By Lynne Milford
Some Thoughts on Mediation
Mediation is an opportunity to resolve differences by using proven tactics for negotiation and compromise to reach solutions which can be acceptable to both parties in a disagreement. Often an experienced mediator can identify interests of the parties in a dispute which are not really contentious or not really opposite – and the mediator can use those underlying interests to help craft a solution which meets the different needs of each party and therefore provides a solution neither party would have thought of on their own. Sometimes folks within a marriage have differences with a spouse which seem completely incompatible, but each person may be focused on his or her own “position” and not on the real “underlying interest” and it takes a neutral third party to point out why their respective “underlying interests” are not really impassible. A mediator can do that.
Mediation is Private
No courtroom full of strangers to hear your very personal story. Mediation is conducted in any private location in person or via zoom and involves the mediator and the parties who have a difference of opinion.
Mediation is Client-Controlled
There is no judge to tell you what to do, but rather the mediator helps you think of different possible solutions to your problem and the solution chosen is your decision alone.
Mediation is a Customized Process
Your unique perspective, your identified “problem,” your customized solution (not a judge directing you to handle your matter the same way he or she tells every other person who comes in front of the judge with a similar problem but very different personalities and perspectives). A mediator can help offer options for you to choose from.
Do You Need Attorneys?
Mediation can be conducted with the parties each having his or her own attorney, or just with the parties themselves (no lawyers required). The mediator is not a judge and cannot tell you what to do, and so mediation is a voluntary process – you identify an issue you need help solving, the mediator relies upon experience and knowledge of the law to offer options which may fit your issue, and you get to decide which option best fits your needs based on your unique situation.
If you want to resolve a dispute about parenting decisions or parenting time, or if you have a dispute about what to do with your house as part of a divorce, and if you do not want to incur the expense and time of a full-service attorney or the inherent divisiveness which comes along with formal litigation, mediation might provide the perfect solution. Call us for more information about the process. The Colorado Judicial Branch has more information about the process as well: “What is Mediation and how do I prepare?“