P.O. Box 77185
Colorado Springs, CO 80970-7185
Colorado Springs Family Law Attorney Steven Visser

ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution

Please click the arrows to the right of each question to reveal the answer.

What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, which is a fancy way of saying a process by which parties in dispute can attempt to resolve their issues without having a Judge do it for them. In mediation, a mediator will attempt to find common ground between the parties. The process of mediation is less formal than in a courtroom and normally provides a method to reach agreements in the midst of conflict.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution. Unlike mediation, if the parties agree to have an arbiter hear their matter, the Arbiter has the authority to issue binding decisions that the parties will then have to abide by just as if a Judge had ruled from the bench. The ability to appeal the rulings of an arbiter are limited; however, by using arbitration, the process and/or litigation is normally resolved sooner than waiting for a court hearing date.
What is Mediation/Arbitration?
Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb) is also another form of alternative dispute resolution.

The process begins with mediation, but the parties agree before beginning that the mediator will make the decisions for the parties in the event they are unable to reach agreements. This process provides the parties with a method to resolve their disputes, and if they are unable to do so or do so completely, then the mediator becomes the Arbiter and decides the issue(s) for the parties. Thus, parties can submit their matter to a neutral and trained professional without having to wait for a court date and in the event mediation itself does not resolve the matter.

Why should I even think about using a mediator for my case?

  • You may be under a court order to attend mediation, but that is not the point;
  • Using a mediator saves time and money, especially in regards to attorney fees;
  • Most parties already have an idea about what it would take to resolve their case, and a mediator can assist in breaking down any barriers to settlement.

Either myself or my Attorney scheduled mediation with this office. What do I need to do now?

  • Make sure the date and time for mediation are on your calendar; You should receive, either from my office or your attorney’s office, a notice of mediation letter to remind you of when to be present for mediation;
  • Be prepared to take care of the fees for the mediator at the start of the mediation if you have not already done so.

How do I prepare for mediation?
  • Be ready to participate in mediation in good faith;
  • Be ready to discuss the facts of your case and make decisions;
  • If you are representing yourself, then you should also follow the steps listed below. If you have an attorney representing you, then you should, prior to mediation, discuss the following steps with your attorney prior to mediation:
    • Create a list of issues that you want to resolve at mediation;
    • Identify your interests in relation to these issues;
    • Consider and identify the other party’s needs and issues;
    • Bring with you, to the mediation session, copies of any court orders, financial documents, and other information pertaining to the case. If child support is an issue, please bring documentation of income and a completed copy of your financial affidavit. Without financial information, it will be very difficult to run child support worksheets on your matter.

What does your standard agreement to mediate look like?
Please download my standard mediation agreement.

Colorado Springs Family Law Attorney Steven Visser
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