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Advantages of Colorado Family Law Mediation

 
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Summary:  Everyone benefits from a friendlier and much less expensive divorce. Divorce separation agreements which are negotiated as a result of a mediation, are much more likely to be followed by both parties. These voluntary agreements are better tailored to the needs and circumstances of both parties. Both parties are heard and informed decisions are made. In contrast to a hurried win-lose court proceeding.

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Advantages of a Mediated Divorce Separation Agreement, versus Court Orders

1. Promotes fairness with the help by a neutral third party;

2. Reduces the present and future conflict between the parties - by avoiding the win-lose game;

3. Reduces the legal, economic, and emotional costs associated with family disputes. The cost of mediation is very small, compared to a litigated case decided by the Court;

4. Allows the participants to retain control over their decision-making, instead of having a judge dictate decisions (based on less information which is presented to the court);

5. Promotes the best-interests of the children as well as all family members;

6. Increases communication between the participants;

7. Promotes compliance with mediated agreements, since the parties are more likely to follow agreements that they have been a part of;

8. Increases the understanding and knowledge base of each participant; because mediation is also an educational process;

9. Provides informed decisions with neutral legal information (and sometimes case evaluation and opinion) at the least cost;

10. Makes sure that no legal rights are given up, since either party can elect to go to court;

11. Retains privacy and confidentiality, since no communications at mediation can later be used in court;

12. Provides reduced-cost access to other professionals who may assist the mediation process as co-mediators for specific issues such as co-parenting decisions;

13. Speeds up the entire legal process - since many are done within 30- 90 days;

14. Provides either the mediated agreement (called a Memorandum of Understanding) or all of the legal documentsby a Colorado attorney at less cost; and

15. Increases the likelihood that future changes will be done with a minimum of conflict - if you have agreed once, then you are more likely to be able to agree again.

Additional Benefits of a Mediated Divorce Separation Agreement

Generally almost every separation mediation or divorce mediation in Colorado will result in a written separation or divorce agreement. The agreement will cover all major separation decisions, including division of property and debts, co-parenting time and decision-making, child support, maintenance (alimony), retirement plan assets, and insurance coverage.

If the parties are well-informed and reach agreement voluntarily, they will be more likely to follow the agreement. Because the agreement is one that the parties themselves have voluntarily negotiated. In almost all cases, both parties get their most important needs met. The communication between the parties is more thorough and various alternatives are often considered before the final agreement is made. As future circumstances changes (as they always do), the parties are then able to address their changing needs and amend their agreement as necessary. This is particularly true of parenting plans. Parenting plans change over time.

In contrast, if the court makes the permanent separation orders, generally those orders are not going to take into account many of the circumstances and reasonable needs of the parties. This is true in part because of the time constraints on the judges. Judges do not have the time to carefully consider the unique needs of each party. Also, it is often very difficult to communicate each party's situation and needs to the judge.

Avoids the "Win-Lose" Game of Divorce Court Litigation

And, in almost all cases, court hearings are heated adversarial procedures where the goal is to "win" so that the other party "loses." The focus of the parties and their attorneys is to fashion a win-lose result, rather than a win-win result. The "loser" often leaves the courtroom thinking that he or she has not been properly heard. That is probably true in many cases. The parties often leave the court room as enemies such that they are unable to make changes to the orders as the future needs of their children and personal circumstances change. Family relationships suffer. Generally, both parties (and their extended families) lose. This is a poor way to try to accomplish much of anything.

And, the win-lose litigation game is generally about 10 times more expensive than a mediated agreement. Legal fees for a litigated order can run $20,000 - $50,000 or more.


   
     
GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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