Divorce can be an expensive proposition – in money, time and emotion. When you think about divorce, it’s easy to imagine a psychologically draining, long, drawn out process that ends in frustration. It doesn’t have to be. That is where mediation can help.
Engaging a mediator, a neutral third party whose role is to protect everyone’s rights and best interests, indicates that you and your spouse are both invested in finding the kindest, fairest, most expeditious path to uncoupling. Enlisting attorneys to represent your separate interests sends the signal that you are ready fight. Colorado, along with most states, does not require you to have legal representation to obtain a divorce, and mediation provides you with a non–adversarial environment to come to your own decisions regarding your future. Experienced divorce mediators are well versed in the law, and able to point out what is considered legally fair when dividing assets, and custody issues, no matter how complex.
Waiting by the phone for the call from your lawyer to tell you what your spouse’s lawyer said can make you feel paranoid, suspicious, and out of control of your own destiny. In mediation, the parties communicate with each other rather than through their representative. When you work with a mediator, you’ll find a neutral third-party who is deeply invested in helping you and your spouse come to an agreement that you can feel good about. Your mediator will take the time to inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities, so that both parties are clear. Once you know what you are entitled to and responsible for, it’s much easier to make positive, forward-moving decisions that lead to amicable divorce.
Once your mediator has helped you and your spouse come to an agreement, the agreement is put in writing, signed, notarized and filed with the court. The agreement is then seen as an Order of the Court… If either spouse violates the terms of the agreement, they will be subject to a Contempt of Court proceeding, just as it would be had you used lawyers. In addition, the courts are more likely to enforce a mediated order, as it was crafted by and mutually agreed upon by both parties.
If you have children, a mediator will assist you and your spouse in creating a parenting plan that includes both the custodial and financial obligations affecting your children. This is a great opportunity to fashion a plan that works in real life for your whole family. While divorce is always difficult for children, this is a great way to demonstrate that you’re putting them first by working together as mindful co-parents.
Separating one life into two takes a major financial toll no matter how well-off you are. Most mediators do not require a retainer and their fees are generally significantly lower than a lawyer’s, and are split between both parties. Your mediator will charge you for your working sessions while you come to an agreement, and a fee for preparing your paperwork for submission to the court. At the end of mediation, you should feel satisfied that you came to an agreement that works for you, your children and your future, saved a lot of money, and spared yourself the trauma of a legal battle.
Leslie was so thurough and helpful in the meditation process. Her expertise definitely shows in her work and time management. The process of divorce hurts but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Leslie was terrific. She was very clear and concise and explained all of the details we needed to know in a very straightforward manor. My ex and I were able to use her mediation services in a reasonable amount of time and complete our divorce and parenting plan without the use of expensive lawyers. She also worked with us around our busy schedules and need for babysitters to help us accomplish our goals in the time frame we needed. I would recommend her highly.
I have hired Leslie for mediation services to help my clients resolve elder law situations. I can't tell you how impressed I have been with Leslie's deliberate approach to complex issues and uncanny ability to transform seemingly unworkable conflicts into win-win agreements. Leslie it's also skilled at converting results into accurate and easy to comprehend written form. In short. you won't find a more calm, graceful, and dedicated dispute-resolution professional than Leslie Hoffman. Richard Hughes, Esq.
Knowledgeable, fair and comprehensive. Leslie Hoffman worked with me and my wife to figure out how to talk through difficult choices for divorce. Should you desire a reasonable way to navigate a separation or divorce, Leslie Hoffman provides an excellent resource for you.
Leslie did great work and was very professional with both my husband and I during a very difficult process. She demonstrated knowledge of the system, displayed patience, and an unbiased opinion. Leslie handled herself with dignity and grace in the presence of an incident of being accused of conspiracy along with an attack on her personal and professional integrity by my husband for simply answering a question I posed regarding marital assets. The accusations in no way reflected the her ethical demeanor and she responded with concern and willingness to explain the entire story in effort to clear up confusion. She articulated herself and left no questions unanswered and responded promptly to my husbands accusations. I am grateful for her presence through a trying experience and highly recommend her services.
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