Angleton Family Mediation Lawyer
Put a Certified Family Law Mediator on Your Side
The Law Office of Mark B. Jones has worked with individuals in divorce-related matters since 1993. Our firm understands the emotional challenges that come with divorce, and we will do our best to help you negotiate your post-divorce matters in mediation. In fact, Attorney Mark B. Jones is a certified family law mediator and can help you work together efficiently with your ex-spouse to reach a settlement out of court as best we can.
At The Law Office of Mark B. Jones, we offer a broad range of family legal services, including negotiation, mediation, and litigation, to help you obtain as favorable an outcome as possible. Attorney Mark B. Jones is a certified family law mediator who has successfully negotiated many settlements for his clients in the past and is a BV-rated attorney under the Martindale-Hubbell rating. As an experienced mediator, he understands the importance of communication and will work hard to keep you fully informed of all the developments in your case. Attorney Jones’ mediation experience will also be particularly useful in a rather tough negotiations room with an ex-spouse.
What Does Mediation Entail?
Divorce mediation is a private process facilitated by a neutral third person (a mediator). The mediator helps divorcing couples reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of the issues in their case, including child support, custody and visitation, alimony, and property division. Keep in mind that a mediator does not act as a judge, arbitrator, or counselor, but rather assists the spouses in reaching a voluntary agreement.
Mediation is one of the most common methods of negotiating a property or custody agreement in Texas divorce cases. An attempt at mediation is required, or at least strongly recommended, in many Texas counties.
Mediation has many benefits worth noting, particularly that it:
- is less expensive than using a lawyer to take the same case through the courts;
- has a high success rate in resolving divorce issues, especially when both spouse are open to compromise and committed to reaching an agreement;
- is confidential, so there is no public record of what goes on in the sessions;
- allows the spouses (not a judge) to be in control of the decision-making process, so they have more flexibility in arriving at their own solutions;
- can help improve communication and make future interactions with the spouses easier (especially important if they will have an ongoing relationship because they have children together).
The mediation process can be as long or as short as the spouses determines is necessary to negotiate a full and fair agreement. Most family law mediations take from half to one day depending on the issues and the parties. However, mediation almost always takes less time than going to court and is usually much less expensive than a contested divorce case.
Note that spouses can still consult a lawyer for advice if they wish to address any legal questions during the mediation process and have them review the proposed settlement agreement to make sure their rights are fully protected. Attorney Mark B. Jones is both an experienced divorce attorney and a certified mediator, so he will be particularly beneficial to have on any divorce case, especially if the divorce negotiations involves mediation.
Negotiating with a Spouse
In most cases, the parties will be in different rooms for the entire mediation, or they may meet in separate sessions so that they can give the mediator their opinions and positions in private. After meeting with both of the spouses, the mediator will assess where the two spouses agree, where they need some work to reach agreement, and how they are going to accomplish this. For example, if the spouses are dealing with the question of who stays in the family home, the mediator will help them figure out what information and materials they’ll need to make a decision.
Mediation is completely confidential. The mediator cannot be compelled to testify about what happened or was said at mediation. Neither party can be required to testify about what they said or offered during the mediation. The Court will only be told if an agreement was reached and the terms of the agreement.
Once the spouses reach a final agreement, the mediator will set that down in a Mediated Settlement Agreement. After both spouses sign, it is a binding and irrevocable agreement that gets filed with the court. The lawyers will use the agreement to draft a final decree or order which that will be presented to the court for signature.
In the case that mediation isn't working, or if both spouses have reached an agreement on most, but not all issues, they will likely have to go to court, where a judge will make the final decisions on the remaining divorce issues.
Note that if there is a history of domestic violence or substance abuse in the relationship, the spouses may not be in a position to go through mediation, as an abusive spouse could coerce the other to agree to an unfair agreement.
Enlist the Help of an Experienced Angleton Mediator
If you are facing divorce negotiations, you might want to pursue mediation to resolve your settlement without going to court. Mediation is most advisable for couples who can cooperate and communicate with each other, as mediation sessions often involve both spouses discussing their negotiations together. Regardless, though, if spouses are able to coordinate with a mediator and seek to avoid trial as best as they can, mediation will be useful to resolving their post-divorce settlement efficiently. Attorney Mark B. Jones is a certified mediator with nearly 30 years of divorce law experience, so you can trust that your divorce mediation will be in good hands when you work with The Law Office of Mark B. Jones.