Mediation or Final Trial to Settle a Divorce?

What is mediation?

  • Meditation is a process where a neutral party (mediator) assists the parties to enter into an agreement to settle their case
  • The mediator can assist with issues such as property division, possession schedule for children, child support, spousal maintenance and any other issue that you haven’t been able to resolve

When is mediation required?

  • In Texas, mediation is required before a final trial that is longer than three hours (exemptions apply for victims of family violence)
  • It is also recommended for shorter final trial hearings

Why mediate?

  • Mediation can save parties a significant amount of money as it often settles the divorce without having to have a final trial
  • Mediation can assist with issues that have yet to be resolved without having to have a judge/jury make the final decision
  • Mediation can give parties a sense of ownership over their case as they get to have input on what they do and don’t want
  • Mediation can mean finalizing your divorce much faster than having a final trial

Why should I have my divorce go to final trial?

  • The reason a divorce will go to final trial is because the parties have not been able to reach a settlement
  • The vast majority of divorces do not go to final trial and are settled out of court
  • A final trial can before the judge, or with a jury

Pros of going to final trial

  • A final trial might be recommended when one party believes a judge will treat him or her better than the other party is willing to do in a settlement
  • A final trial will be needed if the parties won’t budge on what they are wanting and are unwilling to compromise

Cons of going to final trial

  • The expense! Final trials can be very expensive as they can last for multiple days
  • The judge or a jury has the power to determine the issues that the parties cannot decide on
  • A final trial can be extremely stressful and emotional