Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving conflict and coming to an agreement in a divorce where decision-making remains with the parties. A neutral mediator assists the two parties in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement. Unlike litigation, mediation emphasizes cooperative problem solving and addressing the needs of all involved.
Here are some reasons why it’s particularly useful in the context of divorce:
- It’s required by law: Colorado requires all family law cases to attempt mediation prior to hearings over two hours in length.
- It’s less costly: Although the initial cost of preparing for mediation and attending mediation is incurred, it eliminated the need for time and expenses in trial preparation, expert witness fees, and trial. Settlement at mediation often significantly reduces the fees and expenses incurred.
- It’s faster: Parties set their own timeframe for resolving issues, without having to wait months for the next court date. It’s even possible to resolve your issues in a few sessions, instead of months to a year in court.
- You control the outcome: You and your spouse, not the court, choose the topics that you want to discuss and settle. You have the final say over the terms of your agreement. Important decisions about you and your children are not left in the hands of a judge.
- You get more personal attention: The mediation process allows you to speak and be heard since you work directly with your mediator. Many judges meet your family for the first time at trial. They are making serious decisions with only hours of information. you and your family. Research shows family cases are less likely to return to litigation if the parties reached the agreements themselves, instead of having the Court make the determination.
- Greater flexibility: Mediators are more able to work around your family’s busy schedule. A court has rigid operating hours and overflowing dockets.
- Greater confidentiality: Communications, documents, and work notes used in mediation are privileged and confidential. Meetings are private and held at your mediator’s office. A court is public and anyone can watch your divorce proceedings.
- More opportunities for a creative family plan: In mediation, you do not have to work within the confines of the court. Points more particular to you can be addressed in-depth, allowing for a more unique, tailored family plan.
We have attorneys who provide mediation or who can assist you in mediation. If you want to discuss mediation, contact our Longmont divorce lawyers at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. today. Call (720) 491-3117 or contact us online for a free consultation.