Couples in Texas who are going through a divorce may choose mediation instead of using the traditional court route. While mediation is not for everyone, it can be an effective tool in easing the stress and financial burden that accompanies most divorces.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were almost 72,000 divorces in the state in 2014, with Harris County having the highest number compared to other counties. Even when children are involved, mediation can be a better way to come to an agreement about division and custody when each party has mutual respect for the other.
According to the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, mediation is a process in which a neutral party, known as the mediator, helps the couple come to a mutual agreement and settlement by assisting with communication. In a confidential and private setting, the mediator discusses with each side important considerations in regard to child custody, spousal support and property division. A mediator does not make any decision for either party, but is there as an impartial person to help the couple work through conflicts and come up with fair resolutions.
Mediation is typically much less expensive than using lawyers because only one person is getting paid and the process is usually shorter and less involved. When done correctly, mediation also results in lower stress because couples are able to come up with mutually-agreed upon decisions and it is often easier on the children. If a mediator thinks mediation is not the appropriate process for a particular case, or one of the parties is not cooperating, he or she will recommend alternative proceedings for the couple.