Mediation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution process which allows parties to settle their cases out of court by agreement with the help of a mediator. A mediator is an attorney who is hired as a neutral third party to help them fully or partially come to an agreement in order to dispose of their family law matter and to avoid or mitigate the necessity for court.
It is always desirable to be able to make your own decisions by coming to a reasonable agreement with regard to the outcome of your case, as going to court is emotionally taxing, expensive and sometimes unpredictable. Texas family law encourages settlement of divorce and custody disputes whenever possible. In fact, most counties in Texas require that the parties attempt to dispose of the issues in their case through mediation before allowing the case to go to a final trial. Mediation is an adversarial process, but even the most contentious family law matter can be successfully resolved through the process with a prepared, experienced advocate.
For these reasons, at Bollier Ciccone LLP, we will almost always recommend mediation before taking your case to trial. We do believe, however, that being prepared to go to trial will render the best possible result at any mediation.
The Collaborative Law process is an innovative, comprehensive, alternative approach to litigation in marriage dissolution or modification. The basis for Collaborative Law is that information regarding property, children and all other aspects of the issues involved should be shared openly and exchanged freely. Transparency is essential in the Collaborative Law process.
How does Collaborative Law work?
Collaborative Law focuses on the goals of the specific parties and their children and less on the provisions and presumptions contained in the Texas Family Code.
- A collaborative team is assembled to address the specific needs of the issues involved in your matter and may include a mental health professional to assist with communication and co-parenting issues or a financial professional to assist in sorting out any property issues.
- Once the parties enter the Collaborative Law process, it is notable that if the process is terminated, the parties are required to retain different litigation counsel.
- The issues discussed during the Collaborative Law process are generally confidential.
There could be many advantages to Collaborative Law, including minimizing costs, maintaining control over the outcome of the case and eliminating the stress of litigation.
Whether these advantages can be maximized in the Collaborative Law process is determined on a case-by-case basis, and we will work with you to determine if the Collaborative Law process is one that is appropriate for you.
Arbitration is a private resolution of matters as an alternative to having these issues resolved in court. Matters referred to private arbitration are done so contractually (pursuant to a marital property agreement or mediated settlement agreement) or by agreement after a lawsuit has been filed. Often, the arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties. There could be several advantages to choosing arbitration to finalize your family law matter, including:
- Parties choose the arbitrator, whereas, you cannot choose your judge if you take your case to court
- Arbitration can be more cost effective
- Arbitration is confidential and private, whereas courts are public and open
Contact us today for an initial consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.