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When Will the Court Order Mediation in a Texas Family Law Case?

 Posted on June 22, 2023 in Divorce

San Antonio Mediation AttorneyMany families elect to use mediation to resolve their divorce, child custody, or other family law dispute without waiting for the court to order it. Mediation offers a number of benefits over traditional litigation. It generally costs less to see a mediator than to try a case in court. Mediation can also save time and lead to a more amicable resolution. Family law cases can be complicated to resolve judicially. If there are children involved the court may bring in a guardian ad litem. Both parties will need to identify and present evidence. The process can take years in some cases, particularly in a complex divorce. Mediation, however, can allow you to resolve the dispute much more quickly. In some cases, when the judge believes that mediation would be an effective way for the parties to resolve their case out of court, they may order mediation. It is still important to be represented by an experienced attorney. 

Reasons a Texas Court May Order Mediation

The Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (TADRA) provides that it is the state’s policy to encourage parties involved in a family law case to resolve their disputes in a peaceful manner when possible. The court may order the parties to try mediation if it believes that mediation is likely to succeed. You may be ordered to try alternative dispute resolution if: 

  • Children are involved - Language in TADRA specifically refers to cases concerning children. When a parent-child relationship or child support is concerned, the court is more likely to order mediation. Resolving legal disputes concerning children out of court can shield the child from conflict and keep the family’s affairs private. 

  • The parties are civil - If you and the opposing party - generally a soon-to-be ex-spouse or your child’s other parents - are on civil terms, you are more likely to be asked to attempt mediation. While amicability can help with the mediation process, merely being on speaking terms may suggest to a judge that mediation might succeed. Mediation is not generally ordered in cases where there has been domestic violence or other abuse. 

  • Mediation has not been attempted - If you and the other party have not yet attempted mediation, you may be ordered to at least try resolving your case that way. If you have already attempted mediation and it failed, you likely will not be ordered to try again. 

Mediation can be an excellent way to resolve a family law dispute without going to court, whether court-ordered or voluntary. 

Contact a San Antonio Family Law Attorney

If you are considering mediation or may be ordered to try it, Brandon Wong & Associates can help. Our experienced San Antonio family law attorneys will represent you zealously in or out of court. To begin with a free consultation, contact us at 210-201-3832.

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