What’s Mediation And Why Is It Important During Divorce
Divorce cases often don’t go smoothly, even when they are uncontested. In most cases, the process is riddled with unfriendly arguments and conflicts, often drawing out the proceedings into time-consuming and expensive legal battles.
While that’s the case, there are still methods that both parties could use to resolve their conflict amicably, with the most effective option being mediation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an interactive, structured legal process where a neutral or impartial third-party assists conflicting parties in resolving a dispute through the use of specialized negotiation and communication techniques.
In divorce cases, it’s the responsibility of the third-party (also known as a mediator) to help the separating parties reach an agreement that suits both of them.
Unlike judges, mediators don’t make any decision for either party; instead, they help ensure both parties meet in a neutral space so they can discuss ways to resolve their divorce amicably.
If you are currently filing for divorce, mediation can prove to be beneficial for both you and those you love. Since mediation is more cooperative and less adversarial, it often results in solutions that both parties agree to. And the fact that it also lessens conflict makes it the best option to use if you have children and want to avoid causing distress and confusion.
Almost all counties in Colorado require divorcing parties to have tried alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation before scheduling a contested hearing.
Mediation Doesn’t Always Solve Marital Issues
When it comes to divorce, not all cases can be resolved through mediation. In some instances, like in cases that involve children, divorcing parties will often have to take the matter to court and have a judge resolve their differences. In such situations, the rights of either spouse cannot be protected by divorce mediation since the court determines what happens next. Even in situations where this technique might prove to be useful, the presence of a divorce attorney is still essential during negotiations.
If you are in the process of filing for divorce, then you need to consider mediation. The good thing about it is that it works for virtually all separating couples and is quite beneficial. Since it uses an open, more cooperative, and less adversarial approach, the process typically ends with both parties satisfied with the final result. It’s also less expensive and more confidential than having the matter resolved by a judge in court.
Divorce Mediation: How Does It Work?
In Colorado, this is mandatory in most counties, with divorcing parties being required to first go through mediation before their divorce can be finalized. If you are currently in the process of filing for divorce, there may come a time when the two of you will be asked to attend a series of full or half-day mediation sessions with your attorneys and a mediator.
Mediation during divorce offers couples a confidential and safe space where they can discuss the things they’d like to resolve. While a mediator can’t make any decisions for you or your estranged partner, they can help make negotiations more civil and honest.
Mediation Can Help Lower the Costs of Your Divorce
One of the best ways of controlling the cost of filing for divorce is negotiating and presenting a settlement agreement of all secondary matters to the state’s family court for approval. Even if the agreement isn’t fully achieved, you still can settle a vast majority of issues and push the remaining issues over for trial. In most cases, when normal talks fail to resolve a dispute about property division, custody, or support, most couples will opt for mediation as:
- It offers a more flexible schedule
- It protects both parties from unfavorable court orders
- It reduces costs
- It’s speedier than trial
Mediation during a divorce has proven to be quite useful that some states in the country have made it mandatory for divorcing couples to first go through mediation before they can schedule a hearing in court. In states that haven’t made mediation mandatory, a family law judge might order the divorcing couple to go through mediation before scheduling the case for a hearing.
Before considering mediation, make sure you first speak with an experienced divorce lawyer with divorce mediation experience. It’s worth noting that mediators aren’t allowed to dispense any legal advice since most of them aren’t lawyers and probably don’t even fully comprehend the legal insinuations of a proposed settlement.