What is mediation? When will it be ordered?
Mediation is a process that uses a neutral third-party, called a mediator, to help parents agree on matters relating to parental responsibilities without a trial. Sometimes a judge may refer parties to mediation, and sometimes the parties may go to mediation voluntarily to avoid going to court.
The judge can order mediation to help the parties create or modify a parenting plan and can order the parties to pay the mediation costs.1 However, the judge cannot refer you to mediation if you have been the victim of physical or psychological abuse by the other party. If this applies to you, make sure to tell the judge this and that you do not want to go to mediation. Even if you are not a victim of abuse, but you object to mediation for another reason, you can file a motion (legal papers) objecting to mediation that includes convincing reasons why mediation should not be ordered (for example, if prior attempts to resolve the issues were not successful). You must file this motion within 5 days of the judge’s mediation order.2
1 C.R.S. § 14-10-124(8)
2 C.R.S. § 13-22-311(1)