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Colorado Dispute Resolution Act and Mediation


Summary:  The parties to a family law court case might as well begin with mediation, since it will likely be required by the judge anyway. In Colorado, the courts routinely require all parties to engage in mediation prior to a hearing. Both the court rules and attorney ethical rules address and encourage dispute resolution methods other than standard litigation. This includes divorce cases.


Colorado Dispute Resolution Act

Colorado CRS Section 13-22-311 and 313 provide that a court can always require that all parties to a dispute engage in mediation prior to any hearing. Most judges require mediation to be completed prior to a trial. This includes divorce and other family law cases.

CRCP 16.2 Also Provides for Mediation

Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.2 also provides that a court can order the spouses in a divorce to engage in mediation even prior to any temporary orders hearing. Rule 16.2 applies to family law cases.

CRPR 2.1 Provides that an Attorney "Should" Advise the Client of Less Expensive Dispute Resolution

Colorado Rule of Responsibility Rule 2.1 for Attorneys, states that an Attorney "should" advise a client that less expensive forms of dispute resolution exist - as compared to traditional litigation. In other words, the ethical rules for Colorado attorneys encourage mediation and other forms of dispute resolution - other than adversarial litigation.

In other words, since mediation will likely be required prior to a final orders hearing in a divorce or other family law court case, the parties might as well start with mediation. The earlier the better.

Mediation is also generally more productive if it is held earlier in a case, rather than later. If the parties wait until later in the case, there is generally much poorer communication and more hostility.

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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