Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation

Although you have the right to have your case tried by a court, there are alternatives to a full court trial that will often save time, money and heartache. Remember, in most circumstances, you will need to have some sort of ongoing relationship or at least contact with the other party. Mediation is one of the most common and successful ways to resolve disputes.

Mediation can be used during an initial case and also for any issues that arise after the court has issued orders, or post-decree.

A mediation is a negotiation between the parties with an neutral person (the mediator) who ensures that each party stays focused on the contested issues and helps guide them in exploring all options. Your attorney will help you prepare for mediation and may participate, but may not always be present in the room as the mediator sometimes will want to speak with just the spouses. Sometimes each spouse is in a different room with their attorney and the mediator goes back and forth between the rooms. Certainly, one of the benefits of mediation is that it can be structured in many different ways to meet your needs.

Mediations are confidential and private. Mediation is efficient because it can often be molded to meet the needs of a particular case. You can terminate mediation at any time and proceed with other options or trial. One of the most powerful benefits of mediation is that it focuses on the future and encourages resolutions that can help protect emotional well being.

Trials create animosity and stress. Mediation will often result in win/win outcomes, while a trial often leads to win/lose outcomes. If children are involved, mediation may be your only chance to develop a truly unique and practical solution that will work for your family. Your attorney will not handle the mediation like a trial. The purpose of the mediation is to reach a healthy compromise and your attorney should support that by acting as an advisor and not as a litigator during the mediation.

There are situations where mediation may not be appropriate. Families that suffer from abuse or violence may not be good candidates, although it should not be ruled out without consulting your attorney.

There are other alternative dispute resolution procedures that can be used and depending on the circumstances of your case one of them may be a better option. You should always ask your attorney to explore alternative dispute resolution before proceeding to a trial.

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Our Northern Colorado family law firm offers free initial consultations to new clients. Please call us today at 970-624-6060.