Family Law / Mediation

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Texas courts lean heavily in favor of settlement and compromise whenever possible. Mediation is an especially valuable tool for promoting settlement across a wide range of problems. Many Texas family courts require disputes that would otherwise be scheduled for hearing go first to mediation before the court will hear the case. Further, it is far more cost effective to take a case to mediation than it is to prepare and appear before a court for trial.

The point of mediation is not to pick a winner between two conflicting positions. Instead, the goal is to help the parties reach their own settlement through negotiation assisted by a neutral mediator, usually an attorney or former judge with family law experience. The mediator's role varies from case to case, but typically involves finding points of agreement that can be developed into a settlement that meets the needs of both parties.

The mediator can probe the strength of apparent disagreements, keep the discussions focused on the dispute under consideration, and maintain a positive and constructive tone. Even highly contentious cases are often successfully resolved through family mediation.

An important feature of mediation is its confidentiality. Both parties can speak freely without worrying about the risk that an opponent will later advise the court of anything that happened during the mediation session. The mediator cannot force the parties into an agreement.

Instead, the mediator gives them a sound idea of the relative strength of their opposing positions if no settlement can be achieved.

Mediation represents a valuable opportunity to craft a solution on terms set forth and controlled by the client. The family law firm of Kelly M. Heitkamp, P.C., is committed to helping clients resolve disputes without litigation whenever possible. We work with you in maximizing the benefits of mediation which often shortens the case while reducing the expense of litigation.

 

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