What is a Mediation Hearing

what does mediation meanWhen spouses divorce or in a custody dispute, one option for settling their disputes can be through mediation. However, many people don’t understand what mediation means or how the process works.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that attempts to settle all issues instead of going through the formal, stressful, and often expensive court process.

The experienced mediation attorneys at the Stout Law Firm have worked with clients through numerous mediation settlements and are experts at arguing for the best possible results for the people they represent.

The Benefits of Mediation

Mediation has many benefits over traditional litigation of legal issues.

First, a mediation is considered completely confidential, and all communications and negotiations that occur are kept off of the record. Second, mediation may be a less contentious way of resolving your issues than the litigious means of going through the court system.

Finally, for legal issues involving family and children, mediating legal issues can cause less stress and strife for your loved ones by attempting to compromise on issues instead of coming at the problem with an “all or nothing” mentality.

How Does a Mediation Work?

It is important to understand the process of a mediation and what a mediation means in order to comprehend how mediation may be a better option for your legal needs. First, each side retains an attorney to represent them in the mediation.

Next, both parties agree on a mediator to use for the dispute. The attorneys at the Stout Law firm know an experienced mediator who has a history of successfully mediating issues similar to yours.

Next, the mediation process begins with both parties starting off in separate rooms with their respective attorneys.

The mediator will go back and forth between the rooms to exchange offers and hopefully resolve the party’s issues with a compromise.  The goal is to find a middle ground between parties where they can settle instead of taking their issues to court. Once a compromise is made on all outstanding issues, the mediation agreement is signed and submitted to the court for approval. This agreement is binding and irrevocable.

If the mediation falls apart or if one side ultimately does not agree with the outcome of the mediation, the issues will be taken to court.

What Happens if a Mediation Fails?

If the mediation fails completely or there are some outstanding issues left after the mediation, those issues will go to court, and a full trial will commence to determine their outcome.

It is important to note that the discussions and negotiations that happen during a mediation cannot be brought up during the trial. Those communications and decisions remain confidential and during the trial, they cannot be mentioned. The mediator involved is not allowed to testify as to what was discussed during the mediation or any potential offers that were proffered during the mediation to settle the dispute.

Contact an experienced Houston Mediation Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing legal issues and is wondering whether mediation may be right for you, our office might be able to help. Call our lawyers at the Stout Law Firm today or contact us online to discuss your legal needs and whether mediation may be a possible route to resolving your problems.

Angela Stout

Angela A. Stout was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2007. Ms. Stout has practiced law since 2007, with an emphasis in representing clients in family law matters. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from South Texas College of Law in May of 2007. Ms. Stout became Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in December of 2015. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is a specialized group of attorneys that must obtain exceptional experience in a specific area of law, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete ongoing continuing legal education in that specialized area. Additionally, Ms. Stout is certified as a mediator by the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center.

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