The mandatory waiting period after filing the divorce petition is 90 days in Colorado. If all documents are complete, your Decree may be entered on or after the 91st day, or at the conclusion of your Contested Hearing. It is not unusual for a contested divorce to take up to two years to complete in many Colorado District Courts. You and the other party may be required to participate in mediation prior to a Contested Hearing, whether or not you are represented by an attorney. This is an opportunity to resolve any issues. You will need to provide proof of the mediation to the Court. Couples who mediate with Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators generally complete all documents and agreements within the 90 day timeframe.
Couples who mediate with me spend an average of $950 - $2,250 to complete divorce agreements and paperwork. This average represents 2 - 3 four hour mediation sessions. Homework completed in-between sessions saves time in mediation, and consequently lowers the overall cost. Couples generally split the hourly fee, and the number of billable hours necessary to produce agreement are generally a fraction of the time necessary for litigation of a contested divorce.
While some mediators may have a legal background and others have backgrounds in other professional areas such as mental health, as mediators we are in a unique role that does not involve representing or advocating for either party—in essence, we are neutral to both parties. Mediators can give you information about state laws and local court procedures and can tell you about other resources available, but we do not give legal advice. That is, we do not interpret statutes or advise about or recommend any specific legal action that would benefit either party over the other.
As soon as the parties agree to try to resolve their differences outside of court. It is best to try mediation before the litigation process creates too much mistrust between the parties and before the lawyers initiate expensive discovery processes. Mediation early on can save the parties thousands of dollars and minimize long-term distress.
The mediator must assess whether mediation can be safe and effective after understanding the nature, frequency, and intensity of prior incidents of such abuse. If safety can be assured and each party is able to understand the implications of decisions being considered, then mediation may still proceed successfully.
Working with a co-mediation team provides some additional benefits beyond the use of a single mediator. These benefits include the following:
One of the goals of mediation in divorce is helping parents learn how to co-parent effectively post-divorce. The ability to communicate effectively is key to achieving this. Co-mediators can help model how to effectively communicate and solve problems in real time.