Mediation is a settlement process where a neutral 3rd party, the Mediator, works with both parties to come to an agreement. The Mediator does not make any decisions or rulings.Instead, the Mediator works with both sides to help them reach a compromise that can be acceptable to both parties.
Why go to mediation? Because it almost always works and because it is almost always required by Tarrant County judges before you can go to a trial to finalize a divorce or other family law matter.
A big part of my representation of any family law client will usually be preparation for mediation. Occasionally, a case will settle without mediation, but if there is much in dispute, you should expect mediation.
There is a cost associated with mediation. We usually schedule either a half day or a full day for the mediation and the mediator will charge usually at least $350 to $450 for a half day and double that for the whole day. On top of the mediator’s fee, you need to plan on paying your attorney for the same amount of time, plus preparation time, which can be at least 2-4 hours on average.
If the mediation is successful, the agreement must be put into a formal court order, which will take several hours, depending on how extensive and unique the order is. It usually takes several weeks to get the paperwork finished and approved by everyone.