Following are frequently asked questions about the mediation process. If you have further questions, please contact the Center For Solutions directly at (303) 329-3435 or via e-mail.
What qualifications should I look for when selecting a mediator?
In choosing a mediator a combination of experience and formal training are important. You should find a professional who has experience in mediating your type of dispute and a minimum of 40 hours formal mediation training with a respected mediation training organization. In divorce and post-decree situations, it is especially important that the mediator has knowledge and experience in working with divorcing couples and that she understands the law. Katherine Head has 28 years experience as a divorce mediator and has had more than 100 hours of formal mediation training. She is knowledgeable about the issues involved in divorce and/or legal separation.
What are the advantages of mediation?
Mediation is generally less time consuming and less costly than the adversarial process. Agreements reached in mediation tend to last longer than decisions imposed by an outsider because they are mutual and take into account the needs and wishes of both parties. The process is voluntary, future oriented, cooperative and confidential. It is especially useful in situations, such as divorces that involve children, as the process enhances the likelihood of a workable future relationship between the parties.
Is mediation appropriate for us?
If both parties are willing to participate in the process, it is generally worthwhile to give it a try. You never forfeit your right to seek a settlement in Court if you are not able to resolve the issues in mediation. On the other hand, if you start out in the adversarial mode, it can be very difficult later to change your course and become more amicable. Disputes can take on a life of their own and can be costly both financially and emotionally. Often participants, who have a high level of conflict and poor communication, have surprised themselves that they have been able to resolve their issues in mediation.
Mediation does require some willingness to give and take on the part of both parties.
How does mediation work?
The mediator will begin by helping the parties develop a mutual agenda of the issues to be addressed in mediation. Then she will help you discuss those issues one by one, look for common ground, and negotiate mutually acceptable agreements. Various solutions are explored so that the best possible agreement can be reached. The best agreement is one that, as much as possible, meets the needs of the parties and others affected by the agreement, such as the children of a divorcing couple. The mediator's job is to keep you focused on the issues to be negotiated, look for common ground for settlement, allow each of your perspectives to be heard and keep the process moving in a positive, productive manner. You provide the information and make the agreements. The mediator will write down your agreements as you reach them.
What will be the result of my mediation?
The Center for Solutions has a high settlement rate. The result of your mediation will be a comprehensive written Memorandum of Understanding that details all the specifics of your Agreement. It is a document that can be used by you as is appropriate to your situation. If you are represented by an attorney, you will want him/her to review and give you feedback on the agreement. Or, if you choose, you can sign, notarize and file your agreement with the court yourselves. As part of the divorce mediation process, the Center for Solutions mediator can also assist you in completing the required legal forms.
Will I need to be represented by an attorney?
The mediator focuses on helping the participants reach their own agreements and does not represent either party. In divorce and post-decree matters, you will be making agreements that will address your legal rights and responsibilities. Lawyers can help you understand the law and make informed decisions.
The decision of whether or not to bring your attorney to mediation is up to you. If planning to attend mediation your attorney must provide 10 days advance notice to the other party. Attorneys are always welcome in mediation.
We have a lot of issues for our divorce already worked out. Can your services still help us?
Yes. Many of the divorcing couples we see have reached agreement on some or all of the issues. They come to us for "do-it-yourself divorce assistance". We help draft the agreement in a format that will be acceptable to the court. We also help can help you through the legal process, from the time you file the petition to the final divorce. We help you understand and complete the legal forms required by the court.
Offices at two convenient locations:
E-mail Center For Solutions
Center For Solutions,
155 South Madison St., Suite 332
Denver, CO 80209
| Center For Solutions,
1191 South Parker Rd.
Denver, CO 80231
(Just south of Leetsdale and Mississippi)