By Marilyn Gale Vilyus
If you are reading this, then you are probably either thinking of filing for divorce -- or have a feeling that your spouse may be filing for divorce -- whether you want to separate or not.
One of the common questions that an individual going through the divorce process asks is "What is a Divorce Mediation?"
Mediation is a process which allows both you and your spouse to maintain control over your destiny and the terms of your divorce settlement. Both parties and attorneys attend either a four-hour or eight-hour mediation, depending on the complexity of your case.
Is the Mediator a Lawyer?
Although some mediators are social workers, most commonly the mediator is a lawyer who acts as a neutral person to help you settle your case.
How is the Mediator Chosen?
The mediator is chosen and agreed upon by the attorneys. Every Family Law attorney has a "short list" of competent mediators who specialize in family law with whom we are familiar, whose style we are comfortable with, and who we have found to be effective, particularly considering the individual aspects of your specific case.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
The role of the mediator is to facilitate an agreement between the parties to prevent the necessity for a trial.
Can What I Say Be Used Against Me Later?
Everything said during mediation is confidential. The mediator cannot be made to testify in court if a settlement is not reached. The mediator will only report one of two things: "settlement": or "no settlement".
Further, you and your attorney will advise the mediator what you do or do not want shared with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney!
How Does This Work Exactly?
Procedurally, you and your attorney will remain in one room, while your spouse and his or her attorney stays in a separate room. The mediator travels from room to room conveying each side’s offer and/or counteroffer.
Sometimes, the parties mediate by all being in the same room together. This is common if your mediation is taking place at a county dispute resolution center.
Marilyn Gale Vilyus
Law Office of Marilyn Gale Vilyus
16151 Cairnway Drive Ste. 210
Houston, TX 77084
Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
This article is designed for general information only. This information is not intended to be legal advice. Consult an attorney for before making any legal decisions based on your individual circumstances.