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Mediation as an alternative to court divorce in Arizona

Mediation offers divorcing couples many benefits, including the ability to actively participate in the details of their divorce settlement.

For some people, going through a divorce is a devastating and tragic event that is filled with heavy emotions. Other couples may find that getting a divorce means moving on with their lives and opening the door to new opportunities. In either case, Arizona couples going through the divorce process have several options when it comes to creating their settlement papers. Mediation and collaborative divorces are becoming more commonplace in the country, as they allow couples to settle the terms of their divorce out of court.

The civil alternative to ending a marriage

The thought of a lengthy and costly court battle may not be too appealing to couples who are considering divorce. Luckily, there are ways that people can actively participate in the creation of their own divorce settlement, while discussing matters, such as child custody, child support, property division and finances.

Mediation is a structured discussion session led by a neutral, third-party mediator. The mediator is present to direct the discussion, answer any legal questions that may arise, and to ensure all topics are discussed.

The benefits of divorce mediation

Arizona has strict laws when it comes to division of property and parenting schedules for divorcing couples. Rather than leaving the fate of their property or children in the hands of a judge, many people choose to participate in mediation and arrange the resolution of these issues themselves. According to the American Bar Association, mediation is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Faster: A divorce settlement can often be completed during one mediation session, while a court divorce may take several months or years to settle.
  • Less expensive: Since mediation is completed out of court, couples can avoid high litigation costs.
  • Less confrontational: Mediation takes place in a non-confrontational atmosphere. There are no strict procedural rules or formalities as there are in court.
  • Increased compliance: People are more likely to comply with a divorce settlement when they have had a hand in its creation.

Although people are not obligated to have legal representation during the mediation process, many choose to bring an attorney with them. An attorney can look out for their client's best interests during the session and provide information about the implications of various settlement options. An attorney may also be helpful to submit the final settlement into the courts for processing.

When to speak to a family attorney

Going through a divorce can be extremely emotional. In some cases, overpowering emotion may make it difficult to make clear decisions on important details that will affect the rest of your life. With a knowledgeable Arizona family law attorney by your side, you can feel confident that your best interests are being looked after.

Keywords: mediation, divorce, settlement

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