Some divorces are filled with animosity, resentment, and loathing. Other divorces are between people who still care very much for each other who simply cannot make their marriage work any longer. Still other divorces fall somewhere in between those two types. Because each divorce is so different, it can be very difficult to know the best option for ending your marriage. Particularly when it comes to the question of litigation vs. mediation, many couples struggle to decide whether they should fight it out in court or try to work together and compromise in mediation. If you are considering divorce and have questions about whether to litigate or mediate your divorce, the experienced divorce attorneys with Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help. Schedule a free consultation by calling (720) 593-6442 to discuss your legal options.
When most people think of litigation, they think of a criminal trial or cases where someone is suing another person for breach of contract or other lawsuits of that nature. However, litigation is not limited solely to criminal trials or civil suits related to business. A divorce can be litigated as well.
Litigating a divorce means that the divorce is contested. In other words, one spouse wants the divorce and the other does not, or the two spouses are unable to agree on how to divide their assets, share custody, or other terms. Litigation allows the judge to hear from both parties and make a decision based on current law and what is in the best interests of all involved, including any children. Litigation can mean numerous court hearings and can make a divorce take a year or more to resolve.
Most people have some idea of what mediation is, and that idea is essentially what mediation means in divorce. The Colorado Judicial Branch defines mediation as a “voluntary, problem-solving process assisted by a neutral third party.” The divorcing couple discusses their preferred divorce outcomes with a third-party mediator who is unbiased and helps them achieve their desired outcomes or find satisfactory compromises.
The mediator does not have the authority to make legal decisions, but they can help the couple resolve issues so they spend less time in court. If both parties are happy with the mediation resolution, the mediator can help the couple create a marital settlement agreement outlining what they have agreed to. The judge will then incorporate that agreement into the final divorce judgment unless the agreement is significantly unfair to one spouse.
Mediation is usually voluntary. However, some Colorado counties do require mediation. For example, in six of the 10 counties that Denver occupies, mediation requirements are:
If you are not sure whether mediation is required in the county you live in, Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help you.
Many people see divorce as something that takes place in a courtroom in front of a judge. They think divorce must include arguing and fighting for what they want. However, if a couple is generally able to get along and willing to work together, mediation may be a much better option for their divorce.
A few reasons that someone might choose mediation over litigation include:
When considering divorce, some people may wonder whether litigation is better when thinking about litigation vs. mediation. In some cases, litigation may be the better option. With litigation, a judge makes the decisions based on law and what is in the best interests of all involved, including children. The decisions are unbiased, and there is no emotion involved.
Other reasons litigation may be better than mediation in some divorces include:
Every divorce is unique. Therefore, it is impossible to say litigation is best or mediation is best. However, if a couple is debating litigation vs. mediation, there are some pros and cons to each that may help them determine which is better for their divorce.
While the idea of arguing in court to get what you want may be unpleasant, sometimes litigation is the right option. Litigation pros may include:
In some cases, litigation is not the best option. Some of the cons to litigation may include:
Many couples consider mediation as an alternative dispute resolution instead of litigation. There are several benefits of mediation, including:
While there can be many benefits to mediation, it can also have some drawbacks. Some of the cons of mediation include:
Deciding between litigation vs. mediation for your divorce is an extremely personal and important decision. If you are not sure which option is best for your divorce, you may want to discuss your circumstances with an experienced Colorado divorce lawyer. Call Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.