Mediation

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Mediation is the preferred form of resolving disputes in family & divorce matters, small business conflicts. and contract disputes. Mediation gives participants control over the outcome.  A very high percentage of parties who mediate with Judy come to voluntary agreement. 

Mediation falls under the category of ADR, an acronym for Alternative Dispute Resolution.  ADR encompasses both mediation and arbitration, which the public tends to use interchangeably due to lack of familiarity with this relatively new profession.  To clarify, mediation is a formal negotiation of the disputed matters and does not have a guaranteed conclusion.  

Mediation means different things to different people. My process uses both joint and individual mediation sessions.  Joint sessions are often the most efficient use of time and money; however, there are also times when a private session is desirable or necessary.

Mediation is flexible and confidential. In an atmosphere of safety, many options for settlement can be explored.  Because mediators cannot be subpoenaed to give testimony in court about the negotiations, there is an atmosphere of freedom throughout the process.

As a mediator, I see my primary role as an advocate for fairness and fair process.  When a family of five is restructuring, I have five people’s needs and interests to consider throughout the negotiations.   

Approximately 95% of my clients attend without attorneys and are extremely satisfied with the resulting agreements.  Clients are free to bring an attorney to mediation or consult with a lawyer between sessions.

Mediation can be voluntary or court-ordered.  When there are unresolved issues prior to the final hearing,  most Colorado courts will order mediation, even when spouses have attorney-representation. Any mediated agreement, however, is voluntarily entered into.  The mediator does not have authority to impose a decision in the matter.

Couples who mediate their divorce are more likely to be satisfied with the process and the results than couples who go through an adversarial divorce.  

  • Mediation takes less time:  couples are usually able to get their decree of dissolution of marriage after the 91 day mandatory waiting time in Colorado.  In a contested litigated divorce in the Denver courts, it is not unusual for a divorce proceeding to take 18 months to 2 years.
  • Mediation costs less money: each spouse spends $800 – 1,000 in our mediation process.  It is not unusual to spend $10,000 – 20,000 each in attorney legal fees
  • Mediation resolves conflicts and preserves relationships: spouses retain the most control in a mediated process.  Issues that have been exacerbated by lack of communication are often addressed and resolved.  In a litigated divorce, attorneys often advocate aggressively for their clients.  Lawyers are skilled in adversarial methods that spouses may not have intended, resulting in further damage to the relationship in terms of respect and communication.
  • Mediation reduces future conflict:  ex-spouses are less likely to go back to court later to fight about the existing order.

The main advantage of mediation is that it keeps divorcing partners in control of their own divorce. That can make all the difference in and moving on with your life.