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What legal issues can be covered during divorce mediation?

For any Houston-area family to successfully reshape itself after divorce, countless issues must be resolved during the divorce itself. A family can't move on until subjects such as child custody, property division and child support have been properly decided. Even seemingly minor topics, such as the ways in which children spend the holidays with each parent after a split, can incite conflict later on if not addressed during the divorce proceedings.

What many divorcing couples in Texas may not realize is that divorce mediation can cover a wide array of topics related to their own unique situations. Since the objective of mediation is to reach a mutually agreed-upon conclusion concerning a particular issue, many of the common causes of divorce conflict can be brought up and discussed openly and productively. Mediation can address some of the most pressing financial matters in a divorce, including property division, child support and spousal support. All three of these subjects can be confusing enough without experienced legal help, but each issue also can impact one another. Trained mediators can inform spouses of the effects that one decision might have on another and help ensure that the overall settlement is equitable.

Mediation also can cover some of the more emotionally difficult topics of divorce, such as those relating to children. At a mediation session, soon-to-be former spouses can discuss custody arrangements, visitation schedules and parenting plans. As is the case with the financial issues, these issues also are closely interrelated and mediators can help spouses focus on specific concerns, while also maintaining a broad scope.

Since mediation is confidential, spouses are likely to feel more comfortable discussing a wide range of topics in the context of a mediation session. Unlike a court hearing before a judge, a mediation session is meant to facilitate solutions that benefit both parties; by using a cooperative, rather than adversarial, environment, mediation can benefit families with children or spouses who are leaving a marriage on relatively amicable terms.

Source: Texas Association of Mediators, "About mediation," accessed Sept. 20, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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