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San Antonio Court-Ordered Mediation Attorney

San Antonio divorce mediation lawyer

What Happens During Court-Ordered Mediation?

In most cases, Texas law requires spouses or parents to attempt mediation before the court will hear their divorce or family law matter. You may see the requirement to participate in mediation as a way for courts to reduce their caseload, and it may seem like another hoop you will have to jump through in order to resolve your legal issues. However, mediation can provide some very real benefits, and it may allow you to address disputes more effectively and create solutions that will work for everyone involved. Why not take advantage of these benefits when you are already required to make use of the mediation process?

Brandon Wong & Associates provides mediation services, and we have also represented clients in countless cases involving mediation and litigation in San Antonio and throughout Central Texas. We know the benefits that mediation can provide when participants make a good faith effort, as well as the complications that can arise when one or both parties refuse to engage in the process. With our guidance, you will know what to expect as you work to resolve your disputes, and we can advise you on how you can get the most out of your time in mediation.

5 Important Benefits of Mediation

Mediation is an out-of-court process. You and your spouse or your child's other parent will sit down together and attempt to work out all of the issues that will need to be resolved. This process requires cooperation and compromise, and both parties will need to be in complete agreement about all decisions made. Any agreement you reach will be legally binding, and once your settlement is approved by a family court judge, it will be enforceable in court. To ensure that you will be able to move forward successfully while avoiding future complications, you should always have an attorney help draft or review the agreement.

A legally enforceable document is not the only benefit of mediation. Some other advantages of this process include:

  • Save time and money: Mediation is an informal process. By keeping the proceedings out of court, you will often be able to reach a solution in less time and for less money.
  • Control over the decisions you make: You will have to make compromises, but by coming to agreements that both parties will be satisfied with, you can make sure you will have control over how matters will be resolved. This can often result in a much better outcome than by giving a judge the final say over the legal issues in your case.
  • Satisfaction with the outcome: When you have control over the process, you are more likely to be satisfied with the results.
  • Less stressful: Mediation is about cooperation rather than competition. Major life issues such as divorce are often easier for everyone when parties can work together, especially when children are involved. Going through mediation may help you determine the best ways to cooperate with your ex-spouse or your child's other parent in the future.
  • Privacy: Courtrooms are open to the public, and you may not want to share the details of your private life in front of others. Mediation takes place behind closed doors, and all discussions will be completely confidential, ensuring that you can openly express your desires and address your concerns.

Court-Ordered Mediation FAQs


What Is Court-Ordered Mediation?

Answer: In most divorce cases, Texas courts will expect parties to try to resolve their outstanding issues through mediation or other methods before beginning divorce litigation. While a couple may voluntarily use mediation to create a settlement, they may also be ordered to participate in mediation by the court. This may be done for several reasons. First, when divorce cases can be resolved through mediation, the parties that truly need to resolve their divorces through litigation will be able to have trials held more quickly. Mediation can also offer important benefits for the parties involved, and it can allow spouses to work out solutions that are mutually beneficial.


What Are the 3 Types of Mediation?

Answer: The three types of mediation are facilitative, evaluative, and transformative. In facilitative mediation, the mediator primarily facilitates conversations between spouses. The mediator may offer ideas, but they will primarily let the spouses speak to each other while guiding the conversation from issue to issue. Evaluative mediation is more like a legal meeting with the goal of reaching a settlement. The mediator typically has significant legal knowledge that they will share throughout the process. Transformative mediation aims to change the way spouses approach the divorce process, ensuring that they can communicate with each other effectively. This form of mediation can be ideal for co-parents.


What Are the Disadvantages of Mediation?

Answer: The major drawback of mediation is that spouses will need to work directly with each other. If one spouse is unreasonable and refuses to compromise, this can make the mediation process difficult or impossible. Another disadvantage is that sacrifices and compromises will need to be made in order to reach an agreement.


What Happens During the Mediation Process?

Answer: Both spouses may be represented by their own attorneys. In some cases, the attorneys will attend mediation sessions along with the spouses, but most of the time, a couple will meet with the mediator together, and each spouse may consult with their attorney during the mediation process. The mediator will guide the couple through a discussion of each issue in their divorce. If spouses genuinely cannot be in the same room, the mediator may separate them and move back and forth between rooms to facilitate discussions.


What Is the Main Purpose of Mediation?

Answer: The goal is to help spouses reach an agreement on each issue in their divorce so that they do not need to proceed to divorce litigation. Divorce litigation can be a very time-consuming, costly, and stressful process. Most spouses prefer to avoid it if possible.


What Is the Difference Between Voluntary and Court-Ordered Mediation?

Answer: Spouses may elect to go through mediation voluntarily without waiting for the court to order them to do so. In some cases, spouses who feel that mediation is likely to work for them may begin the mediation process even before formally filing for divorce. When a couple is able to use mediation to create a divorce settlement, they can usually finalize an uncontested divorce quickly. Court-ordered mediation, on the other hand, may take place after filing for divorce. A judge may order spouses to attend mediation before allowing them to litigate their case if they believe that this solution is likely to be an effective method for resolving the couple’s outstanding issues.

Contact Our Bexar County Family Law Mediation Attorneys

We encourage our clients to give mediation a good faith effort. However, this does not mean that we will not tenaciously litigate your case when necessary. If you would like to discuss your situation with a lawyer, please schedule an initial consultation by calling our office at 210-201-3832 or submitting a contact form.

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