Kaufman County Family Law Mediator
Mediation is a process in which both parties are at a location, in separate rooms with their respective attorneys, and the mediator (neutral third-party who can be court-appointed or agreed upon) will go back and forth between the rooms with offers of settlement to try and finalize the case. It is an essential and sometimes required step in family law cases. In Kaufman County, at least one of the judges will require mediation before a final trial can even be scheduled. The other district judge will require mediation if it is requested by either party. This is a positive requirement, for many reasons.
The parties have some control in the outcome of their cases and they have their attorneys and a neutral, third-party mediator who can guide them in the agreement process. This is especially important in cases involving child custody and visitation. When you actually think about it, you want to ultimately have a say in the outcome as opposed to it all being in the hands of a stranger i.e. the judge. If you cannot settle, the judge will decide what you’re going to do even though he/she does not know how your family operates or the needs of your child but rather will hear snippets of a back story in the midst of arguments at a court hearing.
Additionally, not only do you avoid a stranger determining how you will live your life, but mediation is also less expensive than trial. You will spend all day in a room with your attorney going back and forth on settlement and at times, you may feel as though it is a waste of time. However, at the end of the day when you have the settlement agreement signed and you are leaving knowing that the litigation is essentially “over”, it will all be worth it. You were able to reach a decision that would be best for your child and something that you were comfortable with and avoided the expense of trial.
Mediation can also be therapeutic. You are given the opportunity to tell the mediator your story and your position on the issues and the mediator, if you specify to them, is required to keep that information confidential from the other party and their attorney. It is also a safe environment to brainstorm and come up with resolutions that, while they may not work for some families, fit your family dynamic. This could be specific electronic communication provisions for families who have distance between them or a possession schedule that allows both parties equal time with the child and takes the parties’ work schedules into consideration.
Being a certified family law mediator in Kaufman County, I know how mediation can put the most combative, litigious parties at peace. I am a big advocate of settlement and finding a resolution for the parties that they can live with and that would work for that family. I once heard an eye-opening perspective on the litigation process and it has stuck with me ever since—at the end of the litigation, if you win, what do you really win?