Before we get started, here are two possible surprises you need to know:
A mediator cannot prepare your paperwork.
A mediator cannot give legal advice.
With those disclaimers out of the way, here are some decisions you will need to make as you set up mediation.
1st Decision: To Hire or Not to Hire an Attorney
Many people prefer to get a divorce without hiring an attorney. That is permitted and can obviously save a lot of money. At the same time, there is great risk of messing things up. I strongly recommend that you hire an attorney so you can get legal decisions made properly and documents drawn correctly.
There are hundreds of attorneys in the Tarrant County area. You should be able to find one in your price range if you search. If you think you can't afford an attorney, you should at least talk with an attorney to try to figure out some way to do it. You might be surprised.
By the way, there are no court-appointed attorneys for divorce cases.
It can be very costly to try to correct mistakes made when you proceed without an attorney, and some mistakes can't be undone.
Still, if you persist in handling your own case, here is some useful information.
2nd Decision: How to Get Paperwork Prepared
A mediator is a neutral third party who will help you and your spouse reach agreements and hopefully settle your divorce.
Repeat News: A mediator cannot prepare the paperwork for your divorce.
You or your spouse will need to prepare the Petition for Divorce and the Final Decree of Divorce, and any other related documents. The mediator will draw up a Mediated Settlement Agreement that contains the final, binding agreement, but someone needs to translate that into the Decree.
Since the mediator is neutral, the mediator cannot draft the paperwork for you. There are always choices to be made in how things are worded that can favor one party or the other. There is no uniform, neutral set of documents used for divorces.
You can hire some attorneys to do the paperwork. But, an attorney cannot represent both parties, even when you both agree. If you hire an attorney, the attorney must represent only one party. Or, you can try to do it yourself.
3rd Decision: How and When to Schedule Mediation
How: Give us a call so we can pick a date you and your spouse are available.
Zoom: Most mediations are being done by Zoom for the time being.
That will probably continue until at least next Spring or Summer. If you want an in-person mediation, you should call mediators and ask about it.
Scheduling: Mediations are usually scheduled for a half or full day, but could be scheduled in 1 or 2-hour segments which would allow time between sessions for preparation and consideration of options.
Cost: We charge $400 per side for a half day mediation or $800 per side for a full day mediation. For the 1-2 hour sessions, we charge $150 per side per hour.
Mediators cannot give you legal advice or prepare your paperwork.
That's true before, during and after the mediation. That's what lawyers are for. You can pay a lawyer to consult with you, which could be cheaper than a full representation.
If you want to schedule a mediation, please call us at 817-338-4633.