Houston Mediation Lawyer
When deciding to end a marriage, there are several different ways to conclude the relationship. An increasingly popular decision is for couples to undergo mediation. Instead of a lengthy court battle with high stress and emotions, mediation allows both spouses to reach a divorce agreement that works in the best interest of each. If you are considering ending your relationship, the lawyers at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler will help cultivate a neutral environment and guide you and your spouse to a comfortable resolution to your issues through mediation.
Mediation allows for separating couples to take control of their situation. Mediators will also provide information about the law, how a court might view the issue at hand, and possible alternative solutions to tricky issues. During mediation, couples determine what is best for not only them but their children as well. Mediation also provides a great example of how the divorcees can approach issues in the future and communicate with each other to resolve them.
Court proceedings can be expensive, emotional, and exhausting. Trying to settle an agreement in a court battle will only result in more stress and less time and money. By choosing to seek the help of the divorce lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler and considering mediation, you and your ex can reach a proper agreement without all the loss. Typically, the cost of a divorce case can be anywhere from two to ten times more expensive than the cost of mediation. But that is only the monetary savings. The emotional cost between the parties decreases significantly by choosing to go through mediation. Save yourself the emotional turmoil and choose a divorce lawyer who is dedicated to creating a happy and healthy mediation situation between you and your spouse.
The Houston mediation lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are committed to helping couples reach a successful divorce agreement that is as fair to both sides as possible. If you or someone you know is considering mediated divorce, contact us today at (713) 802-1777 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about the details of your case and learn more about whether mediated divorce may be the right course of action for you.
How We Can Help
There are several different methods of alternative dispute resolution that can help couples reach divorce terms that satisfy both parties. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we have considerable experience assisting clients with cases involving:
- Mediation: Mediation relies upon a neutral third party, the mediator, to help resolve any of the outstanding issues and disagreements between the parties so that an agreeable divorce agreement may be achieved.
- Collaborative Law: Collaborative law is an innovative approach to divorce that promotes open communication and full voluntary disclosure under the guidance of a team of lawyers.
Either of these options can help reduce the stress associated with divorce and allow you to remain in control of the process.
During mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will help work out agreements between the parties on a variety of issues, ranging from child custody to division of property and assets. Not every issue is an easy one to solve, and this is when a mediator can provide a lot of assistance to help the parties reach an agreement favorable to both of them. A mediator is not there to give out direct answers to issues, but rather to make sure that there is open communication between the parties, help brainstorm ideas, and above all, assist the couple in their decision process. With a mediator, there is less emotion and stress involved because someone is there to help guide you through a productive discussion of the issues at hand.
The purpose of mediation is to minimize time and expenses by settling a lawsuit early on. A divorce mediator does not represent either party involved. A mediator is a neutral, flexible, and confidential third party. It should also be noted that nothing the mediator says is binding. In other words, a mediator cannot order either party to do anything. The entire process is geared towards reaching an agreeable settlement between the couple. To have a successful divorce mediation, all that is necessary is for the couple to show up and be open minded about conflict resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions
We at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler understand that you may have many questions about the mediation process. If you don’t find the information you are looking for below, don’t hesitate to contact us at (713) 802-1777. We will be happy to answer your questions.
What are the benefits of mediation?
The biggest benefit of mediation is that it is a lot less expensive than a court proceeding. Avoiding a lengthy court battle means less time and money lost in trying to reach an agreement. Mediations often end in a settlement where all the issues of the divorce have been addressed and agreed upon. Unlike in a court setting, mediation allows couples to reach their own conclusions. Couples have full power and control of the settlement. Together, the parties can reach a resolution based on what they believe is fair. In court, this would not be the case. A decision would be imposed on the parties, and unlike mediation, that decision is binding, so the parties must follow through. One of the most important benefits of mediation is that it can help communication between the couple. Most often, communication is the source of conflict, and with the tools learned in mediation, couples can avoid or better handle issues in the future.
What is divorce litigation?
In divorce litigation, attorneys argue to reach the best judgment for their client. It can be an overwhelming experience for the couple. Divorce battles can bring up bad memories, negative feelings, and an unprecedented amount of stress. There is also a complex discovery process during divorce litigation. This can include written questions for the other party to answer, tax documents, credit card statements, and other probing information that would aid in getting the best result for the party. It can be a seemingly endless process. The divorce process varies depending on the complexity of the case. Divorce in a court setting aims at maximizing what the lawyer’s client gets. There is no discussion between the two parties about agreements.
What is mediation like for divorce?
Mediation is significantly different than divorce litigation. Unlike in litigation, mediation promotes the parties coming together to solve problems and create agreeable terms. There is no huge discovery process. There is just a mediator educating and guiding two people in a conversation to lead to a mutually beneficial conclusion. There is a lot less emotion involved in mediation, so parties can stay focused on issues that matter to them and avoid getting side-tracked by quarrels. Most importantly, mediation puts the power and control in the hands of the couple rathe than an impersonal judge who does not know the extent of the issues. This way, the parties together can decide their own future.
How long does mediation take?
The duration of mediation depends on the complexity of the case, the commitment to communication for both parties, and the number of issues that need to be agreed upon. The biggest factor in the length of mediation is the willingness of the parties to cooperate and compromise. The time spent in mediation can be greatly reduced if couples take less of a hard-and-fast approach at issue resolution and focus more on what would be beneficial for both parties and any children involved. It should be remembered that sometimes there may be a great deal of animosity between the parties and mediation might not be an appropriate solution. It is still worth trying mediation because there is a possibility of eliminating divorce litigation expenses.
How can mediation be possible with an unagreeable spouse?
Usually, couples are very willing to work together and cooperate in mediation. Sadly, this is not the case in every situation. Some couples may be overwhelmed with emotion and unable to even fathom seeing the other, let alone resolving issues with them. Luckily, part of a mediator’s training is to help coach couples through difficult scenarios like this. Mediators will help the parties calm down, take emotion out of the conversation, and focus on rationally discussing a compromise. If one or two issues are left unsettled after mediation, it does not mean the mediation process was wasted. Divorce agreements can be drafted for all the settled issues. The remaining issues can either be litigated in court or can be further discussed with longer mediation.
Will the settlement be enforceable?
While mediation is not binding, the settlement agreed between the two parties is. Once an agreement is reached and signed, it becomes enforceable.
Are there penalties for not reaching a settlement?
Unfortunately, mediation does not always work for everyone. And when that is the case, it is worthy to note that there are no legal penalties for failing to come to a divorce agreement during mediation. Mediation is not binding. It is only a tool to help reach a divorce agreement. Regardless, mediation is always a worthy option for divorcees seeking a settlement.
If you or someone you know is considering mediated divorce, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about whether this option is right for you. Contact a mediation attorney of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler at (713) 802-1777 today to discuss your case with an experienced legal professional and learn more about your rights and options according to the law.