What Is A Mediated (Or 'Precourt') Settlement?

Family law courts in Harris County and other counties near Houston require divorcing spouses to go through mediation before seeking a trial. In a mediated or "precourt" settlement, a husband and wife can make mutual decisions about asset division, spousal maintenance and child custody. (Child support will usually be determined through a state calculator.)

What Are The Benefits Of Settling With A Mediator?

Mediation has many benefits over a traditional court trial for couples who are divorcing, even when there are initially large areas of disagreement. Benefits of mediated settlements include:

  • A private setting
  • Avoidance of public court records detailing private lives
  • A flexible timetable
  • Proposals and concessions to be made by the spouses themselves rather than orders dictated by an unknown judge
  • Legal costs less burdensome in many cases

Family law judges hear many divorce cases day after day, year after year. In most cases, a divorce court judge does not know the parties who are divorcing. He or she cannot know what issues matter most to them or how they have lived their lives during a marriage. If a jury is involved in your divorce case, the members of the jury are also unlikely to understand in detail how divorce decree judgments will impact your lives. The outcome is not likely to be personalized to your family.

In mediation, on the other hand, spouses themselves are the principal players. If you and your husband or you and your wife prefer to make life-changing decisions through direct communications based on priorities you are both well familiar with, you may well be motivated to settle your divorce out of court.

Contact Our Skilled Legal Team

You may have specific questions to ask a lawyer, such as, "Can I go back to court after a precourt settlement has been reached through mediation?" or "Can we agree to split the cost of our child's college education?" Discuss your coming divorce with a lawyer who will take the time to understand your concerns. Determine with that attorney how best to approach the mediation process.

Contact our Texas family law offices to schedule a consultation regarding divorce, divorce mediation and other family law matters.