Mediation for Same Sex Couples in Arizona

Now that Arizona recognizes same sex marriages, same sex couples can not only marry in Arizona, they can dissolve marriages in Arizona (whether the marriage took place in Arizona or elsewhere). Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals also have the same options as straight couples as to whether they want to mediate their divorce, or litigate it. Through mediation, participants have much more control over how their assets and debts are divided and what decisions are made regarding their … [Read more...]

Mediation Review of Alona M Gottfried

Does mediation sound too good to be true?  As with products you are considering purchasing online, read the reviews. Below are some comments from two recent mediation participants.  There are additional reviews on my website: Jack S.: He first responded in the affirmative to the question asking if he felt the mediation process was a positive one. He explained: "Alona handled it with Kindness and Care for both of us. Alona showed no Favoritism to either Party.  … [Read more...]

Limited Scope Representation Arizona

In Arizona, someone with a family law issue can hire an attorney to fully represent him/her in a case, or to perform a specific task. Full representation usually entails a significant upfront fee.  The attorney is then responsible for communicating with the other party or his/her attorney, determining what needs to be filed and completed in the case, completing all paperwork, reviewing all Court documents and appearing in any Court hearing, conference or trial. When an attorney is hired to … [Read more...]

Testimonial for Alona M Gottfried’s Mediation Services

Question:  How do I know which mediator to choose to mediate my family law issue? Answer: You want a mediator that is skilled at conflict resolution, caring, unbiased, knowledgeable and responsive. You can determine your comfort level with a particular mediator by meeting with him or her and asking questions. You can also look at reviews of the mediator’s services. Recently, one of my mediation clients took the time to review my services. He first responded in the affirmative to the … [Read more...]

How To Suggest Family Mediation to Resolve Conflict

A falling out with children, parents, siblings or other family members can be the most difficult to bear. Family members have the ability to hurt us more than anyone else, but failing to address the conflict and move forward can result in life-long regret. We have all heard the stories of people who wish for one more day, hour or word with a relative who dies before peace is achieved. It is often one’s ego that prevents him/her from making that call, or otherwise reaching out to repair the … [Read more...]

Mediate Your Attorney’s Fees Dispute

The legal matter has concluded, but there is an outstanding bill for attorney’s fees. The client does not believe he/she should have to pay the full balance (or does not believe he/she can afford to do so), and the attorney does not want to have to resort to suing his/her client to collect the fee. The client, of course, does not want to be sued either. No one wants to hire attorneys and be caught up in expensive, time consuming and risky litigation. With litigation, the client risks losing and … [Read more...]

Divorce Corp: A Documentary about the Downside of Divorce

Divorce Corp is a new documentary espousing the downside of divorce litigation.  I have not watched the movie, but based on the trailer (found at:, the movie focuses on the tremendous cost - financially and emotionally - of litigation. As a family law mediator and attorney, those themes ring true to me. I have seen the worst of litigation and how it destroys people, families and, most tragically, children. That type of collateral damage is why I became a … [Read more...]

Review of Family Law Mediatior Alona M Gottfried

Nothing demonstrates the extreme benefits of family law mediation like a review from someone who has been through the process. One recent participant in a mediation I conducted, who asked that we refer to her as Tambi S., gave a glowing review of her experience. She discussed the ease and expediency of the process: I found mediation to be such a relief and a hassle free process. Alona was wonderful at taking care of all the details. We literally met with her once, had follow up emails and … [Read more...]

Courts Recognize the Importance of Mediation

In 2004, a Court elucidated the importance of mediation recently espoused by many Courts around the world. In Halsey v. Milton Keynes General NHS Trust, the British Civil Court of Appeal decided that alternative dispute resolution - including mediation - is necessary upon request of one party. A party's unreasonable refusal to participate in mediation constitutes unreasonable litigation conduct.  Since the decision, other Courts have stiffened its expectations regarding the need to respond to … [Read more...]

Divorce and the Over 50 Set

On September 20, 2013, the New York Times printed an article entitled: "Divorce After 50 Grows More Common."  The article reveals that the divorce rate for Americans age 50 or older has doubled since 1990.  Now, 15.4 percent of that demographic is divorce and 2.1 percent is separated.   Cited reasons for this trend include the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives, women have more economic freedom and the stigma related to divorce has decreased. People divorcing at an older … [Read more...]

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