Despite the contentious nature of family law actions, many legal disputes can be resolved without ever going before a judge. Most families do this through mediation. This process is an alternative to protracted litigation that helps resolve your family law dispute with the help of a neutral third party. The attorneys at Colorado Lawyer Team have experience advocating for their clients during these negotiations. Our team’s experienced Colorado Springs mediation lawyers could protect your legal rights and help you achieve the results you are looking for from this process.
What is Mediation?
Family law mediation is a process involving the two parties to the dispute, whether it be a divorce, custody battle, or some other family-related legal issue. It is directed by a neutral third-party mediator who does not represent either party or “take sides” during the discussions. The mediator’s goal is solely to help the parties achieve the best resolution for themselves and their family. Any issue that a judge could address in court can be discussed in mediation. Some of the common topics negotiated during this dispute resolution process include:
- Spousal support
- Marital property division
- Allocation of debt
- Health insurance coverage
Mediation is voluntary and confidential, so neither party should worry that what they say during this process could be used against them in court. In addition, because this process is intended to be non-adversarial, it provides the parties with an opportunity to openly discuss their issues and reach a fair and equitable agreement. A knowledgeable lawyer in Colorado Springs could further explain mediation and how it may work in your case.
The Benefits of Mediation in Colorado Springs Family Law Cases
As an alternative to litigation, family law mediation offers several benefits. First, and perhaps most importantly, it can save both parties time and money by eliminating the need to go to court. The parties may also spend less by sharing the costs of one mediator instead of having two attorneys litigate every issue in their case.
Second, because it is confidential, the parties are free to speak openly and honestly about their issues and how best to resolve them. Neither need be concerned that their information will be shared with people outside this process.
Third, mediation occurs in an informal setting, such as a lawyer’s office or conference room, rather than a public courtroom. This enables parties to keep their personal and financial affairs private and out of the court record. Additionally, mediation can alleviate a substantial amount of stress, allowing parties to make healthier, more objective decisions for themselves and their family. Because each party has a hand in the decision-making process, individuals may feel more satisfied and at peace with these results versus having a judge hand down a decision that might not be in the family’s best interests.
Finally, when parties can resolve matters by agreement, they have a better chance of maintaining a civil relationship after their case is over. This is particularly important if a divorcing couple shares children. A caring Colorado Springs attorney could explain how mediation may be beneficial in a particular case.
Is Mediation Required?
Under Colorado Revised Statutes §13-22-311, judges may refer any case for mediation if they deem it appropriate. In many state courts, mediation is mandatory for family law disputes. Some parties may be required to attend more than one session before proceeding to a contested hearing or trial.
One exception to compulsory mediation is if one party has been physically or mentally abused by the other. In that situation, a judge could excuse the abuse victim from this process. However, absent a judge waiving mediation, a party who is ordered to participate but fails to comply could be found in contempt of court. A practiced Colorado Springs attorney could help determine whether mediation will be required in a specific case and, if so, what a party may expect during the process.
Contact a Colorado Springs Mediation Attorney
No matter how complex a family law issue is, our Colorado Springs mediation lawyers believe a practical approach to problem-solving is often the best way to resolve it. The Colorado Lawyer Team readily encourages parties to consider the benefits of mediation as they look at all their legal options. Contact us today to get more information about this form of alternative dispute resolution.