Arizona Divorce

If you are reading this article, you are likely contemplating or facing a divorce.  As a divorce attorney of almost 15 years and a long-term mediator, I am here to tell you

Arizona Divorce

Arizona Divorce

that there are options on how you can process the divorce in Arizona.  Your choices will impact how long, expensive and stressful the process will be, as well as how much control you will have over the outcome.

In an Arizona divorce, either the parties or the Court will determine such issues as:  custody, parental access, child support, property division, debt division and spousal maintenance.  If the parties can reach an agreement, they decide the outcome of these issues.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Court decides these issues after a trial.

Most people would agree that it is best for people to reach their own agreements.  That gives the parties control over what happens in their lives – to their finances, and their children, if children are involved.

One effective way to reach agreement is to mediate.  In mediation, the parties use a neutral third party (mediator) to help them reach binding agreements.  Mediation is successful at resolving disputes around 90 percent of the time.  The process is quick, confidential, and much less expensive and stressful than litigation.

Parties can also use the collaborative divorce process. This process entails using professionals (lawyers, counselors and financial specialists) to assist them in the divorce in a collaborative fashion.  The process also involves a commitment to not go to trial (you can opt out of the process, but you then cannot use the same professionals).

Of course, parties are free to litigate their divorce.  It is just a risky process that is sometimes quite expensive and stressful.  It can also be damaging to any children involved.  Litigation may be necessary where one spouse refuses the other options.  However, it is generally worth the effort to talk to your spouse about the other options.  You may be surprised at his/her willingness to participate in a process that offers a reasonable and effective alternative to the drama of divorce litigation.

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona.  She offers complimentary consultations regarding divorce options.  She can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

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