Alternative Dispute Resolution & DivorceFamily Law | 05.11.15
Many divorcing couples opt to use a mediation process known as alternate dispute resolution. While mediation is hardly the magic answer to every contentious divorce—and it absolutely cannot turn an awful situation into a great one—it can help couples reach solutions, which are in the best interests of all those involved. The one thing you must understand, however, is that if you and your spouse are not speaking to one another, it is highly unlikely that alternative dispute resolution will be successful in your case. Those who enter into mediation must at least have a willingness to focus on the issues at hand and be able to leave emotion out of the equation as much as possible. If you and your spouse truly want a resolution that is best for the children, as well as to both your futures, then the rewards of mediation can be significant.
Benefits of Mediation
The court system rarely gives couples the opportunity to speak openly about their feelings and interact on a personal level—an interaction which can allow couples to better move on with their lives after the divorce. While mediation does require that couples put their willingness to work out the details ahead of their emotions, it does allow them to have a sense of closure. The court system is primarily interested in facts, and many times one spouse may simply do a better job of presenting those facts than the other, leaving one party at a distinct disadvantage. The courts have no interest in hearing how you feel about giving up your home, and will make the decision based on specific criteria. Statistics also show that couples tend to be much more willing to comply with the terms of the solutions they have had a hand in reaching than they are those edicts arbitrarily handed down by a judge.
Negative Aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution
While mediation tends to avoid the black and white “you vs. me” process that most court divorces utilize, some people may simply feel it is easier to let the lawyers and judge work out their divorce solution. The goal of mediation is more oriented toward your future and more focused on solutions rather than pitting one spouse against the other. In cases when there is a history of domestic violence, mediation is generally not a viable option since the abusive spouse may have intimidated the other spouse into mediation and may also continue using that intimidation to force the other spouse into agreeing with him or her.
While mediation can be less costly in the long run, once a mediated agreement is reached, the final settlement agreement must be court-approved. Talk to your Boulder, Colorado divorce attorney about whether alternative dispute resolution could be a viable solution for you and your spouse.
Contact Our Boulder Divorce Lawyers
If you are considering a divorce in Boulder, Denver, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is important to have a divorce attorney on your side from the very start. Don't attempt to navigate the divorce process on your own. You need a Boulder divorce attorney that can protect your parenting rights, your assets, and your future during this difficult time. Contact the Boulder divorce attorneys at Goff & Goff today for a free initial consultation. Call us at 303-872-0535 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.