In the state of Texas, mediation is frequently ordered by the courts in a divorce matter. It is a way to end a marriage that many couples agree upon anyway because of its benefits.
Mediation is a more peaceful alternative to litigation, which can be a costly, adversarial proceeding. It is also a faster process that is composed of three basic steps.
Step 1: the introduction
A neutral third party who is skilled in problem-solving, a mediator is trained in communication to help parties reach agreement by understanding the available options. The mediator will explain how the process works, answer questions and establish some general rules so that the participants know what to expect.
Step 2: problem-solving
Each party might be reluctant to consider issues from the other party's perspective and hesitant to share information. Mediation is assisted negotiation using an approach centered on problem-solving. The mediator will ensure that the participants do not overlook important points. The goal is not to advise but to help parties see the big picture, so they are better able to make good decisions.
Step 3: achieving closure
Once the issues are out on the table and paths of communication between the parties have opened up, there can be mutual understanding. The mediator can help the couple draft a document that reflects the various points to which they have agreed.
Mediation is extremely successful; as much as 80 percent of mediation cases settle. The couples avoid a contentious divorce and are able to get on with their lives with a greater feeling of confidence. Mediation is also proven to be less stressful for the children of the marriage and, as opposed to the outcome of a bitter court battle, those who submit to mediation are more often able to maintain a civil relationship with an ex-spouse even as they head into separate futures. This kind of informal process is also much less expensive than litigation, which is yet another good reason for choosing mediation over going to court.