Mediation is becoming more and more popular, and Courts are frequently making mediation mandatory. In fact, Boulder is just about as adamant as you can get about mediation: here, the Courts say that if you haven’t completed mandatory mediation by 21 days before your trial, your trial will be vacated (postponed).
In Boulder County, you simply cannot have a divorce without mediation unless there are unusual circumstances, such as in cases that involve domestic violence.
Why? Practicality. The Courts have become overly burdened with cases and they perceive that mediation is a good way to maximize the chances of an out-of-Court resolution.
(Meaning, a divorcing couple who is required to go through mediation before their trial may, with the assistance of a trained mediator, resolve all of their issues and may be able to avoid trial.)
In addition to the cost savings associated with a settlement, both parties feel better about an agreement they reached on their own rather than have Orders forced on them by the Court. Frequently, one or both of the parties may have substantial disagreements with the Court Orders, making it more difficult to maintain a cordial relationship for years to come. This is especially helpful when there are children from the marriage.
Is Mediation Right for You?
I am generally in favor of mediation because I have seen how effective it can be. Years ago, I was involved in a dispute that involved four parties (all of whom were lawyers) where one person was suing the other three.
The emotion was so high in that situation that I never would have believed they could have resolved it through mediation... but they did. It took one very long, full day of mediation but the issue was resolved out of Court, which saved everyone a long, drawn-out and potentially expensive legal battle.
Having experienced personally how well mediation can work, I am a big fan of the process. However, there are certain things that have to be done before mediation to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible: initially,, when it comes to mediation, timing is everything. And second, it’s vital that you have all the information you need when you go into a mediation session or you may end up wasting hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
In my next post, I’ll talk more specifically about what I mean.
If you would like guidance in deciding if mediation is the best option for you, call us at 303-449-1873 to set up a free consultation and we can discuss exactly what mediation might look like in your particular situation.