Divorce and other family law matters can be sensitive because of their nature. Because of this, you may not be able to solve a problem just by talking things through with your ex, partner or spouse. Sometimes, legal help is necessary, and if this is your case, you can use mediation or litigation to reach an agreement. Both methods will find a solution for the discussion, but mediation can be faster, cheaper and less stressful than taking your case to court.
A legal way
Parties may need legal help if they cannot agree on the terms of a family law matter, such as a divorce decree or a custody order. In Texas, the parties in a dispute can solve their problem with mediation or litigation, depending on their specific circumstances. Even if both methods successfully solve a legal dispute, they differ in cost, length and nature.
Mediation vs. litigation
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can save the parties time and money. In this method, a neutral third party (the mediator) helps the parties reach an agreement by neutralizing the emotions and giving them the chance to speak their minds. These mediators are trained and know how to use the proper procedures to give everyone a chance to be heard. In mediation, the parties themselves make the final decision, which can be legally binding. This means that if someone breaks the terms of the agreement, they could face legal consequences. Some problems are solved with one or two hours of meditation, but it all depends on the circumstances.
In litigation, on the other hand, the parties do not solve the problem by themselves or have control over the decision. Instead, a judge listens to their arguments and determines a final, binding order that the parties must abide by. This process takes longer than mediation, and, as it involves the court, it is more expensive since the parties must pay court fees and attorney’s fees for a longer time. However, litigation may be necessary for specific circumstances.
Mediation and family law
Mediation is common in family law matters because it can be less stressful than taking the case to court. Also, some people prefer this method because it allows them to have control over the outcome, which is not the case in the unpredictable method of litigation. However, sometimes going before a judge is necessary when the parties cannot come to an agreement by themselves. After all, there is a reason why litigation exists.
Lead attorney Yvonne Kafor regularly hosts free educational seminars expanding on family law and mediation services. To sign up for a seminar, please visit our Contact page.