At Elizabeth Henson, Attorney Mediator, P.C. in Denver I’m often asked, is divorce mediation effective? My short answer would be yes, but it all really depends. When you enlist my services, I will do my best to facilitate productive negotiations and equitable outcomes, but I’m certainly not a miracle worker. Both parties need to come to the table mentally prepared, ready to listen, willing to be transparent, and confident enough to advocate your own best interests.
Why Use Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is a process where an impartial mediator facilitates discussions to assist you and your spouse in reaching a divorce agreement. While litigation can be expensive and emotionally charged, mediation can be a more affordable option that allows you to decide your own future. Mediators are neutral and are there to help both parties create their own outcomes. This allows both sides to develop solutions and work together instead of having a judge determine your life moving forward.
What Makes Divorce Mediation Effective?
Mediation is not as formal and constrained as the court process can be. Your agreement can be creative and personalized according to your specific circumstances. The process is designed to first find areas of agreement, then figure out amenable solutions in areas where you disagree. While mediators are there to guide you, we do not make decisions or dictate solutions.
With that said, what makes divorce mediation effective are two sides who are willing and able to participate honestly and authentically. Factors include:
- A clear understanding of the divorce process. An attorney mediator like me can provide general insight, but I am not your lawyer, accountant or therapist. You should be able to advocate, negotiate and problem-solve for yourself. If you’re unclear or require assistance, you’re always welcome to bring an attorney to sessions to help guide you. Also, you have the right to have an attorney review your agreement and give you advice on it before you sign and commit to the agreement.
- The ability to respond rationally, not react emotionally. You should be able to set aside the anger and hurt while at the negotiation table. While it’s only natural to run into areas where both sides disagree, actively listening and being open to your spouse’s needs and opinions are invaluable to the process.
- A commitment to honesty and follow through. You must be sincere in your intentions. Ulterior motives in mediation can quickly land you in a Colorado divorce court when the agreement falls apart.
- A history of violence or abuse in the relationship. While animosity can be managed by having each party in a separate room, extreme circumstances are typically not a good fit for mediation. If there is any fear of retribution or retaliation, it can be very difficult to pursue one’s own best interests. You should always feel safe and supported.
Is divorce mediation effective? It absolutely can be. It can save you money and time, as well as help you find agreeable solutions that work for both parties, especially if you have children through your marriage. To learn more about my divorce mediation services, please contact me at Elizabeth Henson, Attorney Mediator, P.C. in Denver to schedule your first appointment.
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