it states that a suit may be referred to mediation via a written agreement between the parties or an order from the court. In cases in which a court refers a matter to mediation, the law allows for parties who are victims of family violence committed by their spouses to object to the referral. If such an objection is made, the case will not be referred to mediation unless the court holds a hearing after which it finds by a preponderance of the evidence the objection is not warranted. If the suit then proceeds to mediation, the court must order that suitable measures are taken to ensure the safety of the objecting party.
During the process of divorce through mediation, parties can make decisions on matters such as property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody and visitation. The mediator, a neutral third party, will assist the spouses in attempting to reach an agreement, typically by meeting with each spouse separately and discussing the pros and cons of their respective positions. The mediator does not make decisions on disputes but aims to help the parties come to a compromise.
There are many benefits to choosing mediation over the traditional divorce process. For example, the terms of any settlement offer made by a party during mediation are confidential. Additionally, it allows the parties to have a more active role in the decision-making process, rather than allowing a judge issue decrees that may impact them permanently. Parties who engage in mediation may also be able to retain a civil relationship after their marriage ends. Regardless of whether parting spouses have a friendly relationship, however, it is prudent for them to be represented by counsel during the mediation process to avoid the unintentional waiver of their rights.Mediation Settlement Agreements
If the mediation process is successful, the parties will typically reduce the terms of their agreement to writing and sign the agreement. A mediation agreement will be binding, but only if the parties comply with the requirements set forth under Texas law. Specifically, the agreement must include a prominently displayed statement that it is not subject to revocation. The statement must be underlined, in bold type, or in capital letters to ensure its visibility. Additionally, the agreement must be signed by each party, and if a party is represented by an attorney during the mediation, the attorney as well. If the agreement meets these requirements, a party seeking enforcement via the courts will be entitled to judgment.Meet with an Experienced Lawyer in Dallas
If you want to end your marriage, you should speak to an attorney to determine if mediation may be suitable to achieve your goals. The experienced attorneys of McClure Law Group are skilled at helping people protect their interests while legally dissolving their marriages, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek the best outcome possible in your case. We often represent people in divorce matters in Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Irving, Fort Worth, Garland, and Frisco. We also help people with family law matters in cities throughout Dallas, Rockwall, Grayson, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. You can reach us via our online form or at 214.692.8200 to schedule a meeting.