One thing that many divorcing couples do not realize is that, while the state of Texas doesn’t require mediation, their county may. A growing number of counties require mediation before attending a final hearing. It’s important to understand the purpose of this type of mediation, and the role that your divorce attorney will play here.
What Is Mediation?
What we’re talking about here is not standalone mediation where a couple hammers out their own divorce agreement with just the help of a mediator. We’re talking about mediation assisted by attorneys to help resolve issues, provide flexibility, improve communication, and show the judge that even if you could not come to an agreement, both spouses did attempt to work some things out.
Where Is Mediation Held?
Your mediation session will probably be held at the mediator’s office. However, in some instances, it may take place at your attorney’s office.
What Does a Mediator Do?
The mediator acts as a go-between, working with you and your spouse, as well as your attorney (and your spouse’s attorney). The goal here is to come to agreements between the two of you, rather than requiring the judge to decide everything within the divorce. It’s an attempt to work together, rather than against one another. The mediator’s job is to facilitate that.
What Role Does Your Divorce Attorney Play in Mediation?
Your attorney will play several critical roles during mediation. For instance, the attorney may provide office space for the mediation session to occur. Before mediation, your attorney works to:
- Gather important information and documents
- Create a timeline
- Calculate financial information
- Ensure all information the mediator needs is available
They will also be by your side throughout the mediation and help ensure that anything agreed to is in your best interests and the best interests of your children. If it is not, your attorney can explain why it is not and help guide you towards a more equitable solution.
Your attorney will also read over the Mediation Settlement Agreement and will sign it, along with you, your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney. Next, your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will use the agreement as the framework to draw up the Final Decree of Divorce, which will be submitted to the judge for approval.
As you can see, your attorney is a vital part of mediation and helps ensure that any agreements you and your spouse reach are in your best interests.