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Need for Legal Information for Divorce Mediation


Summary:  Divorce is a legal process. An informed mediation process should be negotiated only if the parties know their legal rights.  That is why your mediator should be an attorney who is active in Colorado court cases.


Why You Need Legal Information From an Attorney.

Divorce is perhaps the biggest legal event you will ever be involved in. The decisions which you make will likely affect your life for a number of years. If you have minor children, then your decisions as to co-parenting will also affect them for many years, perhaps the rest of their lives.

You can't knowledgeably discuss the legal issues that arise in mediation without legal information. You want to make informed decisions. Educate yourself, then make informed decisions.

It would be foolish to make important decisions about your future and that of your children without first being sure that you understand your legal rights and the legal ramifications of any agreement you make.

You should be given an opinion as to how a court may rule on certain issues in your case.

Only an attorney who is currently active in Colorado divorce court cases can give you this information.

Colorado Divorce and Family Law and Its Underlying Principles.

The law is the most important factor in your mediation. If you don't successfully mediate and you later resort to court litigation, then the law will be the primary standard.

It is essential that both of you understand the law and its role in your thinking. For several reasons:

  • The law is part of reality.   It is a public standard which the community thinks is fair.
  • Being informed about the law is necessary for agreements to be legally binding.  Under Colorado CRS 13-22-308 and 14-10-112, a mediated agreement is binding on the court unless the judge finds that it is unconscionable under the law. Under our contract laws, similar legal standards are be applied.
  • Ignoring the law completely can result in costly future litigation, as compared to if properly include it in your thinking now.

As one nationally-known attorney-mediator has stated, "In mediation, I explain not just how a court would decide the parties' case, but why." "I consider it essential that each of you understands the law and its role in your thinking." A Guide to Divorce Mediation, How to Reach a Fair, Legal Settlement at a Fraction of the Cost, by Gary J. Friedman, JD (1993.)

However, given the nature of the circumstances and relationships, the parties are generally allowed to deviate from established legal standards. Because of their own sense of fairness.

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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