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Is Mediation a Good Option While Courts are Limiting the Cases They Can See?

Heather White

Most of us act with urgency when addressing a physical ailment, recognizing that the sooner you address the illness, the faster the healing process can begin. It can be less obvious to see the same value applied to relationship issues. While we are physically separated from one another, it may be tempting to let conflicts linger, unaddressed, due to the severely decreased accessibility of the courts. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. The emotional challenges of isolation are difficult enough; you don’t need to add the stress of an ongoing dispute with your ex-spouse or never-married co-parent. 

Now is a great time to rely on alternative forms of dispute resolution, like mediation, to expeditiously address conflicts. Some of the benefits of mediation that are relevant under our present circumstances are:

  1. Mediation tends to be a less stressful process than litigation and can lead to more satisfying outcomes. Most people find arguing in court to be more distressing than having a facilitated conversation with a neutral third party. This is especially useful as tensions are running high during the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. Mediation is usually less expensive than litigation because it is typically a more efficient use of time.
  3. Mediators’ schedules are more flexible and available than the court’s schedule, especially right now, allowing families to resolve problems faster.
  4. The less formal nature of mediation allows for brainstorming and open communication about each party’s (including the children’s) desires and opinions about the matter.  
  5. Mediators may be more likely to consider the practical considerations of the proposed resolution rather than simply providing a legal analysis.
  6. Mediation is often easier on children, who benefit from seeing their parents cooperate. Children can move forward in a healthy way when their parents practice more interactive co-parenting.

If you would like to learn more about mediation or other options for resolving a family law matter in Colorado, The Harris Law Firm can help. Our team is working remotely using secure technology platforms, including video conferencing. Contact us to speak with a lawyer.

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