Child custody or other family disputes can be some of the most emotional experiences a parent may go through. To add to this stress, parents who are unable to resolve their issues on their own may find themselves facing unwanted and sometimes lengthy contested litigation. Fortunately, mediation offers a less confrontational setting for parents to voice their concerns and settle their cases with the help of an objective third party.
If you a facing a legal dispute involving your children, it may be beneficial to consult a skilled Pearland mediation lawyer. A divorce attorney from our caring legal team could explain how mediation might benefit your case and how the process works.
What Is Mediation?
Family law mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution used when parties to a dispute are unable to reach mutually acceptable agreements. Parents may engage in this process voluntarily or, in some cases, by court order. Mediation can address various issues, including but not limited to:
- Child custody and support
- Property division
- Selling a family home or other real estate
- Dissolving a family business in a divorce
- Transferring retirement assets
- Spousal support
A couple could also use alternative dispute resolution to negotiate a prenuptial or postnuptial contract. There is essentially no limit to what parties can discuss in mediation as long as they both agree. In some cases, parents can even resolve issues that a judge may not have the authority to address, such as paying for a child’s college expenses. A parent contemplating mediation is well-advised to seek advice from a Pearland lawyer.
Why Should Parents Choose Mediation?
There are various benefits mediation offers that may not be available should parents go to court. For example, alternative dispute resolution can save considerable time and money as opposed to an expensive, protracted legal battle. Negotiating terms outside of a courtroom and not paying two attorneys to prepare for and litigate a contested trial can make the process more affordable.
Additionally, unlike court trials where parties may have to air their grievances in a public courtroom, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §154.073 mandates that information shared in mediation be kept confidential. Maintaining privacy enables parents to openly discuss sensitive matters that may have contributed to the dispute, like abuse or marital infidelity, and have a better chance to resolve their case.
The mediation process can also provide options specifically tailored to the parties’ case. Family court judges are bound by the strict limits of state law and procedure. Accordingly, they cannot always create orders that meet the needs of both parents and protect the child’s best interests.
Mediation can be especially beneficial when children are involved. In a divorce or custody dispute, contentious litigation can lead to parents battling over finances and custody, resulting in a complete breakdown of their co-parenting relationship. When parents cannot civilly or effectively communicate with one another, children suffer.
Mediation can be an excellent choice for parties who cannot resolve their disputes between themselves but are still willing to sit down to try and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. A knowledgeable lawyer in the Pearland area could guide a parent through the mediation process.
The Role Of A Mediator
Mediators are impartial third parties with no vested interest in a case’s outcome. The goal of a trained mediator is to facilitate a settlement and help the parties avoid going to court. Skilled mediators received considerable training in family law as well as dispute resolution techniques.
During the alternative dispute resolution process, a mediator will not favor one party’s position over the other. They must facilitate productive discussions between the parties and encourage them to compromise whenever possible. A mediator cannot give either side legal advice, and each party is encouraged to retain an independent Pearland attorney to represent them during mediation.
Work With A Compassionate Pearland Mediation Attorney
Countless family law issues may lead to heated arguments and lengthy court battles. Fortunately, going before a judge is not your only option to resolve these matters.
If you need help with a legal dispute, consider discussing your case with a seasoned Pearland mediation lawyer. Our firm’s caring attorneys could help you negotiate a settlement that considers your goals and the needs of your children. Call today at 713-714-3710 in Houston or at 512-572-1207 in Austin to learn more about the benefits of family law mediation for you and your family.