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 children. The mediator helps the parties reach their own resolution of issues in a respectful, less expensive, more confidential and less time-consuming manner than litigation.
All couples are now also entitled to use prenuptial agreements (agreements entered before the marriage) and postnuptial agreements (agreements entered after the marriage). These agreements can be used to define provisions to be applied during the marriage and/or the terms to which the participants wish to be bound in the case of a divorce or legal separation. For example, parties can agree that each party is entitled to his/her own retirement accounts or other assets in the case of a divorce or legal separation. If the goal is to prevent third party creditors from pursuing payment from one of the parties, note that only prenuptial agreements can have that effect.
Family Mediation offers participants – which now includes all Arizonans – the most control over their marriage and/or divorce.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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