Negotiating a Divorce Settlement Through Mediation

July 18, 2017 Posted in Articles

Divorce is always difficult. But, mediation can make the process a little easier and help you walk away in a better position than you would have after a long, high-conflict trial. Bond Family Law often recommends mediation to our clients. Here are the ins-and-outs of the benefits and the process.

Why Mediation?

Why mediate instead of going to trial or just hashing out the details on your own? Mediation is an effective method for thoughtfully reaching equitable settlement terms. You might consider mediation to:

  • Reduce costs. Mediation is a lower cost method for reaching a settlement. Most mediation occurs during a one-day session, upon which an agreement is signed and ready to be presented to a judge to finalize your divorce. You, therefore, avoid the costs of extensive discovery, preparations, court appearances, and other expensive trial preparations.
  • Finalize divorce more expeditiously. The courts’ dockets are backed up for months. Instead of waiting for the opportunity to schedule a hearing, you can finalize your divorce more expeditiously at mediation, which can be scheduled soon after you initiate divorce.
  • Benefit from the guidance of a trained mediator. Even in high-conflict circumstances, a trained, objective mediator can often guide negotiations successfully toward equitable settlement terms. We have been successful even after a client has insisted that her or his spouse would never cooperate or agree on anything.
  • Control the outcome. Do you want a court to make the decisions in your divorce or do you want to control the outcome? Mediation puts the ball in your court.

How Can Mediation Help Your Children and You?

It is important for you and your ex-spouse to learn to cooperate for the sake of your children. We know this is easier said than done, but mediation lays the groundwork for finding common ground and overcoming challenges you will face as you raise your children following divorce.

Mediation also gives you the opportunity to consider the nuances of your situation and the other parent’s when making parenting decisions. For example, a traditional parenting time arrangement might not accommodate a shift schedule or frequent work travel, but you and your spouse can negotiate terms that allow each of you to have the most quality time with your children. Likewise, you may follow different religions or different cultural practices in which you both want your children to share. During mediation, you can agree on terms that grant parenting time with these holidays in mind.

What Can You Expect From the Mediation Process?

Your attorney helps you prepare for mediation and represents you during negotiations. Prior to mediation, your lawyer establishes your objectives and strategizes negotiations to reach those goals. An important part of this process is recognizing what the court would likely order in terms of child custody, parenting time, asset division, debt allocation, maintenance, and other issues.

A trained mediator facilitates your mediation. She or he conducts a series of meetings with you and your spouse separately. The separate sessions help the mediator identify areas where you both see eye-to-eye and to develop equitable compromises on points in dispute. Everything you say during the separate sessions is confidential.

The terms of your settlement are incorporated into a stipulated agreement at the conclusions of mediation. Once the judge signs the order or decree, the terms you agreed to become an order of the court.  

An attorney at Bond Family Law is available to answer questions about the mediation process. Schedule a 30-minute free consultation at 303-443-0079 to learn more about whether mediation is right for you.

Contact Us

Bond Family Law serves Boulder, Colorado, and the entire Denver-Boulder and surrounding metropolitan areas. Call us at 303-443-0079 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with our dedicated family law attorney to learn more about your rights.

2503 Walnut Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302

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