Interviewer: When is mediation a suitable course of action other than in divorce or some family cases? Are there other cases where mediation would be a suitable course of action?
Gary: You will find mediation ordered in any type of case that comes up in the context of family law but typically, not in an adoption case. This is because those are pretty much unilateral procedures with somebody asking for something. There’s no real opposition to you.
Are You Fighting Just for Principles? In a Divorce, It Is Always Important to Look at the Economic Consequences of Actions
Any time you have two competing parties, mediation always works. I mean, it should always work. Good mediations typically are driven by economic considerations. People that are not looking at the economics of things are people that are really fooling themselves. If they’re in it just for principals, they’re in it for all the wrong reasons. Because ultimately the economics affect the children even if they don’t think it does. It affects them also, even if they don’t think it does.
At the end of the day, you’re not doing yourself any good by holding on to some crazy position, if you can’t afford to battle through and fight for that position.
So, even if it’s not something you want, if your limitations are financial, you need to be realistic about that, and you need to recognize that in our legal system, things aren’t free. Especially in the civil system, where you will not be appointed a lawyer, you have to pay for the lawyer that you have or go it on your own.
So, you need to look at, “Hey, do I have the money to take this case all the way to the Court of Appeals?” “Do I have the money to take it all the way through a completion of a trial?” If you don’t have that money, then you need to be thinking about “How else can I find a way to settle this?”
Interviewer: So, you get what you want, absolutely. In the mediation, you had mentioned custody can obviously be mediated.
In Texas, if I’m not mistaken, children can reach a certain age, and they can decide which parent they want to go live with? Is that accurate?
If that’s going through in mediation, are the children allowed to have a say in where they’re going to end up?