During the divorce process, mediation can be a great opportunity for the parties to work through various issues related to their divorce. It helps parties work toward amicable and mutually agreeable solutions when ending their marriage. However, there are some situations when divorce mediation is not recommended or required. 

If you are in the process of going through a divorce in Texas and wonder whether mediation makes sense in your case, we have answers for you. Use our guide below to learn more about divorce mediation in Texas and when it might not be recommended or required. Then speak with an attorney at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC to discuss your rights and options moving forward. 

First Things First: What Is Divorce Mediation? 

Before proceeding with mediation in your case, it is important to first have a basic understanding of what mediation is. Here are a few things about mediation to keep in mind.  

What Is Mediation in Divorce? 

Mediation is an out-of-court dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party, referred to as a mediator, helps divorcing couples address various issues. The overarching goal of mediation is to facilitate open communication and negotiation between the divorcing spouses in an effort to reach mutually acceptable terms for the divorce. Usually, mediation focuses on critical divorce issues such as property division, child custody and visitation, child support, and alimony (known as spousal maintenance in Texas). 

In Texas, the parties may elect to go to mediation voluntarily or, in some cases, the court may order the parties to attend mediation. While mediation is not required in all instances, many courts require parties to attend mediation prior to hearing or trial. Notably, however, mediation will never result in any binding decision or settlement unless both parties expressly agree to the terms in writing. 

Is Mediation a Good Idea in Divorce? 

In short, the answer to this question is that it depends on the circumstances. Mediation can be extremely productive in some cases. In others, it may not. Ultimately, the answer will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case and the level of cooperation between the two divorcing parties. For example, if the spouses have intense animosity toward one another, the odds of mediation resolving their case are low and the risk of increasing tensions is high. Regardless, most courts require parties to mediate prior to a hearing or final trial. Your attorney can help you assess your situation and navigate your case through mediation. 

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Let’s look at some pros and cons of divorce mediation. First, we’ll look at some advantages.

  • Cost-effective. Mediation is often less expensive than going to court and involves fewer legal proceedings, lower court costs, and fewer legal fees. 
  • Faster resolution. Mediation can lead to quicker and more efficient out-of-court resolutions. 
  • Reduced conflict. The process promotes open communication and cooperation between the parties, which can sometimes help to reduce conflict and tensions. 
  • Flexible solutions. The mediation process allows the parties to be creative in working toward flexible solutions tailored to the parties’ needs and goals. 

Although there are benefits to mediation, it might not be the right route to take in your case. 

When Mediation Might Not Be Right for Your Case

Although mediation is beneficial in some cases, there are scenarios where mediation may not be advantageous or appropriate. 

If one or both parties are wholly unwilling to cooperate, attempting mediation could be a waste of time, effort, and money. Of course, even where two parties are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum as far as their desired outcomes, a skilled mediator can help guide them toward reasonable and mutually acceptable middle ground. However, the parties must have at least some willingness to cooperate and negotiate in good faith. If no such collaborative intent exists, mediation may be unproductive and could ultimately be a waste of time and resources. However, if the court requires you to attend mediation before a hearing or final trial, you must follow the court’s policies, procedures, and orders. 

Mediation is not recommended in cases involving a history of domestic violence, abuse, or intimidation between the parties. A party may file a written objection to mediation on the basis of family violence. Texas law protects victims of family violence and courts may decide against ordering mediation in cases involving a history of violence or abuse. In cases involving domestic violence, it is best to forgo mediation, if possible, to protect the physical or emotional safety of either spouse. 

The Stout Law Firm, PLLC: Your Trusted Divorce Attorney

If you are in the process of going through a divorce in Texas and aren’t sure where to turn, know you are not alone. Whether your case requires mediation or not, our team of experienced and professional attorneys has what it takes to help you fight to get the results you need. 

At The Stout Law Firm, PLLC, we pride ourselves on representing families in the Houston, TX, area as they face some of the most difficult times in their lives. We are a group of family law attorneys who are dedicated to helping our clients navigate family law issues.  Contact us today to discuss your case and see how we can help you move forward today.

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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