Mediation With Individual Lawyers

 

Many counties in Texas, including Travis County, require divorcing couples to try to settle their case through mediation as part of the litigation process before they present their case to a judge.  In most of these circumstances, the husband and wife each have separate lawyers.  Both spouses and both lawyers, as well as the mediator, are present during the mediation.

Mediation is a useful settlement tool because it shifts everyone's focus from who is to blame for a situation to how to solve the problem.  In addition, mediations of this kind, which typically last between four and 10 hours, get everyone in the same place at the same time with the intention of reaching a settlement.  Well-prepared lawyers will have gathered the information necessary for the clients to make informed decisions before a mediation starts, so everyone will be ready to settle if terms acceptable to both parties can be reached. 

Some couples find, however, that the hostile atmosphere of litigation, where hurtful things get said that can't be unsaid, and where clients are focused on "winning" rather than resolving issues, make finding middle ground difficult.  So much damage has already been done to their relationship that they can't see their way to an agreement.  Or, if they do reach an agreement, it feels that they're giving in to the other party rather than finding reasonable solutions.  In addition, they have already spent considerable financial resources on lawyers and trial-related activities, so some clients feel frustrated that they waited to come to a settlement that could have been reached without spending so many financial and emotional resources.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jennifer Tull also offer a different approach to mediation called, "early-intervention mediation."  In this process, mediators are engaged at the beginning of the parties' divorce process to provide a structure for building a complete settlement over the course of several mediation sessions.  The mediations provide a safe place for the clients - who are each represented by attorneys - to identify areas where they need assistance, gather necessary information, and reach interim agreements on their way to a complete settlement.

Even if mediation occurs as a last-ditch effort to settle before turning the evidence over to a judge, it is still a process that leaves the clients in control over the outcome of the case, and that is almost always a better option than going to trial.  If you feel you could benefit from the help of experienced mediators, click below and contact The Law Offices of Jennifer Tull to learn more. 

Strengths:

Mediators are neutral

Mediators bring a different perspective to the negotiation

Negotiations are more efficient and effective with the assistance of a neutral third party

The mediation process creates a positive environment for settlement

When the parties reach a settlement through mediation, they are still in charge of the outcome of the case

Weaknesses:

Mediation can be an expensive waste of time if a settlement is not reached or if both parties are not acting in good faith to try to reach a settlement

If the clients can't come to terms that are acceptable to them, they will still have to go to trial to conclude their divorce

Clients can feel under pressure to settle in mediation to avoid an uncertain outcome at trial

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