WHEN WILL THE DRO RESUME IN-PERSON MEDIATIONS?
Since March 2020, DRO mediations have been conducted virtually as part of the larger county efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Conducting mediations virtually is another effort to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff. The Office will continue evaluating the feasibility of conducting in-person mediations and virtual mediations based on attorney’s requests.
Most family law mediators were previously apprehensive and reluctant towards virtual mediations, citing confidentiality and professionalism concerns. However, the DRO anticipates a continued demand as we enter an increasingly virtual world. Virtual mediation does appear to be as effective, and certainly more convenient, than in-person mediation. The DRO continues to expand its knowledge of online platforms and document signing applications ensuring the most effective and time-saving mediation experience. We appreciate your patience and your partnership during this expansion.
The Domestic Relations Office mediates divorces, suits affecting a child, modifications of existing court orders, and parentage action that are pending in the Harris County Family District Courts. To be eligible for this service, your case must involve a child who is 18 years of age or under and the parties’ combined annual income cannot exceed $125,000. The Court may order mediation or the parties may agree to mediate at the DRO.
Our mediators have the advanced training necessary to mediate conservatorship, access, child support and property issues. Mediation services are offered at no cost for both temporary and final orders. Executed mediation agreements are binding on the parties. If an agreement is reached, parties may avoid a costly court trial.
Resolution involves each party looking at what is best for their children
Cases are mediated Monday through Friday via ZOOM. Only the parties and their attorneys are invited to attend a DRO mediation. Other individuals will not be allowed.