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Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney

A Family-Oriented Firm Dedicated to Providing Personalized Representation

ADR refers to settling disputes outside of the courtroom. There are several types of ADR that the parties in a divorce proceeding or in a post-decree case could pursue: mediation, settlement conference, and/or arbitration.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our Boulder divorce lawyer!


Mediation is a type of settlement conference where the parties and their respective attorneys, if they are represented, retain a neutral person, the mediator, to help them reach an agreement. Mediation is a requirement in almost all Colorado counties and unless otherwise settled, mediation must take place before your case may go to trial. Any oral or written communications of both spouses prepared or expressed for the purposes of, in the course of, or pursuant to, any mediation services proceeding are confidentialities and may not be referenced in any court hearing. If the parties reach a settlement agreement at mediation, they will usually execute a written memorandum of understanding, separation agreement and/or a parenting plan. One or more of these signed agreements are then filed with the court for its approval. Conversely, if the parties fail to reach a settlement agreement or reached only a partial agreement, then the issues that have not been settled through mediation will be resolved by a judge at a permanent orders hearing. At Michael C. Morphew, Attorneys at Law, you can retain Michael as your mediator or, if you need legal representation, you can retain us in that capacity.

Settlement Conferences

Settlement Conference is a meeting and negotiation session attended by both parties and their attorneys. If an agreement is reached, that will be reduced to a written document, a separation agreement and/or parenting plan, which then will be filed with the Court for its approval. Assuming all issues have been resolved, the Court may then enter a decree dissolving the marriage and making the agreement a court order. However, if some issues are resolved and others are not resolved, those issues not resolved are determined by a judge in a contested hearing.


Arbitration is not as formal as a hearing before a judge, but the process is very similar because the parties will testify and present their evidence to an arbiter. The arbiter then issues an “award” which is filed with the court and then confirmed as a court order. The difference between mediation and arbitration is that in mediation the parties engage in negotiation and do not settle unless everyone agrees on terms of settlement; in arbitration – there are no negotiations; rather, the parties testify, and the arbitrator renders an award. Arbitration is often agreed upon by the parties as the process to resolve disputes which may arise after the divorce is final. Examples of such post-decree issues are disputes between parents regarding major decisions concerning their children. modification of child support and /or spousal maintenance, and disputes over the sale of a marital residence.

Hire Our Team and Find a Fair Resolution

Our Boulder attorneys at Michael C. Morphew Attorney at Law are dedicated to providing each and every client and family with compassionate, personalized legal attention. We understand how difficult and emotional these types of disputes can be, which is why we focus on a no-nonsense, family-oriented approach to law. If you need alternative dispute resolution services, we’re prepared to help.

Ready to get started? Contact Michael C. Morphew Attorney at Law today to discuss your case.

Why Contact Michael C. Morphew?

  • Family Oriented

    We prioritize the highest degree of amicability for the sake of maintaining peace for the entire family, especially children.

  • Personalized Approach

    Our philosophy is to approach each family's situation in a manner that is creative and addresses that client's particular needs.

  • 45 Years' Experience

    Since 1979, our attorneys have seen it all. We cannot be blindsided and know how to treat any situation with knowledge and professionalism.

“I met Michael through his website. He was unique in that he very clearly stated his value proposition as a family attorney. At the same time he laid out that if you wanted to have him give you an assessment of how he could help it would require a segment of time that he would need to charge for. That unique honestly, compared to offerring free evaluation, that would not have the same value, is the same honestly and integrity he employed towards navigating my issues. That seems to be a rare trait in Family law.”

- R.B.
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