Collaborative Divorce

At the very outset of the collaborative divorce process, both attorneys pledge in writing not to go to court under any circumstances. Indeed, both of the collaborative lawyers pledge to withdraw should one party become dissatisfied, threaten to go to court, or if settlement cannot be achieved.

Benefits Of
Divorce Mediation

What are my options and how do they compare?

Benefits

Mediated Divorce

Attorney Divorce

You maintain control Yes No
You make the final decisions Yes Sometimes
It‘s totally private and confidential Yes No
It‘s cost efficient (saves you money) Yes No
It‘s time efficient (can be done quickly) Yes No
The process guarantees safe and respecful communications and negotiations Yes No
It reduces your fear, stress & hostility Yes No
It helps you create long-lasting, practical agreements Yes Sometimes
It addresses the emotional psychological aspects of disputes. Yes No
It equalizes power and information imbalances Yes No
It has the highest post-agreement compliance rate (both parties honor their decisions) Yes No

Does a pledge of settlement serve the best interests of the clients?

On the surface, these pledges would appear to foster the best interests of the divorcing couple. However, it also creates a singular objective, namely, settlement. Any and all other options short of settlement are unacceptable, meaning that the attorneys are not only interested in settlement – as are most mediators and even some adversarial lawyers – but are totally invested, indeed driven, by it! After all, under this pledge both attorneys are out of a job if one party becomes dissatisfied with the collaborative process, threatens litigation, or if settlement negotiations reach an impasse.

It thus seems reasonable to ask and be concerned about whether this overriding commitment to settlement actually serves the best interests of collaborative clients. For instance, to what length will one or both of the collaborative attorneys go to achieve settlement – and carve another “settled” notch in their belts? Might this pledge consciously or unconsciously influence how an attorney communicates with or behaves toward his or her client? Might it also influence how the attorneys interact with each other? And, might it affect how many of a client’s rights and interests one or both attorneys might be willing to sacrifice to achieve settlement?

Divorce Mediation FAQs

Q: What if one or both of us wants help from an independent attorney?

With us, employing an independent attorney is an option but not a requirement. In fact, we provide all of our clients with a list of attorneys who are expert in divorce matters, do not charge any upfront retainer fees, and act as consultants rather than combatants.

Q: What if one of us doesn’t live in ArizonaWhat if one of us doesn’t live in Arizona?

Not a problem. Under Arizona law, only one spouse must have resided here for 90 days or more, and we can mediate your situation by email, teleconference, and/or videoconference.

Q: Can we still mediate if one of us has already filed for divorce or legal separation, and/or retained an attorney?

Yes, it never too late to avoid the hostility, stress, and substantial cost involved in using separate adversarial lawyers and court system.

Q: What happens at a free consultation?

Our mediator will answer your questions, make sure they understand your situation, and because everyone’s circumstances are different give you a written time and cost estimate.

Q: Can I come to the consultation alone?

It’s important for both you and your spouse/coparent to get information about our services at the same time and required for our consultations.

Q: How much do your services cost?

Every situation is different. That’s why our Mediator will give you a written cost estimate after learning about your particular situation and determining which of our Low Cost programs best serves your needs.

Q: How can I get my questions answered?

During your free consultation, our Mediator will answer your questions and explain how our time-tested mediation and court document preparation services work.

Q: Can both parties file for divorce?

No, one party, the Petitioner, initiates the court proceedings. Then, the other party, the Respondent, files a response. However, because Arizona is a no-fault state there is no legal significance to which party is the Petitioner.

Q: What to ask for in divorce mediation?

Ask for clarity on any issues you don’t understand, discuss your  concerns, needs, and priorities, and ensure all necessary topics like property division, child-related matters, and support are covered. With Out-of-Court Solutions’ systematized yet personalized procedures, couples can rest assured that everything is covered.

Q: How to find a divorce mediator?

You can search online or ask for recommendations from friends or professionals to find a qualified divorce mediator.

Q: What happens after divorce mediation?

After mediation, the mediator drafts a legally binding settlement agreement for review by each party, and once finalized the mediator submits it to the court for approval.

Q: What to expect in divorce mediation?

Expect open discussions, negotiation, problem-solving, and the mediator’s guidance in reaching mutually agreeable solutions and legally binding settlement agreements.

Q: What happens in divorce mediation?

After an initial free consultation, the couple and Out-of-Court Solutions’ mediator work through all aspects of a divorce or legal separation including division of property and debts, and any support considerations such as child-support and spousal maintenance (i.e., alimony). During mediation, the mediator provides information about the necessary court documents and prepares all of such documents so the couple never has to go court. After all issues are resolved, the mediator prepares a comprehensive settlement agreement.

Q: What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

Benefits include substantial cost savings, time efficiency, reduced stress, improved communication, and sustainable outcomes. With Out-of-Court Solutions, clients never have to go to court.

Q: What does a divorce mediator do?

The mediators at Out-of-Court Solutions help couples communicate and negotiate effectively, consider different options for resolving any disagreements, and provide legal, financial, tax, and other information such that they can make fully informed decisions and enter into a legally binding settlement agreement. Our mediators also prepare and file all necessary court documents.

Q: How to prepare for divorce mediation?

To prepare for divorce mediation, gather all relevant documents, consider your priorities and potential compromises, and come with an open and collaborative mindset. After a couple participates in an initial free consultation, Out-of-Court Solutions’ mediators provide them with worksheets, documents, and information which helps them prepare for mediation and save time and money.

Q: How long does divorce mediation take?

The length of divorce or legal separation mediation varies, but it typically takes several sessions spread out over a few weeks or months.

 

Q: How long after mediation is divorce final?

The timeline for finalizing a divorce after mediation depends on several factors, including court schedules, state laws, and how quickly the parties can reach an agreement.

Q: How does divorce mediation work?

In divorce mediation, a neutral mediator helps the couple communicate effectively, identify issues, consider options for solutions, provides legal, financial, tax, and other information—all directed towards the couple making fully informed decisions such that they can enter into a mutually agreed-upon legally binding settlement agreement at far less costs than court-based litigation with two adversarial lawyers.

Q: How much does divorce mediation cost?

The cost of divorce mediation varies widely depending on factors like location, the complexity of the issues, and the mediator’s experience and expertise. It is almost always much more cost-effective than going to court with adversarial lawyers. The mediators at Out-of-Court Solutions offer an initial free consultation, during which couples receive a written time and cost estimate.

Q: What is mediation in court?

Mediation in court is when a mediation session is ordered or facilitated by a court as part of a legal proceeding, to help the parties settle outside of the courtroom.

Q: What does a mediator do?

A mediator facilitates effective communication, offers options and alternatives for resolving issues, and provides legal information—all for the purpose of couples reaching full agreement inexpensively and efficiently. The mediators at Out-of-Court Solutions also prepare all of the court documents required to divorce or legally separate, such that the couple never has to go to court.

Q: How to start mediation?

To start mediation, you can contact a mediation firm like Out-of-Court Solutions, schedule an initial free consultation, and from there, the mediator will guide you through the next steps of the mediation and court documents processes.

Q: When is divorce mediation not recommended?

Divorce mediation might not be recommended in cases involving domestic violence or when one or both parties are unwilling to meaningfully participate in good faith.

Q: What is mediation in divorce?

Mediation in divorce is a cooperative and collaborative process where a neutral mediator assists the couple in reaching agreements on various aspects of their divorce including division of property, allocation of debts, minor child-related matters, and spousal maintenance (i.e., alimony), ensuring both parties have a voice in the final decisions. The mediators at Out-of-Court Solutions also prepare a legally binding settlement agreement and all necessary court documents.

Q: Is mediation a good idea in divorce?

Yes, mediation is a good idea because it promotes effective communication, saves time and money, reduces stress, and almost always results in more satisfactory outcomes and far less expensive costs compared to litigation with two adversarial lawyers.

Q: What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is a specific type of mediation focused on helping couples navigate the complexities of divorce. It aims to facilitate productive discussions around issues such as property division, debt allocation, time-sharing arrangements for minor children, child support, and spousal maintenance (i.e., alimony). With their backgrounds in both law and psychology, the mediators at Out-of-Court Solutions also help couples advance in the emotional grief process involved in divorce or legal separation, saving themselves and any of their minor children from the hostility, tension, and significant cost of adversarial court-based proceedings.

Q: What is mediation in law?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party, the mediator, helps disputing parties to communicate, understand each other’s perspectives, and work towards mutually acceptable solutions out of court. The mediator’s at Out-of-Court Solutions also prepare a legal binding settlement and any necessary court documents.

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