Mediation Attorney Serving Denton and North Texas
When a dispute occurs between two parties over legal issues like child custody, child support payments, dividing assets in a divorce, supervised possession, or post termination contact, sometimes avoiding going to court is the right answer for everyone involved. Taking a lawsuit to court requires making the dispute a matter of public record. Litigation also often results in extreme mental, emotional and financial hardship for both sides of the dispute. As such, those involved may prefer to settle their differences out of court and out of the public eye. In addition, most courts now require that the parties participate in mediation prior to taking a case to trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a specialized service provided by Underwood Law Office to residents in Denton, Collin, and Cooke counties. Through the process of mediation, parties in a dispute can come together to discuss their disagreement and attempt to reach an arrangement. This process is facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator. While not required, most people prefer to use a mediator who is also an attorney who regularly practices in the courts in the counties where the case is pending. Such a mediator serving as a facilitator for the parties ensures that negotiations remain civil, productive, and that the resulting agreements will be legally sound. Entering into an agreement established and executed during the mediation process also creates an irrevocable and enforceable agreement on which all parties can rely.
Advantages of Mediation over Litigation
There are quite a few reasons that you may want to seek mediation over legal proceedings and litigation:
- Mediation is economical. It is a far less expensive option because there are no court fees and because the proceedings are far shorter, resulting in substantially lower legal fees for both sides.
- Mediation is confidential. It allows the parties to keep their personal disputes and information out of the public eye by having it mediated through a qualified third party.
- Mediation is informal. Mediation allows the parties to avoid the extreme mental and emotional stress that often comes with litigation. Mediation is really a conversation between the parties, facilitated by a third party. In many instances, the parties meet in separate rooms, preventing them from having to have any personal contact during the process.
- Mediation is not binding unless an agreement is reached. Agreeing to mediation in no way obligates parties to come to an agreement. It’s a safe, easy step for both parties as they are under no obligation to agree to any arrangements proposed. In most cases, parties are free to pursue litigation if they do not like the outcome of the mediation.
- Mediation agreements are irrevocable. If an agreement is reached in mediation it becomes irrevocable and enforceable once the agreement is signed by the parties. Any party to the agreement may seek a judgement based on the agreement reached.
- Mediation provides options. While judges are bound by the Texas Family Code statues, prior case law and expectations of predictability, there are no restraints on the agreements that can be reached by agreement between the parties. This allows for the parties to explore options for settlement in mediation that might not be available to them in court.
- Mediation results in longer term commitment to a resolution. Statistic have shown that parties are more like to commit to orders based on agreements reached at mediation as opposed to orders put into place by a judge. As such, parties who reach agreements in mediation are less likely to engage in future litigation.
- Mediation is required. As judges have become more aware of the benefits of mediation, they have begun to require that parties to a lawsuit participate in mediation prior to taking a case to trial. Most courts in North Texas have now made mediation mandatory.
Scheduling a Mediation
Brandi Underwood has been practicing criminal, juvenile and family law in Denton, Collin, and Cooke counties and throughout North Texas for over fourteen years. Brandi has obtained her certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation with special certification in both Family Law and Child Protective Services cases, requiring over eighty hours of specialized training in mediation. Brandi is qualified as a mediator on the court appointed list for both family law and Child Protective Services cases in both Denton and Collin Counties. If you live or own a business in Denton, Aubrey, Pilot Point, Sanger, Krum, Carrollton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Anna, McKinney, Allen, The Colony, Gainesville, Dallas, or any of the other surrounding areas, and are involved in a dispute that you would prefer to settle out of court, give Brandi a call today.