What to Bring to a Divorce Mediation in Fort Collins Checklist

Posted in Mediation on January 9, 2020

Divorce mediation can make a difficult time in your life a little easier. Mediation is often faster, simpler and cheaper than the traditional divorce process. A mediator can facilitate open conversations and compromises between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, potentially enabling an agreement so you can both avoid going to court. Use this checklist before your divorce mediation appointment in Fort Collins, Colorado so you can arrive fully prepared.

Supporting Documents

Many couples need multiple mediation appointments to settle their divorces because they arrive to their first without important paperwork and supporting documents. To resolve issues such as finances, property division and child custody, you will need to bring certain official documents with you to mediation. These include your past:

  • tax returns
  • W2 forms
  • bank account information
  • income statements
  • evaluations of owned properties or businesses
  • retirement fund information
  • insurance policies
  • debts.

Bring as much documentation of your finances to your appointment as possible to avoid having to reschedule.

An Attorney

It is possible to have a successful mediation without using an attorney to represent you. This may not serve your best interests, however, if you have a complicated divorce case. If this is so, it may be in your best interest to speak with a divorce lawyer. If you will need to work through matters such as child custody, complex assets, high-value properties, businesses, retirement accounts or alimony, you may need a lawyer to help you sort through things. If you hear your spouse has hired a lawyer for mediation, you should probably do the same.

Look for a Fort Collins divorce mediation attorney with special training in handling mediations. Meet with your attorney separately before your mediation. Find one that can help you stand up for yourself and state your priorities clearly. Then, all four of you (both spouses and both attorneys) will meet before a third-party mediator. You may need to sign a no-court agreement that says both attorneys will withdraw if mediation fails and you have to go to court. If your case does proceed to trial after signing this, you would need to hire a new lawyer.

List of Your Priorities

Arrive with a list of your top priorities ready to go. List what matters to you the most in order from greatest to least. If having your kids with you for Christmas is important to you, for example, put it at the top of your list. You may be unmoving on the items at the very top of your list, but more lenient with other items. Your spouse may have a similar list. You can compare them to find any middle ground and areas where compromise is possible. Your spouse may be willing to go your way on one thing if you go his/her way on another.

Pen and Paper

For mediation to be a viable option, both you and your spouse must actively participate in the process. Show that you are committed, interested and willing to work together by arriving with a pen and paper (or a laptop or tablet) to take notes. Prepare to listen, put in your two cents, take notes on what your spouse or lawyer has said, organize your thoughts, and compromise on the factors of your divorce. Mediation is voluntary, not a court requirement. The only way it will work is if you both do your parts.

An Open Mind

Mediation is a collaborative divorce option. It is critical to show up to your mediation with an open mind. Arriving with firm ideas of how it will go could lead to disappointment and failure to reach any agreements. While you should stand your ground on topics that really matter to you, prepare for more of a give and take with your ex-spouse rather than a “my way or the highway” mentality. Your ex-spouse will appreciate your open mind and may perhaps be more willing to compromise with you in return. An open mind and a willingness to compromise will help mediation go smoothly.



Benefits of a Colorado Divorce Mediation

Posted in Mediation on March 22, 2018

For many people, divorce is an upsetting experience. It changes your life not only emotionally, but financially. Over the past few years, couples going through a divorce have begun to use a divorce mediator to try to lessen the emotional and financial blows of a divorce. If you are dealing with a difficult divorce, the experienced divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci can offer you guidance and representation.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process that takes place before going to court. Mediators are trained to help you and your ex-spouse navigate the logistical complexities of a divorce. They have a structured process and serve as an impartial and unbiased third party. The mediator cannot make any decisions or rulings, so they have no say in what the final rulings are in the proceedings. A mediator can help guide conversations, so they remain productive and positive instead of dissolving into arguments and insults.

The Benefits of Divorce Mediation

The first major benefit of divorce mediation is that it is easier for the child. Divorces are often accompanied by fighting and tension, which is hard for a child to experience. It is even more difficult if the child has to go to court and decide which parent they want to live with. Mediators can help you focus on how everything will affect your child instead of getting too absorbed in disputes between you and your spouse.

A mediator can help you and your spouse discuss issues calmly and find a compromise without needing to become aggressive or angry. They are representing both of your best interests, so it is less of a competition.

In many divorces, people lose significant amounts of money. Mediation is a far less expensive option. Mediations usually resolve faster, as getting a court date can take months. The faster your case is resolved, the less money you need to spend on expenses like attorney fees. Because you and your spouse are both working with the same person, your costs are already much less than if you went to court with individual legal representation. Mediation is less about winning than court cases are. In mediation, each person is more focused on compromise and solving problems together as quickly as possible.

Mediation is an extremely empowering experience. Instead of leaving all the work up to an attorney, you and your spouse are sitting down and representing yourselves in a conversation about your future. You and your spouse are in control of the situation.

Advice for Those Seeking Divorce Mediation

If you are entering into a divorce mediation, stay focused on the end result. Even if you and your spouse are angry and upset with each other, it is important to keep the conversations productive, so you can find the best compromise for you both.

Having a great mediator is a vital part of successful divorce mediations. Many mediators will have a background in law, psychology or social work and experience with the divorce laws in your state. The Mediation Association of Colorado specifies the training required to work as a mediator.

Once you have found a mediator, make sure to keep in mind what their role is. Do not go into mediations expecting them to fix your marriage or be a therapist for you and your spouse. Mediations will be more successful if you remember they are there with the specific goal of helping you and your spouse reach a compromise.

If You Are Going Through a Divorce

Mediation can be an extremely effective option to make your divorce as quick and painless as possible. A mediator can save you substantial amounts of money and emotional damage while you are trying to get through an extremely complicated and upsetting time.