The Divorce Process in El Paso, Texas: From Beginning to End

Mediation

Sometimes, before you can go to trial, the judge will require you to mediate your case. Sometimes mediation is done by agreement of both parties.

Mediation is an informal, nonbinding settlement process. You and your spouse will each pay a fee to a third party, neutral mediator. Generally, the mediator is qualified by many years of experience as a divorce lawyer, as a former divorce court judge, or both.

The cost for mediation is generally in the neighborhood of $400 to $500 for each side for one-half day. Double that for a full day of mediation.

The mediator will carry offers back and forth between the two sides, who are usually in separate rooms at the mediator's office. Quite often, the mediator will point out what he or she believes to be weaknesses and strengths in each party's case. The mediator will also sometimes let one side know if their demands are unreasonable.

It is not the mediator's job to give legal advice or to predict the outcome of a case. He or she simply employs techniques and makes every effort to facilitate a settlement in the case.

If the parties do not settle at mediation, they continue with their case and move toward their final hearing or trial.

If the parties do settle, they will sign a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA). Once the MSA is signed, it is binding on both parties. The final divorce decree will supersede the MSA, which is often hand-written at the mediator's office.

INSET BOX: Mediation is one of several process referred to as Alternate Dispute Resolution, or "ADR." Mediators are usually lawyers or retired judges who have taken special training and obtained certification as mediators. Click here for more detailed information on the mediation process.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854