The significant benefits of mediation usually outweigh the small cost
Mediation fees in Tarrant County and other North Texas jurisdictions vary. They are usually between $100 and $500 per party per session.
The benefits of mediation, which are outlined below, are much greater, to say the least. These benefits usually stem from mediation’s 90% success rate. So, if informal settlement negotiations have stalled or even broken down entirely, mediation almost always works.
Usually, mediation is a combination of a trial and a negotiation session. Therefore, your Fort Worth divorce lawyer needs both strong advocacy skills and savvy negotiating skills. Only an attorney who has both can effectively stand up for your legal and financial rights.
Benefits of Mediation
Divorce mediation has such a high success rate mostly because of the duty to negotiate in good faith. During informal settlement negotiations, some spouses make low-ball offers, in areas like property division or spousal support. Other parties simply go through the motions. They do not even try to compromise. If parties assume these negotiating postures during mediation, they must explain their actions to an unhappy judge.
Mediation also works because, in most cases, emotional and protracted divorce trials usually benefit no one. Mediation, on the other hand, has several concrete benefits:
- Civility: The emotional wounds associated with a Kramer vs. Kramer-style divorce trial always remain, at least in part. It is difficult for people to get past this hurt and successfully co-parent children. Mediation does not mean the spouses part as friends. But it does mean there is less hurt to overcome in the future.
- Control: At divorce trials, a judge or a jury, who usually knows almost nothing about the family, unilaterally makes important decisions about the family’s future. A mediated settlement ensures that the parties retain this control. Additional control is especially good if, as is often the case, at least one spouse has trouble accepting authority.
- Cost: For most divorce litigants, this final bullet point gets to the heart of the matter. Mediation ends cases earlier, which means the legal bills end earlier. Moreover, a Fort Worth divorce lawyer can prepare for a one-day mediation session much faster. That means cost savings as well.
On a related cost note, mediation is an empowering experience. Disputes inevitably arise after a divorce. If the parties talked out their problems once, they usually believe that they can talk through them again. That environment usually means fewer motions to enforce and fewer contested modification motions.
Alternatives to Mediation
Divorce mediation certainly is not the only way to resolve a marriage dissolution matter. In fact, in many cases, it is not the best way.
We mentioned emotional courtroom showdowns above. In a few cases, trial is preferable to mediation. Sometimes, the parties are simply too far apart on key issues, like child custody and property division, to resolve their differences out of court, even with the help of a mediator. If so, a trial could be better than raising a white flag.
Some people go the opposite way and bypass the litigation process altogether. Collaborative law is a non-litigation alternative which resembles ongoing mediation. The parties meet once a month to resolve issues in their divorce.
Furthermore, mediation could be a bad idea if trust has completely broken down. That usually happens if marital trauma, such as adultery or abuse, is involved. Sometimes, some mediation accommodations, such as virtual mediation, are available.
Contact The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker for Help With Your Divorce
A Fort Worth family law attorney can help you if you are considering filing for divorce.Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss your case.