Texas Family Code - Section 153.0071. Alternate Dispute Resolution Procedures
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Texas Laws > Family Code > Texas Family Code - Section 153.0071. Alternate Dispute Resolution Procedures
Section: 153.001 153.002 153.003 153.004 153.005 153.006 153.007 153.0071 153.0072 153.008 153.009 153.010 153.011 153.012 153.013
§ 153.0071. ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
PROCEDURES. (a) On written agreement of the parties, the court may
refer a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to
arbitration. The agreement must state whether the arbitration is
binding or non-binding.
(b) If the parties agree to binding arbitration, the court
shall render an order reflecting the arbitrator's award unless the
court determines at a non-jury hearing that the award is not in the
best interest of the child. The burden of proof at a hearing under
this subsection is on the party seeking to avoid rendition of an
order based on the arbitrator's award.
(c) On the written agreement of the parties or on the
court's own motion, the court may refer a suit affecting the
parent-child relationship to mediation.
(d) A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the
parties if the agreement:
(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement
that is in boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the
agreement is not subject to revocation;
(2) is signed by each party to the agreement; and
(3) is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is
present at the time the agreement is signed.
(e) If a mediated settlement agreement meets the
requirements of Subsection (d), a party is entitled to judgment on
the mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas
Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule of law.
(e-1) Notwithstanding Subsections (d) and (e), a court may
decline to enter a judgment on a mediated settlement agreement if
the court finds that:
(1) a party to the agreement was a victim of family
violence, and that circumstance impaired the party's ability to
make decisions; and
(2) the agreement is not in the child's best interest.
(f) A party may at any time prior to the final mediation
order file a written objection to the referral of a suit affecting
the parent-child relationship to mediation on the basis of family
violence having been committed by another party against the
objecting party or a child who is the subject of the suit. After an
objection is filed, the suit may not be referred to mediation
unless, on the request of a party, a hearing is held and the court
finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the
objection. If the suit is referred to mediation, the court shall
order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and
emotional safety of the party who filed the objection. The order
shall provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face
contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during
mediation. This subsection does not apply to suits filed under
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 937, § 3, eff. Sept. 1,
1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 178, § 7, eff. Aug. 30, 1999;
Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1351, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts
2005, 79th Leg., ch. 916, § 7, eff. June 18, 2005.
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Last modified: August 11, 2007