When legal family disputes arise, parties often anticipate that they will be highly contested and emotionally charged. However, that does not always have to be the case.
If you seek to resolve your divorce or other family law matter peacefully, a seasoned Denver mediation lawyer could assist you. The attorneys at the Colorado Lawyer Team could help you reach a favorable resolution without a contentious courtroom battle.
How Does Mediation Work in Denver?
In the mediation process, a neutral third party is retained to assist the parties in resolving their case civilly. The mediator seeks to identify areas the parties agree on and guide them toward a mutual solution. The parties attend mediation either voluntarily or per a judge’s order, and anything they say during mediation is confidential.
The meetings between the family members and the mediator typically occur in a private office. The mediator explains the ground rules for mediation and then gives each party time to explain their concerns and goals. Throughout the process, the mediator should encourage both parties to speak freely and openly about their children, finances, and any other issue that has occurred during their divorce.
Even though mediation occurs outside of a courtroom, each party should have their own Denver attorney to prepare them for the process. Whether the lawyers attend the mediation with their clients is up to the parties and the mediator.
Credentials of a Mediator
The State of Colorado’s Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) requires that mediators meet specific requirements before a judge can appoint them in a family law case. The requirements to be a contracted mediator through the ODR include:
- Mediation experience in a minimum of 20-100 cases
- Substantive legal knowledge of family law
- Familiarity with the local and state court system
- A style that promotes the voluntary nature of mediation and permits the parties to determine the direction of the process appropriately
A trained mediator can be an invaluable tool in resolving a family dispute successfully. A party considering mediation can learn more about the process from a knowledgeable attorney in Denver.
What are the Benefits of Mediating Family Law Cases?
A primary benefit of this alternative dispute resolution is enabling parties to control their case’s conclusion rather than having a judge determine the outcome. In mediation, spouses can agree to follow typical paths to settlement or vary from them to meet their family’s unique needs. Other benefits of mediation include:
- Fewer costs compared to contested litigation
- Faster resolutions that are not dependent upon court schedules
- More flexibility in scheduling meetings
- Encourages voluntary disclosure of all a couple’s assets and liabilities to create a “level playing field”
- Helps maintain privacy and confidentiality for all parties involved
- Permits settlements better tailored to a family’s specific circumstances
- Parties are less adversarial during negotiations
- A greater chance for the couple to remain civil after the case ends for their children’s benefit
A trusted lawyer in Denver could review a case and further explain the advantages of mediation versus proceedings in court.
How Can an Attorney Help During the Mediation Process?
When spouses are amicable, they may be able to discuss their issues without legal representation. However, negotiating with an opposing party during a contested divorce or custody battle can be challenging. A skilled lawyer could effectively advocate in these situations by ensuring that their client’s voice is heard. This is essential because the mediator must have a clear idea of what each party expects to guide the parties toward a favorable result more effectively.
A lawyer in the Denver area could also explain what their client should expect during mediation and prepare them for settlement discussions. If the parties resolve their case, a lawyer could prepare a written settlement agreement and ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Accordingly, while parties are not required to have legal counsel during mediation, they could benefit from it.
Get in Touch with a Denver Mediation Attorney
Mediation can be a cost-effective and timely alternative to contested litigation. This process also enables parties to control the outcome of their family-related dispute better. Call a knowledgeable Denver mediation lawyer from the Colorado Lawyer Team to determine if mediation may be right for your case.