Mediation is an option at any point in the divorce process, even before a petition is filed with the court. There can be many benefits to settling a divorce this way, but there can also be disadvantages. If you are contemplating divorce or have already started the process, speak with a divorce lawyer about the process and whether this option is a good step for you.
The attorneys at Scroggins Law Group (SLG) have over 100 years of combined experience. Our divorce and family law team is headed by Mark Scroggins, a trial lawyers who is *board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law. SLG helps clients determine whether divorce mediation is likely to be a beneficial option for them. If so, we will attend mediations to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
When parties agree to mediation – or when a judge orders them to participate in the process – they meet with a neutral third-party mediator who helps them sort through the issues to determine where the conflict lies and negotiate each issue point by point. The mediator does not have a say in how the issues are resolved; they are merely the facilitator who helps the parties reach a voluntary settlement.
If the parties reach an agreement on some or all areas of conflict, it will be memorialized in a Mediated Settlement Agreement that is contractually binding. A final decree of divorce will then be drafted that is specifically based on the terms of the Mediated Settlement Agreement.
Mediation offers certain advantages that make it an attractive option for many divorcing couples.
Mediation is not the best choice in every situation. Couples with deeply held resentment, high-value assets at risk, and other intervening emotional factors may override any hope for a successful outcome. Other indicators include:
If you and your spouse come to a total impasse, or you settle some issues but not all, you can continue with the litigation process on the unresolved issues only. If you reach a full agreement, § 6.602 of the Texas Family Code provides that the resulting agreement is binding on the parties if it:
If these conditions are met, the parties are entitled to a judgment on the mediated settlement agreement. There are however, two exceptions. The judge may deny a decree adopting the settlement if he or she determines that:
Once a decree is entered, it can be difficult to modify, making it crucial to consider the long-term impact of the terms of a settlement. Your divorce mediation lawyer will scrutinize any settlement terms before they are finalized to make sure they address your long-term goals.
If you have questions about whether mediation is right for your divorce, schedule a consultation with Scroggins Law Group. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we understand what it takes to protect you and your family, and we make every effort to ensure that your interests are satisfied. If mediation is unsuccessful, we are fully prepared and eager to take your divorce all the way to trial. We look forward to hearing from you.
*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
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