Couples that settle their cases through divorce mediation in Texas tend to get along better after a divorce than those who have their cases finalized at a family court trial. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that takes the case out of the courtroom and places it in the hands of the parties. A third party neutral, called a mediator, will assist the parties as they try to work together to settle their case. The mediator does not make any decisions on behalf of the parties—any settlement reached is due to their own acceptance of its terms.
Mediation encourages collaboration between the parties, whereas a family court trial tends to focus on a “winner” and a “loser.” Since the parties are the most familiar with the facts of their case, it makes sense for them to create a resolution to the dispute as well. A family court judge may end up ruling on the issues in a manner that the parties do not like or do not understand. During mediation, both parties feel like they have “won” on certain issues, since they will only agree to terms that they approve. This collaboration preserves the relationships of the parties, which is especially important when children are involved.
In addition, you have the ability to be as detailed as possible when you are creating a settlement agreement during mediation. You and your spouse can address both current issues and future issues in your agreement. For example, if you know that one parent plans to move, you can include how this will be addressed, so that you do not have to file a court case again to resolve custody issues. This will not only save you money, but it will also provide a plan for addressing substantial changes in circumstances.