Divorce Mediation in Douglas, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Denver Counties
To be blunt, most people expect very little out of mediation. Just Google “mediation waste of time” or “mediation waste of money” and see what happens.
These low expectations are not surprising. Many couples assume that talking out their problems will accomplish nothing. After all, if that approach worked, they reason, they would not have filed a legal case in the first place.
The financial objection is understandable as well.
Money is usually tight during a divorce. In Denver, divorce mediation fees are not unreasonably high, but they are usually not cheap either. There may be some subsidized options available, but these venues are not geared toward family law.
So, many families are reluctant to spend money on anything that seems remotely unnecessary.
But in voluntary mediation, the settlement rate is around 75 percent. In the remaining situations, the parties are usually able to at least narrow issues for trial. So, in a nutshell, mediation usually works if the parties focus on the benefits of divorce mediation in Denver, as well as the benefits of keeping family disputes in the family.
Is Mediation Always a Good Idea?
Very few things in life are “always” true or “never” true, and divorce mediation in Denver is no exception.
In a nutshell, mediation is basically about making compromises to reach a goal. That goal is an out-of-court settlement that it is in everyone’s best interests. Mediation does not occur in a vacuum. Many times, the parties have negotiated for months over spousal support, property division, and other financial matters. Sometimes, the gap between the two sides is too great for a Denver divorce mediator to bridge. Fortunately, in most divorce cases, the parties are fairly close together in this area. So, financial mediation often works.
Matters related to the children called allocation of parental responsibilities in a divorce or custody case (parenting time, decision-making and child support) can also be mediated. If an agreement is reached in mediation on these matters it can save the parties time and money. It also provides the parties control and the ability to come up with a practical solution that works for both parents.
Finally, safety might be a concern. Courts are secure public places with metal detectors and armed guards. Mediation usually takes place in an office building, so these things are usually unavailable. If there are verified allegations of serious domestic abuse, mediation may not be a good idea.
The Three “C’s” of Divorce Mediation in Denver
Mediation is not always a good idea, but in all but these few limited cases, mediation is always worth a try. The potential benefits are just too great to pass up.
Cost perhaps the most tangible benefit of divorce mediation in Denver. According to the Department of Justice, in 2017, alternative dispute resolution saved parties over $15 million in legal fees. The aforementioned “mediation is a waste of money” line is probably penny wise and pound foolish. By investing several hundred in mediation, the savings in legal fees could be several thousand dollars.
Mediation usually only takes one day. Furthermore, instead of extended opening and closing statements, attorneys just give brief summations at the beginning. Additionally, they do not need to introduce or rebut evidence. The Denver divorce mediator has the power to look at all relevant evidence.
In the family law arena, time is money. Again according to the DOJ, mediation shaved about 14,000 days of attorney and staff time off of legal bills. Since most attorneys charge by the hour, this savings could be significant.
Mediation also ends cases sooner. This process helped litigants to avoid almost 2,000 months of courtroom battles in 2017. The cost savings here are not just financial. Legal proceedings have a noneconomic cost as well. Once the litigation stress and anxiety are gone, you are free to concentrate on the things that matter most.
Civility is another key benefit. Tense courtroom showdowns look great in the movies, but real life is a lot different. Furthermore, the adversarial nature of court proceedings often continues after the divorce. If the parties have minor children, it’s difficult for them to be good co-parents if their last joint experience was a painful one.
Divorce mediation in Denver replaces that adversarial dynamic with a cooperative spirit. More importantly, mediation’s structure basically assumes that the parties are acrimonious. So, after the aforementioned opening statements, the parties retire to separate rooms. Then, the Denver divorce mediator conveys settlement offers back and forth. Most of the emotion is drained away since the parties spend much of their time waiting. The mediator does most of the work, and the parties receive all the benefits.
Control over the outcome. Some people have problems accepting authority. So, if a family law judge dictates terms, they may not receive such instruction very well. That could mean more return courthouse trips for modification and enforcement measures. These matters tend to be expensive and protracted if they are contested.
In contrast, Denver divorce mediation takes control away from the judge and gives it to the parties. Even if the outcome is adverse, mediation usually means higher voluntary compliance rates. That could mean lower future legal bills and a much more civil family environment. Clearly, everyone benefits from these things.
Work with an Experienced Lawyer
Mediation may be the best way to resolve your divorce case. To find out more information on how you can resolve your divorce case through mediation, contact Dawn Rodgers at Rodgers Law, LLC, an experienced mediator and divorce attorney. We routinely handle cases in Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County and Denver County and nearby jurisdictions.