A Texas couple who agrees to remain out of the courtroom during their divorce deserves congratulation. Taking this step opens up the possibility of creating a settlement that benefits everyone involved, especially if there are children involved.
However, attempting to reach an agreement alone could end up costing more than it would to have the assistance of a mediator. Using divorce mediation as a tool to resolve the issues you face in your divorce could help ensure that you reach an agreement with which you can live well into the future. However, before you head down this road, it’s important to understand there are some potential downsides to contend with first.
The potential pitfalls of mediation
Most people who talk about mediation do so from the standpoint of its benefits. Of course, there are numerous benefits to the process, but some potential downsides also exist. The more aware you are of them, the better prepared you will be. The most common potential pitfalls of mediation include the following:
- While one of the major benefits of mediation is that the parties enjoy equal footing in the process, if there was a question of equality during the marriage, it could cause issues. One way to combat this may involve preparing as much as possible by researching the family’s current financial situation along with what it will take to live after the divorce.
- Not having an attorney could put you at a disadvantage since you may not understand your rights. The easiest way to remedy this potential pitfall is to gain an understanding of your rights under Texas law prior to going into the mediation process.
- Mediation is not like going to court, and you will not benefit from any discovery process. You will need to gain as complete an understanding as possible of your and your future former spouse’s positions and information in order to avoid the other party from attempting to hide something from you during the negotiations.
As you can see, in most cases, the above are easily rectified through research. The mediator can only work with the information given to him or her by the parties. The more you know going in, the better and more fruitful the negotiations will be. This way, you can still enjoy all of the benefits mediation has to offer.
As you prepare for your mediation session or sessions, you may want to take the time to gather important documents, decide what you will compromise on and what you won’t. These decisions give you a starting point and help you understand what you are willing to give up in order to get what you want. Even though no one can guarantee your perfect outcome, you can easily walk away with a satisfactory settlement that provides you with as secure a future as possible.