Alternatives to Going to Trial

Our Pearland family law attorney can advise you on whether mediation or arbitration may be an option to keep your case from going to trial. 

In family law matters, conflicts between parties can become so contentious that reaching mutual agreements is nearly impossible. While taking your case to trial is an option, it tends to be a longer and more drawn out process, costing you both time and money. It also takes decision making rights completely out of your hands, leaving it to a judge or jury to decide matters impacting your family and your financial security. In these types of cases, alternative dispute resolution may be an option to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Arbitration Versus Mediation

Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in Texas refers to the use of an impartial third party to settle disputes between litigants in a court case. The Texas Bar advises that while some cases can only be resolved by taking the matter to trial and presenting evidence before a judge or jury, there are plenty of other situations in which disputes can be resolved more effectively and cost efficiently.

Rather than taking your case to court and allowing a judge or jury to render a verdict, ADR allows the parties to be more actively involved in the outcome and in the decision making process. Two main types of ADR which may be used in family law cases are:

 

  • Mediation: Under Texas Court guidelines, mediation involves using an impartial third party to facilitate communication between people in a court case with the goal of resolving any disputes or disagreements that prevent them from reaching a settlement. In family law matters, a mediator may be used to determine how marital property will be divided, whether alimony payments are warranted, and how child custody will be While the mediator will encourage the parties involved to reach their own conclusions, they will also offer recommendations.
  • Arbitration: This also involves an impartial third party who will hear details concerning the case, with the goal of having the parties involved enter into an agreement. Arbitration can be used to settle many of the same types of disputes as mediation. However, under the Texas Code, it differs in that while the arbitrator will encourage the parties to reach mutual agreements, they ultimately have the power to decide how the dispute will be resolved and any decisions they make may be legally binding.

In both situations, there are additional costs you are likely to incur, such as payment for the arbitrator or mediator involved. However, one of the major benefits of ADR in family law matters is that it simplifies the process, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Get the Legal Guidance You Need From Our Pearland Family Law Attorneys

When dealing with complex family law matters, Scott M. Brown & Associates provides the trusted legal guidance you need. To discuss whether ADR may be an option in your case, contact our Pearland family law attorneys and request a consultation today.

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