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The In’s and Out’s of Mediation

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What to Expect During the Mediation Process of a Divorce

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method where a neutral third party, also known as a mediator, helps the disagreeing parties find a mutual resolution to their conflict. Mediation is a popular method for resolving family law disputes in Texas. Unlike other forms of alternative dispute resolution, a court can refer a family to mediation. A dispute may also be referred to mediation based on a written agreement of both parties. The parties can participate in mediation before or after a lawsuit has been filed in a court of law.

Mediator vs. Attorney

            The mediation process can be characterized as assisted negotiations. Since the parties communicate through the mediator, the communication is filtered in the interest of achieving harmony. The role of the mediator in mediation is to help the parties find a solution to the dispute. Unlike court procedures, the parties in mediation have the responsibility to work together to find a resolution. The role of the attorney is advising their client and reviewing proposed agreements, as opposed to arguing their client’s case to a judge or jury.

The mediator does not have the ability to force the parties to make an agreement. Participating in a mediation does not mean the parties are bound. If the parties reach an agreement, however, they can enter into a Mediated Settlement Agreement that is binding. The Mediated Settlement Agreement can then be submitted to the court to dispose of a pending lawsuit on the matter.

In most cases, the cost of mediation is less than other forms of alternative dispute resolution or litigating issues in court. Often mediation is also the most time efficient method, as many parties can address and resolve their conflicts in one day of mediation.

If you are interested in learning more about mediation and whether it is a good option for your family law needs, please call us at 210-368-9708 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at tessmerlawfirm.com.

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