More and more couples are opting for divorce mediation to address their separation issues, rather than waiting for a court to determine an equitable distribution of their debts and assets and devise a parenting plan if needed. These couples are also frequently turning to a divorce mediator for guidance. If you are considering divorce mediation or require further information about the process, contact the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to speak with an experienced family law attorney in Littleton.
Divorce mediation generally involves hiring a neutral third party, typically a trained and experienced mediator, to help couples resolve issues related to their divorce. Compared to a traditional courtroom setting, mediation makes it easier for the couple to figure out their problems more cooperatively, amicably, and in a relaxed environment. In addition, if you choose to pursue divorce mediation, you and your spouse will have a much greater ability to control this separation process, and its outcome, than would be the case if all aspects of the divorce decree were determined by the judge in a family law court.
During divorce mediation, a neutral third party –– the divorce mediator, will help both parties communicate effectively and work through their problems. Part of the divorce mediator’s job is to create a safe environment for the couple to discuss their concerns and aim for an equitable resolution.
The mediator’s ultimate goal is to help the couple reach a mutually beneficial agreement. A mediator typically will not offer any legal advice or make decisions on behalf of the couple. The couple retains control of the process, while the mediator works on identifying their priorities and goals so that they can work towards an equitable resolution.
There are many benefits that are often associated with divorce mediation. To understand how a divorce mediator can benefit your specific situation, reach out to Colorado Divorce Law Group today. These skilled Colorado divorce attorneys can review your specific questions, and may be able to help you find the answers you need to choose your optimum path forward.
Divorce mediation may be less stressful than traditional divorce, but it may not work for all couples. Instead, divorce mediation is more likely to work when certain conditions are met.
When a couple mutually agrees to get divorced, mediation becomes a smoother process. In most of these instances, the parties are more willing to work together towards the same goal and come to a fair resolution.
If there was domestic violence in the marriage, proceeding with a court trial may be more appropriate, as spouses divorcing after a history of domestic violence may not have the background of essential belief in each other’s goodwill and honest intentions needed to make the most of divorce mediation. When the couple has a history of abuse, the spouse who has been a victim may feel pressured to agree to decisions during mediation out of fear of potential consequences. Moreover, it is common for divorce mediators to avoid handling cases involving domestic violence, as keeping the spouses on track can be challenging.
Agreeing on complex matters such as custody or visitation terms can simplify decision-making and prioritize the child’s best interests. However, court intervention may be necessary if there are any concerns about child abuse or any other issues involving the couple’s children.
During a divorce, finances can often cause conflict, particularly if one partner conceals important financial information from the other. Failure to make appropriate financial disclosures in a timely manner can lead to prolonged issues and make it difficult to come to an agreement. However, if both parties are willing to share information about their bank accounts, stocks, pensions, and other assets, this transparency can facilitate negotiations and speed up the process.
Although each divorce mediator will have their own style, there tends to be a general process to these mediations. The spouses may choose to move through these stages on their own, but one or both partners may also seek the support of an experienced family law attorney to provide additional support and guidance through the mediation process.
Before the mediation begins, you will need to speak to the divorce mediator and provide background details about your marriage, the issues in the divorce, and your family. They may also ask each party to create a pre-conference statement.
According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, this statement should:
During divorce mediation, participants are typically situated in an office or conference room. Depending on the mediator, private discussions may also be held with the couple separately.
Once the divorce mediator addresses any administrative matters, both parties will have the opportunity to express their views and highlight what they see as the issues most in need of resolution. They may also offer a preliminary evaluation of their priorities in an eventual settlement. After hearing from both spouses, the mediator may ask clarifying questions to gain a better understanding of the situation and the perspectives of each person involved.
Once negotiations are complete and issues are resolved, the divorce mediator will draft a settlement agreement. According to the Colorado Judicial Department’s Office of Dispute Resolution, this agreement is often referred to as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will provide an overview of the topics that have been resolved.
From there, the judge will review this agreement and the couple’s other divorce paperwork. If everything appears to be in order, the judge can then approve the agreement and sign a final “decree of dissolution of marriage.”
If you are looking for further information about divorce mediators, the divorce process, or other types of family law needs, reach out to a skilled and knowledgeable Colorado divorce lawyer today. At Colorado Divorce Law Group, experienced attorneys answer clients’ family law questions and help them understand the legal options available as they seek the best way forward into the next stage of their lives. Call (720) 593-6442 today to schedule a consultation to review your needs.