Avoiding the potential costs and complications of a courtroom divorce is a primary objective of many divorcing couples. Typically, these are couples who are able to come to the table with a basic outline of an agreement already in mind. If you are among them, GoransonBain Ausley offers self-represented mediation as an option to consider.
It is called “self-represented” mediation because a GoransonBain Ausley attorney serves you in the role of a mediator to facilitate settlement, not a lawyer to represent your personal interests. The mediator draws on specialized training to “chair” meetings between you and your spouse—guiding discussions, helping you find common ground, alerting you to potential legal issues, and suggesting options for reaching agreement.
The right fit for you?
Self-represented mediation may be right for you if any of the following apply:
- Your estate is modest, or you and your spouse are in general agreement about how to divide it.
- You feel confident about navigating the divorce process yourselves with minimal guidance.
- Your marriage was short.
- You decide to co-parent or divorce amicably.
Start with a consultation to move your life forward.
Self-represented mediation begins with an initial consultation with a GoransonBain Ausley attorney-mediator. The purpose is to ensure that it is a suitable process for you and your spouse and to identify any possible legal hurdles. If it is a go, you and the mediator will schedule a series of mediation sessions, which usually last two hours. One may be devoted to children, another to property and retirement assets, and still another to shaping a final agreement.
As a matter of Texas law, the mediator cannot offer you and your spouse legal advice regarding your divorce. For that reason, GoransonBain Ausley encourages individuals to hire a personal divorce attorney, who will meet with you outside of mediation sessions, help you gather information, give you legal advice, and review settlement terms.
At the very least, you will need outside legal counsel to prepare the final settlement documents that will be presented to the court. The mediator can, however, prepare a draft of the settlement that summarizes your discussions and also suggests additional items for inclusion.
Under the right circumstances and with experienced guidance, self-represented mediation can be a cost-effective option for couples capable of managing their divorce outside of court. It is important, however, that you enter into it well-informed about how it works and what the roles of you and the mediator are.
At GoransonBain Ausley, our mediators in Austin, Plano and Dallas have the requisite training and certification in mediation that you need for achieving the best possible outcome. We also provide convenient online scheduling for mediation sessions. Contact us to learn more about self-represented mediation and if this is the right solution for you and your family.