Mediation FAQs

What is Family Mediation?
Family Mediation is a process in which a neutral professional assists in identifying issues and resolving disputes between parties. Issues of child custody, parenting time, and child support are frequently in dispute. The mediator helps the parties to communicate, assists the parties to identify their options (choices) and aids in the writing of the agreement.
Why did the Court order me to participate in mediation at the Domestic Relations Office?
The policy of the State of Texas, and requirements of our Harris County Family District Court local rules, require that pending contested matters be referred to mediation. The Domestic Relations Office, in cooperation with the Family District Courts, provides mediation services to assist families involved in litigation.
What can I expect?
Once your case is referred to the Domestic Relations Office, which can be by either court order or a written agreement, you will complete the Mediation Request located on this website. The Intake Coordinator will review your case to determine if it is appropriate for mediation and contact you. 
Mediation is offered Monday through Friday, and, if agreeable to all parties, may take place on the same day as your Court referral. Before mediation begins, an orientation is given that consists of:

  1. a detailed description of the process, and
  2. a presentation of nationally recognized video "For Our Children"

Mediation usually last four to six hours. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will put it in writing.  Once the parties and their attorneys have reviewed and signed the agreement, it is filed with the Court.
Who will Mediate my case?
Qualified, trained professionals with basic and advanced family mediation training, resolve cases involving custody, child support and marital property division.
Does my Attorney need to be there?
If an attorney represents you, the attorney must be present for the mediation to start.
What if no Resolution is achieved through Mediation?
Not all cases can reach resolution through mediation. Sometimes, the parties are not able to reach an agreement and must go before the Court for a hearing. Mediation is not a substitute for a hearing before a Judge. It is an option to settling a dispute.
May I bring my children to the mediation?
No - children may not be present at the mediation.
May I bring my spouse or other support personnel to the mediation?
Only the parties and their attorneys are allowed to participate in the mediation session.  Do not bring anyone else to the mediation session or they will be required to wait on another floor. 
What Is Your Cancellation or Failure to Appear Policy?
The DRO requires 72-hours' notice of any cancellation regardless of the reason.  Failure to provide 72-hours written notice will result in a $100.00 cancellation fee which must be paid before the case can be rescheduled.