Divorce Mediation in Colorado: A Complete Guide

Divorce mediation offers many benefits for spouses entering the next stage of their lives. Working with a mediator allows them to:

  • have productive, respectful conversations;
  • reach mutually acceptable agreements on every aspect of the divorce (property division, parenting time, support, etc.);
  • keep the circumstances of the divorce private;
  • ensure the continued well-being of their children by creating a foundation for healthy co-parenting; and
  • avoid costly court fees and expenses related to attorney hourly-billing.

Mediation can look different depending on which state you’re in. This article will tell you all about divorce mediation in Colorado. It will explain what you can expect during your process and how mediation can help you peacefully move forward.

When can you use divorce mediation in Colorado?

In Colorado, there are three different stages at which you can begin divorce mediation. Let’s take a close look at each one.

A planner lies on a table, along with a vase of flowers and a jar.1. Before filing for divorce

There are a few benefits of going through mediation before filing for divorce.

For one, mediation helps you arrive at a marital settlement agreement more easily. In Colorado, this agreement allows you to get an uncontested divorce. This is a more concise joint divorce filing procedure, as spouses can reach acceptable agreements together.

Waiting to file for divorce until you have started mediation ensures that filings are handled correctly with the support of your mediator.

2. During the divorce proceedings

Many spouses begin by hiring attorneys and going to court. However, they soon realize that this approach can be expensive, time-consuming and filled with conflict. As a result, they begin searching for a more amicable path.

You can begin mediation at any point during your divorce, including after proceedings have begun.

Divorce mediation is an ideal choice because it offers many benefits. For more insights on the entire process, see The Aurit Center’s guide to divorce mediation.

3. After the divorce is finalized

Following your process, it is important to focus on self-care and healing. Mediation can help you to begin looking forward, to set new goals and to pave the way to a bright future.

As your children’s needs change, you and your spouse will likely need to update your agreements through a modification. Mediation can help you move forward peacefully.

If you begin the modification process in court, a judge may also recommend mediation to help you resolve your disputes before going to court.

When does Colorado require divorce mediation?

Colorado state law does not require spouses to attend mediation if they are going through a divorce.

Still, as mentioned above, a Colorado judge may order spouses to attend mediation if there are contested issues.

Judges can order mediation to settle issues, such as:

That being said, mediation is not suitable in some situations, such as cases involving a history of abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) or harassment.

In those instances, it’s best to get help from law enforcement agencies, health care providers, or crisis centers.

What does the mediation process look like in Colorado?

You can look at mediation as a five-step process. Cooperation can help things move along smoothly for you and your spouse.

Here’s a step-by-step overview of mediation in Colorado:

A laptop is placed in between a coffee cup and a jar containing yellow flowers.1. Free online consultation

During your initial meeting, your mediator will explain how mediation works.

You and your spouse will have an opportunity to explain your current circumstance and what you want from your divorce process. By doing so, your mediator can determine your personalized flat fee rate.

To learn more about what the mediation process involves, schedule a free consultation with The Aurit Center today.

2. Presentation of information

After choosing mediation, the next step is for you and your spouse to gather information via a Mediation Questionnaire provided by your Aurit Center Certified Mediator.

Children’s well-being is a top priority for both divorcing spouses and mediators. So, during your mediation meetings, you and your spouse will disclose details about any minor children common to your marriage.

You will also gather information about:

  • financial assets;
  • properties;
  • mortgages and other shared loans; and
  • insurance plans.

As the mediator reviews this information, they will help you understand the legal side of your divorce. Although mediators do not give legal advice, they can help you learn about the divorce and child custody laws relevant to your case.

3. Outlining desired outcomes

Step 3 is often called the “goal-setting stage” of the mediation process. It involves you and your spouse informing your mediator of your goals for the meetings.

These desired outcomes may include:

  • child custody arrangements;
  • child support;
  • parenting plans;
  • alimony payments; and
  • division of assets, properties, and obligations.

Outlining your mediation goals gives you and your spouse a shared vision. Instead of going into the meetings with competing perspectives, the two of you will work together to resolve your common concerns.

Child custody, or parenting, plans are one of the most challenging topics when it comes to mediation goals. The good news is that Aurit Center Certified Mediators are well-versed in all custody-related issues.

Not only that, but The Aurit Center also has a comprehensive guide for managing child custody matters.

4. Negotiation

After agreeing on your goals in the mediation meetings, you and your spouse will be guided through productive conversations. Your mediator will help you reach agreements on each divorce-related topic.

Disagreements and emotional moments can occur during mediation meetings. Your mediator is there to support you both every step of the way. They’ll steer the discussion back in the right direction if it looks like it might veer off course. With the mediator’s help, the focus of the discussions will remain on what truly matters.

5. Drafting the agreement

Based on what you and your spouse have agreed upon, the mediator will draft a settlement agreement. This agreement will sum up everything that was covered during the outline and negotiation stages. You and your spouse will review this agreement and ask for revisions if needed.

Finalizing your divorce after mediation

Based on your settlement agreement, your mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU states the expectations and obligations that you and your spouse agree to comply with after the divorce is finalized. The MOU is used to draft your Consent Decree.

A mother and her child are smiling as they look at a mobile phone.You can then proceed to a Colorado court to file your divorce papers. A judge will review these documents and, if everything is in order, sign the dissolution of marriage decree.

Once the divorce is deemed final, you and your spouse must fulfill the terms and conditions stated in your MOU and Consent Decree. For instance, ensuring that you carry out what you agreed to do, as stated in your parenting plan. This will help curb any negative effects of your divorce on your children.

Have a healthier Colorado divorce with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator

Mediation allows you and your spouse to have an amicable process and peace of mind. A divorce mediator can help with any negotiations you need to have, not to mention the paperwork that needs to be filed in court.

With their knowledge of divorce laws and their suggestions for win-win outcomes, mediators make the divorce process easier for you and your family.

If you’re looking for a divorce mediator, The Aurit Center has you covered. Schedule your free consultation today.

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