First of all, mediation is great if it works. It is an opportunity to settle your case without bringing it into the courtroom, and if you can settle your case without bringing it into the courtroom you avoid all sorts of long-term resentment on one side or the other or both. Once you hit a courtroom, it’s hard to forget what’s gone on and how much contention there is between the spouses. If there are no children it’s not as big a deal, but if there are children it’s a really big deal.
What mediation does is it gives you an opportunity to try your best to settle your issues amongst yourselves with the help of a mediator. A mediator is someone whose job it is to assist you in coming to agreement.
There is a caveat though, their job is not to advocate for you or to advocate for your spouse or the person on the other side of your case. This could be a post-decree matter. Any family law matter can be mediated. Whoever’s on the other side, they’re not going to advocate for them. They’re not going to advocate for you. They’re just going to try to get you to agree.
We’ve done a lot of mediation here at the firm. Sometimes I’m the mediator. I’ve been a mediator and I’m really pleased at how those cases have turned out. We go to mediation with our clients and have a mediator and there’s also two attorneys. That’s necessitated when there’s a lot of complexity to your suit, or when there’s a lot of financial issues. You really do need to be prepared for mediation much the way you’d be prepared if you were going to court, so that all the facts are there so you actually can make decision. It can’t be loosey-goosey. You need to know all those financials and you need to know the assets, the debts, what the issues are, have there been experts in the case; all of that needs to be done before you go to mediation.
If you have all that done and you go to mediation and you use a really good mediator. At our firm we’re very aware of mediators in town that have excellent reputations for being able to be successful in mediation.
Most of the time when we do mediations, we do it where we have people in separate rooms and the mediator goes back-and-forth. There are also types of mediation where everyone’s in the same room. We have found that we’re more successful when we mediate and keep people in separate rooms. It allows the mediator to translate, to take the emotion out of it, and it has been very successful when we’ve done it here at our firm. I would say we probably mediate in about half the cases that we do where we mediate the cases.
If you can manage to resolve your issues outside of the courtroom via mediation, I think it’s a very wise choice. If you want to talk more about that, you should give me a call because there’s mediating without lawyers, there’s mediating with lawyers, there’s mediators who are attorneys, there’s mediators who are therapists, and there’s mediators who are accounting/financial people. There’s a lot of complexity around who’s the right mediator for me and when should I do the mediation and should I have a lawyer with me. I think that that’s worth giving me a call and talking about your situation. For more information about filing for divorce, how divorce works, or any other family law matters in Colorado, call us at (303) 329-3802.