Finding Peace Through Mediation

As a family law mediator in Arizona, I have helped families addressing addiction or recovery move more easily through a legal matter with grace and respect. Family law mediation is most often used as a positive alternative to litigation. It is a process in which both parties sit down with a neutral third person skilled in conflict resolution, and resolve their disputes themselves. Mediators help create an environment that fosters listening, compromise and resolution. If necessary, they also … [Read more...]

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make If You Have A Support Obligation In Arizona

If you owe child support or spousal maintenance through the Court, the potentially biggest mistake you can make is to enter an informal side agreement with the other parent or former spouse to do something other than what was ordered. Such agreements may include: ·      Temporarily or permanently stopping or modifying the obligation; ·      Agreeing to delay modifying the obligation through the Court; and ·      Agreeing to direct payments when payments are required through the … [Read more...]

Going Separate Ways: An Arizona Divorce and Your Home

When a couple makes the difficult decision to divorce, the stress of dealing with financial details related to the home can be overwhelming. Our mortgage experts can help sort out the home ownership and mortgage issues. In this time when focusing on the future can be difficult, our professionals specialize in helping individuals learn more about choices they have regarding the home mortgage. Questions that may need to be addressed: How is the title (ownership) to the home currently … [Read more...]

What Does it Mean to be an “Unbiased” or “Neutral” Mediator?

When I conduct a mediation, I always take steps to ensure all participants feel that I am treating them with respect and with equal consideration. I consider it a mediator’s primary job to be trustworthy, neutral and unbiased. What that means is I do not show favor to one participant over the other. To make sure people feel comfortable, I go so far as to alternate the order in which I list the participants’ names (on emails and agreements, for example). I warn mediation participants that some … [Read more...]

Mediation – The Best Option Even When Cost Is Not A Concern

The option of divorce mediation is often raised when parties do not want to pay tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys and experts to get a divorce. Mediation is almost always the much less expensive way to divorce. This fact notwithstanding, mediation is also the right option when money is no concern. Whether one has money to spare or not, everyone benefits from the peaceful process, which promotes the welfare of the children (where there are children involved) and eliminates the risk of … [Read more...]

Does Mediation Work?

Another Happy Clients Testimonial K.H. recently used our mediation services to get a legal separation. He had the following to say about the process: Divorce or separation is never a pleasant experience; however, being through it before, the mediation process is much easier, less expensive and quicker than getting multiple lawyers involved. Alona was unbiased during the process and was able to guide us to a decision or compromise without much difficulty. He further stated: Overall … [Read more...]

Mediation Helps Children Around the World

A recent article discusses the very real benefits of mediation to children whose parents are divorcing.  See "Mediation works in kids' custody spats" by Theresa Tan and published in The Straits Times on, Apr 05, 2015.  Singapore has a mandatory mediation program for divorcing parents.  About four out of five of the almost 5,000 divorcing parents who have gone through the programs have reached agreements regarding their children. A spokesman for the program reported that mediation: … [Read more...]

How Spousal Maintenance is Determined in Arizona Family Law Mediation

Spousal maintenance is one of the most complicated topics to discuss in divorce or legal separation mediations. There is no adopted formula to use, unlike child support calculations, and the law is vague enough so that two vastly different positions may be “reasonable.” Further, it is a topic fueled with emotion. Many people feel more offended by the thought of paying spousal maintenance than almost anything else. Also, participants who feel emotionally injured by his/her spouse sometimes … [Read more...]

Addressing Disclosure Issues in Arizona Family Law Mediation

In family law matters that either start in mediation or come to mediation early, the questions of hidden assets or income sometimes arise. Income is at issue for any child support or spousal maintenance case, and assets are at issue in divorces, legal separations and annulment matters. The following are ways mediators can help address concerns of non-disclosure: 1. Mediators can facilitate the exchange of information requested by each participant. The participants can enter binding … [Read more...]

Can We Mediate If I Am A Victim of Domestic Violence?

Mediation can occur even when one or both participants are victims of domestic violence at the hands of the other participant, provided both parties can participate fully and safely. Family law mediations must comply with Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 67(B) and 68(B). These Rules state that where there is an Order of Protection involving the parties, or a Court issues finding of facts that would support the entry of such an Order, the Court may only refer the parties to mediation if … [Read more...]

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 998-1500