For many Texas residents preparing to begin the divorce process, mediation is a good option. According to some experts, mediation should be attempted by most divorcing couples, whether to resolve all divorce issues or just one. It is a process that provides a variety of benefits that can also have a positive long-lasting impact.
What steps can you take to prepare for mediation?
As you get ready for mediation, there are several steps to follow. These include:
- Interviewing mediators to find one that meets your needs
- Gathering supporting financial documents as evidence of your financial situation
- Listing your monthly income and expenses to create a basis for the discussion of child and spousal support
- Consulting with a financial expert to get ready for your negotiations
- Consulting with a lawyer who supports your view of the divorce process
How does divorce mediation work?
When you choose mediation, you and your spouse work with a neutral mediator. The mediator helps you work through any issues related to the divorce to reach an agreement that works for both parties. Some of the issues that can be resolved through mediation include division of assets, child custody and child and spousal support. You meet with the mediator over several sessions, with the goal of reaching an agreement that once approved by the court becomes your divorce settlement.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation has important, long-lasting benefits. Mediation benefits include:
- Privacy and discretion since your information is not shared in open court
- Control over the length, cost and tone of your divorce
- A better relationship with your ex as you work together to resolve the issues
- A better co-parenting relationship that shows your children your commitment to parenting
Most couples can benefit from mediation. However, if there was domestic abuse in your relationship or if one party will not voluntarily share their financial information, mediation is not the right option.