Monday, January 7, 2013

Why You Should Use Mediation

Mediation is a common process used in the Family Courts system in Texas.  It involves having a neutral third party meet with the two sides and their attorneys.  In North Texas, we use mediation in most Family Law issues.  Here's why.

1.  It's effective.  Probably close to 90-95% of cases mediate will settle.  That means that the parties finally figured out a way to compromise and resolve a case before trial.  Mediation facilitates that.

2.  Mediation saves time and money.  It is much quicker and cheaper than going to trial.  Normally, mediation will take place weeks or months before a trial date.  It is much easier to find a good mediator who has time available than it is to find an open setting date on a court's docket.  Mediation also normally takes less preparation than a trial, so that saves money as well.

3.  You and your spouse (or other party) control the outcome.  Most people find that preferable to letting the judge make the decision.  A judge's decision usually makes both parties unhappy.  Your choice is to make your own decision or turn it over to the judge who doesn't know you and probably doesn't care about you.

4.  Most local judges require it.  Because the court dockets are so crowded, most judges require the parties to go to mediation before they can go to trial.  Sometimes, judges want mediation even before a trial date is set.  The reasons:  mediation works and it saves time and money.  Pretty simple.

5.  Mediation is a safe, private and peaceful process.  The discussions are confidential.  A mediator manages the process.  In North Texas, most of the time, the parties are not in the same room.  Peaceful solutions can be found in the mediation process.

Why mediate?  Judges don't have time to hear everything, and the process produces good results.  It's not 100% effective, but it generally beats going to trial.