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Court-Ordered Mediation v. Private Mediation

In the traditional divorce and family litigation process, both parties hire attorneys to represent their interests in court. Mediation, on the other hand, is also a common method to resolve legal disputes between parties and it is generally much more cost-effective. Mediation can be initiated as a conflict resolution technique by the parties themselves. It is also frequently court ordered in cases where the parties are representing themselves and can not agree on matters involving children.

In mediation, the parties meet with the mediator to attempt to resolve their issues and create a marital settlement agreement and parenting plan, if applicable, that will be incorporated into a final divorce decree.

Court-Ordered Mediation

A court may order mediation when parties have filed a court action and do not have the assistance of counsel. The goal is that both parties will come to an agreement themselves, thereby avoiding a contested court proceeding. In particular, courts often require mediation in cases where the parties do not agree on custody or child support. Mediation can be a very useful tool and it is most often the best option for timely and cost-effective resolution. Generally, the most expensive way to resolve a legal dispute is through contested litigation.

Private Mediation 

In private mediation, both parties make a decision to attempt mediation and agree on a mediator. They must both agree to participate and mediation must be completely voluntary. Mediators have differing qualifications; some are attorneys and some are not. In Colorado, there is no requirement that a mediator have a particular type of professional background. Mediators come from all types of professional backgrounds.

A nice feature of mediation is the flexibility and convenience of meeting times. If you are able to resolve all of your divorce or family issues and prepare a signed agreement reflecting them, then the Court will consider your matter “uncontested” and the court process itself will often occur relatively quickly. If you ask the Judge to enter your agreement as a court order, all the Judge has to do is review the agreement to ensure that it is not “unconscionable” and then issue it as an order. “Unconscionable” essentially means “fundamentally unfair” to one party. Coming to an agreement yourselves is often a much faster process than asking the Judge to hear evidence to decide your divorce or family issues for you.

Looking for a Family Law Mediator in Denver, Stapleton, Cherry Creek or Aurora?

If you are interested in coming to an agreement that will work for both of you, consult with an attorney mediator who understands the value of reaching agreements outside of a court setting. At JLaw LLC, we understand how to work with parties to reach a fair agreement. JLaw LLC offers a constructive and affordable alternative to couples facing divorce, child custody, child support or other family law decisions.

With expertise in divorce, family, and Colorado legal issues, we help you create your own solutions and assist you in understanding Colorado divorce as well. To learn more, contact our office and schedule a confidential case review. We will be happy to address your questions and concerns. We can also discuss child support, property division, allocation of parental responsibilities and any other topics related to your family law mediation.

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303-534-1958
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