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How mediation can help with settling visitation schedule disputes

In Colorado when a couple has ended a relationship and they have children, handling various issues such as child support and formulating a visitation schedule can be difficult. Often, they need to go to court to have the decision made for them as they are unable to come to an agreement on their own. However, there are cases where the couple is not far apart on many issues, but cannot reach the finish line with a plan that each side can live with. When the circumstances are right and there is no danger to the parties to negotiate, mediation might be a beneficial strategy to avoid court and come to an amicable resolution.

The court has the right to order mediation to facilitate an agreement. With mediation, the sides will consult with a trained professional in mediation. The goal is to settle any issue that has arisen and cannot be bridged. A mediator does not make the decisions for the parties. The idea is to put them in a setting where they have a sounding board to steer them in certain directions and avoid rancor. For many, mediation is a useful step toward coming to an agreement as to how the visitation schedule will be worked out.

If there is already a parenting time order, mediation can also be used when one or both parents are not adhering to it. In many instances, the disagreement is a minor one such as when the child will be with which parent on special occasions, holidays and during school breaks. When there are arguments or positions staked out by the parents, they might find that discussing it with a mediator yields positive results. This is preferable to filing for enforcement as that can lead to acrimony where it is not necessary.

Mediation is a confidential process where parents can express themselves freely without the concern that a mediator is making the decision for them. Having legal advice can provide guidance as to whether the case has all the pieces in place to be solved via mediation. A law firm that specializes in divorce, child support and helping parents to prepare for the future can give advice on the value of mediation and determine if it is viable or not. Calling for a consultation is the wise first step.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
1820 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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