Many people in Colorado have certain preconceived notions about the end of a marriage. Often, these notions include beliefs that a divorce is always contentious and requires airing out conflict in a public setting.
Fortunately, this is a misconception, and many couples are able to resolve their issues through mediation with relatively little conflict.
In mediation, the couple meets with a neutral third-party who serves as a mediator. The purpose of the mediator is not to decide the issues, but to help the parties decide the issues themselves. Mediation can take place before a couple files for divorce, or after the case has begun.
The process allows both people to discuss their priorities and any concerns that they have. Often, each spouse will have independent counsel at mediation with them, or at least available, as the mediator will not give legal advice.
There are many advantages to mediation. In addition to reducing the conflict and stress associated with the end of marriage, couples can create a plan that is best suited to their needs. The process allows them more flexibility in both the agreement and time requirements, as mediation is not dependent upon a court schedule. Additionally, the proceedings are private and less costly than a traditional divorce.
However, mediation is not appropriate for all couples seeking a divorce. For it to be successful, both spouses must be willing to work together and be upfront and honest; for some, the negative feelings associated with this life stage preclude them from working together in this way.
Additionally, this option may not be suited for complicated situations or in which there is a power imbalance, for example. A frank conversation with an experienced family law attorney can provide a better understanding of the most appropriate options available for those who are considering a divorce.