Mediation & Arbitration

Colorado Mediation Family Law Attorney

A divorce mediator is a neutral third person who helps the two parties in a divorce resolve issues, such as:

Divorce mediation can be particularly useful when only a small number of issues remain to be resolved in order to reach a divorce settlement. In many judicial districts, mediation is required before a case is allowed to proceed to trial. Settlement agreements often require mediation of post divorce disputes before either party can take the issue to court.

The mediator could be a lawyer or another professional. If the issues involve parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, the mediator could be a mental health professional. If the issue is financial, a mediator could be Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A former or retired judge could serve as a mediator. Our lawyers also serve as mediators or settlement masters. While the mediator can suggest possible solutions, the mediator cannot impose those suggestions on anyone if the parties do not agree.

Divorce mediation is not binding on either party unless a signed agreement is reached. However, if a written agreement is reached, it can be as binding as a judgment reached after a trial. Either party can proceed to litigate the issues in court if no resolution is reached. However, judicial decisions can be unpredictable, so it is often better to attempt mediation first. A skillful lawyer can discuss with the party, before and during mediation, the pros and cons of various settlement options. The parties frequently have their lawyers attend mediation sessions with them.


Like a mediator, an arbitrator is a neutral third party who assists in resolving disputed issues. Unlike mediation, arbitration is binding as to the issues decided. An arbitration proceeding can be much like a trial, although it does not take place in a court room. Arbitration decisions are final and can only be appealed to the court in very limited circumstances.

However, Colorado law allows the parties to retain the right to appeal a decision reached through arbitration if they hire a private judge to handle the arbitration. This approach avoids the delays associated with over crowded dockets in many areas of the state. This approach also allows parties to keep more of their personal and financial information sealed from the general public. This type of proceeding requires the same careful preparation and court room skills as a traditional trial. The lawyers at McGuane & Hogan are experienced in handling these types of proceedings.

Contact a Colorado mediation attorney at McGuane & Hogan, P.C.