When emotions run high during a Texas divorce, one or both parties may threaten to take the other to court so that the matter can be resolved by a judge. However, there are other alternative dispute resolution options that could allow a couple to get through the divorce process more quickly, saving time and money.
One of the most popular forms of ADR is mediation. During the mediation process, the estranged couple meets outside of court with a neutral third party to try and hash out terms of the divorce themselves. The mediator could be a retired judge or a neutral attorney, though this is also not a required. In some cases, the mediator could be a social worker or mental health professional who is skilled in helping couples negotiate. Each of the estranged spouses is entitled to have separate legal representation.
During mediation, both individuals have the opportunity to raise issues that are important to the divorce. The mediator can then potentially help the couple resolve the issues. At this point, any divorce settlement that is offered is still confidential in the event that a couple finds mediation does not work in their situation and they need to turn to divorce litigation.
For couples who want to end their divorce as quickly and as amicably as possible, divorce mediation may be an appropriate option as long as the couples can work together to reach an agreement. Once they do, then the agreement can be reduced to writing, reviewed by their separate attorneys and then submitted to the court.