Colorado Divorce Mediation – a gentler harmonious divorce without Court

Often, going through a divorce can be a painful experience, emotionally, legally and financially. Divorcing couples are concerned about finances, the legal implications of divorce and the anfractuous legal process. There are over one million divorce cases filed annually in this country; often divorce can be expensive, destructive legal battles that could have been avoided. However, the process can be elevated to one of pursuit of justice, peace, and perhaps for those in the midst of adversarial conflict.

Divorce Mediator, Arbitrator and Divorce Attorney Gary works with divorcing couples and families in Colorado who seek a collaborative, less antagonistic and less expensive way to resolve their divorce. He brings a creative, calm, pragmatic, proactive and insightful approach to mediation and arbitration. Gary has been practicing family law since 1978 and has distinguished himself as a respected attorney and advocate throughout his career. He recognizes the tremendous benefits of resolving divorce cases on a non-adversarial basis and with his expertise he can assist parties in achieving positive outcomes and a mutually beneficial settlement.

Through divorce mediation, Mr. Gottesfeld works with the parties to achieve their goals addressing issues of property division, child support, parental responsibilities, custody and parenting time (visitation), maintenance (alimony), grandparents’ rights and all of the issues that must be resolved before divorce can be finalized. During family mediation, the parties may collaborate with other professionals, including therapists, accountants and attorneys who may be needed to achieve a final resolution. Mediation-arbitration (med-arb) facilitates resolution in situations in which the parties are unable to reach complete agreement. For those issues in which the parties cannot agree, the med-arbiter is empowered to make binding decisions avoiding the necessity of submitting these issues to the court.

Rather than rushing into litigation, Gary will help to foster successful settlements, encouraging participants to act in their own enlightened self-interest to avoid expensive and time consuming litigation at his Denver divorce mediation office.

Professional services include:

  • Conflict Resolution – Denver divorce mediation and consensus building.
  • Arbitration – determination of any issues that cannot be resolved.
  • Drafting – (memorializing the agreement).


  • Keeps control of the process with the spouses.
  • Empowers parties to make their own decisions; decisions are not imposed.
  • Promotes respect – diffuses hostility, eliminates a confrontational process.
  • Avoids high legal fees and costs.
  • Eliminates entrapment in a maze of litigation; keeps issues out of court.
  • Keeps problems and assets private.
  • Reduces the stress involved in a contested, litigated divorce.
  • Informal – sessions are in a comfortable, safe setting.

Mediated matters include:

  • Divorce
  • Parental Responsibility
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Support
  • Maintenance
  • Asset and Debt Division
  • Post-Divorce Issues
  • Non-Traditional Families
  • Cohabitation
  • Marital Agreements

Denver Divorce Mediation without Court

Although a skilled trial attorney for over 40 years, Mr. Gottesfeld firmly believes that the best approach to divorce is non-adversarial when possible to avoid entrapment in a litigation maze. Mr. Gottesfeld believes that parties’ are best served when alternatives to litigation are first pursued.

The adversarial process pits one party against the other; it is steeped in a heightened level of conflict, confrontation and “win at any cost” approach. Often goals include achievement of complete victory through humiliation, embarrassment, attacks on credibility, motives and disgrace. Though litigation may be an appropriate way to make decisions in some commercial and criminal cases, it is not appropriate for a troubled family. It pits husband against wife, mother against father, and hostility continues to escalate. Litigation offers no “solutions” to disputed issues only “resolutions” which means that decisions will be imposed by the Court with the parties losing control over the ultimate outcomes.

Parties undertake a considerable gamble when pursuing litigation. An attorney cannot safely predict the decision of a Judge and studies show that in most cases, both parties’ leave the process unhappy with the result. When a divorce case goes to court, parties give up the right to make decisions about their own life and put these decisions in someone else’s hands. Conversely, mediation helps the parties avoid destructive battles and guides the parties in reaching a complete agreement and an uncontested divorce.

Parties are often more inclined to abide by agreements involving a process in which they have worked together to decide what is best, rather than have a decision imposed on them by court. Further there is a greater likelihood that the parties will be able to resolve future issues as they arise when there is a foundation of cooperation and collaboration from the very beginning.

With expertise in divorce, family law and Colorado legal criteria, Gary can assist parties with creative solutions that will meet both parties interests and will also assist the parties to efficiently move through the maze of Colorado divorce law.

The Mediation and Arbitration Process


Mediation is negotiation of issues with the assistance of a mediator (neutral third party) who encourages and facilitates the resolution of issues. It is an informal and nonadversarial process in which the objective is assisting parties to reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. The mediator facilitates and guides the parties, engaging in joint problem solving and exploring creative settlement alternatives. In mediation, a mediator does not have the power to impose a resolution, while mediation/arbitration (med/arb) involves both the process of mediation and arbitration. The mediator conducts the mediation and endeavors to resolve as many issues as possible. Mediation provides the opportunity for all parties to meet and focus their entire attention in resolving the dispute through open exchanges and without undue influence. Mediation offers each party a realistic look at their own case and gives the parties an idea of what is likely to happen in court. When a settlement is reached a mediation agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) is signed by the parties and by the mediator to confirm the mutually agreed upon terms.


Arbitration is a process for decision making which takes place outside of the courts, but still results in a binding decision similar to a court judgment. Should there be any matters that cannot be mutually agreed upon, the information shared in mediation can be used by the arbitrator to resolve these issues if the parties agree to designate the mediator as an arbitrator (med-arbiter). Arbitration is a less formal alternative to traditional litigation (although the parties may make the process as formal/informal as they wish). This offers the parties a forum to resolve their disputed issues through a mediator who is familiar with the issues. Arbitration is binding and final. Empowering the mediator with arbitration powers to impose a resolution, the parties are often more likely to reach a mediated resolution. In this process, the mediator/arbitrator first serves in the capacity as a mediator and tries to facilitate a negotiated resolution of all issues. In the event that effort fails and the parties are unable to resolve some or all of the issues, the mediator switches roles and issues a decision (ruling) as an arbitrator. Arbitration is generally faster, less expensive and more informal than going to court; it is also private and confidential.


Mr. Gottesfeld is committed to:

  • addressing issues in a respectful, courteous manner to avoid conflict
  • avoiding court when possible
  • assisting parties in re-establishing their relationships for the benefit of all family members
  • preserving the integrity of each party and respecting their dignity
  • facilitating cost effect procedures for settlement
  • handling each matter completely and diligently in accordance with the highest standards of the profession
  • charging reasonable fees and to explain in advance how these fees will be computed
  • working within the legal system to provide broad holistic and creative resolutions


Cost savings is certainly not the paramount reason for electing to pursue mediation and arbitration. Nevertheless, there are tremendous cost benefits associated with the mediation process which are a fraction of the cost of contested matters with attorneys. Fees are billed on an hourly basis and no retainers are required.

We do not charge for an initial consultation. We believe it is important for clients to be able to interview counsel and feel comfortable with the mediation process and the mediator prior to making a commitment for mediation and arbitration.

About Gary Gottesfeld

Gary Gottesfeld brings over 40 years of Denver divorce mediation and litigation experience, combined with a calm, creative, empathetic and collaborative approach to mediation. His experience has given him a deep understanding of both the practical and emotional aspects of divorce cases. He endeavors to develop trust and rapport with both parties to achieve fair and amicable settlements.

Gary Gottesfeld is a well-known lawyer, having tried cases for over 30 years before judges and arbitrators. Focusing on Denver divorce mediation and Denver divorce arbitration, Gary utilizes a willingness to be creative and innovative along with people skills and an innate sense of fairness in resolving family law matters.

Gary’s colleagues have recognized his expertise by rating him as one of Colorado’s finest lawyers (Martindale-Hubbell AV rating). He has also been appointed to serve as a “Judge Pro Temp”.

Mr. Gottesfeld is available to speak to community groups, schools, and organizations. Write or call him at his “Denver Divorce Mediation” office to schedule a presentation and discussion about Denver divorce mediation, arbitration and “Divorce Without Court.”

Schedule a Free Consultation

Gottesfeld Law:




Equitable Building
730 17th St, Suite 77
Denver, CO 80202

Send Us a Message

There is no charge for the initial consultation, whether by telephone or by office visit. Even if are not sure that you are entitled to legal representation, please consider contact our firm. We can advise you on the best course of action for your particular case.

15 + 10 =

Send Us a Message

There is no charge for the initial consultation, whether by telephone or by office visit. Even if are not sure that you are entitled to legal representation, please consider contact our firm. We can advise you on the best course of action for your particular case.

2 + 1 =