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What divorcing couples need to know about mediation

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2017 | blog |

You may have heard about divorce and parenting mediation in Colorado. This is a cooperative process that can serve as an alternative or as a complement to litigation. While, technically, Colorado law does not require mediation for divorcing couples, as a practical matter, many judges will order mediation at some point during litigation so that the parties can resolve certain disputes. Couples may also choose to start with mediation rather than filing a contested divorce in court right away.

Many people mistakenly think mediation only works for couples who can communicate peacefully and are happy to reach an agreement. Even if your divorce suffers from emotional landmines and highly contentious disputes, working with a mediator can help you achieve compromises. This said, while mediation offers several advantages, it is not a viable option for everyone.

How it works

A mediator serves as a neutral facilitator who helps the couple frame their issues and come up with workable solutions. Often, the parties sit in separate rooms and the mediator goes back and forth between them. This approach can help defuse tense emotional situations and promote constructive thinking.

Pros and cons

Mediation can offer more flexibility than litigation. Mediators can work with your schedule, and you may have the leeway to come up with creative alternatives. On the other hand, unlike judges, mediators have no power of enforcement. They cannot order parties to produce evidence or to agree to a specific provision. If you have concerns about your soon-to-be-ex’s willingness to be truthful, mediation can do more harm than good by allowing a deceitful ex the time to hide evidence.

You still need a lawyer

While mediation is far less formal than litigation, you should still have your attorney with you. The mediator may not provide legal advice or other help to either party. You do need someone who is 100 percent in your corner to give you comprehensive advice and help you make informed decisions. If you have questions about mediation or other aspects of divorce in Colorado, speak with a knowledgeable lawyer near you.

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