Working with Your Colorado Family Law Attorney ….
and a Divorce Mediator
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an informal process of negotiation that allows separating couples to carefully consider the outcome of their divorce. Mediation allows the couple to make careful and thoughtful decisions about their transition and the planning of their future. Mediation can be especially beneficial for parents of young children who will be making joint decisions about their children for years to come.
What are the Advantages of Using Divorce Mediation?
There are several key advantages to using a mediator during your divorce proceedings:
· Divorce mediation is a highly effective and confidential process of negotiation that is used as an alternative to litigation.
· You and your attorney, and your soon to be former spouse and their lawyer work with the mediator to create an agreement that works for both parties.
· This alternative method of resolution is generally far less costly than resolving your differences in a court of law.
· The timeline associated with mediation is generally much faster than bringing your case to trial.
· The kind of communication that a divorcing couple experienced during mediation can also serve as a kind of template for future decision-making.
· Mediated settlements often have a consistently higher rate of compliance because the parties created their agreement together
What is the Role of a Divorce Mediator?
A family law mediator is a neutral third party who has been specially trained to assist separating parties resolve the issues of their divorce. The mediator facilitates respectful communication for the couple in a neutral location. Mediation is conducted in a manner where both parties create their own resolution rather than having the judge dictate a court-ordered outcome that may not consider the important details of what would work best for the family.
How Do I Begin the Divorce Mediation Process?
Choosing a mediator:
If you and your soon to be former spouse are both represented by separate domestic relations lawyers, your attorney, and the opposing parties lawyer, will work together to select a mediator best suited to your case.
Preparing for mediation:
Your lawyer will work with you prior to the date of mediation to explain and prepare you for the first session. Your attorney will attend the mediation with you and will represent you and your best interests during the entire procedure. Your lawyer will analyze the information as it presented, offer creative solutions, and will advise you regarding the proposed agreement.
What are the Next Steps After We Have Reached an Agreement?
When you and the opposing party have reached an agreement, you and your lawyer will review the agreement, called the Memorandum of Understanding. After the agreement has been signed, your attorney will prepare all the appropriate paperwork to be filed with the court and the terms of your agreement will become legal, binding and enforceable.
Will My Spouse and I be in the Same Room?
Under the best of circumstances, the mediation process will be conducted in the same room with both parties present, but it is not a requirement. Some couples choose to be in a separate room with their attorney to avoid any emotional discomfort. Under these circumstances the mediator will simply go from room to room to discuss the issues with each party separately. Items of discussion with the mediator during these individual meetings remain private and will not be shared without your consent.
How Long is a Mediation Session?
Mediation is generally scheduled for about 4 hours, but the length on the session depends entirely on the complexity of the issues and ability of both parties to negotiate an agreement. It is not unusual for the parties to take additional time, or to schedule several sessions to address their issues. Highly complex cases may take several months to complete
What if We Cannot Agree on All Issues?
When a couple cannot agree on all issues, it is possible for an agreement to be drafted only on settled matters. Then the parties can choose to go to court to litigate the remaining issues, or they can take some time to reconsider their differences and possible ways to compromise, and then schedule another session to continue the mediation.
What If I Have More Questions About Divorce Mediation?
Couples have many options available to them when it comes to obtaining a divorce and mediation is just one alternative. Scheduling a consultation with a highly competent and experienced divorce lawyer to discuss the details of your case is always a good idea. Family law attorney Elissa Bercovitz has almost 20 years of experience and offers a free consultation. During your consultation she will discuss your rights and options according to Colorado law and will give you the legal guidance and support you need to make this transition in a careful and thoughtful manner.
Elissa handles domestic relations cases throughout the State of Colorado and specifically in the Denver metro area. She handles issues associated with divorce and legal separation, custody and the allocation of parental responsibilities, step-parent adoption, and issues regarding relocation, paternity, and post-decree matters.