Just because you and your spouse have decided to divorce doesn’t mean that you have to go to war, yet litigation, by its very nature, is designed to be an adversarial process. You hire a divorce attorney, your spouse hires an attorney, and suddenly you have lawyers on the clock, involved in and billing for every single issue – major and minor. Inadvertently, you find yourself fighting about issues that could have been easily settled through mediation, and you’ve lost control of the process. See More
Mediation, on the other hand, is a process of peaceful communications, whereby you and your spouse express what you want during facilitated meetings, listen to each other, and come to agreements. These agreements can be about parenting time, money, personal items, spousal support, division of property, child care arrangements, and anything else that needs to be resolved. These agreements are written up as a “Memorandums of Understanding,” and they’re filed with the courts as part of your divorce.
The benefits to mediation are both financial and emotional, including:
oThe average cost of divorce mediation is $1,200-$5,000, including all filing fees, whereas the average cost of divorce litigation in the state of Colorado runs between $25,000-$50,000 for a low-conflict divorce.
oThe average timeframe for divorce mediation, from the filing of court forms and the initial mediation consultation to finalization of the divorce runs three to six months, whereas a litigated divorce is typically drawn out for twelve to eighteen months.
oDivorce mediation is much easier than divorce litigation, because agreements can be reached quickly and simply, between you and your spouse, without having to go to court at every turn. There are less scheduling conflicts along the way, and no expensive delays.
oThe outcomes in divorce mediation are more predictable than in litigation. You know what you’re agreeing to, on every point, with every Memorandum of Understanding that’s drawn up. You’re not turning over your fate to the whims of a judge, hoping for the best.
oThroughout the entire process of divorce mediation, your thoughts, opinions, and views will be heard, and you’ll have time to express yourself during each negotiation. That’s not possible with divorce litigation, when you’re given limited time to testify. Because the courts are overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed, most judges and magistrates are forced to move cases through the system with a limited amount of attention give to each one. In other cases, judges delay decisions for months after trials, which could lead to additional stress and anxiety for you.
oWith divorce mediation, you’re able to make sound, well-thought-out decisions. Unlike litigation, you’ll never be asked to make a life-changing decision in just minutes, in the crowded halls of a courthouse, on one of the most stressful days of your life.
oDivorce mediation protects your privacy, whereas in litigated divorce cases, there’s no confidentiality. All court files become public records, some of which are available online. Every intimate detail of your marriage, finances, children’s lives, and more potentially can be accessed.
oDivorce mediation is less stressful than litigation, which by its nature is combative. When children are involved, the importance of healthy, ongoing communications between you and your spouse becomes even more vital.
oDuring mediation, you set your own schedule for conferences and meetings, and you’re not forced to rely on open court dates and attorney availability.
oMediation offers you the flexibility to try out of some the agreements you reach with your spouse, giving you the time and space to determine if they’ll work before you sign the final divorce agreement.
Why not try divorce mediation? If, for some reason, you and your spouse can’t resolve your differences and come to the fair agreements you need through mediation, you always have the option of retaining an attorney and litigating your case.
For more information on the advantages of divorce mediation, please call us at (303) 345-3333, or e-mail [email protected].