Divorcing Texas parents in Travis and San Marcos Counties may be required to attend mediation prior to a final hearing in their divorce case. The benefits of mediation are universally recognized as noted in the videos by the Network of Family Mediation Services. As far away as England, mediation is noted as a cost savings resolution tool. What can you expect at a mediation? A mediation is conducted by a neutral third party. The mediator has no personal stake in the case other than to assist in settling the dispute. Sometimes the partys have lawyers and sometimes they don't. It is a safe place to deal with the unresolved matters. You are not required to come to an agreement and at the end of the day, you can choose not to come to an agreement and litigate your case. It is informal compared to a court proceeding. In court, when you are testifying, you don't get to take notes while you are talking. Mediation allows you to take notes that will assist you. You can talk about evidence that may not even be admissible in court. You get heard; you can say what is on your mind, and not just answer the attorneys' questions as you would in court. You have a say in the outcome, not just a ruling from the court. The difficult economic times have ushered couples to seek mediation even before they file for divorce. This can be highly effective, as the legal positioning usually associated with adverse litigation has not yet soured their relationship beyond repair. These couples find they have a mediation, then file the divorce, then complete all the documents, saving them large sums of money, frustration, court hearings, sleepless nights, and emotional turmoil with their children. You know what is best for your children and if you can work with the other person to come to an agreement; that small bit of positiveness will improve your relationship. An improved relationship is essential for the future of your children and the difficult decisions that may confront you. Mediators don't just want you to settle your disputes; they want the agreement to be meaningful and to last. Sometimes a mediated settlement agreement is not working well just after a few months. In this case, some mediators will offer to re-mediate the matter for free or at a reduced cost.
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