Divorce Mediation in Texas
“Family mediation” means the mediation of disputes in actions for divorce, annulment, the establishment of paternity, child custody or visitation, or child or spousal support.
Mediation programs can be very beneficial to people who are divorcing as well as to those who have long been divorced but who find themselves in a dispute in their post-divorce relationship. Not only can it save money but it promotes positive dispute resolution rather than adversarial procedures. That being so, it is well worth investigating by any couple facing divorce, a child custody fight, a visitation dispute, or other interpersonal conflicts.
Mediation is a process that may help you resolve your case so you can have an uncontested divorce. Mediation is particularly useful in situations involving children since it is in the interests of the children that their parents “get along” even if they will no longer live together as husband and wife. In the State of Texas, all cases that involve contested custody or visitation matters are referred to mandatory mediation, provided the parties are represented by an attorney and there is no allegation of domestic abuse.
Mediation attempts to change disputes from “win-lose” to “win-win.” Mediation is a non-adversarial process of helping people come to an agreement on issues like parenting arrangements, support of children and spouses, and division of real and personal property. Mediation occurs when a neutral third party, who has training in dispute resolution, assists you and your spouse and helps you resolve the issues that are causing conflict and to make cooperative, informed decisions.
When to Use Family Mediation in Texas
Mediation can be used to resolve the entire range of family disputes either before a divorce takes place in order to consummate a marital settlement agreement, as well as after the divorce to resolve continuing disputes that might arise under a marital settlement agreement.
A history of abuse or allegations of abuse preclude mediation and the court will not refer for mandatory mediation of child custody or visitation any situation where abuse has been evident.
Mediation should not be used when there has been evidence of domestic violence or abuse or there is a great difference in power between the parties. For the mediation process to work, there must be some degree of trust between the parties.
Finding a Divorce Mediator in Texas
There are professional mediators who earn their living by providing divorcing couples mediation services on all issues. These professionals can be invaluable in helping couples resolve property and support issues but also will assist with custody and visitation disputes. Divorce attorneys and family counselors can often refer families to professional family law mediators. Psychologists, family counselors, and social workers may also offer such services
Court-ordered mediation begins when a judge orders it and a mediator is appointed by the court. It is not likely that a circuit court will mandate online mediation; therefore it is anticipated that the mediations to be conducted by this service will be private mediations.