In the case of a divorce or other legal action, you and your spouse or your ex-spouse may be able to effectively negotiate with each other to reach an agreement without having to seek a decision from the court. If it proves feasible, this alternative can save you time and money by streamlining the process of reaching a compromise. ‘Mediation’ is the term used to describe that negotiation effort and involves the services of a neutral third party who acts as a go-between. Mediation may be conducted by an attorney or other professional with experience in Colorado family law. It is important to know, however, that any individual may choose to be a mediator. The state does not specify particular education or credentials.

The Castle Rock family law attorneys at Ellmann & Ellmann are knowledgeable in the rules and procedures governing mediation. We know that when you choose mediation you still need the services of legal counsel to provide you with informed guidance. It is important to understand that a mediator – whose job is to remain neutral – cannot advise you on legal issues, so you’ll want to be sure that you have an advocate in your corner who can help you think through the points you want to cover in mediation. If you don’t desire representation but need a qualified mediator, our firm has trained attorneys on staff who can fulfill that role. When you choose Ellmann & Ellmann, you may be assured of qualified and capable legal service.

What happens at mediation? Before the process actually begins, the parties involved will be given an opportunity to specify the circumstances under which they will participate. This may involve your attending with or without your attorney present. Both parties must agree that legal representatives will be included. You and your spouse or ex-spouse may be in the same room for mediation if you wish, or you may opt for different rooms. The mediator acts as go-between, relaying information that both spouses need in order to come to agreement on the points to be decided. Mediators also may help you clarify what outcomes you want to achieve, and can assist you in formulating suggestions about various points if you and your spouse are having difficulty reaching consensus.

The decision to try mediation can be made at any point in the divorce process if both spouses want to work out a settlement themselves. Mediation can take several hours’ time, or it may involve multiple sessions. If no agreement can be reached, the parties may need to take their issues to court. If they do so, anything discussed in mediation is not binding. On the other hand, if the parties do reach agreement, then documentation of the points must be prepared. Typically, the paperwork is completed by the mediator or a legal paraprofessional. Both spouses may be called on to contribute toward the costs involved.

The Colorado mediation lawyers at Ellmann & Ellmann are experienced in capably handling negotiations between spouses, even when emotionally charged issues are under discussion. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you as your legal representative or, when you need a neutral mediator who is trained in Colorado family law, our firm has mediation lawyers on staff who are ready to work with you and your spouse to seek a satisfactory agreement on the terms of your separation, divorce or other family law issue. When you need a skilled and seasoned family law attorney or a lawyer trained in mediation, contact Ellmann & Ellmann. Call our offices at (303) 814-2600 or contact us online.

When parties to a divorce or other action choose mediation, they agree to meet with a neutral third party acting as a go-between and work to reach an agreement on points that are in dispute.

Mediation may offer you and your spouse an opportunity to settle your differences without involving the court system. If you are able to negotiate successfully, you may save both time and money by working through a mediator.