A divorce mediator is a neutral third party hired to help the divorcing parties to discuss and resolve the issues in the divorce. This post is a brief overview of the pros and cons of using a mediator in your divorce.
There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to Colorado Springs divorce. Every person, couple, and marriage is unique.
The problems that led to the end of a marriage, and the attitudes of each spouse as the divorce process begins, will play a big role in determining how a divorce will proceed.
Will there be two people who are prepared to calmly, rationally, and civilly work through all outstanding issues such that a negotiated resolution can be reached with minimal acrimony?
Or will one or both spouses be so consumed by anger, resentment, or other negative emotions that any attempt at negotiations would likely be fruitless and even counterproductive?
The answer to those questions will go a long way towards answering another question: should you hire a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer or a divorce mediator?
Advocate v. Neutral
First, it is important to understand the distinction between a divorce lawyer and a mediator.
A mediator’s job is to help the spouses reach agreement and compromise to the extent possible. While a mediator may, in fact, be a lawyer, he or she will not be your lawyer, nor will they be your spouse’s lawyer.
Mediators are neutral, favoring neither one side nor the other. They cannot and should not offer legal advice to either spouse nor should they advocate on behalf of either spouse. Mediators don’t take sides.
Your Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, on the other hand, is there to be on your side.
Your divorce attorney works for you and everything your lawyer does is focused on advancing your best interests (and those of your kids).
That could mean reaching a negotiated settlement or it could mean an intense court fight, depending on the situation. Whatever the case may be, however, your divorce lawyer is your advisor, your advocate, and your ally in your divorce proceedings.
It Takes Two to Mediate a Divorce
When a couple decides to end their marriage, mediation can be an attractive alternative to fighting things out in a Colorado Springs courtroom.
However, as they say, it takes two to tango. Mediation involves negotiation, compromise, and an ability to maintain a level of mutual civility throughout the process, intense emotions notwithstanding.
The mediation will not work if one or both parties cannot be open to the idea of a resolution that may not give them everything they want, or if they cannot keep their emotions in check.
If one spouse is abusive or incapacitated (such as from addiction or mental illness), mediation is probably not a viable option.
If both parties are willing to try to work through their differences, though, mediation offers many advantages over litigation.
Divorce Mediators Goal is to Reach Agreements
Since Colorado Springs divorce mediators can’t force the parties to agree or impose solutions on them, the couple is in charge of their own destinies. Any outcome will only be through their agreement.
Compare this to a total stranger in a black robe telling them what their future rights and obligations are. A voluntary agreement is less likely to lead to anger and resentment than a judge’s order that may leave one party feeling like they got the short end of the stick.
Additionally, mediation can be cheaper and quicker than a long, hard-fought court battle. Even if your divorce settles before trial, as most divorces do, it doesn’t take long for attorney’s fees to add up. The couple can eliminate these costs by skipping over trial preparation and discovery to focus on immediately resolving disputed issues.
Related: 4 Tips for a Faster Divorce
To be sure, mediation is not right for all divorces, and even if you and your spouse agree to hire a mediator to help you work through your differences, you should still consult with your own Colorado Springs divorce lawyer who can offer guidance and advice as you go through the process.
Free Consultation with a Top Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney
If you are searching for a divorce attorney in Colorado Springs, family law attorney Bryson Perkins is pleased to offer free divorce consultations.