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What are some benefits to divorce mediation in Colorado?

When a couple in Colorado are so at odds with each other that they have decided to end their marriage, the idea that they could mediate their divorce legal issues may seem laughable. However, there are many positive aspects to divorce mediation that could make it a more satisfactory option than traditional litigation.

First, a person might think that while mediation in and of itself may not be such a bad thing, they'd never be able to civilly hash things out with their ex. However, a neutral party can serve as a facilitator between the spouses and can keep both parties focused on the issue at hand. This way, couples may be able to make decisions based on an objective standard, rather than being ruled by their emotions.

Mediators will not try to save a couple's marriage. Rather, they will focus on assisting the parties in developing a divorce settlement that is fair and satisfactory to all involved. Other neutral persons, such as real estate experts and tax professionals can also be involved in the mediation process.

Moreover, many attorneys these days are in support of mediation. Couples may think finding the right mediator is too confusing. Who can tell who is good at the profession and who is bad? However, a good mediator will have a solid understanding of state divorce laws, even if they are not permitted to provide legal advice. Also, many mediators have law degrees and have specific training as mediators.

Sometimes, if a couple has children, they may feel it is in their best interests to let a judge make decisions regarding their parenting rights and responsibilities. They may think that this is the best way for them to be awarded a greater amount of time with their child. However, through mediation, parents can realize they are both on the same side when it comes to wanting what is best for their child. When parents can jointly agree on a parenting plan, it may help them both develop a meaningful relationship with their child post-divorce.

Of course, mediation isn't always the answer. For example, if domestic violence or substance abuse is an issue, it may be better to litigate one's divorce. However, for many couples in Colorado, mediation serves as a means for settling their divorce in an amicable manner. Sometimes working together is better than waging a war, and mediation is one way this can be achieved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Eight Myths of Divorce Mediation," Joanne Naiman, March 4, 2011

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