While litigation is one of the most commonly recognized methods of divorce in Arizona, it isn’t always the best approach to a dissolution case. In fact, most divorcing spouses in Arizona find collaborative divorce and mediation to be a more effective and less stressful way to reach a mutually beneficial settlement.
To help divorcing spouses gain a clear understanding of these two alternatives to divorce court, here are some important terms and definitions relating to mediation and collaborative divorce in Arizona:
- Mediation – The mediation process helps parties to an Arizona divorce case come to a mutual agreement with assistance from an unbiased third party.
- Mediator – In the mediation process, the mediator is the unbiased third party who guides divorcing spouses through negotiations and promotes effective two-way communication, but does not force any decisions on the couple, or make any decisions for them.
- Collaborative Divorce - A collaborative divorce is a method that promotes negotiation instead of litigation to help a couple reach a settlement agreement. Each spouse hires their own attorney to assist them with the process. In most cases, each spouse and their corresponding attorney will also sign a participation agreement that outlines what all of the parties can and cannot engage in throughout the process.
- Participation Agreement - When parties to an Arizona divorce case decide to go through with a collaborative divorce, they usually create and sign a Participation Agreement that sets some ground rules for the process. This type of agreement can include a variety of terms, such as: Require the parties to act in good faith; Require the parties to refrain from litigation; Require the parties to engage in open communication; Prohibit the parties from taking advantage of mistakes made by the other party; Require that only neutral experts be counseled with; Set forth reasons for withdrawal from the process; Require confidentiality.
If you have questions about mediation and the collaborative divorce process in Arizona, contact the law firm of JacksonWhite. Our knowledgeable Mesa divorce mediation attorney Tim Durkin can assess your case during a confidential free phone consultation and help you understand your options. Call 480-464-1111 to learn more!