Collaborative divorce is a concept, not a hard and fast practice. It is different from a formal mediation-arbitration where parties agree to a neutral third-party making binding decisions for them outside the court. As a practical matter, all parties to a divorce in Colorado must try to mediate before they go to a contested hearing with a judge. Many firms are advertise collaborative divorce as an alternative to pursuing nasty litigation. The fact is that everyone should try to collaborate with the other side and resolve as much as possible. Family law judges tell us: better for you to decide your future, than to leave it up to me, a stranger, who doesn't know you or your kids and who is simply doing the best I can to cobble something that is fair to both, in a very short time frame, with limited information.
At Dylla Family Law we engage a wide range of bright, experienced, and fair mediators. We try to select a mediator who works well with the dynamics of a the case or the personalities of the parties. Our mediators are former domestic relations attorneys and judges, many with substantial experience with working for children and reporting to the courts. We always collaborate with the other side as much as possible and resolved most cases without having to fight in court. There are unfortunately cases where a collaborative settlement simply is not possible, but collaboration is always attempted.