There are a few different options that you can utilize when you are going through a divorce. Often, people opt to use mediation to resolve the matters that must be decided so that the divorce can be finalized. With this option, you and your ex have more control over what happens than you would have with litigation.

You and your ex need to consider a few factors before you move forward with mediation as your chosen method of resolution. Here are a few common questions and answers to help you understand this option a bit better:

What is mediation?

When you go through mediation, you work with a neutral third party. This person, — the mediator — helps to keep the discussion on track during the negotiations. If you and your ex can’t speak to each other in a respectful manner or if you feel like your ex is being overbearing, you can ask to speak to the mediator alone. There are times when the mediator will act as a message-bearer for each party to help move things along without you and your ex having to speak directly to one another. In order for mediation to work, both adults have to be willing to compromise and keep an open mind.

Do I need an attorney?

It is a good idea to have an attorney review your case. The mediator isn’t able to dispense advice, so you would need to turn to your own legal representative with questions and concerns. Additionally, an attorney can help you understand what Colorado laws impact your case. That way, you’ll have a better grasp of your position if mediation doesn’t resolve all of the issues. You and your ex shouldn’t share a lawyer due to ethical conflict of interest concerns, so you each must have your own representation.

What happens if mediation doesn’t work?

Mediation is usually a faster and less costly way to handle a divorce since it doesn’t involve litigation. If mediation doesn’t work, you are out of the time and money that you spent on the process. Your divorce will then need to be litigated in court. This means that you will need to wait for a court date and present your side to the court. Once the information from both sides is received, the court makes a determination about how property division is handled and what will happen with child custody.