The selection of a mediator in your family law matter is an important process that affects the outcome of your case. There are a handful of considerations to make during your selection process.
Who Can Mediate in Colorado?
In Colorado, mediation is governed under Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-22-301. The State of Colorado does not certify, license, or otherwise regulate mediators. Because there is no requirement for licensure or training in Colorado, anyone may serve as your mediator.
Selecting a Mediator Experienced in Family Law
It is important to select a mediator that has substantial experience with family law matters. This could mean that the individual is either a current or former family law attorney or judicial officer. If a mediator lacks family law knowledge, you risk reaching non-enforceable agreements or failing to address major assets that would require a court to later intervene. A mediator who is well-versed in family law is essential because they can assist you in reaching agreements that address contingencies in property division, proper allocation of debts, and can provide you with their opinion of how the court might resolve an issue. This will save you both time and money.
Types of Mediators
In Colorado, there are two types of mediators: private or state contracted. The Office of Dispute Resolution contracts with a number of skilled mediators to provide a more affordable option. These mediators are capped at $150 per hour and may only provide services for a limited number of hours. Private mediators charge between $150-$300 per hour, but some might charge more depending on the complexities of the case and their experience level.
You want to find a mediator that fits your specific case. During the selection process, it may be worth your time to consider the level of conflict between the parties, your personalities, complicated financial issues, issues involving children, and the gender or age of the mediator. For example, if you have complicated financial issues involved in your case, you will want to find a mediator that has a background in complex financial litigation or stays up to date with new case law on the division of assets.
In conclusion, the selection of a mediator is critical to your case. It is crucial that you find an experienced mediator to help you craft a fair and enforceable agreement.
The process of selecting a mediator can be daunting, but you do not have to do it alone. The attorneys at GEM Family Law are happy to help you navigate this process. It is important to consult with us so that we can help guide outcomes and select the right mediator for your case. We are happy to assist you in the mediation process to achieve a fair result and avoid future litigation.
Co-Authored by: Meghan Johnson, Law Clerk and James Cordes, Of Counsel