Today, there are legal options for married couples who want to avoid quarrelsome, costly divorces that can take months. One of these is mediation, when divorcing spouses negotiate a divorce agreement acceptable to both with the assistance of a neutral third party—the mediator. The role of the mediator is to guide communication between the two during the negotiation without making decisions for them.
So is divorce mediation right for you? The following information may help you decide if mediation is the best course of action for your situation and how to begin:
The New Role for Divorce Attorneys in Colorado
In the past, the traditional role of a divorce lawyer has been to take over the case for the client and handling the entire process. Changes in attitudes and perceptions regarding divorce have encouraged more couples to end a marriage with the help of an expert mediation lawyer who can assist you in one of two ways:
Because of mediation’s growing popularity, many divorce lawyers are now well-prepared to handle divorce mediation as the neutral third party. There are laws and regulations that cover the conduct of mediators and the mediation process itself. The mediator provides a controlled forum for the spouses and their consulting attorneys to make the decisions regarding every aspect of the divorce.
If you have decided to use the mediation process for your divorce, each spouse should consult his or her own attorney skilled in divorce law prior to mediation. It is important that you and your attorney discuss your legal rights, your needs and your specific situation so you are fully prepared when you and your spouse meet with the mediator. As you would expect, your personal (consulting) attorney cannot act as mediator. Some of the items your consulting attorney can address with you include:
Choosing the best option: because you have choices in divorce proceedings, a legal advisor can help you determine if mediation is your best course of action, choose a mediator, and encourage your spouse to agree to mediation.
Evaluating outcomes: an attorney experienced with divorce and mediation can predict potential legal outcomes if you go to court and the costs. Understanding possible results can have an impact on your negotiations.
Coaching during mediation: on an as-needed basis, your mediation lawyer can discuss your questions, consult between mediation sessions, provide creative solutions to specific issues and assist you with helpful negotiating techniques.
Reviewing the mediator’s agreements: of course, you want to be sure the agreement prepared by the mediator includes exactly what you want it to say and, once signed, will be legally binding.
Preparing court documents: when your settlement agreement is signed, your law coach will help you draw up the papers to finalize your uncontested divorce, which is not part of a mediator’s jurisdiction.
Divorcing spouses living in Colorado should find a licensed Colorado divorce attorney with an outstanding reputation and expertise in both traditional divorce and mediation. Ellmann & Ellmann P.C. is one of the leading family law practices in the state and offers a free consultation. Call us at 303-814-2600 to schedule yours today.