phone469-406-4320

address2329 Coit Road, Suite B, Plano, TX 75075

Collin County divorce mediation servicesDivorce has traditionally meant expensive, drawn-out meetings in court with each spouse working their hardest to get the best deal at the expense of the other. Today, however, spouses seeking a Texas divorce have a better option: mediation. While mediation is a great resource for couples seeking to save money and minimize conflict in their divorce, it is not a magic bullet that will solve every problem without serious effort on the part of each spouse. If you are getting divorced and seeking mediation, here are three common mistakes to avoid. 

Having Unrealistic Expectations

Spouses often enter mediation with the idea that, because it is less hostile than traditional courtroom litigation, it will be possible to get everything they want. But while mediation is a dispute resolution process, it still involves compromise between two people who often have mutually exclusive goals. It is important not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of, but it is equally important to expect to be at least somewhat dissatisfied by the outcome. 

Making Short-Term Decisions About Long-Term Issues 

It can be tempting to focus on all the ways your spouse has wronged you and all the things that make him or her a terrible parent, then use these things to justify trying to keep your spouse away from your kids. But your kids will get older and develop an adult perspective on your separation from your spouse. Unless your spouse presents a legitimate danger to your children, making an effort to alienate them from one parent is likely to seriously backfire. Try to put your personal differences aside when you are creating a parenting plan and focus on what is best for your children. 

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Plano divorce mediatorParents who are getting divorced in Texas basically have two options when determining how to manage issues regarding their children: a peaceful independent divorce mediation process or an adversarial journey through the family court system. While mediation benefits divorcing parents by making the process more peaceful and saving the time and expense of hostile courtroom litigation, the primary beneficiaries of mediation are underage children. Children, who have little or no control over their parent’s divorce outcome, are often trapped unfairly between parents who are so intent on competing with each other that they neglect to put their children’s needs first. If you are getting divorced in Texas and have underage children, here are some ways mediation can benefit them. 

More Flexibility in Your Parenting Plan

When a judge is left to decide which parent gets custody, the final outcome is not likely to be to anyone’s satisfaction. Texas family court judges are committed to finding out what arrangement would be in the children’s best interests, but nobody knows children as well as their parents. 

Mediation can help you avoid having a dissatisfactory parenting plan given to you by a court. Instead, each parent can express their priorities and then work together to create a schedule arrangement that allows the children to maximize time spent with each parent and transition smoothly between households. 

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Texas divorce mediation servicesAlthough the vast majority of those who use mediation eventually find a resolution to all the important issues in their Collin County divorces, not all mediation efforts are successful. A mediator may decide to delay or permanently terminate divorce mediation, and although it may be frustrating to hear this, it may ultimately be for the best. If you are anticipating a high-conflict divorce and are considering mediation, you may want to know the reasons that a mediator may pause or withdraw from a couple’s mediation efforts. 

When is Mediation Not the Best Choice for Your Family? 

Although extensive research and millions of successfully divorced couples illustrate that mediation is often the best option, the truth is that no solution to divorce works for everyone. Many couples save time, money, and emotional upheaval using mediation, but if the process is not effective for you, it does not matter how well it works for someone else. Mediation may fail for several reasons, including, but not limited to: 

  • Violence between spouses - A mediator will generally not begin working with a couple if domestic violence is in the picture. If it becomes apparent to a mediator that domestic violence is playing a role in a couple’s relationship after mediation has already begun, the mediator may stop or suspend mediation. 
  • Danger to the children - If one party makes a threat during mediation to harm the couple’s children or to take them away if a satisfactory result is not reached, a mediator may stop the process. Under certain circumstances, mediators are obligated to inform the authorities of potential violence or criminal behavior, including child abuse or neglect. 
  • Unfairness - If the mediator believes that she cannot act as an unbiased or neutral third party, that the final settlement is not fair, or that one spouse is using mediation to manipulate or control the other spouse, the mediator may choose to stop the mediation process. 

If your mediator decides to stop working for you, it is probably a good idea to trust their judgment and ask yourself whether mediation is really in your best interests, especially if the mediator believes your spouse is trying to take advantage of you. 

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Plano amicable divorce mediatorDivorce is often depicted in television and film as dramatic and overtly aggressive. However, divorce does not have to be like this. Many people are able to walk away from their marriage without resorting to hostility. Some ex-spouses are even able to remain friends after the split. If you are ready to get divorced but you want to minimize the tension and drama involved in many divorce cases, the following tips may help

Reducing Misunderstandings, Resentment, and Turbulence in Your Divorce Case

Just as there is no such thing as a perfect marriage, there is no such thing as a perfect divorce. Every divorce case will have some degree of tension or discomfort. However, there are practical steps you can take to mitigate the tension, including:  

  • Prepare in advance. – The sooner you start preparing for the divorce process, the better. Organize your financial documents and make several copies for you and your spouse. Inventory your assets and debts. Start considering how you plan to handle child custody, property division, and other divorce issues now so you are better prepared and less frazzled when you negotiate the terms of your divorce.
  • Understand your wants and needs. – Take some time to write down your needs and wants regarding the divorce. On what issues are you willing to compromise or not compromise? Honestly and realistically evaluating your own needs and wants puts you in a better position to discuss divorce issues productively.
  • Know the divorce laws in your state. – Texas divorce cases vary from divorce in other states. Know the laws in your state so you do not make any decisions based on incorrect or outdated information.
  • Do not assume working with an attorney will increase hostility. – Some people assume that lawyers are only needed in contentious divorce cases. However, many lawyers specialize in amicable, cooperative divorce.   
  • Commit to the free exchange of information. – Make a pact with your spouse to freely exchange information about finances and other important matters during the case. Agree to keep this information confidential.
  • Work with a mediator. – Mediators are skilled in conflict resolution and communication. Many couples find that they can reach solutions to divorce disagreements through divorce mediation easier and more quickly than they could on their own.
  • Do not badmouth your ex to the kids. – If you share children with your spouse, parenting disagreements are inevitable. Make a concerted effort to avoid badmouthing your ex in front of your kids. Vent to a trusted friend or counselor instead.
  • Build a strong support system. – Even if your divorce is relatively amicable, the process is still exhausting. Do not be afraid to ask friends, family, religious leaders, and other trustworthy individuals for help when you need it.
  • Maintain strong boundaries. – Remaining on good terms with your soon-to-be-ex does not eliminate the need for strong boundaries. You still deserve to have your boundaries respected.
  • Accept your feelings. – Some days you may feel devastated that your marriage is ending. Other days, you feel near-euphoric relief. This is completely normal. Accept your feelings and try not to judge yourself.

Contact a Collin County Attorney-Mediator

Divorce does not have to be hostile. If you are ready to end your marriage but you want to keep the matter out of court, consider working with a skilled Plano attorney-mediator. Call Divorce Mediation Centers of America at 469-406-4320 for a free consultation.

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Collin County divorce mediation lawyerMarried spouses who choose to divorce must address multiple issues. Most married spouses have built a life together. They may share financial assets like bank accounts and vehicles and have children together. They may need to address spousal support or alimony and other special issues.

If you are getting divorced, you should know that divorce does not have to be antagonistic and hostile. You and your spouse may be able to negotiate the terms of your divorce in a collaborative, non-adversarial way through mediation. A skilled mediator may be able to help you reach agreements about some or all of your divorce issues outside of the courtroom. If you are considering mediation, you may have questions about what the mediation process will look like and how long it will take.

Resolving Divorce Matters Through Mediation in Texas

Mediation is an alternative resolution method that countless divorcing spouses have utilized in Texas and throughout the U.S. For many couples, mediation allows them to figure out the details of their divorce without the courtroom stress and drama associated with contested divorce cases.

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