Why Mediation is a Smarter Way to Split
Mediation can be a cost effective and low conflict way to get a divorce in Colorado as compared to hiring attorneys and taking your disputes to court. Mediation can be conducted at any stage of your divorce or child custody case, even before you file your petition. Even the most contentious cases are often resolved in mediation and many judges order parties to attend mediation prior to their day in court.
Economic Costs. The average cost of a divorce in Colorado is over $13,000 per party and depending on the case can far exceed that. Even if you aren't fighting it out in court you can expect to pay in excess of $5,000 per party. Attorney retainers typically run between $4,000 and $10,000 with hourly fees averaging $250 to $350.
Mediation on the other hand is much more efficient with costs typically running between $750 and $2,500 depending on the scope and complexity of the issues to be resolved. If the parties request the mediator to also prepare the court documentation then fees will run higher. As you can see, mediation is a fraction of the cost of hiring attorneys and fighting it out in court.
Cost of Time. By statute Colorado requires ninety-one days to pass between the time the petition for dissolution is filed and a divorce decree can be issued. In reality, most contested divorces take between six and twelve months to complete.
By contrast, mediation is often conducted in one or two multi-hour sessions with the intention being that agreements on property division and parental responsibilities will be drafted such that all or most of the case is resolved. That means your entire divorce can be finalized within hours and then you are just waiting for the ninety-one days to pass. If mediation is successful you are potentially carving off additional months in order to get your decree.
Emotional Cost. While mediation requires both parties to participate towards a common goal, litigation is inherently adversarial. The uncertainty, distrust and conflict involved in trials takes an emotional toll on both parties. Even more concerning is that children tend to sense the ongoing conflict between their parents creating an even more traumatic experience than the divorce itself. Mediation can help diminish the ongoing emotional cost of a divorce because cases are typically resolved in a matter of hours and the parties may not even have to communicate with one another during the process.
Mediation is a smarter way to split because compared to litigation it will save you money, time, and emotional turmoil. Contact me to schedule your mediation today.