When going through any type of litigation in Texas, mediation can be a very successful and efficient tool to bring a lawsuit to a close. During the course of family law litigation, most courts in Texas order parties to attend mediation prior to having a final trial.
Mediator, Karen Stewart posted an interesting article entitled “Divorce Mediation and What to Expect” on the Blogs on Divorce website. It states that more and more people are choosing mediation as a means to resolve issues when going through a divorce.
Mediations play by Vegas rules; what happens in mediation, stays at mediation. This means that any offers that are communicated during mediation are inadmissible at any future hearings.
Any agreements that are entered into during mediation are reduced to writing in the form of a mediated settlement agreement. The parties and their respective attorneys execute the mediated settlement agreement. That mediated settlement agreement becomes a contractually binding agreement that cannot be changed absent a showing of fraud, coercion or duress in the procurement of the mediated settlement agreement or that the mediated settlement agreement is not in the child’s best interest.
The best way to settle any type of family law litigation is to be prepared going into the mediation process. When in a divorce, bring the most recent financial statements of any bank account, retirement account, stocks, as well as any documents evidencing debt. Blue book values on automobiles, boats and other vehicles are valuable as well. When children are involved, it is important to bring personal calendars that chronicle the children’s activities and any relevant events that have occurred during or immediately prior to the litigation.
Just like in anything in life, preparation is the key to success. A prepared litigant will more than likely have a successful mediation.