By Selena Besirevic, Senior Attorney
Not every case has to end up in Court and before a Judge. Skilled attorney will know which case has to go to Court and which case can and should be resolved outside of Court. Going to trial is not always what is best for that person or their families and if the attorney is not skilled enough to recognize that and advise you properly, or simply refuses to mediate the case because of their personal need for litigation and conflict, that attorney may not be the right fit for you if you are looking for amicable way of resolving your family matter.
Mediation is a process where parties attend a meeting with a neutral third-party mediator who has been trained to handle situations like yours and has the skills to try to get the parties to the middle ground without going to Court. In most counties in Colorado, mediation is mandatory before the Judge will even allow the case to move forward to the trial, but more than that, each case should go to mediation first regardless if the Court orders it or not (unless there are circumstances that would make it too dangerous to mediate, such as domestic violence, etc.).
Mediators do not pass judgment and do not make decisions in any way. They are simply there to help you facilitate an agreement, if possible. You can sit in the same room with the mediator and the opposing side, or you can be in separate rooms and the mediator will go back and forth with proposals. If you do not reach an agreement at the end of the session, you simply continue with the case through the courts and no final decision is made until you appear before the Judge. You are allowed to have your attorney at mediation, which is typically the case in family law matters, but you can also chose to handle it on your own and possibly have an attorney on standby for consultation. Do not disregard attorney’s role in the mediation process and attendance at the session, because attorneys can provide you with the insight of the mediation process and recognize some of the strategies applies that may not benefit you the best.
Mediation process can be very beneficial, and it can save you enormous amount of stress, it can shorten the time the process takes with the Court and it saves you money by avoiding long, drawn out Court battle. We are Rutherford Law Center are certified mediators and are true believers in the process.
If you need assistance with your family matter or simply have any questions, please call us at 303-431-0415.