Mediation in Texas Family Law: How is the mediation process different from the collaborative divorce process?

Dallas, TX family law attorney, Paula Lock Smyth talks about the main differences between the mediation process and the collaborative divorce process.

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Mediation is quite different from the collaborative process. I’ve been a mediator as well as representing clients who are at mediation and I’ve been doing this for years and years. And usually before a case is set for trial, the judge will require everyone to attend mediation. So if we’re in mediation we have one mediator and that person is neutral third party who really is a negotiator. They try to bring the two parties together to reach an agreement in the middle of their position. Oftentimes, the mediator will try to point out the weaknesses in one side or the other’s case in order to bring them to a point of being able to resolve their differences. But it’s usually conducted in one day, it can be a half-day session but usually full day and as opposed to the collaborative process that extends over a series of meetings where we’re trying to negotiate and settle their matters.