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By: Sampair Group

What are disadvantages of mediation?

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What Is the Basic Process in Divorce Mediation in Arizona?

Divorce is always a challenging time for both you and your spouse. This is especially true if your relationship has become argumentative and it’s difficult to communicate effectively.

When this occurs (and even if you can discuss things amiably), mediation can be a proven legal tool by which you can resolve matters effectively outside of an Arizona courtroom.

During mediation, you and your spouse will meet and attempt to settle significant divorce issues and disagreements with the help of a mediator, who is a neutral third party.

Only you, your spouse, and the mediator will resolve issues such as child support, visitation rights, alimony, and more during mediation. No outside party will make any decisions, and even the mediator is not responsible for making any final decisions.

However, your mediator may greatly help facilitate your communication and even propose possible solutions that may be effective through compromise.

This mediation process usually will follow a few basic steps, such as:

  • A preliminary meeting (sometimes virtual or by phone) between you and possibly your divorce lawyer.
  • Preparation of a Settlement Conference Memorandum to advise the Mediator of your position on all of the issues in the case.. It is critically important that you review this document before it goes into the Mediator.
  • A joint meeting where you and your spouse are involved.
  • Possible meetings where the mediator individually meets with you (and your divorce lawyer ).
  • A complete evaluation by the mediator involved.
  • Ending with final agreements that resolve significant issues before you go before the judge.

Mediation is often used in divorce and many other legal issues such as contract disputes, child custody issues, contesting a will, and even between business partners.

Since divorce is almost always highly emotional, mediation is a precious tool. However, you must know that it has disadvantages and advantages.

By discussing the matter thoroughly with your Maricopa County divorce lawyer, you can both decide if (in your case) the advantages outweigh the disadvantages before engaging in the mediation process.

What Are Some Common Mistakes Made in Divorce Mediation?

While mediation and trained professional mediators can work around almost all obstacles, there are several ways this process can be impeded and its effect mitigated, such as:

  • Showing up without all the people involved – You must be sure that all parties pertinent to the process are in attendance. This could include you, your spouse, your divorce lawyer, etc. This ensures that all the “decision makers” are there and agreements can be reached.
  • Failure to discuss your case thoroughly with your divorce lawyer before you arrive – The mediation table is not the time to discuss your expectations and goals. Ensure you know what you want to achieve before you go to mediation.
  • Making moves in the wrong direction – If you have reached agreements or made demands before the mediation, don’t move backward from them or “waffle.”
  • Personally attacking your spouse or their counsel – When attempting to negotiate a positive, mutually agreed outcome, rely on persuasion, not on personal attacks. The right attitude of cooperation should try to be maintained.
  • Failing to prepare and giving up too early – Mediation can be one of the most important and influential events during your divorce. So, ensure you and your experienced and empathetic divorce lawyer have fully prepared for the process ahead of time. Know what you want to achieve and a strategy to do it. Even complicated divorces with many dire issues can and do settle during mediation. However, if you give up or give in on serious issues too early, it will never help. Be patient and work with the mediator and let the process unfold over time, and work to resolve your differences.
  • Mediation almost always involves give and take by both parties.
  • Generally, mediation is less effective if the other side does not have an attorney. People without an attorney have a tendency to believe that they are right about everything. This makes it harder to negotiate.

Are There Times Mediation May Not Work as Intended?

Depending on the specifics of your divorce situation, mediation is only sometimes an ideal way to resolve or get to the truth of all the issues involved. Experienced, aggressive, helpful, and thorough divorce lawyers possess many tools to get people to compromise and resolve dire and severe issues.

A lot of courtroom procedure is designed to keep things fair and equal for all parties involved in your case. While mediation typically has no formal rules or structure for doing so.

For example, if one party is timid and the other is loud and aggressive, the timid person risks losing. This is where your divorce lawyer’s experience and negotiating skills will be invaluable. Mediators can intervene, but there are limits to what they can do.

Let’s say you have an abusive relationship; then mediation may not be appropriate. So primarily, having a competent and successful divorce lawyer on your side may be far better than mediation in specific cases.

By thoroughly knowing you, your goals, and your case, an experienced Maricopa County divorce lawyer is the most qualified to help you determine if mediation is the best path for you to follow.

What “Conciliation Services” Does Arizona Provide

Decades ago, the Judicial Branch of Arizona established various conciliation services after the Arizona Legislature enacted the Conciliation Services law (ARS 25-381).

This legislation finds ways to enact legal decisions involving parenting time plans for families of divorce, post-divorce, or in paternity actions. This can be brought into play when parents disagree on a parenting plan, etc.

Some of the topics that “Conciliation Services cover are:

  • Conciliation Court Services for you and your spouse if you are considering divorce.
  • Mediation and decisions on parenting time plans for families of divorce, post-divorce, or in paternity actions.
  • Evaluation Services to the Arizona court if parents disagree on a valid parenting plan.
  • The “Parent Information Program” provides information to divorcing parents or parents involved in other domestic relations actions.
  • Parental Conflict Resolution Class is explicitly designed for high-conflict parents.

Again, however, by working with a qualified, empathetic, and caring Maricopa County divorce lawyer, you can obtain the best possible advice on if the alternatives above, or mediation, are suitable for you and your family.

I Want To Learn More About Divorce Mediation in Arizona; What Should I Do?

If you are considering divorce or mediation, always note that there is no “cookie-cutter” approach for you and your spouse. You and your spouse should assess their strengths, weaknesses, and future goals and carefully consider and learn all you can about mediation’s pros and cons before deciding whether it is the best option for your singular situation.

The divorce lawyers at the Sampair Group are fully versed and qualified in divorce proceedings and can professionally answer all your questions about whether divorce mediation is right for you. Call them today at (602) 975-3361 for a free case consultation, and be assured that mediation is the correct legal path for you and your family.