Settling disputes in court can be costly in Colorado and around the country, and this can be especially true when the individuals involved are divorcing spouses who harbor deep resentment toward one another. Family law attorneys may seek to avoid court battles by resolving delicate and potentially contentious matters like child custody, spousal support and property division at the negotiating table, but this can be difficult when the spouses involved become entrenched in their positions and unreceptive to new ideas.

In these situations, divorce attorneys may suggest exploring alternative approaches like mediation or collaborative divorce. During mediation, spouses work with a neutral party to find a common ground that can provide a foundation for future discussions. While there is no guarantee that mediation will work and recommendations made by mediators are not binding, it could avoid costly and protracted litigation and family law judges may order it before allowing cases to move forward.

Collaborative divorce is another popular alternative to divorce litigation. In these situations, experts such as financial planners, therapists or accountants are called in to help resolve thorny issues. However, before these negotiations get underway, both of the attorneys involved agree not to go to court if the talks are unsuccessful. This means that spouses involved must find new legal representation if no agreement is reached.

Experienced family law attorneys may seek to increase the chances of reaching an amicable divorce settlement by pointing out common negotiating pitfalls to their clients. The decisions made during property division talks can cast very long shadows, and attorneys may encourage divorcing spouses to see beyond their anger or disappointment and consider their long-term needs. Attorneys could also suggest addressing child custody and visitation first as divorcing parents who agree on little else will generally want the best for their children.