In some families, divorce occurs as a natural part of life. Nothing in particular initiates it; there’s no hostility, and both parties are just ready to move on. Other couples don’t have it so easy. However, in either situation or any other circumstance of divorce, couples can complete the process of divorce without animosity through mediation. Mediation is one of the most favored means of negotiating a divorce settlement, and the outcome of mediation typically leads to an amicable parting.
How Mediation Works
Mediation consists of a neutral or impartial third party who is skilled in facilitating productive conversations between two divorcing individuals to help them come to terms on areas of divorce where they have disputes. There are two ways to carry out mediation. One is with two mediators, one representing each spouse, where the four individuals sit down to work out the terms of the divorce in a fair way. This option would be more costly but is more like a courtroom with a balance of representation and without the pressure, judge, and other onlookers.
The other option is to have one mutual mediator who assists the two spouses in making compromises and agreements on the terms of the divorce. Both formats are reliable and effective in facilitating the negotiations necessary to finalize a divorce swiftly and in a way that makes both parties comfortable with the outcome of the divorce.
Reasons Why Mediation May Be the Better Option
Mediation can be a viable alternative to litigation in a divorce because it helps divorcing spouses come to an agreement on certain issues, and it also has other advantages. First, it saves money. When a divorce case can avoid seeing the inside of a courtroom, it saves legal fees, wage losses for work leave, and time. Divorce is already expensive enough, and litigation can make it even more costly. Another reason why mediation can be a preferred means of divorce is because it keeps private affairs out of the public eye. When a divorce leads to a courtroom trial, all the private business of the marriage is subject to inquiring minds. Another added benefit is that decisions are made based on the two spouses’ abilities to compromise rather than a judge making the decisions for you.
Tips for a Successful Divorce Mediation
Try to imagine your divorce is a business, and you’re merely separating the financial and other areas of a company. It can sometimes take the emotional strain out of divorce proceedings when you can approach divorce from a perspective of objectivity rather than one of feelings. It’s also a great idea to try to be friends and maintain an amicable relationship, especially if you share children. Remember, a divorce settlement is about compromise, not demands.
If you have complex financial situations, consider obtaining input from a neutral financial party, such as a CPA, who can offer invaluable advice on the tax consequences of your divorce and other repercussions regarding property division. A financial professional, along with a family law attorney skilled in mediation, can also provide input and advice on creative options for dividing property.
Another tip is to not sweat the small stuff. Nitpicking every little thing will only prolong the efforts of everyone involved. If something can be easily replaced, it’s not worth arguing over in mediation just for the sake of arguing. You must be willing to let go of grudges and animosity in order to work things out and come to agreeable terms. Finally, listen to your attorney/mediator. They have been through these types of situations before and have a greater understanding of what is ideal for the common good of all parties involved.
Q: What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Colorado?
A: Colorado property division in a divorce case is based on equitable property, not community property, which means property division is equally divided, fairly, between the two spouses based on a number of factors such as the economic means of both parties, length of the marriage, contributions of each party to income and debts incurred during the marriage, and other pertinent factors.
Q: Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Colorado?
A: In Colorado, it doesn’t matter which spouse is first to file for divorce; however, the filing spouse merely gets the advantage of choosing the jurisdiction in which the divorce will be held. There is no other benefit to filing for divorce before your spouse. If your spouse lives in another state, though, and files for divorce first, you would have to travel to the presiding court to carry out divorce proceedings if required to appear.
Q: Is Alimony Required in Colorado?
A: Alimony is not an automatic requirement in a Colorado divorce; however, if a judge or court orders it within the terms of your divorce, it is required to be paid. If it is court-ordered and not paid, the paying spouse would be in contempt of court and would face consequences. In order for someone to be granted alimony, they must show the judge evidence to support their need. A family law attorney can be a great resource in facilitating a need for alimony or a void of need, as well.
Q: How Long Does the Average Divorce Take in Colorado?
A: The average Colorado divorce takes anywhere from six to nine months from filing to finalizing, depending on the complexities of the case. Uncontested divorce cases take much less time than contested cases, depending on the issues that must be addressed and how many areas involve disputes among the parties. The minimum time for a Colorado divorce is 92 days, as there is a minimum waiting period from the date you file and the date your divorce can be granted.
Hiring a Colorado Family Law Mediator
If you’re ready to initiate divorce proceedings or you already have and believe you’re in over your head, you likely need an experienced family law attorney to assist and advise you in your case. If your spouse has hired an attorney, it is highly recommended you consult with an attorney yourself for advice on the ideal approach for your case. Woody Law Firm, LLC, is a skilled and successful family law firm with extensive experience in family law mediation. If you’d like to explore your options to finalize your divorce case as quickly as possible and avoid a long and drawn-out trial, contact Woody Law Firm, LLC, and speak with one of our legal team members for more information on our mediation services and other legal services.