This Article is part of a two part series describing the process when I mediate a divorce matter in Arizona. The process is similar for other mediated family law cases where documents need to be filed with the Court. The filing fees will be different depending on the type of matter. Where filing documents with the Court is unnecessary, only steps 1-3 are utilized. Link to Part 2
1. The process starts when you contact my office to schedule a complimentary consultation. If you and your spouse know that you want to mediate and do not have any questions, you can skip this step and simply call my office to schedule a mediation. At the consultation, I will tell you about the mediation process and answer any questions you have about mediation. You may attend this mediation consultation with your spouse or separately. We can schedule the mediation at this time.
2. Prior to the mediation, I will send you and your spouse a Confidentiality Agreement and an Agreement to Mediate to review. You do not need to sign these documents before the mediation. I will also send you and your spouse a memorandum to complete, listing assets and debts and other necessary information. You can complete this memorandum with your spouse or separately. I ask that you return the memorandum one day before the mediation. The memorandum is helpful, but not mandatory. Everything I send you will be sent via email if you are both comfortable with email.
3. The next step is the mediation. The length of the mediation and the number of sessions you have is dependent on your needs and comfort level. Some people choose to and are able to have their mediation completed in one session. We begin the mediation session by signing the Confidentiality Agreement and Agreement to Mediate. We then begin working through the issues. Usually when children are involved, we address custody and parental access first. At the end of the mediation session, I will have written up any agreements, which you and your spouse are free to sign at that time or later. Once both of your sign the agreement, it is binding.
Please read part two of this article to learn more about the mediation process.
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 email@example.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