How is mediation preferable over litigation in family law situations?
The legal process involved in divorce and other family law cases is often confusing and frustrating for separating spouses or parents. The litigation system is poorly equipped to resolve controversies where emotion plays such a significant role, especially when children are concerned. A traditional courtroom battle can leave both parties feeling angry and frustrated. After a “bad divorce” or a heated custody battle, the seeds are often planted for years of animosity and future conflict. This can be particularly destructive in family law situations where children are involved. Mediation, in most circumstances, improves communication and promotes a better long-term relationship between the parties.
What specific reasons are there to mediate?
Research shows that parties reach agreements in divorce mediations between 50% and 85% of the time, depending on the study. Parties who mediate their disputes reach resolution more quickly than litigating parties. More importantly, studies report higher rates of compliance with mediated agreements when compared to cases resolved through the adversarial process. Research also suggests that parties who resolve their disputes through mediation are significantly more satisfied with the result than adversarial parties whose disputes are ultimately litigated and decided by a court.
Is confidentiality ensured as part of the mediation?
Yes. Texas law outlines the following regarding statements made and information provided during a mediation:
CPRC 154.053(b) - Unless expressly authorized by the disclosing party, the impartial third party may not disclose to either party information given in confidence by the other and shall at all times maintain confidentiality with respect to communications relating to the subject matter of the dispute.
CPRC 154.053 (c) - Unless the parties agree otherwise, all matters, including the conduct and demeanor of the parties and their counsel during the settlement process, are confidential and may never be disclosed to anyone, including the appointing court.