Frequently Asked Questions

Why do the Colorado Courts usually require mediation? A trial or formal hearing is a demanding process that should only be used as a last resort for resolving most disputes. Since in many situations the parties can resolve their issues themselves under the guidance of a trained mediator, the Court believes that it is wise to require mediation prior to trial.

A court has ordered mediation, do I have to participate? The courts are given the power to require mediation before setting a trial or hearing date by the Colorado Dispute Resolution Act. A party ordered to participate in mediation may, within five days of a referral order, file a motion asking the court to exempt the parties from mediation. To receive an exemption from having to participate in Mediated Settlement Negotiations, you must demonstrate a compelling reason why mediation should not be ordered.

Can mediation still take place if a protection order is in place? In most cases, mediation can take place despite the existence of a protection order or a past history of domestic violence. In cases with a protection order, the mediator can keep the parties in separate rooms and facilitate the negotiations between the parties.

What happens if the parties reach agreement through mediation? If the parties reach agreement on all or some the their issues, the mediator can help the parties to record the agreement in a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

What if the parties fail to reach agreement through mediation? In cases in which an agreement is not reached, the parties retain the right to have the court hear their case.

What should I bring to the mediation? Please bring all relevant evidence (paperwork, cancelled checks, contracts, photos, damaged items, etc.) that you would bring to a trial with the exception of witnesses. If you are planning to have witnesses testify in your behalf should your case go to trial, instead of appearing in person have them write a short statement of what they plan to state for use in the Mediated Settlement Negotiation. Please do not bring children to the mediation session.

Can the mediator give legal advice? The mediator offer information based on his experience, but cannot offer legal advice or opinions concerning how the law applies to your situation. If legal advice or opinions regarding a proposed agreement are desired, you are encouraged to seek it from a legal professional.

Can I bring an Attorney to the mediation? Attorneys can attend the Mediated Settlement Negotiations if a party so desires.

Must I Have an Attorney to Use Mediation? No. Although the counsel of an attorney is recommended, many parties choose to use mediation without the assistance of attorneys.