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Co mediation lawyerWatching two neighbors who are perpetually warring it out in a sitcom can be quite entertaining. The situation can be much less amusing when you are living in it. Neighbor disputes have the potential to make your living situation quite miserable, whether you share a wall or live a full mile apart on large plots of land. If the feud escalates to litigation, both of you could be in for a rough time. For many, mediation offers a path to resolving whatever concern you and your neighbor are at odds about in a more amicable fashion. Contacting a qualified neighbor dispute attorney may be the first step towards initiating the mediation process.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Neighbor Disputes?

A lot of concerns, big and small, can lead to neighbors facing off in court. Mediators seek to avoid litigation by allowing both parties the chance to arrive at a fair solution through negotiation and guided discussion. Common reasons that neighbors come to mediation include:

  • Noise - Whether it is a barking dog or a stereo, loud noise that one neighbor feels is disturbing their peace can quickly lead to escalating animosity. Often, a solution can be worked out, whether it involves scheduling garage band practice for a time when the neighbor is not around or simply agreeing to end social gatherings in an apartment by a certain hour.
  • Boundary disputes - When you and your neighbor cannot agree on whose property is whose exactly, it may be beneficial to bring in a mediator. These disputes almost always arise out of genuine confusion rather than any nefarious attempt to encroach on another’s land. Possible resolutions may include splitting the difference or arranging a buy-out of the disputed land.
  • Parking - Few things are more frustrating than coming home after a long day and then having to park a block away and hike through the snow, all because someone is in your parking spot. Often, a clear agreement about who is to park in which spot and where guests’ cars belong is all that is needed and can be achieved quickly through mediation.
  • Appearance - No one wants to live next to a poorly-maintained house or overgrown lawn that is becoming an eyesore. On the other hand, no one wants a neighbor constantly dictating how they are to care for their own property. A mediator can often offer an outside perspective on what expectations are reasonable.
  • Health and safety - Unsanitary or unsafe conditions, such as a bug infestation or foul odor, that has begun to affect others should be addressed promptly. Safety concerns, like an exposed pipe, also require prompt attention. Mediation can reveal that a neighbor is in need of assistance in some cases. Often, the situation and its resolution become much more clear in the mediation room.

While mediation is generally preferable to litigation, there are cases where it is not recommended. If the source of your dispute is, for example, your neighbor’s criminal activity, your attorney may advise proceeding directly to litigation.

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CO mediation attorneyWhen people fall victim to another party’s poor work or lack of repayment, they may feel like there is no one who will stand up for them or help them to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Often, people in these cases choose to just move on from the situation instead of pursuing the compensation because they do not think it is worth the time and money of going through litigation and acquiring an expensive lawyer. Parties facing these types of disputes may benefit from collaborating with a trained mediator.

Types of Issues Seen in Small Claims Court

Small claims court allows for issues involving smaller amounts of money to be resolved in front of a judge without the stress and expense of pursuing a lawsuit in state court. In a small claims court within the state of Colorado, individuals may request compensation up to $7,500. Some of the most commonly seen issues handled in small claims court include:

  • Repayment of a loan
  • Debt that was owed but not paid
  • Damaged clothing due to alterations or cleaning
  • Failure to meet terms of a service contract
  • Failure to properly fix a car or appliance

Benefits of Mediation in Small Claims Disputes

Mediation allows for a third party to aid in the conflict resolution process.

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CO mediation lawyerDisputes regarding someone’s property, especially someone’s home, can lead to serious turmoil and grief. When an individual invests both financially and emotionally into a piece of land, reactions to disagreements can be severe. With this in mind, it is important to remember that neighbors are likely to stay neighbors even after a weighty argument has led to bitterness between the parties. The best option for significant neighborhood conflict is likely mediation. With the help of a mediator, the neighbors can come to a peaceful, satisfying resolution.

Mediation in Regard to Property Disputes

Many people going through frustrating disputes with their neighbors rely on a mediator to facilitate a discussion between the two parties. The mediator acts as a third party who can help to resolve the conflict at hand. These disputes may involve arguments over land ownership, parking spaces, barking dogs, and landscaping.

Taking the route of mediation during a neighborhood property dispute allows the conflicting parties to reach a solution that benefits everyone involved. In order to accomplish this, the mediator will meet with the parties involved on numerous occasions to gather facts and explore potential solutions.

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Denver divorce mediatorsOne of the most common misconceptions about divorce and other family law issues is that it is almost always an adversarial process, with spouses or parents pitted against each other, battling over who will get custody of the children, the family home, the most assets, and more. Although there are cases where there is a high level of acrimony present, the truth is that more and more couples are turning to mediation instead of traditional litigation as a way to come to a more peaceful resolution of their issues.

Mediation Versus Litigated Divorce

In a traditional, litigated divorce, both spouses retain their own divorce attorneys. The spouses, through their attorneys, will try to come up with an agreement for a number of issues, including:

  • The allocation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time schedule and decision making
  • How the couple’s assets and property will be divided
  • How the couple’s debts will be divided
  • If either spouse is entitled to spousal support

Since the negotiation strategy of each party is usually antagonistic, pitting one party against the other in what is often already an emotional process for the couple, reaching an agreement for all these issues may not work and the couple ends up in family court where a judge then makes the decisions for them. The cost of a litigated divorce can run into tens of thousands of dollars, between interrogatories, depositions, hearings, and attorney fees.

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