Some of the most rewarding, challenging and emotionally exhausting decisions you may ever make involve your children. At times, it can seem as though every decision could have lasting effects on their lives. That can be especially true if you and the other parent decide to end your relationship.
Even if your relationship with your ex isn't ideal at this point, heading to court may not be the best option for either of you or your children. It may be to your advantage to research alternative methods of dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation to see if one of them provides you with a viable option to either retain or build a more amicable relationship with your ex in order to continue to be there for your children.
The benefits of arbitration
If you and the other parent have trouble finding any middle ground right now, arbitration may be the way to go. The more structured process could help ease tensions between you and the other parent and provide the following other benefits:
- The arbitrator operates in a similar capacity to a judge without having to go to court.
- The arbitrator bases his or her decision on current Colorado law.
- The arbitrator's decision binds you and the other parent.
Arbitration generally does not take as long or cost as much as a court battle. In many cases, the longer that a couple has to wait for a courtroom resolution, the worse the situation becomes.
The benefits of mediation
If the two of you can put aside your personal issues to focus on the children, mediation may provide you with a better choice. Mediation provides you with the following benefits:
- The mediator acts as a neutral third party.
- You and the other parent make all of the decisions.
- Mediation provides you with an informal setting and confidentiality.
- Your agreement is not binding in court.
- You each get the chance to voice your opinions.
- Mediation encourages the two of you to openly discuss your situation and how to resolve it.
- Mediation may also save you time and money.
Another added benefit of mediation is that you and the other parent remain in control of the future of your family.
Which option will benefit you most?
Whether you should choose arbitration or mediation depends on you and your ex. It may help you to discuss your circumstances and needs with a family law attorney. You can obtain more information about each process and your rights.