Civil alternatives to divorce litigation in Arizona

Mediation is a popular alternative to traditional court litigation and allows the couple to customize the terms of their divorce settlement.

Some heated divorces in Arizona can become emotional, and may be best suited for traditional court litigation. However, there are alternative methods of marital dissolution that may be a better fit for couples who wish to end their marriage in a more civil fashion. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, civil methods of separation have been growing in popularity. Mediation is often the first-step for Arizona couples who are trying to negotiate a divorce settlement.

Mediation defined

Rather than engage in a bloody battle to the finish, mediation takes place out of court. The couple meets under the direction of a neutral, third-party mediator, who is available to answer any basic legal questions. The mediator also ensures that all topics, including property division, parenting plans, child support and alimony, are covered in the divorce settlement. Although there are no attorneys present during the mediation session, many couples choose to consult with personal legal representation on the side. According to the Huffington Post, an attorney is also required to submit the final settlement into the court for approval.

Benefits to mediation

When compared to traditional court litigation, mediation offers several advantages. The American Bar Association lists the following benefits to undergoing mediation:

  • It is cheaper, as there are no court costs involved.
  • It is quicker. Couples are able to schedule their mediation sessions, without having to wait for a court-appointed date. Often times, couples are able to reach a settlement in as little as one or two sessions.
  • Couples can customize the details of their divorce settlement. This enables them to make unique judgements that may not have been available through traditional litigation.
  • Couples are more likely to comply with the details of their divorce decree when they have had a part in writing it.
  • Divorcing parents or business partners who go through mediation often experience a better relationship post-divorce than they would have had they gone through a stressful litigation process.

Couples must agree to disclose all information that is relevant to the divorce, and make decisions that will benefit everyone involved in the dissolution. If the mediation negotiation session is unsuccessful, the case may go to court.

Legal representation is key

People may attempt to face the divorce process on their own, without the legal assistance of an attorney. However, they may not make the right decisions when it comes to negotiating a fair and just divorce settlement. You may want to consider speaking with an attorney regarding your legal rights. An Arizona attorney may help you design a divorce decree that takes your best interests into account.

Keywords: divorce, mediation, litigation