Divorce does not have to be a lengthy, exhausting process. Many couples reach a resolution amicably and quickly through divorce mediation.
At the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, our attorneys can act as either divorce mediators or your counsel in mediation.
What makes us the right choice for your divorce mediation?
Credentials and Caring Service
Family Law Specialist
Our lead attorney, Donna J. Smiedt, has held the prestigious title of Board Certified Family Law Attorney - Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1991. During her more than 30 years of practicing law, Ms. Smiedt has handled virtually every kind of divorce, from the most friendly to the most contentious. Her intimate familiarity with divorce law in Texas will give you confidence that every aspect of your mediation is proceeding properly.
Our lawyers understand that divorce can be an emotional and overwhelming experience for all parties involved. We do everything we can to make dissolving your marriage as easy and stress-free as possible, including bringing divorce therapy dogs to our office! You can trust that our compassionate attorneys and mediators will handle your unique situation with all the sensitivity that it requires.
Whenever possible, our divorce lawyers recommend avoiding traditional litigation and settling your divorce through mediation. After more than 30 years of practicing divorce law, Ms. Smiedt has seen how divorce mediation can be much more friendly, efficient, and affordable than going to court. Thanks to their familiarity with and preference for collaborative divorce, Ms. Smiedt is able to act as either your attorney in mediation or the mediator during this process.
Interested in Divorce Mediation? Contact Us Today
If you and your spouse are looking to settle your divorce through mediation, request a consultation with the team at the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, today. We offer in-person consultations at our beautiful and conveniently located Arlington office, as well as virtual consultations.
If you are seeking an attorney to represent you in your divorce, our lawyers will talk to you about your situation and determine whether they think divorce mediation or traditional litigation is the right course of action for you.
If you and your spouse are looking for a reputable third-party mediator, we can collect some basic information about your divorce and schedule an initial mediation session.
Requesting a consultation with our divorce mediation attorneys is easy. You can fill out our online consultation request form, or you can give us a call at
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What Is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative approach to divorce that can be much less contentious, less costly, and less time-consuming than typical litigation in divorce court.
During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party (called a mediator) to discuss and resolve all the aspects of your divorce. These mediation sessions should take place in a neutral location, such as the comfortable conference rooms at our law offices in Arlington.
Mediators do not necessarily need to be attorneys, but having a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization like Donna J. Smiedt involved in these proceedings may bring you valuable peace of mind. The role of a mediator is to:
- Help you and your spouse identify and understand what needs to be addressed during your divorce so you can make informed decisions
- Act as a peacekeeper
- Recommend solutions and help you reach a mutually acceptable agreement
- Draft the required paperwork to make your divorce agreement official
Depending on the pace of the process, which is primarily determined by you and your spouse, a mediated divorce can take two to six months (much faster than traditional divorce litigation, which can take a year or longer). However, any agreement reached in mediation is not legally binding until it has been finalized by a judge.
Litigation vs. Mediation
Who Should Choose Mediation?
Couples on Good Terms
Mediation requires couples to be in the same room together and have sensible conversations about ending their marriage. If you and your spouse can't stand to be around each other, mediation may not work.
Mediation is all about compromise. If either party is unwilling to meet halfway on some issues, a mediation session probably won't be productive.
Couples with No History of Abuse
If your marriage is ending because of a history of physical or emotional abuse, mediation might not be the right course of action. While the mediation process can feel empowering for some abuse victims, there is also a chance that the abusive spouse may try to intimidate the other.
What Happens in Mediation?
During your first meeting, the divorce mediator may ask you and your spouse to determine your initial goals regarding separation of property, child custody, and child support. The remaining meetings will determine the resolution of these goals. You can also use these meetings to develop a co-parenting plan.
In some cases, certain experts may be invited to assist with the process. These experts may include financial professionals, child specialists, mental health professionals, or additional mediators.
Once a resolution is reached, the mediator can help you and your spouse gather and organize the necessary documents for official submission to a judge.
Choosing the Right Mediator
If you and your spouse decide to resolve your divorce through mediation, it is crucial to choose a trustworthy and reliable mediator. Many divorce mediators are attorneys, while others may work for professional mediation firms. We recommend you choose a mediator who is:
A mediator needs to have a complete understanding of divorce law in Texas in order to bring all parties to a fair and legal resolution. As a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Donna J. Smiedt knows divorce law forwards and backwards.
Divorce mediation only works if the mediator is a neutral third party. If the mediator has a preexisting relationship with either you or your spouse, he or she may conduct the sessions unfairly. The mediators at our law firm pride themselves on conducting every session with fairness to all parties.
Mediating conversations related to ending a marriage can be difficult, especially if one of the spouses is more talkative or aggressive than the other. You need to choose a mediator like Ms. Smiedt or Ms. Muma who can confidently direct the conversation and keep one spouse from overpowering the other.
A divorce mediator needs to be able to make decisions about how to direct a conversation, and he or she needs to be able to communicate one spouse's point of view to the other in an unemotional, clear manner. The mediators at our Arlington firm stay level-headed and fair during every mediation session.
Should I Bring A Lawyer to Mediation?
You are able to bring your own attorney with you to a mediation session. If one spouse is bringing their own legal counsel, it is recommended that the other does, too. When couples meet out-of-court with their own respective legal representation, it is known as a collaborative divorce. In addition to serving as divorce mediators, our lawyers also represent individuals in collaborative divorces. We serve clients throughout Southlake and Westover Hills.
What Can Be Decided through Mediation?
Any aspect of your divorce agreement can be decided through mediation. At our firm in Arlington, TX, serving clients throughout Southlake and Westover Hills, we mediate conversations between divorcing couples about:
- Financial Support: Questions of child support and alimony can be answered much more easily through divorce mediation than through divorce court. In a mediation session, each spouse can communicate his or her financial needs, worries, and expectations clearly and reasonably.
- Child Custody: When divorcing couples have children, deciding on a co-parenting plan is often the most emotionally charged topic of debate. The divorce lawyers at our Arlington law firm can mediate these conversations so that the perspective of each parent is heard and the best interests of the child are protected.
- Property Division: Mediation can allow you and your spouse to easily decide who gets what. A divorce mediator like Donna J. Smiedt can help all parties make reasonable compromises so that property and possessions are distributed as fairly as possible.
Take a Step toward a Friendly Future
Most divorcing couples hope for an ideal future in which they can stay on friendly terms with their ex-spouse. Unfortunately, the stresses and contentiousness of divorce court often cause further damage to already broken relationships and make that kind of positivity impossible. To maintain the best possible relationship with your soon-to-be ex, we recommend giving divorce mediation a try.
Divorce mediation allows couples to bring their marriage to an end in a reasonable and mutually beneficial manner. To learn more about mediation with the help of the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, request a consultation by contacting us online or calling
"A Masterful Job"
Donna has represented my son in a child custody case and my wife and I in a grandparents custody case and she has done a masterful job. I don't know where my grandchildren would be without Donna. She has given them a chance to have a much better life and a chance to be loved and grow into well rounded adults. Donna is a very caring person that really looks out for the benefit of children and her clients. Jerry Johnston - 5-Star Google Review - 2019
What If Mediation Doesn't Work?
Divorce mediation is an effective process for many couples. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which spouses can't mediate an agreement and are forced to bring their case before a judge. If you hire our attorneys to be by your side during mediation and negotiations fall apart, we are prepared to represent you in court as well. We aggressively advocate for our clients and make sure that they achieve the best possible outcome in any divorce proceeding.