When people start considering getting a divorce they think that they must go before a judge in a courtroom, and there will be several questions asked by attorneys who are hostile and tactical. People start to worry once they daydream about shows like “Law and Order” and how the courtroom experience can be so daunting.
Well, there are good news and bad news: The good news is that it is now rare that a divorce (and most other cases) goes to court for a contested hearing because many courts now require mediation. The most interaction you get in front of the judge, if any, is telling him/her that you have come to an agreement with the opposing party and your case is finished. The bad news is you don’t get to be like Mona Lisa Vito from the movie “My Cousin Viny.”
What is Mediation and How Does it Work?
Mediation is a process in which parties and their attorneys go to a neutral third party some time prior to court and attempt to resolve their issues without court intervention. Mediators are usually attorneys who are familiar with the process and how the case may end if settlement is not reached. Mediators go back and forth between the parties, who are often sitting in separate rooms with their attorneys, to attempt to reach a resolution that makes all parties happy.
Reasons for Mediation
The everyday growth of controversy and lawsuits in recent years made the courts and our judicial system extremely busy. Seeing attorneys argue and bombard witnesses with questions in front of a judge and a jury, like shown in the scenes from “Law and Order”, is only the final show of case preparation. To get to that point, attorneys and witnesses must go through hundreds of hours of investigation, practice, and preparation. This often results in thousands of dollars being spent in attorney’s fees by clients. Also, once you get to the final show (trial), even if you, your attorney, and witnesses put on a great performance, the final result is in the hands of a judge or jury to which neither the client nor the attorney never have 100% control over. The overload of cases in courts across the United States, the costs involved with litigation, and the unpredictability of trial and litigation made judges, attorneys, and many policy makers come up with a process called mediation which is much more efficient than going to trial. Most cases are now required to go to mediation.
If you are looking for a great North Houston divorce lawyer, have any further questions or concerns about your divorce process and whether you will need to attend mediation, what you must do to prepare for mediation, and how to get a good mediator, contact an attorney today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from A.T. Law Firm for their insight into divorce and mediation.