Happy marriages generally do not end in divorce. Marriages come to their ends because the parties find that their differences are too great to deal with and that they would prefer to live separately for their benefit and the benefit of their families. In Texas, couples can choose to divorce in the courts or may use mediation to terminate their marital relationships.

Most people recognize the litigated process of ending a marriage. This is the type of divorce that happens in a courtroom and that involves the decisions of a judge as controlling on matters related to the parties’ post-divorce lives. Litigated divorce is an important and necessary option for some couples because not all parties may find success if they attempt to mediate their divorce proceedings.

Mediated divorces are under the control of the individuals who wish to end their marriages. The process is voluntary and generally does not involve lawyers. It relies on the cooperation of the individuals to find common solutions to their divorce issues and to allow a mediator to provide them with information about their options.

Mediated divorce can cost less and take less time than litigated divorces. They may also cause the parties less stress as they have a more direct role in the outcomes of their custody, support and property determinations. As previously stated, mediated divorces may not work for couples that experience significant conflict or abuse between the parties. For such couples, the traditional litigated divorce route may be better. Mediated divorces, though, offer an option to individuals who want to maintain control and cooperation with their ex-spouses as they end their shared lives.