When potential clients come to us here at Laura Dale & Associates PC seeking advice about their impending divorce, one of the first things we always tell them is that in most Texas counties, including those in and around Houston, the family law courts require that a divorcing couple go through an out-of-court mediation process prior to seeking a trial. If you and your spouse are talking about divorce, you need to be aware of this requirement and the many benefits it can afford you.
The American Bar Association points out that unlike a divorce that starts and ends with litigation, a mediated divorce gives you and your spouse the opportunity to divorce in the most amicable way possible. Specifically, mediation provides you the following advantages:
- The opportunity for the two of you to meet with a neutral mediator in a private, nonthreatening environment
- The opportunity for the two of you to negotiate together so as to make your own decisions rather than being forced into decisions made by a judge or jury
- The opportunity to save a considerable amount of money since mediated divorces often cost somewhere between 40-60% less than fully litigated divorces
- The opportunity to avoid public court records detailing you and your spouse’s private lives
- The opportunity to avail yourselves of a flexible timetable within which to negotiate and conclude your agreements
Maintaining control of your lives
In other words, mediation allows you and your spouse to be your own principal players, rather than leaving post-divorce decisions in the hands of a judge or jury. This gives you a much better chance of making agreements that not only fit your precise situation, but also with which both of you are reasonably satisfied and therefore are more likely to adhere to after your divorce.
For instance, you and your spouse can agree to any or all of the following:
- Which of you will have primary care and custody of your children
- Which, if either, of you will pay spousal support to the other
- How you will specifically divide your marital assets and debts in an equal manner
- Which, if either, of you will remain living in your family home
Keep in mind that the one area over which you have little control is that of child support. This you must usually agree to via using a state calculator.
For additional information, please visit this page of our website.