In mediation, a couple seeking a divorce works with a neutral third party called a mediator to try and reach an agreement on certain issues relating to the end of the marriage. The mediator does not act as a judge or arbitrator, but instead only tries to help the couple arrive at compromises.
Mediation can often prove beneficial for divorcing couples because the process requires both parties to make a good faith effort to resolve their disputes, and the setting outside the courtroom can help reduce some of the more confrontational attitudes. Many courts in Harris County require couples to attempt mediation before they schedule final hearings.
Though mediation can be helpful during divorce proceedings, people should still be cautious about how much they actually want to forfeit as part of some compromises. Anybody entering mediation should have a complete list of important property and other concerns needing to be addressed as well as an understanding of what will be difficult to accept.
Are you preparing for mediation as part of your divorce in Texas? You will still want to have legal representation. Contact Gregory Law PLLC as soon as possible.
Our firm has extensive experience with mediation and is committed to helping you achieve the most desirable possible outcome. You can have our mediation attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (713) 861-1293 to schedule an initial consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle Mediation?
Many people assume attorneys are not needed for mediation since the process will involve the spouses working together to sort out their differences. While that may be true in some rare cases, many others involve some very complex settlements with important legal consequences.
A lawyer might not be needed to advocate a certain position during mediation, but legal counsel can still call attention to unintended consequences that could result from certain agreements. An attorney is often valuable because the lawyer can provide instant answers to the legal questions that tend to arise as spouses are attempting to navigate complex subjects.
Even when successful, spouses only leave mediation with a “Rule 11” agreement, named after Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 11. The Rule 11 agreement is binding and irrevocable, but the spouses still must use the Rule 11 agreement as the basis for the actual divorce paperwork that must be submitted to and approved by the court. An attorney can help you craft this agreement, then make sure it is properly submitted to and approved by the court.
If a couple cannot arrive at agreements on all outstanding issues, then such issues will have to be resolved in court. The issues that are agreed to, however, will no longer require the same resolution. A lawyer can help you in this regard if your mediation falls through.
Why Choose Gregory Law PLLC?
Myrna Gregory is a native Houstonian with more than a quarter-century of legal experience. She is the founder of Gregory Law PLLC and is admitted to all state courts in Texas, as well as the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Ms. Gregory is also a certified Mediator by the A. A. White Dispute Resolution Institute. She has mediated hundreds of family law matters for the District Courts of Harris County and many other surrounding counties.
Kitty Crutcher and Melissa Bazan are also attorneys who handle divorce cases at Gregory Law PLLC. Both women are members of the Family Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Meditation Cases We Handle
Mediation may cover a wide variety of issues. Gregory Law PLLC understands that some of the most contentious aspects of some divorces can involve certain disputes that are not easily resolvable in the courtroom.
In many cases, the most common issues addressed in mediation involve division of property, including such types of property as:
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
Most mediation cases begin with a mediator making an introduction and establishing the rules for the mediation. Both spouses are then typically provided the opportunity to make opening statements.
After the mediator determines the areas of dispute, each spouse is usually given the chance to privately express their view to the mediator. The mediator then attempts to help the spouses arrive at agreements for each conflict.
When an agreement can be reached, the mediator will put the agreement in writing. Both spouses can then sign the Rule 11 agreement and use it to finalize their divorce paperwork.
Mediation is not limited to a single session. Couples may attend multiple sessions before arriving at agreements. For many couples, the confidential setting is more welcoming than the stuffy feel of a courtroom and can improve the outcome of the divorce.
In all cases, success typically hinges on both spouses making good faith efforts. Good faith is not necessarily required by Texas law, but spouses can usually save themselves later headaches and make sure the mediation will be adaptable to the needs and interests of both parties.
Even when mediation requires several hours of negotiations, the process ultimately consumes less time than would have been required in court. Spouses usually save money too.
If you are considering mediation as part of your divorce in Texas, it is still in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Gregory Law PLLC represents clients in communities all over Harris County.
Myrna Gregory is a certified Mediator by the A. A. White Dispute Resolution Institute who has mediated hundreds of family law matters. She or another divorce lawyer can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (713) 861-1293 to set up an initial consultation.