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Considering Mediation in Denver, CO?
Divorce Mediation is Often Cheaper Than Traditional Divorces
Colorado family law cases often require mediation before you can set a final hearing with the court. Court-ordered mediation is one of many ways parties can engage in the mediation process to help resolve the conflict in their family law case.
Mediation can be quicker and cheaper, depending on the willingness of the parties to resolve issues with a little give and take. Results from mediated settlements have repeatedly shown themselves to require future litigation less frequently.
Couples can resolve many issues in mediation, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Parenting time>
- Property division
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is becoming increasingly popular among divorcing couples in Denver and throughout Colorado as an alternative to litigation. In many instances, mediation leads to both parties being more satisfied with the results of their divorce, than litigation. In mediation, a divorcing couple will meet with a neutral third party (usually an attorney or psychologist) and reach decisions about disputes in their divorce.
The neutral third party is there to facilitate discussion between the two parties and has no authority to make decisions or legal determinations about the disputes. The mediator many times will suggest solutions based on what other couples have done under similar circumstances, or what might happen if the disputes were taken to a divorce court. In recent years, divorce courts regularly order couples to go through mediation before finalizing a divorce.
However, this does not mean that a couple can’t decide on their own to go through mediation. The mediation process is largely determined by the splitting couple as they determine how, when, and where the mediation will take place. This means that a couple can either meet in person and go over disputes, they can do it over a conference call, or they can do it through correspondence back and forth. Mediation only lasts as long as both parties believe the process is useful.
Our Denver divorce lawyers at Modern Family Law can help with your mediation. Call our firm at (303) 394-3030.
Hidden Benefits of Mediation
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of a mediated settlement over a litigation battle. Some benefits are obvious – mediation saves money and saves time. Some are not so obvious – successful mediation develops positive conflict management. But there’s little doubt that everyone involved in a divorce is better off discussing their issues and developing a solution themselves.
The most obvious advantage of successful mediation is the cost savings. It’s commonly talked about in divorce circles that for a good lawyer to walk into the courtroom with you will cost about $40,000. Certainly not every case costs this much, but there’s no doubt that fully litigated cases can easily cross into this type of expense. Mediation, on the other hand, may run you as little as $150. Even the most expensive mediators will generally charge about $2,000 for a whole day. The difference between litigation ($40,000) and mediation ($2,000) is saved money that can be used for the children, college expenses, pay off debt, or just to start fresh in life. It may turn out to be the best investment you ever make.
The least obvious, but in many cases, the most important advantage, is that successfully using mediation teaches you to use it again. Better yet, maybe next time, the parties might try sitting down and working it out themselves. During your divorce, you will be learning how to manage conflict. With litigation, you learn to manage future conflict by beating up on each other in the courtroom, finding a winner and a loser, and wasting away your retirement or the kids’ college funds. With mediation, you learn that you come prepared to negotiate, that negotiating takes two, that you can be flexible, and that a deal you work out is better than some judge’s random order any day of the week.
Working Together Towards a Common Goal
Managing future conflicts is especially important in cases involving kids. It’s so important to learn to work together for their benefit, and so incredibly destructive when they are used as tools in litigation.
In divorces involving children, it’s highly likely the parties will need to come back to court for modification or other issues at some point in the future, particularly when the children involved are younger. Sometimes, parents come back for a modification of support, other times it’s for a change in the parenting time schedule. But the reality is that any order crafted for young children is likely to need modification in the future.
If the parties have used mediation successfully once, they are likely to use it again. If they have faith in the mediation process, they are likely to trust it to resolve this latest dispute. A successful mediation only helps resolve disputes in the future.
We will be happy to discuss your case with you. We offer initial consultations, free of charge.