Mediation: An Alternative Option
Austin Family Lawyer
Divorce does not have to be a difficult, hostile experience. If you and your former spouse still have a respectful and cooperative relationship, you should consider using mediation to resolve the issues involved in dissolving your marriage. You can come to Menduni Martindill, PLLC, where we offer comprehensive family law services to clients whose lives are in transition. We believe that you have a right to determine the course of your life, and we know that you want to avoid receiving unnecessary intervention from the court.
Mediation will give you a venue to work out any unsettled questions with your ex-spouse in a comfortable setting. A contested divorce that takes place in the courtroom can be intimidating. Even couples who do not have a high conflict relationship will often find that the divorce becomes adversarial under the pressure of arguing over the terms of the settlement in front of the judge. In mediation, you have control over when you will meet and what you will discuss. You can take the time to fully address your concerns and voice your opinion.
What are the benefits?
Mediation can help solve issues involving custody, spousal maintenance, property distribution, paternity rights and restraining orders. Why is mediation a good thing to consider?
- It's less expensive than going to court
- It's efficient: agreements are typically reached must faster
- Mediation responds to important, immediate concerns such as support and child custody
- Mediation is confidential and prevents public exposure
- Mediation is voluntary
- Settlements based on mutual satisfaction tend to be honored by both parties
- It is helpful when a couple needs to maintain an ongoing relationship (such as in the case of having kids)
- Mediation has positive effects on children
- Mediation reduces tensions
- A mediator is an unbiased source that can be extremely valuable during such an emotionally-charged time
Mediation is considered an "alternative dispute resolution process." It can be more convenient and less emotionally overwhelming if you are the one creating your agreements and crafting your orders. Much stress and animosity can be alleviated when those things do not have to be submitted to a judge.
What to Expect with Mediation
Mediation usually involves the following steps:
- You will talk to a mediator over the phone, providing basic background
- You will attend the first meeting-usually in an office or conference room
- At the first meeting, the mediator will explain what you can expect from the rest of the meetings
- The mediator may ask you to sign an agreement that says you'll keep what's said confidential
- You and your spouse will both get the chance to make a statement about the situation
- The mediator will assess where you and your spouse agree and where you need to work towards an agreement
- Once you reach a plan, your mediator will help you figure out how to stick to it
- The mediator can help you discuss complicated issues such as property distribution or child custody
Mediation will allow you to have an uncontested divorce, due to the fact that you will be able to settle any disputes over alimony, child custody or property division before you go to court. An attorney from our firm can represent you at mediation; providing guidance on legal questions and helping to facilitate discussions.
Many couples who use mediation report that having a neutral third party serves to prevent disagreements from escalating into arguments or fights. The practice of respectful, patient communication can also help to set an example for future interactions, which is especially important if you share children. Contact us today for a consultation and to find out what an Austin family law attorney can do for you.