If you are considering mediation, you probably have a lot of questions. Is it effective? How much does it cost?
Mediation gives divorcing couples the chance to take control of their future by allowing them to make their own decisions through the help of a mediator.
What does a mediator do?
A divorce mediator is a neutral third party with a background and training to help couples resolve their disputes. In some cases, the mediator is also an attorney, but they are not there to give their legal advice.
Their role is to help couples with the following tasks:
Facilitating the communication between the parties by making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak;
Providing information about the legal system;
Describing how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges;
Identifying alternatives for solving issues; and
Refers the couple to third party experts for services such as appraisals when it's appropriate.
What does the mediation process look like?
Although it can vary by the mediator, divorce mediation typically follows this general process:
The first meeting—The couple and the mediator identify the issues in the divorce case, then decide what information needs to be gathered and shared.
Subsequential meetings— Discussions around how to compromise on the various issues that meet both parties’ needs. The mediator assists by providing information about the court system and common ways divorce issues are resolved in a divorce settlement.
Agreement— When an agreement has been reached on all matters, the mediator drafts the agreement for review by each of the parties. At Peak Mediation, we will help you submit the agreement to a court for approval.
Do we have to appear in court?
One of the many benefits of mediation is that it does not require either party to go to court, meaning you can avoid the contentious litigation process.
How long does mediation take?
The length of mediation depends on each case, the complexity of the issues, and the individual’s ability to be flexible during mediation. On average, cases take three to four two-hour mediation sessions spread out over a month or two. Traditional divorces take an average of one year.
Is mediation more affordable than divorce?
Legal fees are costly, with many attorneys charging retainer fees and more for their services. When couples go to trial, they can end up paying tens of thousands of dollars. Our practice offers several programs, services, and packages tailored to each individual’s unique needs. Additional meetings or sessions are priced upfront, so you will never see surprise fees.
What happens if we can’t agree on all issues?
If there are a few issues that you cannot agree on, mediation is still not wasted. Parties can draft an agreement on all the settled issues and litigate the remaining issues. If the idea of going to court is not appealing, you may want to consider arbitration.
If you have further questions about mediation, call our Colorado Springs attorney-mediator at (719) 259-5944 to set up an appointment.