What Happens in an Arizona Divorce Mediation: Step By Step (Part Two)

This Article is the second part in a two part series describing in detail the Arizona divorce mediation process.  Please read Part One before reading this article. Link to Part 1

4.     During the mediation session, I also gather the information I need to draft the Petition for Dissolution package.  One of you will choose to be the Petitioner (the person who is the initial filer) and the other one will be the Respondent.  At the end of the session, you and/or your spouse pay me for the time used for the mediation ($250.00 per hour).  If you choose, you can also pay at this time for the drafting of the paperwork and the filing fees.  It generally takes two and a half hours for me to complete and administer all paperwork, and there is a onetime administrative fee of $50.00.  For the filing fees, you will provide checks made out to the Clerk of the Court – $321.00 for the Petitioner and $256.00 for the Respondent.

5. I will prepare and provide to both of you the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the supporting documents for your review and approval.  The Petitioner will sign the Petition and a Verification (verifying the information in the Petition is true to the best of your knowledge).  The Verification needs to be signed in front of a notary.  I have notaries available at my office.  I will then file the Petition with the Court with the filing fee.  When I get it back from the Court, I will provide to you and your spouse an Acceptance of Service for the Respondent to sign (this means that the Respondent agrees that he/she does not have to be served with the papers by a process server).  The Acceptance of Service also has to be signed in front of a notary.  When I receive the Acceptance of Service, I will file it with the Respondent’s filing fee.

6. Sixty days after the Acceptance of Service is signed, we can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.  Sometime after a full agreement is reached and before the 60 days has run, I will give you a draft Decree to review, sign, and notarize.  If you have minor children, you will need to take a Parent Information Class and give me the certificate before submitting the Decree.  I will provide you information about this class.

7. There is no procedure in place to let the Court know parties are in mediation. Therefore, the Court will send any notices or orders to the participants, rather than to the mediator.  You will need to let me know if they receive anything from the court, so I can help address any issue.

8. Once I submit the Decree, the Court generally takes one to five weeks to sign the Decree.  The Court will mail the Decrees directly to both of you in envelopes I provide The date in the upper right hand corner of the Decree will be the date of your divorce.

I know the divorce process is confusing.  As a mediator, I try to make the process as easy and stress free as possible.  I am available to answer questions.

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona@sglawaz.com.  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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