My attorney withdrew from my case, can I address the court and the judge stating I want to reach a settlement in my divorce?

My attorney withdrew from my case 5 days before our latest hearing. Obviously, I filed a motion for continuance, but seeing as my divorce has been going on for over a year, I want to end this and reach a settlement. I contacted opposing counsel and instead of entertaining my offer, he used his typical tactic of threatening to subpoena multiple persons not even involved with my divorce. Is there any way to let the court know I presented the opportunity to opposing counsel and he completely ignored it even though the court has ordered mediation? Is he truly acting in his client's best interest if in the end all she really wants is money?

Houston, TX -

Attorney Answers (3)

Jacqueline R. Kriebel

Jacqueline R. Kriebel

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - San Antonio, TX
Answered

You really shouldn't represent yourself in your divorce. You leave yourself open to these "tactics." But yes, to answer your question, you can offer to settle your case.

James D. Roark

James D. Roark

Family Law Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

Settlement negotiations are not admissible as evidence. The court is right to *assume* the parties have tried to reach agreement; however, there are some attorneys that make no effort and, like the courts, abdicate their roles and throw it to a mediator to attempt a resolution. Making settlement offers does not satisfy an order to mediate.

In most all family law cases, mediation is now required before a court will hear the case on its merits. The *availability* of mediation has always been helpful. I believe the *inevitability* of mediation results in more cases getting to that point than would otherwise be necessary. Just my opinion. But it seems you have not gotten to that point. A formal mediation needs to be set up before your trial date.

Set out your goals to present to the mediator before it starts. Mediators are typically family law attorneys or may even be retired judges (your mileage may vary). What is important to know is that they likely know at least as much as the attorneys in the case as to how it will all likely shake out after a trial. So, pay attention.

If no agreement can be reached at mediation, the judge will be made aware.

Adam Kielich

Adam Kielich

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Bedford, TX
Answered

Opposing counsel is not required to entertain your settlement offers.

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