Referees make sure athletes abide by the rules of a game. In a similar fashion, Denton and Tarrant County divorce mediators act as objective parties in spousal disagreements. Texas spouses may enter mediation of their own free will, although family law courts sometimes order couples to try to work out disputes through this less adversarial divorce process.
Divorce mediation is attractive for many reasons. Attorneys know agreements designed by the parties involved are preferabl and therefore, more workable than court-ordered settlements. Spouses who insert compromised terms in a legal agreement are more likely to comply with the contract than spouses ordered to act by an authoritative stranger in court.
The mediation process can be less stressful than litigation. Court battles often provoke spousal hostilities rather than encourage civility. For some couples, mediation is a communication testing ground. That’s particularly important for spouses who will be spending the foreseeable future co-parenting the children they share.
Another bonus to mediation is the cost, commonly two to 10 times less expensive than the traditional divorce process, particularly when the spouses’ legal issues are complex. Mediators, unlike judges, are unbiased guides who help spouses communicate and resolve problems.
Mediators provide legal information but may not offer legal advice. Attorneys assist spouses with preparations for mediation sessions, usually one or two hours in length, and gather data and evidence to support a position. A mediator helps spouses identify and prioritize points of contention and may refer spouses to third parties, like financial experts, for opinions.
The number of sessions required to reach an agreement varies, although spouses commonly meet about three or four times over the course of a few months. Parties are not required to come to terms on all disputed issues. Mediation may end with a partial settlement or no agreement at all – in that case, unresolved matters may have to be decided in court.
Source: FindLaw, “Divorce Mediation FAQ,” accessed July 24, 2015