Understanding How Mediation Works
Mediation may be a required step in your divorce. It is a confidential and less formal process that happens either before you go to court or instead of going to court (in the event you and your spouse are able to comes to acceptable terms without the intervention of a judge).
In this process, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party (called a mediator). The goal of this process is to come to mutually agreeable terms. Nothing that happens in mediation is admissible in court. The mediator typically works with each of the parties in separate rooms.
Mediated settlement agreements are binding and final. There is no going back to make changes and the court will enforce the terms of the mediated agreement. If an agreement cannot be attained in mediation the mediator will write the court indicating that no agreement was made.
When Trial Is Necessary
If the parties cannot reach an agreement at mediation, they will have to go to trial. In Texas, you can request a jury trial or bench trial. A bench trial is held before the judge (no jury). The judge will ultimately render a decision based on the testimony and evidence offered at trial.