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Mediation in a Colorado Divorce

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Colorado requires mediation, i.e. a settlement conference, in every divorce, unless the parties have reached a complete agreement on every issue, or unless there is domestic violence involved.   Formal mediation is a negotiation process with the assistance of a mediator, usually a lawyer skilled in the process of "getting to yes."

The parties normally meet for their mediation in separate rooms and are represented by their attorneys. The mediator moves back and forth between the rooms attempting to help the parties reach a complete settlement of their divorce.

Mediation is required, usually before any final orders hearing is scheduled. If mediation is successful, the attorneys draw up an agreement and normally there is no requirement to go to court. If mediation is not successful, the parties are only then allowed to schedule a hearing. Therefore, even if you are certain that the opposing party will not agree to anything, you will still accomplish one very important step in the divorce process by mediating: the ability to schedule a hearing.

Mediation has the advantage of reducing the cost of divorce, both emotionally and financially. A mediated settlement is one in which the parties have carved out their own future, rather than having been told what to do by a judge, who has less concern and less knowledge than the parties about their needs, their future, their family and their lives. A mediated settlement saves trial preparation and trial appearances. The trial of even the simplest divorce will last at least 2 hours, usually more. Attorneys normally prepare two hours for each hour of trial. At $250 to $300 per hour, even the simplest divorce will run over $1000.00 for a trial for each side. This is money which could be saved if the parties were able to compromise.

The Marrison Family Law LLC can help you mediate to achieve the best settlement possible.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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