Why litigate when you can mediate for only $449 per side?
The most important issues any parent will face in a divorce are the custody, support and visitation with the children after the divorce. But, child custody issues do not end when the Judge bangs the gavel and pronounces you divorced. Parents often spend years litigating custody, conservatorship, and child support issues wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars in the attempt to have control. The fighting does not end with divorce, it begins. You may not live in the same house but you still have to make decisions as parents and considering children learn quickly how to play parents against one another, living in separate homes is only going to make co-parenting more difficult.Co-parenting is hard work. Why would you want to make it harder by creating animosity? Why litigate when you can mediate?
Mediation offers you, the real parties in interest a chance to voice your concerns, express your desires, discuss your goals and work through the problem. For $449 per side, you and the other parent can meet with a skilled mediator, who will assist you in reaching a solution. If your facts demand more than half a day, additional time can be scheduled and we don’t even have to check your lawyers’ schedules - because there aren’t any.
One common question is "why mediate without a lawyer? Afterall, isn't a lawyer there to help?" The asnwer is simple - try as hard as they might, lawyers are competitive by nature. They have to be, who wants to hire a lawyer that cannot win? When does a client who looses a custody fight leave the courtroom saying he or she had the best lawyer? So, lawyers have to win, they take a personal position in the win, and they fight to win. The problem is, in a custody fight, no one really wins. Like any “battle” there are survivors, and there are those injured or killed in battle. War, whether it is a fight between two political powers or two parents, leaves carnage in the wake of it’s path. Do you want your kids exposed to that scenario? Can you be the parent who has the kids best interest at heart and set aside your goal to hurt the other parent and develop a complete co-parenting plan? If so, you are ready to mediate your custody issues without lawyers.
Family Mediation Services offers mediation without lawyers, where you, the real party in interest can engage, participate, and communicate. You can have a child custody suit without lawyers. No lawyers, means no attorney’s fees to pay so you can afford to take the kids on that vacation to Disney World or save you money for something more important, like college tuition. Spend you money on your kids, not your lawyers.
You can mediate
your child custody
issues without lawyers.
Family Mediation Services offers mediation for the family. We are not limited to divorce or plain vanilla custody fights. You can mediate any case that would otherwise be presented to a court at a fraction of the cost. Including:
OrigReevesPCinal Petition to Establish Paternity is generally filed by the father and is used to create a parent-child relationship where one does not previously exist. This is commonly used when Mom and Dad are not married and Dad is not listed on the birth certificate. It can however, be filed by the mother as a means of setting up child support when the father denies paternity, or simply does not know he is a father.A SAPCR can be used establish child support and visitation and in some instances, to limit visitation. While an Original SAPCR or Suit to Establish Paternity is most common in cases where the parties are not married, it can be filed by a married couple who do not want to divorce. Like a divorce without lawyers, a SAPCR without attorneys is always possible. With Family Mediation Services, you can skip the name calling, and start working on solutions, while you wait on the DNA results which are performed by the same labs that perform testing for the Courts.
Original Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship is used when paternity is not an issue or at least presumed to be a non-issue. Generally, it is a brand new lawsuit, with original jurisdiction used when Mom and Dad are either not married or they are married but separated and the moving party desires to avoid the divorce.
You can mediate
a modification of
your prior orders.
Once you have your custody orders, whether derived via divorce or an Original Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship - it is rare that parents do not want to make changes a year or two down the road. Reasons to change or modify the prior orders include:
Simply put, modifications are filed for many reasons.
Sometimes modification is based on “opinions” or “feelings” that cannot be substantiated with evidence while other times, the evidence absolutely supports the opinion or feelings that form the basis of the requested change. By going to mediation, you can save thousands of dollars on attorneys fees, expert fees, and discovery as well as the time required to have a Judge tell you what you will live with, instead of you telling a Judge what you can live with.
The Texas Family Code recognizes that there are times when a Court's orders related to the parent-child relationship must change. Ideally, parents would just adjust but that is not common, rather one parent usually files a petition with the Court seeking the change, the other parent is served, both hire lawyers and spend thousands of dollars fighting. At the end of the day, the child suffers, the parents are angry, the Judge is seldom impressed with one or both parties, tempers have flared and past hurts are unearthed in the "winner takes all" world of litigation.
You can save yourself all that frustration and cost - mediate your problem for less than one lawyer charges just to evaluate the case and file the petition.
Will the Judge follow our mediated settlement agreement?
Any lawyer that has a client with a SAPCR has told the client that if they can agree with the other parent on a custody or support issue, the Court will follow it if at all possible. In fact, Courts in Texas will do everything possible to promote an agreement between the parties and often order parents to mediate in an effort to get an agreement on some or all the issues. After-all, parents should know what is best for their children.
If two parents, who love and desire what is bes for a child are able to agree - unless that agreement is outrageous, the Judge will assume that parents are correct. Think about it. Why would you let a Judge who does not know you or your child make decisions such as whether or not the child goes to public or private school, where the child lives, and wether or not the child gets certain medical care or participates in sports?
Judges are elected to interpret and apply the law so letting a Judge decide your child custody or support issue is practically letting the legislature take over your parenting role. While you may be among the few who think our political leaders do a good job spending out tax dollars, chances are you don't want them raising your child.
When parents cannot agree, the Judge must decide what is in the child's best interest and the Judge would much prefer the parents to make the important decisions, such as with whom the children live, what visitation the other parent will have, who will maintain insurance and what doctor to see if the children are sick.
Put your kids first, mediate, don't litigate.