What does the role of mediation have in a divorce? In El Paso County, and most of the counties here in the state of Colorado, courts are going to require that the parties go to mediation if their case is set for a final hearing, which is called Final Permanent Orders, and they do not have an agreement.
The role of mediation is to have a neutral third party meet with the parties, who are usually sitting in separate rooms, and to have a discussion about what the disputes are. Many times, the mediators are going to be former judges or lawyers that now practice family law that understand all of the different elements and issues that are involved in your typical divorce case.
A good mediator, a mediator who understands how important these issues these are to the parties, can facilitate a settlement. Keep in mind, if you have a settlement, that means you’re staying out of court. If you’re staying out of court, that means that you’re going to have control as to the outcome of your case and you’re not going to delegate that control to a judge.
A lot of times I get the question, why shouldn’t I just go to trial? Universally, all of the experts in family law, attorneys who have been doing this a long time say, if you wish to give up control as to the outcome of your case, then you should go to trial. If you want to maintain control and have a voice and a say in what happens with your children or with your property and how debts are going to be paid, then the best way to do that is to resolve your disputes in a mediation.
A good mediator’s going to tell you, although you don’t have to reach any kind of agreement in mediation, it’s going to save you a lot of stress and anxiety by avoiding the courtroom.