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The Three Cs of Mediation

Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas high-asset divorce attorney, Texas mediation lawyer, Cedar Park family law attorney,Most Texas courts require parties to mediate a contested family law matter prior to trial. Other times, the parties may attempt to resolve a case before it comes to that point. Mediation is not always successful, but it is almost always worth a try, particularly in a high-asset divorce.

If mediation is an option, the first step is to choose an effective mediator. It is important to use an attorney who practices family law in the area. Anyone else may be unfamiliar with the legal process, with the law applicable to your case and with the judges in that jurisdiction. If a court has ordered the parties to use a certain person, the judge is sometimes willing to reconsider that directive.

Mediations are normally full-day affairs. The parties meet at a neutral location – typically the mediator's office or a conference facility – and the attorneys make brief opening statements. Afterwards, the parties retire to separate rooms and the mediator conducts shuttle diplomacy by conveying offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached.

Civility

Because the parties spend most of the time in separate rooms, there is almost no emotional conflict. There are no live witnesses, although the mediator does have access to all witness statements, affidavits, and deposition transcripts. This environment is much more conducive to a rational dialogue based on the law as opposed to an emotional confrontation where the parties "vent."

This civility is a good foundation for a post-divorce relationship. The two parties do not have to like each other, but they do need to work together, especially if minor children and/or complex child custody issues are involved.

Cost

It is nearly impossible to determine an average cost for complex divorce property litigation, but it is a near certainty that the parties' spending will exceed their original hopes or expectations.

Mediation can achieve significant cost savings. Instead of a three or four day trial, the attorneys participate in a one-day mediation. Instead of extensive preparation for closing arguments, witness examination and cross-examination, evidentiary motions, and other pretrial procedures, a mediation is really only a settlement conference.

Control

Because the parties retain more control in a mediation, voluntary compliance rates are typically higher. Generally speaking, people feel more invested in complex divorce orders that they themselves helped shape. This benefit is particularly significant if one party has problems accepting authority.

For a consultation with an experienced Williamson County family law mediator, contact our office. Our practice is limited to family law.

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