There is no easy way to go through a divorce. By this point, you’ve likely decided to part ways. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to consider before each party can begin to move forward. Arizona divorce mediation is a way to make the process as peaceful as possible, which is even more important when children are involved.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not intended to be legal advice. You should always talk to an attorney who is skilled in family law matters about your unique situation.
How does divorce mediation work?
Divorce mediation allows a couple to openly discuss and negotiate issues concerning your case in a safe and confidential setting. The mediator is a neutral third party who is there to offer opinions and advice. They have no authority to impose decisions.
Couples can use mediation to discuss important aspects of divorce, such as dividing up assets and property. Other topics typically include spousal maintenance, child support, and parenting time agreements. This process works well if both people can enter into it with an open mind. You will make all final decisions together, which helps set a positive tone for the separation and divorce.
Using mediation can keep the process peaceful, and it helps the couple the make their own decisions for as much of their case as possible.
When a couple cannot work out certain issues through mediation, they will need to go to court. The judge makes decisions by looking through documents and hearing testimony and arguments from both parties about the issues on which they disagree.
What does a mediator do in a divorce?
A mediator is a neutral third party with experience helping people reach agreements. Whether your mediator is another lawyer or a dedicated mediation expert, they aren’t there to make decisions. In divorce mediation, the mediator will aim to be supportive and helpful, often providing advice and input. While no form of conflict resolution is perfect, mediation allows each party to have a say.
In the majority of cases, both parties will still have their own attorneys present. Your mediator will make every effort to guide the two sides to reach an agreement. If mediation doesn’t work or doesn’t resolve all disputes, the parties continue the rest of the divorce process in court.
Why to use Arizona divorce mediation services
Mediation divorce services can provide many benefits for couples looking to separate in a more positive way. Read on for some examples.
Mediation is often less costly than entering into litigation. Legal fees add up quickly, resulting in divorces that can cost $15,000 to $30,000 or more, according to Forbes.
A mediator can help you avoid some of these costs but still reach a necessary conclusion. Depending on the number of sessions you need to come to an agreement, mediation is typically more affordable. If you split the cost, this is even easier to manage.
Divorce cases can take time to move through the court system, especially if there are disagreements along the way. Divorce mediation services can move the process along more quickly, allowing everyone to move forward.
In some cases, it takes several sessions to complete negotiations. That’s okay. Even if it takes a few weeks or months, the timeline is still typically shorter than litigation. It isn’t uncommon for divorce cases to take one or two years to finalize in the court system.
Ability to reach solutions you both agree on
Mediation requires compromise. Unlike a judge, a mediator is not there to impose a final decision.
Both parties have the right to agree or disagree with the terms. This can allow you to have open and honest discussions about your concerns.
Preservation of a respectful relationship
No one wants to go through a messy divorce that results in hurt feelings and anger, especially when children are involved.
Mediation increases the chance that you’ll be able to reach a conclusion you can both agree on. This can help you maintain a friendly relationship.
High rate of compliance
Compliance is always important, but it’s essential in divorce cases that involve spousal maintenance or child custody.
Each person should feel confident that the other will comply with the agreement. In a study in Law & Society Review, researchers found that parties in mediated cases were twice as likely to comply with agreements made versus those arrived at through adjudication.
How to prepare for divorce mediation
Mediation may be more convenient than going to court, but it’s still important to prepare. These are a few ways to increase your chances of success.
Choose the right mediator
Do a lot of research before choosing a mediator and ask trusted professionals for their referrals. Your mediator should be someone that both parties feel confident in and comfortable with.
How many cases have they mediated that are similar to yours? What is the process they use? Don’t be afraid to ask important questions. These will help lead you to the right person.
Make a list
It’s easy to forget items to discuss when emotions are running high. Take some time to sit down and make a list of the issues at hand before going into mediation. If you’re working with an attorney, they’ll lead you through this process. This will ensure that you don’t leave something out once mediation starts.
Write down the assets, properties, and retirement accounts you must discuss. Think about your goals and preferences.
Gather essential information
It’s important to gather the right documents before entering into divorce mediation.
If you believe you’re owed spousal maintenance, prepare to give information about how much you need to live on. Think about your quality of life. How much help do you need to maintain it?
If you are in the midst of separating from your spouse, Arizona divorce mediation services could be helpful.
To learn more about how this method could benefit you in your specific case, contact our Arizona family law attorneys at ARTEMiS Law Firm. We can answer any questions you may have and help you start the divorce process.Contact Us