Skilled Family Law Attorney Practices Divorce Mediation
Alternative resolution strategies save time and expense
At the Law Office of Jerry Porter, one of the ways I demonstrate loyalty to my clients is to save them unnecessary time and expense whenever possible. Once we identify your goals for your divorce, I can explain the range of options for attempting to achieve those goals. Whenever possible, a negotiated marital agreement is preferable. In conference with your spouse’s attorney, I can help you hammer out a settlement and present it to the court for approval. When agreement is not possible, trial of an issue before the judge is always a possibility. But before resorting to trial, an important intermediate step to consider is mediation. When appropriate, mediation can save you time and expense, and allow you to avoid the risk of leaving a decision in the hands of a judge.
How family law mediation works in Texas
Courts in Texas may require that couples mediate divorce disputes before resorting to trial, depending on the county in which the divorce takes place. But couples can always do so by mutual consent. Mediation involves meeting with a neutral third party, the mediator, who attempts to guide the parties to a reasonable resolution. Typically, the process goes as follows:
- You meet with your attorney to discuss the issues for your mediation session and outline your strategy.
- At the mediation session, you and your spouse (with your attorneys) present an opening statement of your goals for the session.
- You retire to separate rooms and the mediator shuttles back and forth, working separately with each spouse to find a path forward.
- You reach agreement on an issue, which the mediator and the attorneys commit to writing.
- You sign a Rule 11 agreement, which you are entitled to present to the court as the basis of your divorce decree.
Sessions continue until your ancillary issues, such as child custody and support, visitation and alimony, are resolved, or until it’s clear you have to go to trial.
Pros and cons to mediating family law disputes
Family law mediation works well when the parties commit to the process. If one of the spouses is only there because the court ordered it, mediation is unlikely to work. Attorneys also need to be reasonable. When mediation works, spouses save time, frustration and expense. But perhaps most importantly, they retain control over the outcome, rather than placing the decision in the hands of a judge who might rule adversely against one or the other. I believe very strongly in the potential for mediation achieving reasonable settlements, and work diligently to ensure that my clients get the most out of the process.
Consult an experienced divorce attorney who knows family law mediation
Mediation can make your divorce easier, quicker and less expensive. The Law Office of Jerry Porter guides clients through the family law mediation process in The Woodlands, Montgomery County and the greater Houston area. To schedule a consultation, call 281.296.3131 or contact Jerry Porter online.