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I want to establish paternity, visitation and child support. Will they give us the option of going to mediation first ?

Houston, TX |

I have not seen my child for 2 years. The mother and I were involved at one point and I was in my child's life the first 11 months. The mother left with the child and lives with her parents. Has refused to talk to me, answer my calls, etc. After she is served, Im assuming she will hire an attorney. Will our attorneys offer us mediation FIRST or what will be the process ?

Attorney Answers 3


First there will probably be a denial and you will have to take a DNA test. Then the court may require mediation, then if not happy a visitation schedule which will increase over time and a order for child support.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.

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Mediation is normally part of the process. Some Harris County judges will use mediation twice - at the beginning and again before the final trial. I've been known to mediate the same case twice - at the beginning and again at the end. However, it's up to the judges and the attorneys. Some parties just don't have the money to attend mediation twice. The free services normally don't have the ability to mediate the case twice.

So in summary, each case is unique and it will be up to what judge your case is assigned to, the case load of the court and the attorneys. It appears that your child is around the age of 3. There needs to be some visits so the child can get to know you again. The child's best interests are always a priority for the judge and the attorneys know it.

Many times a "deal" will be negotiated in the hallway of the courthouse. It's very intimidating for the parties and it's confusing but that's the way it is often done when the parties don't have a lot of money and the judge wants the case handled quickly when the docket is full. The attorneys know it and "get it done". Unfortunately your case is not unique - it is pretty typical for a Harris County family law case.

I hope you hire a family law attorney with some experience so that the attorney can negotiate the complicated family law waters of Harris County. Good luck! If you need a reasonably priced mediator please mention my name to your attorney - $250 per side for the first 4 hours. My phone number is 713-847-6000. (

Fran Brochstein has over 20 years legal experience & enjoys educating the public about Texas laws. She is a full-time family law mediator in the Houston area. If you found this answer "helpful" or "best answer", please select the button to show your appreciation. Please understand that this is not a personal consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in your county in person about your specific legal problem. You can contact her at 713-805-9591 - 7 days a week - her personal cell phone.

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In most states mediation is required as a part of the process. Also you really have not provided enough information to provide a complete meaningful answer. I think it is time for you to consult with a local family law attorney, as each state is different. Initial consultations are often free. Good Luck

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Hedrick Law Firm is a workers’ compensation firm located in Wilmington, NC, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 910-343-1432. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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