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Sharon Easley
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When is divorce mediation not the best choice?

As you embark on the road to divorce, you wonder how difficult the journey will be. Will you and your future ex remain at odds at every turn? Or is it possible for the both of you to find common ground and thus make the journey as smooth as possible?

The reality is divorce doesn't have to be an uphill battle with your future ex. By choosing mediation, you and the other party could have a relatively amicable divorce process rather than a hostile one. However, mediation is not expedient in every situation. Let's look at what mediation is and when mediation may not be the best option for you in Texas.

A look at divorce mediation

Mediation is a process where you and the other party will have the opportunity to get together to negotiate your divorce matters with the help of an independent third party. This third-party mediator will help to facilitate communication between the two of you as you strive to create a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement regarding such matters as child custody, spousal maintenance and property distribution.

Reason #1 to avoid mediation: feeling fearful

One of the biggest reasons to avoid divorce mediation is if you do not feel free to express your opinions without feeling fearful. Perhaps you are afraid that being upfront about how you feel will have an adverse impact on the outcome of your negotiation process.

In this situation, it will be difficult for you and the other party to achieve a fair settlement agreement. Instead, the agreement may end up favoring your ex-spouse. If a judge reviews your agreement and determines that it is indeed one sided, he or she likely will not approve the agreement.

Reason #2 to avoid mediation: not agreeing to compromise

If you plan to head into mediation with the goal of getting one up on your future ex, then mediation likely will not work for you. Instead, it is critical that both of you approach the divorce mediation process with the goal of compromising rather than competing against each other.

In addition, it is required that you engage in mediation in good faith, meaning that you are both upfront about matters such as your financial situations before beginning this process. Otherwise, your settlement agreement may again be one sided and thus rejected by a judge in the end. As long as both you and your future ex feel free to voice your opinions and are transparent with each other from the start, mediation can yield positive results for you with the help of an attorney.

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