Mediation is a process by which a neutral third-party facilitates communication between parties toward settlement of these issues. The mediator assists in making suggestions, brain-storming options, and discussing a fair resolution.
The resolution must be acceptable to both parties, as the mediator has no authority to bind the parties to a decision, as the courts do. The essence of mediation is consensual, cooperative conflict resolution and joint problem solving. The key to having a successful mediation is to select a top-notch mediator. Most people are surprised to learn that anyone, yes anyone, can mediate in Colorado, as no license or special skill is required. Beware, there are a lot of people out there calling themselves mediators who are not lawyers, who have no special training or skills. We use only the top mediators in Colorado to resolve 90-95% of all of our cases, but those mediators are highly regarded divorce judges or divorce lawyers who have decades of experience resolving parties’ disputes.
During the mediation process, it is likely that the mediator will separate the parties into two different rooms, so as to make the process less awkward, less confrontational, and less emotional for everyone involved. Joint sessions, no matter everyone’s good intentions do not often go without a hitch, as emotions are running too high, with everyone hoping for a resolution that day to a very stressful part of people’s lives. We take pride in ensuring that we take away the stress for our clients throughout the divorce and mediation process.
Usually, the parties will be in separate rooms with their respective attorneys from the outset of the process. The mediator will use “shuttle-diplomacy” to move back and forth between rooms, discussing various issues with each party. At the beginning and end of the process, sometimes the parties are brought together to share information and to confirm understandings.
The mediation process does not always work, but over ninety percent of cases settle at mediation or within weeks of the mediation process. Mediation works best among couples who have children and who are hoping for an amicable post-divorce relationship. In order for the mediation to succeed, both parties must come to the mediation with a good-faith commitment to settle the issues. When the mediation is court-ordered, the parties may suffer sanctions by the court if they refuse to mediate in good faith. You are not required to reach an agreement, but you are required to participate with the intent of trying to resolve these issues.
The mediation process is private and confidential. The mediator generally cannot be called as a witness to the case, as the discussions are in furtherance of settlement. The purpose of mediation is to avoid the expense, risk, and time involved in court hearings. Many parties also suffer less on an emotional and financial level if they can come to an agreement that both parties agree to abide by, rather than a decision the court imposes.
If the parties are represented by Colorado divorce lawyers, most of the time, the attorneys appear for the mediation session. This brings all of the parties involved to the table and allows the parties to seek their own legal counsel while discussing their bargaining positions. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will generally look to the lawyers to draft the written form of the agreement, using the substance of the agreement reached at mediation. Mediated divorce agreements have a much greater chance of compliance by the parties.
Our Douglas County attorneys serve the Front Range Area, including the Denver metro area with offices in Castle Rock, Douglas County, Colorado. Our Castle Rock lawyers provide representation in mediations held for matters in and around Douglas County, Elbert County, Arapahoe County, Denver City and County, El Paso County, Adams County, Eagle County, Pitkin County, and throughout the Colorado courts. Douglas County Divorce Mediation is our primary practice area, but we serve the entire Denver Front Range Area for Colorado Divorce Mediations.
Call us today at 303-688-3045 for a free telephone case evaluation.