Your divorce is not going to be easy. Even in the best circumstances, it can be a time of change, upheaval, and loss. Anything that can make the process a bit less traumatic, less hostile, and less costly is a good thing. And, if your divorce can get done quicker, even better.
That is why many divorcing couples in Colorado Springs choose divorce mediation as an alternative to lengthy and expensive court battles. When you meet with a Colorado Springs divorce attorney for a free consultation, you should discuss whether mediation is right for you.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process designed to encourage and help spouses reach an agreement on as many issues involved in ending a marriage as possible. So many matters have to be worked out in divorce – child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and property division, just to name a few.
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There are two main ways all of these issues can be resolved.
The first way, the way most divorce lawyers and their clients prefer whenever possible, is that the parties work things out between them through negotiation and agreement. The other way, which sometimes can’t be avoided, is for the parties seeking divorce and their attorneys to fight it out in court and let a judge make the decisions as to what their lives will look like when the marriage ends.
Divorce mediation is part of that first way. In divorce mediation, a neutral third party is actively involved with the spouses and their attorneys in working through disputed issues.
What Does A Divorce Mediator Do?
The mediator, who usually is an experienced Colorado Springs family law attorney specially trained in the art of mediation and negotiation, will listen to each spouse’s concerns, wishes, and points of view. He or she will try to bridge the ravine between divorcing spouses.
Remember that while a mediator may in fact be a lawyer, he or she will not be your lawyer, nor will they be your spouse’s lawyer. They cannot and should not offer legal advice to either spouse nor should they advocate on behalf of either spouse. Mediators don’t take sides.
But mediators also can’t force the parties to agree or make binding decisions.
Here’s the key to divorce mediation: both parties have to want to participate for mediation to have a chance of working. Both parties have to be civil, businesslike, and most of all, open to compromise. If either spouse is unable or unwilling to work together toward dispute resolution, mediation will be a waste of time.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
If you and your spouse are open to the idea of mediation, here are three main reasons you should consider it:
Mediation Puts You in Control
Mediation puts both parties in control of their destinies, as opposed to a judge deciding important issues for them. This control is a key benefit of mediation. An agreement reached voluntarily is more likely to leave both parties feeling satisfied with the outcome.
Mediation Can Be Cheaper
Fighting over everything in court can become very expensive very quickly. Every letter or email your lawyer sends costs you money. Every court appearance your lawyer has to attend and prepare for costs you money. Filing motions and reviewing and exchanging lots of documents costs you money. A trial that can last for days or weeks will cost you lots of money.
Mediation eliminates these costs. Many times the divorce mediator will charge a flat fee per person, so there are no unexpected costs. Put simply, negotiation is simply cheaper than fighting in court.
Mediation Can Be Faster
There are more divorcing couples than there are judges in Colorado Springs. This means that you are at the mercy of the judge’s overcrowded schedule. You may have to wait weeks or months for a hearing date on even just one issue.
With mediation, you have much more control of the timetable. Most divorce mediators can be available sooner than a judge, which means that your divorce can possibly be wrapped up in a fraction of the time it would take if you went to court.
Divorce Mediation: An Option Worth Considering
As noted, divorce mediation is not right for all couples, and not all mediation leads to agreement. But it is almost always worth considering. To discuss your specific situation and to learn more about divorce mediation, contact the experienced Colorado Springs divorce attorneys at Perkins Law for a free consultation. With our caring and compassionate attorneys at your side, you can navigate the troubled waters of divorce and be in the best position for your fresh start.