Divorce mediation is a popular tool to help couples resolve issues in their upcoming divorce. In fact, for some couples in Colorado, it will be a mandatory process.
Whether you choose mediation because you want to avoid conflict or you have a requirement to go through it, you likely feel nervous about going through a process with so much at stake. What can you expect during a mediation session?
You and your ex can bring your own attorneys
Mediators may have legal degrees themselves, but their goal is to help resolve the conflict. They aren’t there to represent you or your spouse.
You want to have someone pushing for your best outcome in this process, which probably means having your own lawyer present. They can remind you about how Colorado handles property division and parental responsibilities, as well as help you avoid common pitfalls, like getting negotiated into a corner by a spouse who has a history of bullying you.
You and your ex each can present your side of the situation
Mediation typically involves an introduction by the mediator, and presentations or opening statements by each side about their position and what they think is fair, and then negotiations. You will want to prepare ahead of time so that you have accurate information at your fingertips regarding household assets, marital misconduct and anything else that you think will play a role in the negotiations.
The mediator will help you find a middle ground
Often, mediation involves everybody sitting down together in one space. However, if you have a high-conflict situation, the mediator may have you in separate spaces and might travel back and forth between parties to discuss everyone’s wishes and how to find a solution that works for the family.
If you reached an agreement, you will put it into a written contract
If you and your ex find a solution to the various issues left unresolved, you will include the specifics of those terms in a written agreement that you will both sign. You will then provide the courts with a copy of the mediation agreement as part of your uncontested divorce filing.
Often, mediation can be successfully completed in as little as a single session. Some people may need multiple sessions for several days to work through their issues. However, provided that everyone remains committed to resolving the issues prior to going to court, mediation can mean a faster and less painful divorce process.