What is Mediation in Texas?
A lot of people thinking about divorce hear about divorce mediation. Is it an alternative to divorce? Fort Bend County Divorce Attorney Vonda Covington talks about divorce mediation in this video. If you have questions about the video or if you’re thinking about divorce, please call our office for an appointment at (281) 503-7373.
Summary of the Video — What is Divorce Mediation
Hi, I’m Vonda Covington. I’m a family law attorney in Fort Bend County, Texas, and I just wanted to answer the question, “what is divorce mediation.” I’m going to start with the mediator.
The mediator is a neutral third party, a person who helps the spouses, in a divorce situation, to reach an agreement on all the issues that are necessary for a divorce.
Caucused Divorce Mediation
Very often in Texas and Fort Bend County, we use what’s called caucused mediation, where one party is in one room, and the other party is in another room. If they’re represented by attorneys, the husband’s attorney is with husband, wife’s attorney is with wife, and the mediator carries messages back and forth. It’s rather inefficient, but it helps to avoid the conflict that could happen if everyone is in the same room.
Another style of mediation is conference-style mediation, where everybody is together in a conference room around a conference table and the mediator helps with the discussion with everyone together.
Mediated Settlement Agreement
At the end of the mediation, once you have an agreement, what you get is a mediated settlement agreement. It’s a written document. It’s irrevocable. Once you’ve signed it, you cannot change your mind. Don’t wake up tomorrow morning and think, “Oh, I shouldn’t have reached that agreement,” because guess what? You’re stuck with it.
The benefit is you’re entitled to judgment on it. The judge can’t say, “Oh, this looks like a bad agreement, I’m not accepting it.” It’s something that you are entitled to. You’ve reached an agreement in mediation, it’s reflected in the mediated settlement agreement, you’re now entitled to judgment.
Information Needs for Divorce Mediation
And I guess, the other thing that I really want to let you know about divorce mediation is, it does not do any good if you don’t have all the information that you need to reach an agreement. You have to bring all that information with you.
Sometimes the other side wants to look at credit card statements, bank statements, things like that. You need to know what the entire estate looks like, you need to have all of that information.
Then the mediator, hopefully, will be able to help you reach an agreement, and you can get a judgment based on that agreement and be done with your divorce or other legal issue.
Contact Covington Law Firm for Experienced, Caring Divorce Advice
Divorce Attorney Vonda Covington has many years of experience in helping clients through the difficult and emotional decisions associated with divorce. Divorce is hard. Make it as easy as possible for you and your children by working with an attorney you can trust. Call us at (281) 503-7373.