Mediation agreements are legal and binding if they are properly drafted and signed by the parties.
The length of mediation varies from case to case. The more prepared, honest, respectful, and cooperative the parties are with each other, the less time the mediation will take. If there are complex issues involved, then it should be anticipated that the mediation will take longer. On average, a divorce involving community property and child related issues can take up to eight mediation hours.
Mediators are not judges and they do not make rulings. The mediator has no authority to make a party do anything.
Mediators are protected by Texas law from testifying in court about communications that occurred between parties in mediation. If an agreement is reached, then it is reduced to writing in a Mediated Settlement Agreement signed by all parties and filed with the Court. If no agreement is reached, all notes or other offers discussed in mediation remain confidential.
Mediation seeks win-win agreements. In mediation, the parties control the outcome of the dispute. Each party is given the opportunity to tell their side of the story in a safe and confidential setting. Mediation is often less costly and less time consuming than litigation. Mediation provides the parties the chance to move on with their lives more quickly than traditional court proceedings. Mediation gives the parties control over decisions that affect their lives rather than have a judge or jury make decisions for them.
No. You and your spouse do not each have to hire a lawyer to attend mediation and you do not need lawyers in order to mediate.
The mediator is prohibited from giving legal advice to the parties. The mediator is not hired to be an advocate for either party. Instead, the mediator facilitates the settlement discussion and helps the party reach an agreement.