After you have filed for divorce, your attorney will receive a timetable from the court. This is called a “Scheduling Order”. It will show the time available to complete each phase of the case. In Texas, the Scheduling Order will also include a deadline to complete mediation.
When you Need to Find a Mediator
When the judge orders you to go to mediation in your contested divorce or family law case, you will need to have a mediator.
Who Can Serve as Mediator in a Case
Neither one of the attorneys in the case can serve as mediator. The mediator has to be an impartial, third party.
How to Find a Mediator
If you have an attorney representing you, your attorney will help you choose the mediator, or will choose for you. You should discuss this with your attorney.
Benefits of Mediation
If a mediation is successful, you can avoid some pre-trial formalities, trial preparation and a courtroom trial. You may be able to save time and money.
Types of Mediators – Pros and Cons
There are Dispute Resolution Centers available with trained mediators. These centers are usually located in, or near, a courthouse.
There are also mediators in private practice.
Choosing a Dispute Resolution Center can be less costly, but you may have less control over which mediator is chosen and the mediation will usually only be held at the offices, whether or not geographically convenient to the parties.
Choosing a private mediator may be more costly, but has the advantage of more control over the choice of mediator and the place of mediation.
Checklist for Choosing a Mediator
Choosing the right mediator for your case is very important. Here is some guidance:
- Talk to your attorney about the choice of mediator and tell your attorney if you know of a mediator you’d like to use.
- Tell your attorney what characteristics of a mediator will make you feel most comfortable.
- Pick someone that has experience in that area of law (family, divorce), both in the courtroom and as a mediator and is up to date with current law.
- Pick someone that speaks your language. If English is your second (or third) language, ask for someone who can communicate with you in the language that you are most comfortable. This can be a great advantage. Total fluency in a language includes the ability to speak, read, and write.
Did you Know?
Mediation in Texas has its beginnings in the 1980s. During that time, dispute resolution centers were set up to handle various types of disputes. Classes were set up to train mediators and courts began to use the mediators to help resolve cases that were headed for a trial. Over the years, training has become more extensive and mediators more specialized. For instance, Family Law Mediators receive extra training and experience in Family Law Mediation.
At Kalish Law Office, we offer Family Law Mediation. Our trained and experienced family law Mediator, Siomara Ramirez Pitre, has several years of courtroom & mediation experience and is completely fluent in English and Spanish.