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How does Divorce Work in Arizona?

Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. In Arizona, the legal term for divorce is “dissolution of marriage.” During the divorce process, spouses will make a number of important decisions. The most commonly known are decisions regarding: asset and debt division, spousal maintenance (alimony), and parenting issues, to include: parenting time, legal decision-making, financial obligations, and child support.

In each and every state, including Arizona, even the simplest divorce requires a significant amount of legal document preparation. These documents must address every issue of divorce and be legally filed, to ensure a thorough and valid process. Attention to detail is paramount. Errors and oversights can cause a divorce to spiral out of control and result in long-term litigation.

The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation offers all mediation services 100% online. You and your spouse can complete your entire divorce process from the comfort of home. We offer a free complimentary consultation, where you can meet your potential mediator who will explain mediation and answer your questions. We take care of everything, from start to finish, for a personalized flat fee. We prepare all legal documents and file them for you. You never have to step foot in a courtroom. Complimentary consultations do not start any process.

Moving Forward

When you are ready to move forward with divorce, it is best to start by understanding everything you can about divorcing in Arizona. Empowering yourself with information will help you to make decisions that allow you to go through your divorce process in the healthiest way possible. There are options as to which approach you want to take and, with an understanding of Arizona’s divorce process, you will be able to thoughtfully communicate with your spouse about which to choose.

Process Options

In Maricopa County and across Arizona, you can choose to litigate or mediate your divorce. There are substantial differences in the cost and timeline between these two approaches. Most importantly, as you become knowledgeable of the divorce process, it will become clear that mediation offers emotional and psychological benefits, as opposed to the harmful conflict of a litigated divorce battle. You will also be prepared to clearly explain to your spouse how you can both benefit from a peaceful divorce through mediation.

Divorce Basics

How Is Legal Separation Different from Divorce?

Although the process for Legal Separation and Divorce are quite similar, there are large differences between the two results. Legal Separation differs from Divorce in a number of ways. To begin with, legally separated spouses must sign a Separation Agreement, which is a legally-binding contract that resolves debt, property, and child-related issues. The Separation Agreement is very detailed, and outlines all rights and responsibilities. Spouses are wise to consult with an family law attorney or mediator to assist them during this process, especially when there are children or complex assets involved. To determine whether or not you want a Legal Separation or a Divorce, it is important to understand that Legal Separation:

  • Does not divorce a married couple
  • Prevents you from remarrying
  • May be preferable as a stand-in for divorce until all issues can be negotiated
  • Is often pursued so that spouses may remain on one another’s health insurance, for religious reasons, or as a temporary means to separate lives while making final decisions about whether or not to divorce.

Grounds for Filing for Divorce in Arizona

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, meaning neither spouse needs to find the other spouse ‘at-fault’ in order to file for divorce. All that is necessary as grounds for divorce is for one spouse to wish to dissolve the marriage. When one spouse is ready to divorce, there is nothing the other spouse can do to prevent it. This is one reason that it is so important that spouses have options as to how they will complete their process. The Aurit Center offers the healthier option to divorce litigation. The annulment means technically no marriage existed and there are no marital assets to be divided.

HELPFUL TIPS: Arizona superior court has a residency requirement which requires that at least one spouse must have resided in Arizona for at least 90 days to file the initial Petition.

Contested Divorce or Uncontested Divorce

In Arizona, there are two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. In the former, the couple agrees on all divorce terms and conditions. On the other hand, a contested divorce, means the spouses don’t agree In litigation, an uncontested divorce would require extensive discovery, hearings, appearances, and a trial to battle out the details of dissolution of marriage. In mediation, constructive, informed agreements can be reached between spouses regardless of the contested or uncontested nature of the divorce.

Division of Property

In mediation, spouses reach agreements regarding division of assets and debts. However, In litigation, a judge makes these decisions. In the state of Arizona is a community property state, meaning the courts will typically divide property of the “community” (the marriage) 50/50 in a divorce settlement. Arizona is one of only nine states that abide by community property rules.

Community Property

Most states follow equitable distribution rules, in which the court decides how to divide property based on a number of factors, based on what is “fair.” In Arizona, Community Property refers to all physical properties, financial portfolios, businesses owned, money, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, home equity, income, vehicles, and furniture that a couple acquired during their marriage. Community Property also includes debts such as credit card debt, tax debt, and student loans. Any property acquired before marriage or via inheritance is separate property, and not typically included in the 50/50 division. Your mediator can help you with all aspects of property division.

Commingled Property

Commingled Property is separate property that one spouse mixes with community property. For example, when a couple joins bank accounts after marriage, they turn separate property into community property. Determining whether property is community, commingled, or separate can become complicated, and may require the assistance of professionals such as forensic accountants.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance, often referred to as alimony or spousal support, is a payment one spouse regularly makes to the other in order to bridge an income or property gap between the two of them. Arizona courts do not use Spousal Maintenance awards as punishment for wrongdoing, such as infidelity. Instead, Arizona uses it to help a spouse meet their reasonable needs. Spousal Maintenance can provide a great deal of assistance during the sometimes difficult transition to life as a single individual on a single income.

No Spousal Maintenance Calculator

There is no calculator for spousal maintenance in Arizona. In fact, there is very little predictability about spousal maintenance awards made by the court, resulting in lengthy contentious litigation. Five different judges will likely award five completely different spousal maintenance awards and usually leaves both sides feeling as though they have lost. Sadly, litigation costs easily rise far above the amount of support in dispute. Litigation causes substantial risk for both spouses, and creates a strong interest in mediating an agreement before a judge decides the awards.

Under A.R.S. 25-319, spousal maintenance is paid from one spouse to the other when the receiving spouse:

  • Lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs;
  • Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient;
  • Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse;
  • Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.
  • Has significantly reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
  • Thirteen Determining Factors

Arizona courts look at thirteen different factors to determine the amount and duration of Spousal Maintenance payments:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • duration of the marriage;
  • age, employment history, earning ability, physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • ability of the payer to meet their own needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market;
  • the contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse;
  • the extent that the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced their income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse;
  • the ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children;
  • the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently;
  • the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and whether such education or training is readily available;
  • excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common;
  • the cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance;
  • damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or their child/children was/were the victim(s).

When does Spousal Maintenance End?

Typically, Spousal Maintenance only lasts as long as it takes for the recipient to become self-supporting. However, depending on the circumstances, long term spousal maintenance may be awarded. If the decree does not list an end date, the payer must continue to make scheduled payments until the court orders otherwise. In most cases, Spousal Maintenance ends if the recipient remarries, or upon the death of the payer or recipient.

Meditation allows for Creativity

Mediated Spousal Maintenance agreements can be creative, such as: part or all being paid as a lump sum; part or all being paid with the equalization of other assets and debts; using step-down payment approaches; or identifying triggers to decrease/increase payments. Additionally, mediation allows for personalized language regarding future modifications or termination of payments. In mediation, all agreements, including Spousal Maintenance agreements, can be creatively personalized, in a manner both spouses deem to be fair.

Parenting

Child custody is one of the most delicate and emotionally-charged issues of divorce. Parents involved in custody and/or visitation disagreements can find themselves in an emotionally and financially draining legal battle. In the end, after a damaging toll on children and parents, the courts rule based on what they believe is in the child’s best interests, regardless of each parent’s argument during hearings and/or trials.

Parenting Plan

When divorcing spouses have minor children, Arizona law requires that a parenting plan be created and executed. Parents must fully agree on all parenting plan terms—otherwise a judge will order the terms of your parenting plan for you. The goal of a parenting plan is to address each and every issue that may arise in order to provide a structure for addressing challenges that come along with parents living in different homes. The better the parenting plan, the lower the conflict in the future.

In mediation, a skilled mediator guides a creative, solution-focused conversation, which allows parents to reach agreements that meet their unique needs. A robust parenting plan is developed, which can prevent conflicts regarding parenting time, legal decision-making authority, and child support. The mediator facilitates healthy communication between the parents.
In litigation, parents may settle on a plan working with their attorneys. Otherwise, the judge creates a plan with which neither parent is usually satisfied.
Many issues are covered in a parenting plan. In mediation, parents can also raise their own customized issues and build agreements around things that are most important to them. Some common issues in a parenting plan include:

• A weekly schedule showing when the children are with each parent
• Holidays and Vacations
• A Periodic Review Agreement
• A Right of First Refusal Agreement
• A Relocation Agreement
• Legal Decision-Making Designation
• Methods by which parents will make major decisions, such as a child’s healthcare, education, and religion
• Healthcare and Insurance Coverage
• Cost-sharing for extra-curricular activities, childcare, etc.
• Methods by which parents will resolve disputes (parents will work with a mediator, counselor, etc. before coming back to the court to resolve the issue)
• Child Support
• Tax Agreements

These are just some of the main items your parenting plan may include. You and your spouse can add provisions as necessary until you believe you have a solid plan for taking care of your child today, tomorrow, and well into the future. At the Aurit Center, your experienced, neutral mediator will facilitate a custom-tailored approach to help you and your spouse develop a thoughtful plan, which addresses all of our unique needs.

Child Support Payments

Arizona law requires parents to provide “reasonable support” for minor children, whether there is sole or joint decision-making authority. Courts give the child support obligation top priority among financial issues. Arizona uses the Arizona Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of support to be paid. These guidelines include:

  • Number and Ages of Minor Children
  • Gross Income of the Parents
  • Amount of Parenting Time for Each Parent
  • Adjustments for other children not common to the parents; and
  • Healthcare and Educational Costs

In Arizona, the guidelines are modeled after The Income Share Model, which states that each child should receive the same proportion of income from each parent that he or she would have received had the couple remained married. Arizona courts do not factor in marital misconduct, but rather they look to the following factors:

  • Financial Needs and Resources of the Child and Both Parents
  • The Child’s Previous Standards of Living
  • The Child’s Emotional, Physical, and Educational Needs
  • The Child’s Medical Support Plan; and
  • Amount of Parenting Time

Child support payments are typically made until the youngest child turns 18 and graduates high school. Payments may continue beyond age 18, if the child has special needs and is unable to live independently and be self-supporting. If an 18 year old child is still in high school, payments may continue until the age of 19.

Child support can also be modified when a parent can demonstrate ‘changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing.’ When a parent’s income substantially increases or decreases, a modification of child support is generally requested. However, a change is not typical if the parent voluntarily departs from a higher paying job. When this occurs, a judge may impute the higher income, even though the parent is no longer at that income level.

Can the Court Deviate from the Child Support Guidelines?

Generally, child support determined using the Arizona Child Support Guidelines will be ordered by the judge. However, when this amount is “unjust,” and it is in the best interests of the child(ren) to deviate to a higher or lower amount, the court can grant the deviation.

Often in mediation, parents agree to deviate the amount based upon what it is in the best interests of their children.

Legal Decision-Making Authority

The term “custody,” although still frequently used by the general public, can no longer be found in Arizona law. The terms ‘sole custody’ and ‘joint custody’ have been replaced by less adversarial language. The term ‘legal custody’ has been replaced by ‘legal decision-making authority.’ The court may award both parents joint legal decision-making authority, or may award one parent with sole legal decision-making authority. Legal decision making authority generally refers to parental authority to make final decisions regarding a child’s major health and medical decisions, religious decisions, and educational decisions.

Arizona courts interpret joint legal decision-making as the default order based on recent law and precedent. The presence of certain facts, such as a history of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and certain criminal convictions, can result in the court awarding sole legal decision-making authority.

Interestingly, the court may also assign certain types of decisions to each parent. For example, the mother may be awarded legal rights to make the child’s medical decisions, while the father is awarded legal rights to make the child’s educational decisions. Judges do what they believe is in the child’s best interest.

Parenting Time

Separate from legal decision-making is the issue of parenting time. Previously called ‘physical custody,’ the issue of when the children will be with Mom and Dad is now referred to as parenting time. An award of joint legal decision-making authority does not necessarily mean equal parenting time. Equal (50/50) parenting time has generally been the court’s default order, as Arizona law recognizes that, barring certain present facts, equal time with parents is in the child’s best interests. When making parenting time decisions, judges look to past, present, and potential future relationships between parent and child.

Arizona Divorce Proceedings: Mediation vs. Litigation

Although Arizona divorce requires a number of specific steps, how those steps are completed depends upon the approach taken to manage the divorce process. As you review the required steps, you will be able to easily compare mediation versus litigation, and begin to formulate an idea about which approach will best suit your needs

Petition – Filing For Divorce

Mediation: Petition

In mediation, an Arizona mediator who understands the importance of keeping conflict low, will ensure that the Petition is signed after mediation begins, as part of the mediation process. Filing before mediation begins is a mistake that can lead to unnecessary conflict. In mediation, the Petition is a benign document stating the required legal language to request a divorce. It is the Petitioner’s statement of their wish to divide assets and debts fairly, and make decisions that are in the best interests of the children. It ends with a statement that all specific terms will be decided by the spouses in mediation. This broad, neutrally-worded Petition for dissolution of marriage keeps conflict as low as possible. Your mediator will explain the Petition, in detail, to both spouses in maintaining with the total transparency of mediation. Your mediator will review all divorce forms with you to ensure understanding.

HELPFUL TIP: The Courts require a filing fee to process legal documentation. The filing fee must be paid unless there is a fee waiver is obtained from the court

HELPFUL TIP: If you have a covenant marriage, you will file a petition specifically for covenant marriages.

Litigation: Petition

In litigation, the Petition typically includes an issue-by-issue outline of what the Petitioner is requesting in the divorce—the Petitioner’s demands. Each issue or some issues may be covered: child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, property division, asset distribution, attorney fees, and other costs. These requests are often to the surprise of the other spouse. Too often, the Petitioner’s specific requests are perceived as “extreme” which can lead to significant conflict at the outset of the divorce process.

HELPFUL TIP:  In Arizona, the spouse who files the Petition is referred to as Petitioner.  The other spouse is then referred to as Respondent.  In Mediation, it makes no legal difference who is listed as either.  How these roles are affected in Litigation will be explained below.

Service of Process

Mediation: Acceptance of Service

In Mediation, knowing it can create unnecessary conflict, neither spouse gets “served” with divorce papers. Instead, your mediator will prepare a document called an Acceptance of Service for the Respondent to sign, which waives the need for formal service and acknowledges Respondent’s receipt of a copy of the Petition. This process removes the need for either spouse to be “served,” thereby supporting the low-conflict process of mediation.

HELPFUL HINT: After signing Acceptance of Service there is a 60-Day mandatory waiting period before you can file the final consent decree.

Litigation: Formal Service of Process

In litigation, “being served” means that someone is hired to give the Petition, Summons, and supporting documents to the Respondent. This is done by a process server or law enforcement officer of the court, who may find the Respondent at his or her home, place of work, or any other location, such as out to dinner with friends. As you can well imagine, this process can lead to a great deal of conflict.

Response to Process

Mediation: No Response is Necessary

In mediation, the Petition does not state any specific terms or ‘demands’ and spouses anticipate reaching agreements on all issues. Therefore, no Response is necessary.

Litigation: Response Must be Filed

Respondents, who are residents of Arizona, onced served with a Petition, must file their Response, or opposing papers, within twenty days. For Respondents who reside out-of-state, the Response must be filed within thirty days. Failing to respond can result in loss of one’s right to present an opposing position to the Petition to the court. If no Response is filed, the court can award all of the Petitioner’s requests or ‘demands.’

Temporary Agreements vs. Temporary Order

Mediation: Temporary Agreements

Mediation often begins with a discussion about what reasonable arrangements need to be made during the divorce process. The mediator leads a discussion about how to establish as much stability as possible throughout the process with the use of Temporary Agreements. These will be used until final agreements can be reached. In mediation, spouses stay in control of their Temporary Agreements. In litigation, spouses have no control over a judge’s Temporary Orders. Temporary Agreements solve issues immediately, at far less cost than the Temporary Orders process, and have more positive outcomes than going to court.

Litigation: Temporary Agreements

Litigation often begins with either spouse requesting the court to make Temporary Orders. A judge issues Temporary Orders that remain in place while the divorce case is pending. Temporary Orders can include, but are not limited to: spousal maintenance, who will remain in the marital home, child custody, parenting time, child support, responsibility for bills, etc. In Arizona, when children are involved in a pending litigated divorce, the court will automatically create Temporary Orders for child support. However, it is important to note that this process can take several months to complete and the court makes the decisions.

Discovery

In a process known as Discovery, each divorcing spouse is legally entitled to information regarding all assets, debts, and income of both spouses. This can be a quick and easy process in mediation, or a time-consuming, conflict-producing, expensive process in litigation. The depth of discovery depends upon many factors, but primarily depends upon the size and value of the estate and the length of the marriage.

In Arizona, honest and complete disclosure is required and failure to meet this requirement has serious consequences, including being found guilty of perjury and severely fined by the court. Additionally, a judge may void the finalized divorce decree of dissolution of marriage and award disproportionate assets to the innocent spouse.

Mediation: Discovery

In mediation, Discovery or Voluntary Disclosure is achieved by completing a form, provided by your mediator, and bringing copies of requested documents to your mediation meetings. It is that easy.

Litigation: Discovery

In litigation, Discovery is an adversarial process in which attorneys collect information that spouses would voluntarily exchange in mediation. Often, the majority of divorce legal fees result from a contentious Discovery process. Many spouses experience a great deal of distress and frustration during an expensive Discovery process. Litigated divorces include Discovery procedures, referred to as discovery devices, inc

  • Interrogatories: A list of questions that must be responded to in formal written answers within a designated time-frame.
  • Request for Production: A request for specific documentation.
  • Deposition: An examination before trial, asking questions of a spouse under oath.  This usually takes place in a lawyer’s office, with an attorney asking questions and a court reporter taking notes of everything said.  The transcript of this questioning becomes the Deposition.  The spouse who requests a deposition from the other spouse is responsible for attorney and court reporter costs. In some cases, attorneys will conduct discovery informally, which is more efficient and less expensive.

Negotiated Settlement

It is always preferable, emotionally and financially, to resolve a divorce case by mutual agreement rather than going to trial. When spouses create their own divorce agreements, it’s called a negotiated settlement agreement, which becomes a Consent Decree.

Although a divorce lawyer may recommend that you accept or reject a particular settlement proposal, it is your decision to settle or not. It is important for you to understand that your lawyer cannot and will not make this decision for you. You are in control.

Mediation: Negotiated Settlement

The mediation process is a negotiated settlement process. It is a respectful, low-conflict process by which spouses communicate, with the help of a neutral mediator, to reach agreements that both believe are fair and in their best interest.

The process usually involves spouses having 2 – 6 meetings with their mediator. The mediator identifies the issues of the divorce, gives legal information, and helps spouses to develop and communicate options to reach agreements. The spouse’s interests, ie. what each want and need and why they have these interests, are discussed in detail. Spouses reach mutually-beneficial agreements on all issues. The agreements become the divorce decree. Our mediators prepare and file all documents so spouses never have to go to court. Our mediation process is managed specifically to avoid fighting, misunderstanding, and conflict to maintain the emotional and financial well-being of spouses and their children.

Litigation: Negotiated Settlement

Depending on the attorneys, negotiated settlement, may or may not happen. Each attorney may submit offers, counteroffers, and rejections of offers, in part or in whole, during litigation. Rather than discussing interests, spouses take positions which easily become the focus of litigated settlement talks.

At any point in litigation, spouses can choose to enter into mediation to settle issues to bring an end to litigation. Often, mediation is more successful than attorney negotiations.

HELPFUL TIP: If you are in litigation now, ask your attorney about entering mediation to settle issues. Don’t wait until a year or more of litigation has gone by and you have spent thousands of dollars. The sooner you begin settlement negotiation in mediation, the better.

Trial

There is no trial in mediation. In Arizona, if mediation begins at the start of a case, there is never a time spouses will ever enter a courtroom or even go near a courthouse. The divorce process is entirely handled out of court.

Mediation:Trial

In mediation, there is no trial. Our mediation team handles all document preparation and filing. There is never a time when you will enter a courtroom. Mediation takes place 100% out-of-court.

Litigation:Trial

Trial is the final stage of litigation. At trial, each spouse argues each remaining unresolved issue to a judge. This argument can be in the form of testimony from each spouse or witnesses, or in the form of documents and exhibits.

Trials are very expensive. Depending on the complexity of the case, trials can range from $10,000 to well over $50,000 per spouse. Trials are unpleasant for everyone involved and going to trial exposes both spouses to risks. No lawyer can predict the outcome of a trial because every case is unique and every judge is unique, wielding discretion in their own way.

A trial is the only opportunity for the judge to become familiar with the entire case, the spouses, the children, and interests of everyone involved, before making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. The judge’s decisions become the divorce orders, which spouses are bound to obey under Arizona law. Most often, trials result in both spouses feeling like they have lost a great deal.

On occasion, when a spouse is extremely unhappy with the result of the trial, he or she may appeal the decision in a higher court. An appeal adds more time and expense to the divorce process, and is very difficult and rare to win. The fight can continue for years.

The reality is that children suffer when their parents litigate, go to trial, and continue fighting after divorce. Conflict reduces the co-parent’s ability to ensure their children’s positive emotional development and well-being. Co-parents who keep conflict low, remain amicable, and cooperate, have children who are happier and exhibit stronger self- esteem as compared to children of high-conflict co-parents. Research shows healthy co-parenting results in healthy children.

HELPFUL TIP: It is a red flag if an attorney offers any type of guarantees, such as, “I know the judge and we will win.”

Mediation: Where to Begin

Choosing mediation to complete your divorce process will save you money, time, and stress. Even before you are ready to begin the process, you can select your mediator. When selecting your mediator, look for a mediator who:

  • Offers a free, no-obligation consultation. The Aurit Center offers a free consultation so you can meet your potential mediator, who will explain the mediation process, and answer your questions.
  • Specializes in Divorce Mediation. The Aurit Center specializes in Divorce Mediation and provides leadership within the field of mediation.
  • Has an excellent reputation within the community. The Aurit Center has been chosen as “Best Family Law Firm” by azfoothills.com, Best of Our Valley, for five years in a row.
  • Offers the services of a Mediation Team. The Aurit Center takes a team approach to best support you and your spouse every step of the way through your process. From beginning to end, our team will help light your path forward.
  • Is Genuine, Caring, Trustworthy, and Dedicated to your process. You will have the opportunity to meet your potential Aurit Center mediator during your complimentary consultation. We are confident that you will experience a sense of relief, having had the opportunity to get to know your mediator. We are confident you will be comforted knowing you are in good hands with The Aurit Center.
  • Prioritizes the well-being of your children. The Aurit Center is dedicated to providing a healthier divorce option to best protect the well-being of children. Keeping parental conflict as low as possible helps ensure the health and happiness of children.
  • Keeps costs low. The Aurit Center offers predictable personalized Flat Fees that are 80-90% less than that cost of litigation. You will likely complete your entire divorce for less than you would pay for one spouse’s divorce attorney fees.
  • Supports healthy co-parenting during and after divorce. The Aurit Center mediator’s facilitate and demonstrate effective, collaborative communication skills, which contributes to ongoing healthy communication between co-parents. We provide ongoing Periodic Reviews to help parents identify and discuss potential changes to their agreements to best meet the changing needs of the children.

Why Mediation is the Healthier Option

Divorce mediation means that spouses work together, under the guidance of a professional and neutral mediator, to reach mutually-beneficial agreements regarding all aspects of divorce. Spouses in mediation may also seek out their own legal advice. There are numerous reasons to choose mediation rather than litigation for your divorce process, including:

  • Confidentiality: Your private information never goes on public record.
  • Cost-Savings: You spend 80-90% less than you would litigating your divorce in court.
  • Low-Conflict: Your mediator facilitates respectful communication.
  • Prioritizes the Well-being of Children: Your children are the priority.
  • Successful Settlement of All Issues: Your mediator helps you resolve each and every issue.
  • Based In Fairness: Agreements reflect what both spouses feel is fair.
  • Control: You are in control of the process and all desicions, not a judge.
  • Improved Communication: Gain communication skills to use in all areas of your life.
  • Versatility: You can choose to also work with a lawyer concurrently.

Divorce mediation works best when spouses are able to communicate amicably. However, even spouses who are experiencing high levels of conflict can use mediation to successfully complete their divorce process. It is often the case that spouses are in very emotional different stages as mediation begins. The Aurit Center’s professional mediators help spouses in various stages, who are experiencing various levels of conflict.

Divorce mediation might be right for you when you want to:

  • Maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship.
  • Maintain financial security for both spouses by paying less for your divorce process.
  • Maintain an amicable relationship,avoiding the conflict and emotional toll of a trial.
  • Maintain your privacy and keep the details of your divorce confidential.
  • Maintain control over your divorce terms and not let a judge make decisions about your future.
  • Ensure that your divorce documents are thorough, accurate, and legally-binding.

HELPFUL TIP: Mediation is successful when both spouses commit to the process.

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