Texas Divorce: Mediation vs. Litigation

Going through a divorce is never an easy process emotionally or legally. Doing everything you can to handle it properly, however, will help set you up to emerge from the divorce in as strong a position as possible. In Texas, most divorces are either handled through mediation or litigation. Learning about the pros and cons of each of these options can help you to determine which one will most likely yield the best results for you.

Understanding Mediation and Litigation

The first step in the process is going to be getting a good understanding of what each of these options is. Mediation is, simply put, where each party will come together outside of the court to try to work through things like who gets what assets, creating a parenting plan, and much more. This will be done with the help of an experienced mediator who will serve as a neutral party who facilitates the effort of getting everything resolved.

With litigation, on the other hand, each party will present their case for what they want out of the divorce to a judge, who will then make the decisions for the parties. Both parties will then be obligated to follow whatever decision is passed down by the judge.

Advantages of Mediation

  • Cost – Mediation can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars less than litigation.
  • Privacy – Mediation meetings are kept private, unlike litigation, which is a public proceeding.
  • Speed – Mediation can often be completed over the course of just weeks, rather than the months or even years that litigation often takes.
  • Solidity – If mediation is successful, the terms of the mediation are more difficult to reverse or appeal than if a district judge made a ruling, which is subject to lower standards of review than a binding mediated settlement agreement.

Disadvantages of Mediation

  • Cooperation – Both parties must agree to mediation in order to go this route.
  • Compromise – You will almost certainly have to compromise on some things in order to successfully use mediation for a divorce.
  • Failure to Obey – If you or your ex don’t follow the agreement after mediation, it may be necessary to go to court anyway.

Advantages of Litigation

  • Finality – Once the court rules on your divorce in litigation, the divorce agreement will be filed and legally must be followed.
  • Arguments Heard – You can voice your arguments about why your desires should be honored. If the judge agrees, you can walk away with significantly more of what you want than may be possible in mediation.
  • Required Attendance – If your spouse is not willing to move forward with a divorce, litigation can legally require them to comply.

Disadvantages of Litigation

  • Public – All proceedings, and the documents used, are available to the public.
  • Forced Compromise – Judges don’t always rule in your favor, so even if you think you have a strong case, you may not be given what you think you deserve.
  • Expensive – Litigating a divorce can be quite expensive due to the amount of time it takes, and the increased court costs.

We’re Here to Help

Choosing between mediation and litigation is a difficult decision, and the decision should only be made with the help of an experienced attorney. Contact us [Link to CONTACT US page] to discuss your situation and see how we can help. Our team has experience helping clients with both mediation and litigation, and will fight for your interests in whichever route is right for you.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]

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Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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