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Family Law Mediation: Low Cost and Effective

If you’re navigating a family law matter in Colorado, you’ll likely encounter the term “mediation.” But what exactly does it mean, and how can it impact your case?

Defining Mediation

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) often used in family law cases, such as divorce or child custody disputes. It involves a neutral third party, the mediator, who helps the disputing parties communicate and negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to their issues.

There are two types of mediation: private and state. The Office of Dispute Resolution contracts mediators throughout Colorado at $75/hour. Mediations are set for 2 hours or $150 per party. Private mediators offer services at varied rates, usually at the ODR rate of $75/hour and $250/hour. Both types of mediators are great! Through our unbundled services and full representation, we assist you with selecting a mediator best for your needs.

The Mediator’s Role

A mediator doesn’t make decisions or determine the outcome. Instead, they facilitate open communication, help parties identify common ground, and suggest potential solutions. They help the parties maintain focus on the primary issues and strive to ensure all discussions remain respectful and productive.

Benefits of Mediation

Mediation offers numerous benefits. It can be quicker, less stressful, and more cost-effective than going to court. The process encourages cooperation and communication, helping parties maintain better relationships, which is crucial in family matters, especially where children are involved. Furthermore, because the parties craft their agreement, they often find the outcome more satisfactory than a court-imposed decision.

Preparing for Mediation

Preparation is key to a successful mediation. Understand your priorities, be ready to listen, and consider potential compromises. Gathering all relevant documents and information beforehand can also be beneficial. A family law attorney can provide invaluable guidance during this stage.

The Mediation Process

In a typical mediation session, each party will have an opportunity to share their perspective. The mediator will then facilitate discussions and negotiations to help the parties reach an agreement. If an agreement is reached, it is documented and may be submitted to the court for approval.

Many mediators, including our Firm, offer virtual mediation. Parties are assigned to virtual breakout rooms, and the mediator “hops” between the two rooms to facilitate a conversation. There is no obligation for the parties to meet together. But they may want to if they think it’ll finalize an agreement! Mediators do not provide legal advice and cannot be subpoenaed to testify about what happens in mediation at your trial. It is a voluntary, confidential process that encourages parties to speak openly and honestly.

Mediation can be a powerful tool for resolving family law disputes, promoting cooperation and self-determination. However, understanding the process and what to expect is key to making the most of mediation. The Colorado Family Law Project is committed to guiding you through this process. Contact us for more information on mediation or any other family law-related questions.

We offer mediation on a sliding scale rate, meaning our rates range between the ODR rate of $75/hour per party and $225/hour, depending on income. We encourage you to reach out to us for mediation!

This is an informational page and should not substitute legal advice on your family law matter. Contact us today to discuss options for mediation with our award-winning legal services. 

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