Workplace & Divorce Mediation Services in Houston TX | Institute For Mediation
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Mediation

 Mediation

Our well-trained mediators can make a huge difference in resolving disputes through mediation rather than litigation. Our mediators are  third-party neutrals who’s training and skills can help you bring resolution to the most difficult disputes. Disputes that seem almost insurmountable prior to mediation are usually handled in a way that brings resolution and peace to all parties. Litigation can give us a win lose out come, while mediation gives us a win-win.

  Types or Areas of Mediation

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Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about the process of mediation. No matter what area of conflict the process of mediation is similar if not the same. If you continue to have questions after reading these answers please feel free to call for a free consultation to see if mediation might be for you.

Q:  What is mediation?

A:   Human conflict has been around as long as there have been humans. For thousands of years conflict is been settled in various and sundry manners,   Today we live in a country that is ruled by a set of judicial standards or laws. If we take our conflict to the court and have a trial, the outcome is a win lose. One party wins and one partylosers. An alternative to the win lose outcome of a court room trial, is the process of mediation. Mediation is a process where a third-party neutral ask as a facilitator to help the parties come to an agreement. The mediator does not impose a settlement or make judgment as to what the settlement should be.  If both parties cannot agree to the settlement then the settlement is not binding and the next ste p is to take the conflict to court for hearing or trial.  Both parties agreed to the settlement, and execute a written document called a mediated settlement agreement, then the agreement is binding  and enforceable as a contract. The mediated settlement agreement, also known as an MSA, is irrevocable. The parties to a conflict may or may not be represented by attorneys at a mediation. That is the choice of the parties. Again, if the parties make a settlement agreement during mediation according to the requirements of the Texas Family Code or Civil Practice & Remedies Code, it is a legally binding agreement that is not subject to revocation.

 

Q:  Why Should I Mediate?

A: The first reason is economics. By this we are not referring to just dollars but other forms of currency such  emotional crunchy, time, loss of work,loss of confidentiality issues that you want to private, and finally having the ability to turn the page in all of these areas and move on with your life. The cost of mediation is a fraction of the cost of litigation. The sooner one mediates the less the cost and the more money can be saved. Depending on the circumstances of the parties, it’s not unusual for a divorce trial to cost anywhere from $35,000 on the low end, to an almost infinite dollar amount. When spouses and parents look at this reality with a clear head, most agree it would be far better to use the money spent on trial for paying off debt, saving for the future, obtaining new job skills, or saving for a child’s college education. Second, the parties help structure their agreements with the assistance of the mediator. This is very different than a trial or a judge or jury will render a verdict strictly according to the rules or law. If you were looking for flexibility, then for sure mediation is your choice. Third, The parties can craft or generate an agit is only a contradictionreement that is creative and outside what they would get in a trial or scripted parents to the family code or other lawn is applied.  The parties, their attorneys present and the mediator are all working for a creative and sustainable agreement. Number four seems to be in the eyes of some people a contradiction. Is only a contradiction in order to understand if you have never sat in the court room in the midst of a trial. In mediation, the parties are able to tell their full perspective on the conflict at hand.  In a trial, The judge and or the attorneys may limit what it said.  Therefore, the person who says they want to go to trial so that they can have their day in court, And  be heard just does not understand how a trial works.   Therefore, even if a person is able to say what they want to say in court, there is no guarantee that the judge was not distracted by other things in the court and may have missed a significant aspect of the partie’s story. Number five is confidentiality. As the saying goes, “What is said in mediation, stays in mediation.” Positions that are held in mediation, or presented in mediation, cannot be brought into a trial. For example an attorney for the opposing side cannot bring up in court the fact that your demand was $35,000 in mediation. What goes on in a trial is public record. Unless the record of the trial is sealed whatever is said or done in the trial is public record and can be made known to anyone who digs a little. There is no reason to hang your dirty laundry for everyone to see.  You never know when something that was brought up in a trial might come back to buy one of the parties 1020 or even 30 years later. Mediation is just a better way for many reasons.

 

Q:  Is Mediatio n Always Required?

A:  No.  There are two reasons basically where mediation really doesn’t add to the settlement. The first is where the parties have  their issues settled and it’s just a matter of reducing the settlement to writing. Secondly, there are provisions within the Texas Family Code wherein a party may object to mediation based upon a history or likelihood of domestic violence.  The objection must be filed within the deadlines outlined in the code.  Obviously, it does no good to put a victim within the proximity of someone who is violent, manipulative or coercive – even if the parties are in separate rooms.  It likely produces an agreement subject to attack and adds unnecessary stress to at least one party’s experience.  However, in rare instances very skilled mediators and attorneys have been able to hold mediations in separate locations using video conferencing to obtain resolution.

Q:  How LongP Does Mediation Take?

A:  The amount of time varies, but mediations are typically performed in four-hour to eight-hour blocks of time.  But, just as every family dispute is unique, mediation can be tailored to fit the needs of the family.  After a long day of working out property division, if the parties, mediator, and their counsel cannot go 12+ hours to finalize a settlement, the parties may agree to come back to mediation and pick up where they left off.  Of course, it’s best to do this the next day or as close as possible to the last session while momentum is strong and memories fresh.

Q:  What Happens at Mediation?

A: A real attempt is made in mediation to make the parties feel relaxed and feel empowered as they face difficult challenges resolving their dispute, which may be very emotionally charged. The setting is usually informal and the parties can take breaks as needed. It is the responsibility of the mediator to keep the discussion and negotiation on track and focused, and also to empower the parties by letting them feel as if they have some say in the process. There are many answers that come from a mediation process that simply cannot come from litigation. The parties can improvise and make agreements that provide some give-and-take to all sides. Mediation can include some or all of the following six steps.
1. Planning. Each party needs to know beforehand the basic information that will be needed at the mediation. Some of this may come from the parties’ attorneys if they have counsel, or the information may come from the mediator. The parties need to know if counsel will represent them at meditation, or if they will go to mediation without an attorney. The mediator will usually have a comfortable space in which to have the mediation. In rare cases each side might have others who will attend the mediation other than the parties or their council. An example may be a financial planner.  This is more common in collaborative mediation but can actually happen in any type. Nevertheless, the parties must check with their attorney and mediator before bringing non-parties to the mediation.

 This site and the information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended  as a legal advice.