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What Happens During Court Ordered Mediation?

Often, the most daunting part of going through a family law issue is facing a contentious courtroom battle. With mediation, however, that step may be unnecessary if you and your spouse reach an agreement. If you are going through a divorce or family law matter in Colorado, you’ll soon find out that mediation is required. This is because courts aim to reduce hostility and help parties resolve their disputes quickly and amicably, and mediation is an excellent tool that promotes those goals.

With the help of an experienced mediator, you can get through your legal matter with ease. Below, we’ll explain what you can expect from mediation.

The Divorce Mediation Process

Each mediator works differently, so the process varies, but this is what you can generally expect:

  • Step 1: The initial call. You will get on a phone call with the attorney-mediator to discuss your case. This is the time for you to provide background information about your marriage, family, and the issues that need to be resolved. Once you decide on a mediator to work with, you can set up the first mediation session.

  • Step 2: The first meeting. Unlike a trial that takes place in a courtroom, you’ll typically have your first meeting in a conference room or office, which is much more comfortable and convenient. During the initial meeting, the mediator will explain what you can expect from the process, identify your goals, determine what issues need to be addressed, and answer any questions you may have.

  • Step 3: Subsequent and final meetings. The average divorce mediation takes three to four sessions, but more complex cases can take longer. If you and your spouse need more help on reaching an agreement or are unwilling to agree on issues, it will require more sessions. During the subsequent meetings, your mediator will gather information in order to make a fair decision. In the final meeting, you will sign all the court documents to finalize the process.

Will Mediation Work for You?

Divorce can be an arduous and grueling experience for families, but it can become exponentially easier when couples go through mediation. The litigation system, in its nature, is very adversarial. You have two parties arguing for their side, but mediation eliminates that. 

By employing a mediator's help, you and your ex can work through issues together, reducing unnecessary conflict. However, it's important to understand that mediation won't work if one or both parties refuse to see eye to eye. Don't expect to walk into a meeting, lay out your demands, and stand by them until the other party gives in. Mediation is all about problem solving and finding solutions for the interests of both sides.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

One of the greatest benefits of mediation is the cost compared to traditional divorce litigation. The national average cost of divorce mediation is $1,500, with minimum costs at $500 and maximum costs at $8,000. We’d warn against hiring a mediator solely based on price because that may hurt you in the long run. For example, a cheap mediator may offer little guidance when it comes to completing the right documents to finalize your divorce, and you may need to hire an outside adviser for additional help. Instead, choose a mediator based on their experience and processes.

At Peak Mediation, we’re not in the business of escalating a case or infusing conflict where none exists for our own financial gain. We know our clients are seeking a simple solution at reasonable prices, and we see it the same way.

If you have any questions about the mediation process, call our Colorado Springs attorney-mediator at (719) 259-5944, and we’ll set up an appointment for you.