Divorce is inherently contentious -- at least on some level -- or else the parties wouldn't be splitting up. But there are ways to minimize conflict while also minimizing costs related to the end of a marriage.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that spouses increasingly find helpful in settling matters related to divorce and child custody.
Mediation is a low-conflict alternative to courtroom litigation.
In fact, most judicial districts in Colorado require spouses to go through mediation before they can litigate their dispute. Also, litigation is inherently adversarial. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are ways for the parties to minimize conflict by working together outside of court.
Mediation is a relatively low-conflict way for the parties to come to an agreement regarding matters such as child custody, property division, spousal support, and other family law matters.
Additionally, mediation can be a great way to protect children from the parental conflict that arises publicly in courtroom proceedings.
How Mediation Works
When you go through mediation, you and the other party work with a neutral mediator to discuss relevant issues in complete confidentiality. You can also choose a neutral location to meet while you develop a divorce or child custody agreement.
An important aspect of mediation is that the mediator cannot be called to testify in the event that negotiations break down and the case has to go to court, and the mediator cannot be compelled to reveal anything that was said or done during mediation. That way, you can be confident that your statements or questions cannot be used against you later in court.
You and the other party enter into mediation voluntarily with the goal of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. Generally, mediated agreements are more detailed, creative, and reflective of the needs and concerns of the parties involved, including the kids.
Also, if mediation turns out not to be the most effective way of resolving matters, you can still choose to litigate and ask the court to intervene.
Another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is collaborative divorce. At Frost & Beck PC, we help divorcing spouses and unmarried parents decide if ADR is right for them. To learn more about our legal practice in Denver and the surrounding areas, please see our family law overview.