This is a guest post written by Texas divorce attorney Scott Morgan. Scott is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and found of the Morgan Law Firm. The firm serves Austin divorce clients and also has offices in Houston and Sugar Land.
As a Texas divorce attorney I resolve cases both by trial and by mediation. The Texas Family Code encourages mediation and in most counties it is actually mandatory in divorce cases that the parties attend mediation prior to trial. But even in those jurisdictions where mediation is not required there are some very good reasons to try to resolve your case at mediation instead of taking it to trial. Below are some of what I consider to be the biggest advantages to mediation over trial.
Mediation Helps You Retain Control of Your Divorce
A Judge’s job is to hear evidence and making rulings that are in accordance with the law. Generally speaking, they are not overly concerned about what you might want or what may be really important to you. Once you step into a courtroom you lose all control over the outcome of your divorce.
By contrast mediation lets you retain full control of your situation. You know what is truly important to you and what you are willing to trade to get what you want. An outcome that you agree to is generally far preferable to one that is imposed on you.
Mediation Helps Lower the Financial Burden of Divorce
Divorce is expensive. Divorce lawyer fees skyrocket in the days and weeks leading up to trial. The more complicated your case is the more you can expect to pay your attorney to prepare to fight for you in court. It is not unusual at all in complex cases for each party to spend $25,000 to $50,000 in legal fees and sometimes much more. On the flip side, the cost of mediation is relatively low. This is especially true if your mediation happens early in the case. Mediation Can Speed Up the Process
Let’s face it, when you are ready to be divorced, you are ready to be divorced. The court process can take months: filing papers, depositions, written discovery, preliminary hearings and finally trial. Mediation happens in your time frame. There is no mandatory waiting period and the written terms of the agreement are typically drafted right then.
Mediation Keeps Your Private Life Private
Nobody wants their dirty laundry aired in a public forum. If you walk into a courtroom, everything you say (or that is said about you) becomes public record. You can avoid all of that by settling your case in mediation. You don’t have to worry about breaking down in front of a courtroom filled with strangers, nor do you have to feel embarrassed about your financial situation becoming a public discussion. Considering all the benefits of mediation you really should consider whether it is the best choice for your divorce. I know that if I were personally going through a divorce I would try my best to resolve the case without having to go to trial.
This blog has been posted by Advanced Mediation Solutions a full service mediation firm located in Cherry Hill, NJ. Roseann Vanella is the President and Host of a weekly radio show, “Family Affairs”, every Thursday at 2:30pm EST.