When Will Arizona Follow Suit With Mandatory Mediation For Family Law Cases

Courts in the United Kingdom have just made mediation mandatory for family law disputes.  Mail Online, October 18, 2010. The courts moved to this system because it determined that the normal system is “really intolerable for both children and parents – and damaging.”  The chair of the committee implementing the change, David Norgrove, also noted:  ‘There is a general sense that more cases can and should be devolved from the court-based process.” In addition to the emotional benefit for the … [Read more...]

What Happens To The Pets In An Arizona Divorce?

Pets become part of a family. So what happens to Fluffy, Fido or Speedy when the family breaks up? Courts treat pets like property (I know:  the horror).  However, it is also not realistic to expect a Court to order a custody evaluation and determine with party is most fit to care for a dog or cat, as it would a child.  The Court has limited time and resources.  In fact, Courts rarely spend a lot of time dividing property, unless it is a big asset or one difficult to divide – like a house or … [Read more...]

The Family Law Mediation Process In Arizona Explained

When you use Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC to mediate your dissolution or paternity action, the sequence of events is normally as follows: 1.     The two parties can come in for a complimentary consultation.  They can ask any questions they have about the process and select a mutually agreeable mediation appointment.  Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC provides after-hours mediations where the parties’ schedules require it. 2.     Prior to the first session, the mediator e-mails (or mails) … [Read more...]

Arizona Divorce

If you are reading this article, you are likely contemplating or facing a divorce.  As a divorce attorney of almost 15 years and a long-term mediator, I am here to tell you that there are options on how you can process the divorce in Arizona.  Your choices will impact how long, expensive and stressful the process will be, as well as how much control you will have over the outcome. In an Arizona divorce, either the parties or the Court will determine such issues as:  custody, parental … [Read more...]

Divorce Arizona – If Mediation Is So Great, Why Doesn’t Everyone In Arizona Use It?

Mediation is effective at resolving disputes quickly, inexpensively and confidentially.  Around 90 percent of all people who try mediation end their conflict in mediation. You read that correctly:  almost all mediations are successful – no risky and expensive litigation necessary. Then why isn’t everyone using mediation in AZ?  First, many people do not even know mediation is an option.  Many think the only way to deal with a conflict is to sue or suffer.  Further, businesses and … [Read more...]

Ground Rules To Help Make Your Arizona Mediation Successful

Mediation works best when both parties come in with the right mindset.  The mediator will guide you in this process, but there are things you can do that will help make your mediation successful: 1. Be respectful. It makes the mediation a lot more pleasant, and it facilitates open communication that is more likely to result in settlement.  Mediation works when both parties are willing to listen and understand the other’s interests and needs. 2. Be reasonable. Make and consider offers that … [Read more...]

Minimize Negative Effects of Divorce on Your Children in Arizona

There have been a number of studies on the effects of divorce on children.   Divorce has been found to be “an intensely stressful experience for all children.”  [1] Children often are frightened, confused and feel a loss of control and security.  [2] The amount of parental conflict during and after a divorce is the single most important factor in determining children’s well-being. [3] The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry concluded: Children will do best if they … [Read more...]

Can We Mediate Even If We Don’t Get Along?

Some people think they cannot mediate their disputes because they do not get along with the other party to the dispute.  In fact, mediation is the perfect format to address conflict for people who cannot communicate, who push each other’s buttons or who simply don’t care much for the other party.   The only exception is the situation that there is a significant power imbalance, perhaps due to physical violence, and one party is not able to freely negotiate and communicate because of that … [Read more...]

Is Arizona a No Fault Divorce State?

In Arizona, you do not have to prove someone is at fault (caused the divorce) to get a divorce.  You do not have to allege that the other person is cheating, stealing or is abusive. The Court is unconcerned with a spouse’s bad or unethical conduct, except if it impacts the best interests of any common children (for example:  domestic violence or drug abuse).  Also, if the misconduct constitutes financial misconduct (hiding/wasting money, for example), the Court may award the innocent party … [Read more...]

Choosing Peace through Mediation in Phoenix Arizona

It is likely that, at some point in your life, you will have a boss, a spouse, a business partner or a company who will cause you financial loss or emotional distress.  Often, those situations must be addressed.  However, how you choose to address conflict is up to you.  As Max Lucade said:  “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional". You can choose to make the conflict the center of your life – engaging in litigation that lasts years, and spending all of your savings to address the … [Read more...]

Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 776-8271