Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation in Texas is an alternative process that will allow you and your spouse to negotiate with each other in an amicable fashion, so you can resolve any issues related to the separation process. You or your spouse can choose to have a neutral person (who is called the “mediator”) openly discuss any of these issues (including child custody, child support, alimony, and the distribution of marital property). Divorcing couples will often choose to go through the mediation process so they can avoid the cost of attorneys and court filing, as well as any delays that can come with the litigation process. It can also provide a less adversarial environment for you and your spouse, so you can have a more open discussion about specific issues.

divorce mediation

The Process of Texas Divorce Mediation

The first thing you need to do is find a mediator, which can be chosen by you or your spouse. It will usually start with an initial consultation where the mediator will sit down with you and your spouse to talk about any issues related to the divorce and to decide if mediation will be beneficial to both of you. Once both of you agree to divorce mediation in Texas, the mediator will act as a neutral third party who will help both of you to come up with a mutual agreement on every part of the divorce. This is usually done by answering a series of questions, requesting financial documents, and scheduling meetings with the mediator (with each one having a specific agenda for discussion).

How the Mediator Creates an Agenda

To create an agenda for each session, the mediator will ask for any information that he or she believes is necessary to get a more complete picture of all the issues related to the divorce. If the mediator wants to set an agenda for dividing marital property, he or she must request and receive information from both parties about any assets and liabilities that they have accumulated. This will include the values of any retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, as well as any checking and savings accounts. It will also include the marital home, as well as any vacation properties and time-shares.

Once the mediator has received all the necessary information about these assets, he or she will discuss any recommendations about how to divide them. The mediator will usually suggest dividing the total value of the property by assigning percentages to each of you. And if both of you agree on the numbers, the mediator can help you come up with a decision on how each asset will be divided. The mediator can even help you come up with an agreement about any other issues (such as child custody, alimony, and parenting time).

What Happens When a Settlement is Reached

Once you and your spouse have agreed to a settlement, it will be put in writing by the mediator through a “Memorandum of Understanding” or a “Marital Settlement Agreement” (depending on the mediator being used, who may or may not be a lawyer). If the mediator prepares a Memorandum of Understanding, both of you will have to speak to each of your divorce attorneys to draft a Marital Settlement Agreement because a Memorandum of Understanding isn’t considered to be a legally binding agreement. Most mediators are lawyers, so this usually isn’t a problem.

If the mediator is a lawyer, he or she will be able to draft the Marital Settlement Agreement. Once it has been prepared, you should have it looked at by a divorce attorney before signing it. It will have specific provisions and language that are included to protect the interests of both you and your children. It may have certain custody terms (and even a custody schedule), but it can also have certain provisions about what will happen if one spouse decides to relocate. It may even have provisions related to the equitable distribution of marital property (such as distribution amounts from retirement accounts or whether one spouse will keep the marital home).

The Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Here are some of the benefits of divorce mediation:

  • It’s less expensive than the formal litigation process.
  • It takes less time than the formal litigation process.
  • It promotes an open dialogue between each party (which can be helpful in resolving any issues).
  • It allows both parties to voluntarily agree on a specific mediator.
  • There’s less pressure to make decisions, because both spouses can move at their own pace.
  • It can allow both spouses to create a better long-term relationship (which can be helpful in a co-parenting situation).
  • It creates a more peaceful and amicable environment (which can be easier on children).
  • It allows you to be in control of your divorce.

If you’re looking for a qualified divorce lawyer in Corpus Christi, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.