Stories of all-out battles for the spoils of a couple’s broken marriage are plentiful and often true. In Texas and most other states, however, there are options available. Instead of engaging in combat designed to bushwhack and demolish the other side’s position, parties can choose collaborative law and related techniques. Mediation is a form of collaborative law in which the focus switches to cooperation, communications and mutual respect.
Divorce mediation uses a neutral third party to assist in trying to find common ground for settling issues. This includes assisting with property division, support, custody, and visitation issues. All divorce topics can be subjected to mediation for greater peace of mind and to assure a modicum of civility, even if only for the sake of the children.
The marital breakup can be an emotional roller-coaster for the parties. Add young children to the brew and it can be a devastating psychic cocktail. Some parties turn to all-out litigation to exact their revenge and, to some extent, in order to preserve their sanity before it gets spread too thin.
Fortunately, there are options such as mediation where a neutral third party, like a retired judge, is retained to oversee the negotiations. The mediator can help the parties agree on the divorce terms, but also can be extremely useful in co-parenting issues. A mediator can help parents decide how to allocate parental time, and to define the ground rules for exercising shared custody. Also, the mediator can help with questions about schooling, the children’s approved activities, and vacation periods.
Mediation is also recommended for post-divorce issues. There are always unforeseen circumstances developing that make it advisable to keep mediators “in the loop.” Pursuing mediation will help make co-parenting easier, and will keep the former spouses working toward shared goals instead of reverting to mainly selfish concerns.
A Texas resident approaching a divorce may be averse to engaging in a bitterly-contested war of wits and vindictive one-upsmanship. This may be especially true when children are involved. Using mediation to find mutually agreeable points as a foundation for the divorce settlement and future co-parenting relations is a growing trend in the family law arena.
Source: Huffington Post, Using Mediation to Keep Your Cool During Divorce and Beyond, Silvana D. Raso, Aug. 27, 2013