Using Alternative Dispute Resolution To Find Peaceful, Efficient Family Law Solutions
Our lawyers’ role as an attorney-mediator is to help you and the other party/parties involved in your family law dispute reach mutual and enforceable agreements by acting as a neutral professional. Mediation is a confidential process, designed to encourage cooperation and creative problem-solving. Drawing from years of experience representing hundreds of clients in family law cases, our attorneys will work to find positive solutions that are both thoughtfully and personally tailored to you and your family.
Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR allows parties to resolve their differences by means other than courtroom litigation. All forms of ADR tend to be less costly, both emotionally and financially, than a legal battle in the courtroom. At Harrington Brewster Mahoney Smits, P.C. and the Denver Center for Mediation & Collaborative Law, our team has extensive experience helping families resolve their conflicts without resorting to court.
Our Lawyers Are Attorney-Mediators
Although our lawyers often recommend mediation for our divorce clients, they also act as neutral mediators themselves. If one of our attorneys is the mediator in your divorce, they cannot give you legal advice. Their role as an attorney-mediator is to help you and your spouse reach mutual agreement. They will work with you to find a positive solution.
Our partners, Terri Harrington and Cyndi Brewster, started the Denver Center for Mediation & Collaborative Law in 2008. Our team truly believes that spouses – and especially children – are better off when divorce is resolved outside of the courtroom. Our lawyers generally conduct mediation at our office. If you cannot be in the same room as your spouse, whether because of a restraining order or another reason, we have two large conference rooms. If you prefer, our attorneys can also travel to your home or office to conduct mediation.
Many courts require spouses to attempt ADR before taking their divorces to trial. Whether you have an attorney or you and your spouse want to divorce without legal representation, a member of our team can mediate your divorce. They can also prepare and draft all necessary documents.
Arbitration May Be Appropriate When Outside Judgment Is Needed
As mentioned above, mediation is focused on getting two spouses or co-parents to negotiate and reach agreement on their own. Another form of ADR, known as arbitration, could be thought of as a “courtroom” outside of the courtroom. Instead of negotiating directly with one another, both parties (with help from their respective attorneys) present their case to an arbitrator. Like a courtroom judge, the arbitrator has decision-making authority.
Arbitration can be binding, meaning that all parties must agree to abide by the decision, or nonbinding, meaning that the arbitrator’s decision is more like advice and guidance than a ruling.
Our attorneys can represent you in arbitration or serve as arbitrators (though one cannot do both in the same case). They also commonly include clauses in settlement agreements that require all future disputes to be resolved through binding arbitration.
Utilizing Early Neutral Evaluation To Resolve Issues At The Outset
As someone considering divorce, your position as a spouse and parent will change. It is natural to be worried about the outcome. The longer you wait to seek advice, the greater the likelihood of conflict will be. At Harrington Brewster Mahoney Smits, P.C., our lawyers can help you avoid courtroom litigation and resolve your family law dispute through early neutral evaluation.
In an early neutral evaluation, sometimes called early neutral assessment, an attorney will act as a neutral party to make recommendations relating to your divorce. Along with a mental health professional, one of our lawyers will listen to your concerns. You and your spouse will each have an opportunity to present your versions of the situation.
After hearing both sides of the story, the attorney will make recommendations based on what is best for you and your family. You and your spouse can then choose to accept or reject their recommendations. Early neutral evaluation can be especially helpful when children are involved. Your children will feel less stress if you come to an agreement with your spouse without resorting to court.
Let Our Team Help You Make The Divorce Process Easier – Reach Out Today
Going through divorce is always difficult, but the various forms of ADR can make it easier for your family. Our attorneys started the Denver Center for Mediation & Collaborative Law to help clients achieve their legal goals without the need for courtroom litigation.
To learn more about how our lawyers at Harrington Brewster Mahoney Smits, P.C., can assist you, contact our Denver office to schedule your initial consultation. Just call 720-736-7078 or submit an online contact form.