In some Texas counties, divorcing couples have no choice. Mediation is a mandatory first step in the divorce process. In other counties, couples may choose mediation. If you are in a county that allows you to make a choice, there are pros and cons to consider.
Pros of the Mediation Process
You and your spouse will meet together with a neutral mediator whose job it is to guide you to decision making without giving you legal advice. Your attorneys may or may not be present. There are many advantages to the process.
- It is less stressful because the focus is on amicably resolving issues.
- Future litigation is more likely to be avoided when the two of you agree on the issues instead of a court ordering you what to do.
- It is generally faster and less expensive since there are fewer court appearances.
- The process is confidential so any disputes over child care and financial issues are solved in privacy and not aired in a public court proceeding.
Cons of the Mediation Process
Everything is not always rosy. There are some cons to mediation.
- If the two of you cannot agree on resolutions, you will have to go the route of a traditional divorce which may mean more time and money.
- A mediator does not have the authority to force disclosure of hidden assets like a court does even if the mediator is aware of their existence.
- The mediator makes suggestions and guides discussion but is not allowed to give legal advice. You will still need to have an attorney to advise you if solutions suggested by the mediator are in your best interest.