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When the child custody mediation process breaks down

Divorce is a difficult process, and like many others, you may hope that there is a way you can ease the stress and complication that often comes with it. Like many other Texas couples, you and your spouse may choose to try mediation for your divorce. However, every situation is different, and this may not be what actually works for you.

Mediation is a process that allows two parties to work through disagreements and issues in a respectful and productive manner. With the help of a neutral third-party mediator, you and your spouse will use discussion, negotiation and other means of dispute resolution to resolve divorce disagreements and reach a beneficial resolution. In some cases, mediation works and is a smart choice – but what if that is not the case for you?

Mediation, child custody and your future

Child custody is often one of the most contentious issues of a divorce. It's not easy to make choices that will impact your children for years to come, and some parents may resort to mediation to resolve their custody disputes. This is a sensitive issue, and sometimes the mediation process breaks down. Signs that mediation is not working for you may include:

  • You find that you and the other party are talking about the same things again and again but not reaching any decisions.
  • One or both parties are hostile or there are personal attacks instead of helpful discussions.
  • Mediation sessions drag on without any meaningful progress in the issues you two need to resolve.
  • You and the other party keep discussing things that do not relate to the children.

Mediation is about compromise and working together, and in some situations, that is simply not possible. If you find that you may not be getting anywhere with mediation, don't panic. This does not mean that you failed or that you won't be able to pursue a reasonable final divorce order.

If you are not able to continue with mediation, you may want to explore the possibility of moving ahead with another option. Litigation may be necessary, but it can be helpful to first discuss your case with an experienced family law advocate who has your best interests in mind. When mediation fails, you would be wise to start exploring ways you can still protect your rights and fight for the best post-divorce future possible.

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