Deer Park Mediation Attorneys Foster Positive Resolutions
Accomplished Texas family law firm guides discussions and advocates for parties
When people think of divorce or a child custody dispute, they might imagine a protracted court battle that seems to last forever and drains them emotionally and financially. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. At the law office of Shelly A. Merchant, we have found that family law mediation can be very successful in resolving various types of disputes. Our Deer Park mediation attorneys serve in two capacities: either as the neutral, third-party mediator or as counsel for a client engaged in mediation. In most cases, we are able to resolve the conflict without a court hearing, saving our clients time, expense and stress. In most cases, mediation is required by the judge.
How divorce mediation works
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method designed to foster productive negotiation among opposing parties until they reach a settlement they can present to the court for approval. Each party to the conflict has an attorney, whom they confer with to prepare for mediation sessions. The sessions are headed by a mediator, a neutral third party whose task it is to guide discussions towards a mutually beneficial compromise. Typically, in divorce mediation, you must resolve issues related to four key concerns: child custody, child support, property division and spousal support. Parties achieve consensus point by point until they have a complete agreement, or have reached an impasse.
Attorneys outline advantages of alternative dispute resolution
The advantages of mediation are numerous and significant. With mediation, you can:
- Save time — Parties have the ability to schedule mediation sessions when they are available, without regard for the crowded court calendar. You can work steadily, avoiding frustrating and costly delays.
- Save money — Preparing for trial is an expensive proposition, requiring much more of your attorney’s time. Charges for document reproduction, witness depositions, court reporter fees, expert testimony and other items drive up costs dramatically.
- Spare yourself emotional turmoil — Mediation is a cooperative process. It’s not stress-free, but neither is it an adversarial proceeding like you would experience during a trial.
- Take control — When you go to court, you assume the risk of an adverse judgment. In mediation, you don’t have to agree to anything you can’t live with. Naturally, there’s give and take, because parties must compromise. But you have greater control over the final terms of your agreement than you would if you left matters in the hands of a judge.
- Preserve your privacy — What gets said in mediation stays between the parties, their attorneys and the mediator, whereas courtroom proceedings are usually open to the public.
For all of these reasons, it’s worth considering mediation and discussing the process with a divorce lawyer in Deer Park, TX. However, family law mediation is not for everyone. With marriages where there is a history of domestic violence, the abused spouse may be too intimidated to participate on an equal footing. In high net-worth divorces, where one spouse refuses to be transparent about finances, litigation might be necessary to compel the disclosure of financial assets. At our firm, you receive personalized attention, where we take the time to understand your situation and recommend a process that is most appropriate for you.