A Texas divorce does not have to go before a judge, nor does a divorce need to be acrimonious and drawn out. It is possible through mediation to conduct your divorce with less negative feelings, more control and at a lower cost to you and your spouse. Mediation is very different than going to court, so if you are not familiar with mediation, you should have a general idea of what to expect if you are considering mediation as an option.
Money Crashers provides some background on what a divorce mediator does. Mediators do not impose solutions. Instead, they are neutral persons who act as a facilitator between the divorcing spouses. Mediators do their best to minimize conflict while helping the spouses come to a productive solution that they can both agree on. Mediators also provide guidance, though spouses should retain their own attorneys for legal counsel.
Mediators also provide focus. Generally, mediators organize all the issues that the mediation will address into an outline. Also, a mediator will help ensure that not a single issue was missed during the mediation. Everything should be handled before a final solution is drafted and agreed to. Mediators also help spouses come up with ideas if they are stuck on what they should do.
If you go to mediation, you will likely not spend a lot of time with a mediator as you would with a judge. On average, a courtroom divorce lasts for about 18 months. By contrast, a divorce that goes through mediation is more likely to last about 90 days. So you might be going in and out of a courtroom for over a year, but you may only require around three months to complete mediation.
Mediation is not for every couple. Some couples cannot come to an agreement and need a judge to impose a solution. There are also situations where one spouse is the victim of domestic violence from the other spouse and needs to remain separated from the abuser. However, when it does succeed, mediation may leave a divorced couple on better terms and with more favorable results.
This article is written to provide general information on family law and is not to be taken as legal counsel.