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Mediation Services

Mediators in Katy, TX

Avoid Costly & Lengthy Litigation With Help From Our Katy Mediation Lawyer

If you are involved in a family law dispute or civil case, mediation is an effective and affordable alternative dispute resolution method for many families. Alex Hunt, the founding attorney at Hunt Law Firm, provides mediation services for parties and attorneys seeking to avoid unnecessarily long and expensive litigation in court.

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Our mediation attorney handles cases pending in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County. Contact us to learn more.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which a trained, neutral third-party facilitates a discussion between disputing parties with the goal of reaching a solution to which all parties can agree. With mediation, attorneys and their clients are often able to reach creative solutions to emotional and complicated matters without having to go to court, which can be a long and drawn-out process. In addition, all parties can expect a comfortable, private environment.

Why Would I Want to Mediate Instead of Going to Court?

Mediation is a chance for parties to resolve their case without the court. Court can be stressful and much more costly.

Further, mediation provides a chance for you to have a much more flexible agreement that works for you and your family. If you leave your case to a judge, the order will follow the narrow laws judges must follow. In contrast, mediated settlement agreements can do whatever you and the other party think is best without being constrained by the law. For example, judges rarely if ever can order a 50/50 custody arrangement. However, you may agree to one in mediation.

Mediation is also completely confidential where as court records are public records. This means that neither the mediator nor the parties can be compelled to testify about what happened at mediation. This allows for a great deal of privacy.

It is also important to note that mediation is usually a much quicker process than trial. Sometimes courts can have you wait weeks to months to schedule a hearing or trial. Also, it takes less preparation and money to prepare for a mediation as opposed to a court appearance.

Considerations When Choosing a Family Law Mediator

Mediation is a great way to resolve disputes in a family law case. It allows parties to find resolutions amongst themselves. Whether it’s a case involving property division or children, a good mediator can help parties resolve their issues and settle the case.

Choosing the right Mediator is important to ensure a favorable settlement is reached. A good Mediator will take two parties, who are on opposite ends of a spectrum, and bring them to the middle. This requires:

  • Experience: Experience may be one of the most important factors when choosing a Mediator. You want to find a Mediator who has a history of resolving family law disputes. You also want a Mediator that has had a few mediations under his or her belt. It is also important that the Mediator has experience in family law. There are general Mediators who may not possess knowledge of the Texas Family Code. This is critical in resolving family law disputes. Family law cases can also be emotional, so a Mediator that can deal with complex family dynamics and high emotions is one to look out for.
  • Position of Power: Titles and positions of power mean something to people. If you were to choose between mediating with a newly licensed attorney and a former family law judge, most people would choose the former judge. Why? Because that person held a position of power. They know the ins and outs of the law because they were involved in it daily. When choosing a Mediator, it is important to remember that people who have held or hold positions of power, have influence just because of their position or title. If you can’t mediate with a former judge, mediate with a Board-Certified Attorney. To be Board Certified, an attorney must meet certain requirements that set them apart from the rest of the legal community. Board-Certified attorneys have vast knowledge of the law and can certainly aid in settling disputes because of their experience.
  • Neutral: You want a Mediator who is going to be impartial and neutral. A Mediator should never take sides, let alone advertise as taking sides. Some Mediators may advertise as a Mother’s Rights Mediator or Father’s Rights Mediator. While this person may have experience, the opposing party may not be open to mediating with someone who may be thought of as showing bias. A Mediator should be unbiased to facilitate open communication and fair negotiations.
  • Open-Minded: It is important to find a Mediator that has an open-minded. A Mediator should have an open mind when it comes to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity among many other values. Depending on the issues of your case, the gender of the Mediator may be an important factor to consider. You may also want to consider a Mediator who is a LGBTQIA+ ally if there are sensitive case issues. A Mediator’s lived experiences can help them relate to you while guiding you into settlement.
  • Communication Style: All individuals have a unique way of communicating. This is no different when choosing a Mediator. Different Mediators communicate and relay information in different ways. There may be Mediators who beat around the bush while another mediator directly speaks to a party without holding b ack. Some Mediators let their emotions show while others don’t. A Mediator may sit back and do more listening than speaking, while other mediators don’t stop talking. There is no right or wrong way to communicate, it is all about preference.
  • Mediation Style: Along with communication styles, each Mediator will have a different mediation style. Some Mediators will be settlement oriented, offering insights and suggestions to help resolve the case. Others may take a back-seat approach and just float agreements between the parties. There may be Mediators who offer insight on how they have seen issues play out in the courtroom based on their experience. A Mediator may even have knowledge on the dynamics of the courtroom you are in and share their thoughts. Others may keep quiet.
  • Reputation: A Mediator’s reputation is incredibly important. You want to ensure that you are using a Mediator that is highly regarded in the legal community. Not just as a Mediator, but also as an advocate. The legal community is small, but the family law community is even smaller. Attorney’s talk – they know what Mediators are effective in procuring settlements and they also know what Mediators are not. If you have an attorney, trust that he or she will choose a Mediator with a great reputation.
  • Compatibility: Throughout the mediation process, it is important that you trust your Mediator. You want to choose a Mediator that you feel comfortable with. At mediation, your entire life is going to be up for discussion. You want to ensure that you feel relaxed and at ease with your Mediator, and that you feel comfortable sharing information with him or her. Trusting your Mediator goes hand in hand with compatibility. You cannot trust someone that you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Cost: Mediation may range in time, but most commonly mediation is either four hours (a half day) or eight hours (a full day). Knowing the Mediator’s fees and payment structure is important. While most people want cheap Mediator, it is important to remember what you are receiving. A Mediator with experience or who was in a position of power will have a large toolbox to bring to mediation. This is going to help resolve a case. The cheapest Mediator may not always be the wise choice – consider their experience.
  • Success Rate: It’s important to review your Mediator’s success rate. Ask your attorney about their experience in settling cases with the Mediator or do your own research. You can look at a Mediator’s reviews on their website, Google Reviews, Avvo, or Justia.

How Should I Prepare for Mediation?

If you have an attorney, your attorney can help you prepare for mediation. It is best to get all relevant documents in order before mediation. For example, if it is a mediation for a final divorce order, you may need to make sure you have a final inventory of your assets, bank statements, and property documents ready.

In most cases, mediation will result in an agreement. It is an excellent way to conclude your case without the money, stress, and time of a trial. If you believe you need a mediator in your case, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC to request mediation with one of three certified mediators in family law.

How Hunt Law Firm Can Help

Our mediation lawyers will work to create a comfortable, compassionate environment for clients and attorneys. As a trusted and trained mediator, who understands the way courts work and typically rule on key issues, Alex Hunt will work to help each party reach an agreeable resolution so that they can save time and money. Should you prefer to schedule a virtual mediation, we’ve got you covered. From high-quality video conference capabilities to digital signing, our mediation lawyer can conduct your family law mediation 100% remotely.

Mediation attorney Hunt has participated in the 40-hour Basic Mediation Training and the 30-hour Advanced Family Mediation Training at the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Houston Law Center.

Contact the mediation lawyers at Hunt Law Firm today to schedule an affordable 1/2 day session, full-day session, or multiple-day mediation session for you and the parties involved in your case.

Mediation FAQs

What is a Mediator?

The mediator is a neutral person either chosen by the parties, their attorneys, or the court. Please note that a mediator is not your attorney and cannot give legal advice.

Is Mediation Required?

Mediation is not always required, but a judge may order both parties to undergo the process to ensure that communication is happening, as important decisions regarding the future will need to be made. Some Texas family court judges may also order parties to go to mediation before a final decree is rendered in divorce or child custody cases.

How Long Does Mediation Take?

The length of mediation depends on how complex your case is and on how much you and your spouse are willing to compromise. A straightforward case can take as little as one day, while a more complicated case can take up to a month. Even then, mediation is still generally much faster than traditional litigation.

Do You Have to Attend Mediation?

Yes and no. Many Texas family courts either require or encourage parties to attend mediation in a contested divorce or contested child custody dispute. However, there are some instances you may ask mediation to be waived.

For example, if you were in a domestic abuse situation, you do not have to attend mediation but will need to make sure the judge waives any mediation requirements.

Can Mediation Settlements Be Changed?

Mediated settlement agreements are irrevocable. This means that once signed, neither you nor the other side may change your minds.

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