Divorce Mediation is Required in Dallas County
All Dallas County divorces are required to go to mediation before being called to trial. If you are set for trial and have not mediated, the Court will reset the case and order the parties to mediation. In a Dallas County divorce, if the parties cannot agree to a mediator, the Court will appoint one for you.
Divorce Mediation is a dispute resolution procedure wherein the mediator serves as a third party neutral serving to facilitate settlement discussions between the parties. The mediation process is strictly confidential. The divorce mediator is simply a facilitator, and cannot make decisions for the parties. The mediator can and will make suggestions and offer advice in an effort to achieve a settlement. During divorce mediation it is critical that your lawyer participate so that you will not be cajoled into an unfavorable settlement. Mediation is conducted with the parties and their lawyers in separate rooms in order to minimize conflict and promote candor.
The public policy of Texas, as set out in the Family Code, as well as the rules governing the Texas State Bar, promote out-of-court settlement of family law disputes. Similarly, Texas public policy encourages the parties to a divorce to enter into a written agreement concerning the division of all their property and liabilities.
Divorce mediation and the resulting Settlement is the most economical method for parties to end their marital relationship. It is likely also the method by which both parties may feel they “got what they wanted” and didn’t get “cheated” by the system or by their lawyers.
An agreement incident to divorce may also address child custody, visitation, and child support issues, as well as post-marital obligations of one of the former spouses to provide support and maintenance for the other, and education for the children.
All agreements incident to divorce, and specifically divorce mediation agreements, must be in writing. Oral divorce agreements are not effective A mediated settlement agreement in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship must be in writing and signed by the parties and any party’s attorney present at the signing if it is to be non-revocable and binding.