Texas courts encourage those involved in a dispute to attempt settling their cases through alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution is the settling of cases outside of court, saving parties time, money, and stress.
Mediation has enjoyed a high rate of success in Houston divorce cases. The goal of mediation is for the parties to create their own settlement with the assistance of a third party neutral, the mediator. Each party will have the opportunity to privately discuss concerns and goals with the mediator, and these conversations will remain confidential. Each party has the comfort of knowing that the mediator has considered those concerns and goals when suggesting ways to settle the case.
Houston is the fifth largest city in the country, so one can imagine how backed up the Harris County family court dockets are. It can take up to a year after a case is filed to have a trial. Rather than wait for months for a judge to decide their fate, many parties choose mediation instead. This greatly reduces the stress and anxiety the parties feel during their case, increasing the chances of reaching agreement.
Mediation is especially useful when the parties need to maintain a relationship—as parents often do. Since mediation encourages the parties to collaborate and work out their issues, their relationship is often preserved. In contrast, during the adversarial nature of a trial, many relationships are irreparably destroyed afterward. Trials position the parties against each other, whereas mediation encourages them to work together.