Mediation is an informal, confidential meeting with the disputing parties where a neutral, third party Mediator guides them through the process of discussing their situation and exploring ways to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution. It is an efficient way to resolve conflict because issues can be discussed and potentially resolved in real-time as opposed to going through the cumbersome litigation process. The Mediator focuses on assisting the parties to come to a collaborative resolution that is a win-win for both parties. Don’t want to be in the same room with your soon to be ex? We get it; it’s hard to be candid and to focus when the other side is right there. We offer the option of parties appearing remotely using Zoom or to be in separate rooms at our offices.
Mediation is an excellent tool you can use to simplify your divorce process and avoid some of the more frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming aspects of a typical divorce.
Using Mediation Will Save You Money
The number one question our attorneys are asked is, “How much is this divorce going to cost?” It’s a fair question; divorce can, indeed, be a very costly endeavor and it’s completely understandable that our clients are concerned about their finances—it’s important to us, too. We want our clients to complete the divorce process feeling prepared for a better future, which includes being financially prepared.
Most divorces are very costly; each party could spend $20,000 or more if each party hires their own attorney to “go to war” to fight over the community assets, spousal maintenance, child support, parenting time and legal decision-making. More often than not, with some guidance, the parties will discover they’re not as far apart as they seem and “war” only makes things worse in an already stressful and emotional time. Going to mediation can be a huge money-saver in terms of attorneys’ fees and will cost a fraction of the fees typically spent on a litigious divorce. In Mediation, each party might spend $2,500 – $3,500 and be divorced in a matter of months (in Arizona the soonest you can be divorced is 60 days from the date of filing) instead of years in a long, drawn out battle.
What is the Mediation Process?
No matter how far apart you think you are on the issues, if you and your spouse can agree that mediation is the sensible option, you’re already on the path to resolution. You’ll need help, so choose a Mediator. The Mediators at Owens & Perkins will meet with both parties to assist in coming to MUTUALLY agreed upon decisions. The Mediator is neutral; he does not represent the interests of one party over another. Our Mediator attorney will guide you in making your decisions by applying the laws and rules in Arizona that govern child support, spousal maintenance, parenting time, legal decision-making, and the division of property, to ensure that you are getting what’s fair under the Arizona laws. Our Mediation attorneys have gone to Court hundreds of times and have the experience and skills to negotiate with both parties to reach the agreed upon terms of your divorce. They can provide perspective and unbiased advice based on that experience and knowledge of the law.
The Mediator will facilitate productive negotiations, draft your divorce paperwork and final agreements, file those with the Court, and submit the appropriate filing fees. Consider it an all-inclusive process that requires relatively little amounts of your time and at only a fraction of the cost.
Choose Divorce Mediation and Avoid Going to Court
Another reason Mediation is an excellent choice is that you will get divorced without ever having to go to Court. Does the idea of standing in front of a Judge or needing to go to Trial completely overwhelm you? We get it; it’s intimidating and you’re essentially airing your dirty laundry and personal life in front of complete strangers; plus it’s all recorded. If that sounds as unappealing as it is, Mediation is the perfect option for you.
Mediation as a Tool for a Tailor-Made Divorce Decree
Using Mediation for your divorce, as opposed to going to Court, will allow you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse more control over what is included in your divorce decree. Judges will not always include some of the terms in their Court Order that you may want to have in your divorce. When a Mediator drafts your Consent Decree and agreements, it will be tailored to your specific details and agreements. You can come up with creative solutions, whereas a judge will usually order very basic and sometimes cumbersome solutions.
Is Mediation Right for You?
While Mediation may not be the right option for every divorcing couple, it is an excellent tool for those who are likely to come to agreements with the help of a Mediator. It can save time, money, and stress, as well as provide a greater deal of clarity than may be afforded to you should you choose to go to Trial instead. Keep in mind, if you go to Trial, a Judge is making all of the decisions for you and often times, neither party ends up getting what they wanted. Wouldn’t you rather be in control of the decisions that will affect you and your children’s lives rather than “punt” to a complete stranger and hope for the best?
Schedule a Mediation Consultation
If you’d like to explore mediation for your divorce matter, our team is here to help. Our Mediation attorneys at Owens & Perkins are highly experienced as both divorce lawyers and mediators. We are just a phone call away– schedule your 30-minute legal consultation today by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.994.8824.