- Child Custody
- Family Law
- Child Support
You can wind up in mediation to work out your disagreements with your spouse about child custody. The court can order you to mediation or you can choose it as an alternative to litigation. In fact, you can resolve divorce and all of its issues through mediation, if appropriate.
The mediator cannot evaluate for you or your spouse and tell you what to decide. However, the mediator can facilitate your discussion, and help promote a reconciliation or understanding between you.
If family violence becomes an issue during the mediation, your attorney can file a written objection to the court’s mediation referral.
The Texas Family Code Section on Mediation Procedures explains that the court may still proceed with mediation, despite your objection. However to do so, it must find through a hearing that a preponderance of evidence does not support your objection. A preponderance of evidence is different than the typical burden of evidence that most people are aware of in criminal trials, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A preponderance of evidence requires showing that more likely than not, the point being argued is valid. If the court does decide to continue mediation despite your objection, it has to order special measures to ensure your physical and emotional safety. You will not have face-to-face contact with your spouse and the court will place you in separate rooms during mediation.
When you use mediation to resolve custody conflicts, you still can and should consult your attorney about questions involving your rights. Also, when drafting the settlement agreement, your Texas child custody lawyer can ensure there are no legal issues that could result in court disapproval of the settlement or cause future problems.
If you are struggling with child custody issues and think mediation might be the answer, a Texas child custody lawyer can provide valuable guidance.
Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.