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Mediation Agreements Become Enforceable Orders

 
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Summary:  Divorce mediation agreements are enforced as any regular court order, under two separate statutes, as well as under Colorado case law.

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Colorado Mediation Agreements are Enforced as Court Orders.

Under CRS Section 13-22-308, a mediated agreement is enforced as a court order as long as it is first approved by the court. Unless a mediated agreement is unfair (unconscionable), it should always be approved by a court.

In order for the agreement to be approved by the court, under CRS 13-22-308, the mediated agreement must be reduced to written form and signed by the parties (and their attorneys, if any). Although the mediator does not sign the agreement, the mediator can list the name of the mediator in the agreement.

Colorado Divorce Mediation Agreements Enforced as Separation Agreement (or Contract).

Under CRS 14-10-112, a mediated divorce agreement should be enforced as a standard divorce separation agreement. Under this statute, a written agreement which settles the issues pursuant to a divorce or legal separation shall be binding on the court unless the judge finds that the agreement is unconscionable.

Thus, a written mediation agreement should be binding on the parties and also binding on the court just as a regular court order. The agreement should be incorporated into the final decree just as if the judge had made a ruling and issued final permanent orders.

And, prior to incorporation into the final decree, the mediated agreement should be enforceable as a written contract. In Re Manzo, 659 P.2d 669 (Colo. 1983). In Manzo, the Colorado Supreme Court held that a written divorce agreement will be enforced as a contract prior to its incorporation into a final decree, unless there is a finding of fraud, overreaching, concealment of assets, or sharp dealing.

 

   
     
GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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