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If asked to mediate my divorce, must I say 'yes'?

When a couple's relationship has become so unraveled that they are seeking a divorce, there may be a certain amount of ill-will between them. Still, one or both parties may want to at least try to reach an out-of-court settlement and may ask their estranged spouse to join them in mediating the divorce. In addition, sometimes mediation is ordered by the court in a divorce case. In these situations, is a person in Texas obligated to attend divorce mediation sessions?

Mediation is a way of negotiating a divorce settlement. The mediator is a neutral third party who oversees conversations between the spouses, facilitating discussions that could lead to an agreement on the issues. Some couples who are on amicable terms may choose mediation, but, if there is a lot of ill-will between the parties, can one spouse refuse to participate?

If mediation has been ordered by a judge, then both parties must attend and participate. Failure to do so could cause the resisting party to be held in contempt of court. However, if one spouse requests mediation without a court order, then the other is free to decide whether they want to participate.

It can help to provide your ex with a written response regarding your decision to mediate your divorce. This can show your willingness to cooperate if you agree to mediation or it can provide your reasoning if you decline.

With the help of the mediator, even couples who can barely speak to one another could still give mediation a go. And, if they are not ordered by the court to do so, they may still want to consider mediation as a means of avoiding litigation.

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