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When a legal conflict involves family matters, you might imagine yourself fighting it out in court with your spouse or another party. However, did you know that there are out-of-court options to settle your family law dispute? There are other methods of resolving family law cases, and the right family law attorney can advise you of all of your options. Reach out for a professional assessment today.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is an interactive process that occurs between parties to a legal conflict and is overseen by an unbiased third party, a mediator. The mediator helps two parties reach a mutually agreed-upon resolution to a dispute. Another advantage of mediation is that, since it doesn’t happen in open court, it is more private and confidential. Mediation is typically used in civil disputes, including family law matters. These can include:

 

  1. Divorce cases
  2. Child conservatorship (custody) cases
  3. Family order modifications

 

Your family lawyer can advise you whether mediation is right for you. Often, finding a resolution through mediation can save everyone time, money, and stress, as it keeps the issue at hand out of court.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is another type of alternative dispute resolution that can potentially be helpful to our clients who wish to avoid court. Arbitration is similar to mediation, except that with the arbitration, the objective third party will make a decision (rather than the parties coming to an agreement on their own).

 

This process is sometimes called “binding arbitration” because the decision of the arbitrator is legally enforceable. Often, if two parties can not reach an agreement through mediation, they will then go to arbitration. To see if your case is right for arbitration, you can reach out for a consultation.

 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Use Alternative Dispute Resolution?

 

As a family law firm, we highly recommend that you have legal counsel during alternative dispute resolution. Some mediators will not allow attorneys to even be present during a mediation session, however, this does not mean a lawyer can’t advise you outside of your mediation sessions.

 

A mediator can’t give you legal advice or say anything impartial to you, so it is possible to agree to unfair terms of a divorce or custody arrangement if you do not know your rights or Texas law. While you might think you can save money by attending mediation without hiring an attorney, it is wise to discuss the process and your options with a trusted Sugar Land, TX family lawyer to ensure you do not give up any valuable rights.

Contact a Sugar Land, TX Family Lawyer Today

Jamie Jordan, PLLC, has guided many divorcing couples (and others) through alternative dispute resolution, as well as represented them in court when needed. Whether you need legal advice or are seeking full-service representation for a family law issue, such as a divorce or custody matter, our law firm is happy to consult with you and let you know how we might help. Please contact us online to discuss your situation today.