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Helpful Hints (Blog)

New 2022 Arizona Child Support Guidelines in Divorce Mediation

The Arizona Supreme Court has adopted new child support guidelines effective January 1, 2022. The child support amounts resulting from the new child support calculator are slightly higher.  Additionally, some of the major changes include: Although the definition of income is still basically the same including income from basically all sources, some additional language was added […]

2022 New Year, New You: Divorce Wellness Tips [Guest Blog]

Isn’t it time to focus on your own Wellness as we approach a New Year with 2022? Working with Divorce Mediation couples, I’ve realized how important it is during divorce (as well as before and after) to really focus on staying healthy and growing in a positive direction to evolve into a better you – […]

529 Plans and Divorce

If you have a 529 plan for your children and are going through a divorce, you may have some questions. In Arizona, the laws surrounding 529 plans might be different from other states, so it’s important to know your state’s specific laws. In this post, we’ll answer some of the biggest questions people have regarding [...]

Understanding Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

Spousal maintenance can be a confusing concept to understand. Unfortunately, you may receive misleading advice from lawyers or friends. What most people don’t realize is that spousal maintenance in Arizona is very random.  There is only a vague, subjective statute (law) with very little guidance.  The other big secret is that most couples never have […]

Thankful for Online Shopping

This year I decided to query my 10-year old twins about what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.  Twin 1 immediately responded “Family, Friends……and Shopping Online!” Twin 2 snored (guess I should have asked BEFORE bedtime) At first, I was thinking, “well, at least she put family and friends first.” But, then, it hit […]

Addressing COVID Vaccinations in your Divorce Parenting Plan

Co-parenting when you’re divorced can be complicated and difficult. You have to agree over your child’s schedule, their activities, parenting plans, and maybe even their diet and their friends. The COVID-19 vaccine adds another obstacle for divorced parents. With so many divided over the vaccine, it’s entirely common if two parents disagree about whether their [...]

Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

Some of my divorce mediation clients have questions about navigating back-to-school with their new co-parent status.  There are several ways to ease not only the divorce transition, but the back-to-school transition as you move forward as partners in parenthood.  Here are some ideas that may help a little: Open Communication:  It seems obvious, but easier […]

Who Gets (stuck with) the Timeshare in Divorce?

A lot of my mediation clients have timeshares and want to know their options when it comes to handling them in their divorce.   There are different types of timeshares, some have a real property interest, some do not.  Either way, they can be considered a community asset and/or liability and need to be addressed […]

Can Texts Be Used in Divorce Litigation?

Some of my mediation clients asked me what types of communications would have been admitted in divorce proceedings if they had litigated.  Where judges formerly preferred only copies of emails, more recently pretty much everything can be viewed and used in divorce litigation.  Emails, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and text messages can all be forms […]

Can I Get Divorced if I Have a Covenant Marriage?

Although not common, as a Phoenix divorce mediator, I am sometimes asked to assist with a divorce for couples who have a covenant marriage.  Some couples do not even know if they have a covenant marriage.  So, what is it? In Arizona, a couple may enter into a covenant marriage.  In contrast to a standard […]

Spring Renewal, Blooms, and Divorce

I’m seeing more and more couples and families reframe their divorce from the negative connotations of the past to a more positive transition.  Some are committed to the friendliest divorce possible.  Others want to handle things perfectly equalized and as fair as possible.  Many voice that their divorce is a chance at renewal and hope. […]

How Divorce is Like Football (But Only if You Litigate)

As my husband gears up for Superbowl LV, I have the “privilege” of a constant soundtrack of sports talk shows, live games and SportsCenter in my home/office.  So, by osmosis, I’ve picked up a few terms that seem appropriate in a divorce scenario. Playbooks Coaches have game plans the teams review and generally follow before [...]

In Inauguration Or In Divorce: Choose The Path To Peace And Healing

As we as a nation, regardless of political leanings, yearn for a better future and path forward for ourselves, our families and our country, the Biden Inauguration can be looked at as a symbol of healing.  This is one in many significant transitions affecting many of our lives right now.  And, although the stressors of […]

2020 Holiday Tips for Divorced Parents

Obviously, 2020 is a year with many changes, and the holidays are going to be affected in ways we never predicted. Divorced parents have offered a few tips that have helped them navigate the holidays and I’ve also been meeting with couples to address novel issues raised by our Covid-19 new world. Socially Distanced Celebrations […]

How to Handle Marital Stress In These Tough Times

This year has been hard on all of us – financially, emotionally, and physically. Being forced indoors much of the time due to social distancing and lockdowns can put a real strain on close relationships. In addition, stress in your daily life can leave you feeling irritated and short-tempered – which can be unfortunate when […]

Divorcing in Uncertain Times (COVID and Economy)

Divorcing in uncertain times, like what we are experiencing right now with COVID -19, adds another level of complication to the decision to divorce, and to the process of divorcing. When you also add in the looming threat of a recession that is a lot to deal with. For couples in this unpleasant situation, mediation […]

Will Your Marriage Survive That Election?

This has been a really rough election season this year and for some couples, it has been especially tough on their marriage. Politics can be contentious under normal circumstances, but when it invades a marriage, it can feel particularly harmful. Even if you have similar political beliefs, there is enough fodder to create unlimited arguments […]

Affordable Mediation Opens Avondale Divorce and Real Estate Mediation Office

      We are happy to announce the opening of our newest West Valley mediation office in the City of Avondale. Affordable Mediation has served clients throughout Central Arizona since 2010, and continues its presence in the West Valley assisting couples in Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Verrado, and every city in-between. Appointments will continue with […]

Spousal Social Security Benefits and Divorce: What You Need To Know

Social Security is an important part of most Americans’ retirement plans. A unique aspect of the program is the ability to take spousal security benefits for spouses that have been married for at least ten years. With spousal benefits, instead of taking Social Security benefits from your own earning record, you get a portion of […]

Mediators Do More Than Moderators Of Presidential Debates

Does communication with your spouse feel like a recent 2020 Presidential Debate?  From watching recent presidential and vice-presidential debates, do you feel like a mediator couldn’t do much better than a moderator? Unlike a moderator who tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, to keep discussions on track and have presidential candidates follow the rules, divorce mediators actually manage […]

Too Much Debt To Divorce?

The decision of whether or not to divorce is complicated enough without worrying that there is too much debt to divorce, or dealing with concerns about how you would even go about dividing debt. The decision needs to be based on what is the best thing to do, not on worries about dividing debt in […]

How To Save Your Marriage When One Wants Out

The marital difficulties that often lead to divorce are not easily eliminated when one partner wants to save the marriage and the other partner wants out. With a typical couple, there are so many intricate factors at play that things are usually very complicated by the time they reach the stage of contemplating divorce.  However, […]

What You Need to Know About a Pre-Nup

What on earth does a prenuptial agreement have to do with a couple’s engagement? There’s romance and laughter, caring and love. It’s the most romantic time in a couple’s life; “We’re Engaged!”. What a time of celebration and joy! But, as counselors have long advised, it is also the time to discuss the important things […]

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) and Divorce

Some aspects of marital property division in a divorce are simple, but some are a lot more complex. Now that many companies are offering alternatives to stock options, like Restricted Stock Units, you may want to know how that works in a divorce.  What Are RSUs? RSUs are Restricted Stock Units. They have become a […]

Co-Parenting And Sports

Extracurricular activities such as organized sports are a big part of our kiddos’ lives.  Numerous studies promote the physical, mental, and social development benefits of participation in youth sports.  When we had our son, I didn’t think much about sports.  As a toddler and through kindergarten, he was always very physically active, but in considering […]

Divorced Parents and Back to (Virtual) School

It’s back to school time and for most of us, that means either virtual school or a hybrid plan of virtual and in-person learning for our school age children. No matter what your particular school plan, divorced parents have the added challenge of creating a system that will work with their co-parenting agreement or order. […]

Dividing Real Property Between Unmarried People

According to recent statistics, approximately 25% of adults in the United States ages 18-34 purchased their first home with a significant other before marriage.  And, with the rising cost of real estate, more and more unmarried friends or family members are buying homes together.  Such arrangements may make a lot of personal and financial sense, […]

Arizona Postnuptial Agreements: Why NOT to do a Post-Nup

We are all familiar with the term “prenup” for its inclusion in every movie, t.v. show, and tabloid story relating to the rich and famous. But have you ever heard of a postnuptial agreement? Now we know that prenups are not solely for the famous or well-to-do, but are important for every couple that has […]

Mediation by Caucus: Pros and Cons

You may have heard the term “Mediation by Caucus” and wondered if it might be appropriate for your situation. So, what does it mean and what are the possible benefits? First, we’ll examine the concept of a divorce mediation by caucus, then we’ll look at the idea of caucusing as a tool within a traditional […]

Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation

Who wants their divorce to fund their attorney’s newest Maserati? No one! Well, maybe some of those “burn all the bridges” couples who want only to eat each other alive in court, no matter the cost. But, for the rest of you, there is no need to explode every aspect of your normal life and […]

Open Letter Against Racism

We stand against the racism and hate that continues to spread in our country and in the world.  We acknowledge that systemic racism exists. To those in our community that have experienced the pain of racism and prejudice, your voices matter. Change starts with awareness and open communication even when those discussions are hard and […]

Divorce Mediation and Coronavirus: Video Conferencing to the Rescue

Real life goes on even as the Coronavirus disrupts our lives, and even as our government works to control the virus by putting much of ordinary life on pause. For some, real life includes the need to continue moving forward with a separation or divorce. The relationship is over and the partners need to move […]

Non-Contact Procedures for Filing for Divorce

Your marriage may have gone “non-contact” recently, so why not make your divorce non-contact? With the COVID-19 crisis going on, we’re all about social distancing. But how does that work when you need to sign important documents and submit them to the courts? The laws are changing to accommodate you and your divorce needs.   The [...]

Divorced Parents and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Divorced parents have so many things to deal with in our new pandemic afflicted world. COVID-19 has changed everything and we are all eager for a return to normal. Until then, there are some very important things divorced parents will need to know. Do you have questions about how your divorced status affects stimulus checks? […]

Things To Do at Home With the Kids for Divorced Parents

Being a divorced parent means you have to handle complex situations and emotions that crop up, seemingly constantly. Now, with the added challenge of the Coronavirus situation, you may have even more on your plate than ever before, including finding things to do at home with the kids as a divorced parent. Some of you […]

Considering a “Covidivorce?” Covidivorce Mediation Can Help

Spending time together locked in the house making you consider a CoviDivorce? Although many couples who already have made the decision to divorce are still moving forward with the process, others are putting their divorces on hold as uncertain economic futures make it difficult to reach financial agreements during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, being […]

Arizona Divorce Laws: What You Need to Know

Divorcing couples usually want to know as much about Arizona divorce laws as possible in order to make sure their rights are protected and to make sure that they emerge from this stressful time in the best financial and custodial shape possible.  How Does Spousal Maintenance Work in Arizona Many divorcing couples are unaware that […]

Child Support Modification in Arizona

Anyone dealing with child support likely needs to know about how to modify their child support when things change and how to use the Arizona Child Support Calculator. Unfortunately, the Arizona Child Support Calculator is still broken. It is adjusted for 2020 changes to the minimum wage but the new tax laws are still not […]

Divorce eMediation to Address Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns

As many people are concerned about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we want to remind you that we've been offering eMediation, mediation sessions by video or phone since our inception.  Meeting electronically is just as effective as meeting in person in helping couples move forward through the divorce process.  Many couples have been choosing this option [...]

Mediation Services: How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

Our goal is to make divorce mediation as simple and peaceful as possible. We break it down into five clear steps and leave you in control. So, exactly how does divorce mediation work?  The 5-Step Process of Divorce Mediation Once you contact us, we go through these five steps efficiently and calmly until we work […]

Divorce and Mortgage Questions: The Difference Between a Title and a Mortgage

Divorce mortgage questions are an important issue when couples separate.  Divorce is incredibly stressful and that stress shouldn’t be compounded by confusion around separating assets, like a home. Knowing the ins and outs of mortgage deeds, titles, and quitclaim deeds will reduce that confusion ensure that you are protected.  Knowledge is power and that is […]

AFFORDABLE MEDIATION Opens East Valley Office!

Nicole and I are pleased to announce the opening on January 1, 2020 of our new East Valley mediation office in Tempe.  We hope having Affordable Mediation located in the East Valley will be more convenient for any of you who live in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek or further east. We will continue [...]


We are thrilled to announce our new Phoenix divorce mediation location in the uptown CASA development at the southwest corner of Northern Avenue and 16th Street in Phoenix.  7878 N 16th Street, Suite 130-15, Phoenix, AZ 85020 MAP  We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of our updated office in the sparkling new [...]

Welcome to the 2020s: The Mediation Decade

We’ve been doing divorce mediation for close to 13 years. And now we enter a new decade -- the 2020s. What will the 2020s bring in divorce mediation? We think it’ll be known as the “Mediation Decade” as couples focus on building new futures rather than tearing things apart. They’ll focus on the kids, the [...]

Children and Divorce: Are There Benefits of Divorce?

  What about the kids? That’s often the big, emotional question when a couple starts thinking about divorce. And it is a big question. The last thing parents want to do is hurt their kids. Parents want to remain committed to being good parents, even in the face of a separation.  So, can kids actually […]

How To Find a Good Divorce Mediator

You’re ready to work together in an open, fair mediation process rather than battle it out in court with attorneys. So now, the question is how to find a good divorce mediator. If you’ve begun your research, you likely found all kinds of claims and qualifications and even “certifications.” So, how do you choose a […]

Should Divorced Parents Spend Holidays Together?

The kids. They are central to so many decisions around your divorce. And here come the holidays. Should you and your ex spend the holidays together? Will that benefit your kids? There are pros and cons to divorced parents spending the holidays together and considerations should you choose to do so. Can you still be […]

What Tibetan Monks Taught Me About Divorce Mediation

After a very un-Zen-like experience trying to park in downtown Phoenix, and ultimately ending up at a meter with not enough coins, I arrived at a presentation by Tibetan monks discussing their approach to mediation.   It was very uplifting and reinforced that divorce mediation is really all about: (1) the emotions of the couple, (2) […]

Money-Related Reasons People Get Divorced

Money is like the little devil sitting upon the shoulders of each spouse in a marriage. It’s always there, causing problems. While other issues top money as the cause of divorce — such as infidelity, lack of communication, abuse, lack of intimacy, lack of equality and more — there is the constant force of money-related […]

Millennials: Marriage, Divorce and Parenting

Millennials! We hear complaints from the Baby Boomers, jokes from comedians, and drama from television sitcoms about this current generation. They don’t do anything the right way! Or do they? It seems they’re having their say and their influence on marriage and divorce in America. What are they up to? Let’s find out. Millennials’ Impact […]

How Long After Mediation is Divorce Final?

Ready to get this divorce going? Once a couple makes the decision to go through with divorce, one of the first questions we get is, “How long after mediation is my divorce final?” There are many factors that will affect when your divorce is legally finalized, including the mandatory 60-day waiting period. But that doesn’t […]

The 5-Step Mediation Process at Affordable Mediation

“Divorce Made Easier” is more than a motto with us. It’s how we do things. Divorce can be overwhelming. That’s why we created a simpler, less involved process to help couples move forward more quickly and productively and get back to living a healthy life. Our goal is to get you and your spouse back […]

Can you get an uncontested divorce without a lawyer?

One of the first questions a couple asks when deciding to go through with a divorce is, “Can you get an uncontested divorce without a lawyer?” You might be one of the agreeable couples that goes into this feeling like you’re on the same sheet of music and just want to get the paperwork filed [...]

Stay Out of Court with Divorce Mediation

There are so many lawyer jokes. So many people nervous and unhappy about the way the government handles itself. That’s why the idea of working through the courts with two teams of lawyers doesn’t give divorcing couples a warm-and-fuzzy feeling about what’s coming for them and their future. The good news is that most of [...]

Co-Parenting and Calendar Apps for Divorced Parents

We recently covered the co-parenting trend, as highlighted by some celebrity couples and their co-parenting experiences. But they probably have paid staff to handle most of the little details that need to be managed in a co-parenting situation, like time, money, documents, and more. Luckily for the rest of us, there are some pretty handy [...]

How Divorce Mediation Can Help You Keep Your Home

Here’s the thing. It’s almost always a better idea to let the house go rather than try and  keep it. Trying to save the house usually means reworking financials in an attempt to make it feasible. And that usually results in both sides suffering.  We know that couples want to keep the house for the [...]

Divorce Mediation and a High EQ

The mediation process at Affordable Mediation has always been about compassion and creating a fair solution for all involved. Doing so means we have to develop a high EQ -- Emotional Quotient, or Emotional Intelligence. What does that mean? Let’s take a look. What is EQ? EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, is one’s ability to deal [...]

Divorce Mediation for Couples Committed to Being Good Parents

It seems like anytime we hear of a couple breaking up, part of their attorneys’ divorce strategy ends up tearing the kids apart or using them as bargaining chips. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are even some high profile, celebrity examples of divorces where the parents’ focus is remaining committed […]

​​​Why I Don’t Allow Attorneys in My Divorce Mediation Sessions [Updated]

[Updated 6/7/2019] A lot of clients ask me if their attorneys can attend their divorce mediation sessions.   I tell them “yes” with other mediators, but not with me.  ​It still seems I'm one of the only mediators in town that prohibits couples from bringing their attorneys into the mediation sessions. I've found that once I [...]

Our Divorce Mediations: High Value, Low Cost [Updated]

Owner Mediator Mara Linder with Mediators Nicole Pelcic and Shahnaz Stanley [Updated 12/15/21] Choosing the right divorce mediator can be confusing. There are so many people out there claiming to offer mediation services. Are they all different? And why are some more expensive? Your choice comes down to finding a mediator with the relevant background [...]

What is the Difference Between a Legal Separation and a Divorce in Arizona? [Updated]

    [Updated 5/24/2019] This is one of the most common questions I receive as a Phoenix Divorce Mediator.  There tends to be some general confusion around the difference between a Legal Separation and a Divorce and the reasons for choosing one versus the other. In Arizona, the process for Legal Separation and the process for [...]

Who Gets Fido in the Divorce? [Updated]

[Updated 5/17/2019] Until we adopted our cute, adorable, sweet, lovable pup, I could not fathom the depths of emotion that people experience regarding their pets.  Now that we have Layla, I cannot imagine life without her.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a sensitive issue that can arise during a separation or divorce is […]

How Much Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Will I Be Awarded in My Arizona Divorce? [Updated]

[Updated 4/12/2019] Another question I receive a lot as a Phoenix Divorce Mediator is: “How much Spousal Maintenance will be awarded?”  That is a great question and many of us divorce mediators wish there was a black and white answer!  In Arizona, the amount and duration of spousal maintenance (alimony) is discretionary with the Court.  [...]

How Mediation Works in Family Law

When people say, “Family Law,” they are referring to the area of the law that deals with family relationships. This covers everything from Divorce to Child Custody to Spousal Support (Alimony) and more. Family Law matters can be handled by litigation and by mediation. The Divorce Battle: Litigation The idea of ‘Divorce’ brings up memories [...]

Do I Need a Family Law Attorney or a Mediator?

After reading our explanation of the relationship and differences between a Family Law Attorney and Divorce Mediator, you might still be asking yourself whether you want to work with a Divorce Lawyer or a Mediator. So, let’s take a look at how you can make the right decision for your situation. Things to Consider: Collateral [...]

How to Get What You Want in Divorce Mediation

Better Yet, How to Get What’s “Fair” At Affordable Mediation, we help each partner get what’s “Fair”, rather than help one partner get the better of the other. By avoiding a court-contested divorce, you’ll not only save a ton of money, but you’ll get to an agreement that both sides feel is fair. So, what […]

What To Do After Your Divorce Mediation

Survival Tips for Your First Year After a Divorce is Final It’s time to rebuild. Up until this point, you have been focused on separating everything from your marriage, to your home, to time with your kids. That can make the sudden realization that the divorce is real and final scary. What next? Following your […]

Discernment Counseling – Clarification When Considering Whether to Divorce

Guest post by Cheryl L. Wheeler, MA, Transformational Life Coach, Discernment Counseling, 602-334-9554 Marriage counseling is an excellent tool for couples who want to work on the relationship. Typical marriage counseling is focused toward keeping the couple together, working through issues, and finding solutions. However, there are times when one of the partners does not want to work […]

Your First Super Bowl After Divorce

There was a debate on the radio this morning (I know, I still don’t subscribe to Satellite which irritates my husband to no end) about whether to continue to spend Super Bowl Sunday together after your divorce for the sake of the kids.  The caller explained that it had been a family tradition and the […]

What Happens in a Divorce Mediation Session

My divorce mediation service centers around mediation sessions. I tailor these sessions specifically for each couple, so we explore your individual and family goals together, as well as evaluate options given your goals, personal sense of fairness, and realistic financial positions. During the sessions, the couple and I are the only people in the room. I […]

Divorce Mediation for the Digital Age – eMediation!

In this digital age of video chats, online meetings, and virtual reality, it only makes sense that I would offer our clients the convenience these technologies. With our eMediation service, anyone can enjoy worldwide access and the convenience of conducting mediation sessions when logistics or emotions prevent in-person meetings. I saw a need to provide […]

The Costs of Divorce and Divorce Mediation

Divorce doesn’t have to wipe out your bank accounts. As you make your decision how to proceed, you have options: Divorce Mediation (up to 97% less expensive than hiring 2 lawyers): A good divorce mediator will walk you through the process with compassion, help you reach the best solution possible, get all the docs prepared [...]

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation services resolve issues involving family members, typically children. The benefits of working through this with a professional divorce mediator are reduced tension, confidence in the final outcome, a faster resolution, and a mutual basis for your family moving forward. A mediator is a neutral party present to keep everyone focused on the right […]

Affordable Mediation Featured on Let’s Talk Divorce Radio Show

Thank you Stuart Andrew Alexander and Impact Makers Radio for featuring me and my divorce mediation business on your international Let’s Talk Divorce Series. Also available on iTunes.  

Good Morning Arizona Interview on Divorce Mediation

I am so grateful to Good Morning Arizona and Javier Soto for bringing awareness to the option of Divorce Mediation.  Here’s the link to the live interview and my blog with more information: AZ Family Channel 3: The New Divorce Mediation Generation  

Bird-Nesting: The Divorce Trend Flying Around

If keeping a child’s home life as in-tact as possible following a divorce is a priority, look no further than our next divorce trend, bird-nesting or nesting. Families who opt for this route have the great benefit of their children staying in one place, likely what was the family home, and the parents stay in […]

Divorce Trends #1

  What’s New in Divorce Is there such a thing as a divorce trend? Actually, yes. Separating or divorcing couples have options to what comes next with their relationship and one trend we are seeing is couples creating a new version of their family with everyone still involved. Another is jointly maintaining their successful business […]

Divorcing? Should You Use iBuyers For Selling Your House?

As a Phoenix Divorce Mediator, my mediation clients have to make the decision about what to do with their home.  Most consider selling the house, and usually need to get it sold sooner rather than later.  Recently, some mediation couples have been inquiring as to whether the quick and easy sale offered by certain companies […]

Remembering John McCain

I join everyone in honoring and remembering a great man. Regardless of political party, he reminded us we should focus on moving forward together as a community and nation. Our own Affordable Mediation mediator, Judith Lewis-Thome was interviewed in this ABC15 News segment during the memorial portion.  

Feeling Stressed? Three Ways to Lower Your Stress During a Divorce

Ending a marriage can be one of the hardest things an individual can experience. If there are children in the middle of the separation, the stress can be even harder to manage; particularly, when you are trying to protect your children. Below are some things you can do today to manage your stress during your […]

Let’s Talk About Child Centered Divorce

July is officially Child Centered Divorce month. But what does that mean? It means awareness and effort behind a divorce that causes the least amount of impact to children. The separation of the family isn’t usually what causes the most harm to children, but often the environment leading up to and during a divorce is […]

How Will New Supreme Court Justices Impact Our Lives?

     It has been just under two weeks since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. This kind of significant news that has the ability to impact the country for decades gets us all talking about who will fill the vacancy, what cases will be heard or changed, and (of course) […]

Affordable Mediation Welcomes New Mediator Nicole Pelcic

Welcome, Nicole! Affordable Mediation is thrilled to welcome Collette Nicole Pelcic to our divorce mediation practice. An accomplished licensed attorney in both Arizona and California, Nicole (as she is known) brings her legal expertise and passion for helping individuals and families to the Affordable Mediation team. Nicole will be spearheading the expanding mediation services in […]

New 2018 Child Support Guidelines in Divorce Mediation

The Arizona Supreme Court has adopted new child support guidelines effective April 1, 2018. The child support amounts remain essentially the same.  The major changes include: The designation of parents is changed from Father/Mother to Parent A/Parent B The self-support reserve amount has been increased from $1,115 to $1,456, which may affect lower income earners but [...]

Healthy Tips When Moving Through the Divorce Process

In working with divorce mediation clients, I am privy to the emotions and stress most people experience while going through a divorce. Here are a few tips and resources to help restore balance, promote relaxation and instill some calm energy: Try not to read negative articles or social media that focus on negative thoughts, feelings […]

Mediation Light: New Affordable and Express Divorce Mediation Packages in Phoenix

I’ve been getting a lot of calls from Phoenix couples who already have worked out their divorce agreements and are looking for help with their divorce documents and some guidance through the process. For these couples, full-blown mediation may not always be needed or wanted. So, I decided to offer an express and even less [...]

How to Split Chicago Cubs World Series Tickets in a Divorce

There are many interesting items that become at issue when trying to
divide marital assets equitably in a divorce.

Trick or Treat Tips for Divorced Parents

Although Halloween isn’t typically considered a “major” holiday by my divorce mediation clients, some of your little ghouls…

Workout Therapy and Other Stress Reduction Techniques During Divorce

I’m obsessed with Orange Theory Fitness. I own almost all the T-shirts! OTF is a workout studio that offers all your cardio and weight training…

How Much Will My Divorce Cost in Phoenix, Arizona?

As a Phoenix divorce mediator, one of the most common questions I receive from divorcing couples is how much will the divorce process cost…

Donald Trump as World Mediator?

I try to avoid politics in my personal life, at work and on my Facebook page and I’m not about to start discussing it now. Regardless of your political leanings or feelings about Donald Trump, his assertions about acting as a neutral in the Middle East got me thinking. Is mediation the same on a […]

Actually, There is NOT a Lot of Drama in Divorce Mediation

“It must be stressful working with divorcing couples.”  “There must be a lot of drama.”  These are some of the comments I receive when I tell someone I work as a Phoenix Divorce Mediator.  I quickly correct these assumptions about divorce mediation and explain how most couples have a relatively smooth divorce and tend to […]

10% Off your Phoenix Divorce for Mediation Week

In honor of Mediation Week, Affordable Mediation is pleased to offer 10% off the already low cost of your divorce mediation if you sign up between October 12 and 18, 2015!!  To sign up, go to to purchase the pre-mediation divorce homework package at the bottom of the home page.  The package price of […]

How Does Infidelity Affect Divorce Mediation?

  In the wake of the scandal surrounding the affair-seeking site, Ashley Madison, a lot of discussion has ensued about infidelity and divorce.  Clearly, infidelity is one of the factors leading a couple to pursue a divorce or separation, but how does it impact the actual process?     In many states, like Arizona, there are no-fault […]

New Arizona Child Support Calculator

Copy of 2015-Child-Support-Calculator A common question many of my Divorce Mediation clients ask is how much Child Support will be paid.  In mediation, typically we work with the Arizona Child Support Calculator, but also approach the numbers from a realistic financial and goal perspective.  Sometimes, the number the calculator totals is not workable for a […]

Staying Mentally Strong Through Divorce

  Many of my divorce mediation clients express their desire to become happier, healthier and stronger as they move forward from their divorce.  Some start a new exercise program, some take vacations to exotic places, and some start a new career.  I noticed that those mediation clients with a strong, positive mental outlook seem to […]

Is that Really Divorce Mediation?

I’m going to admit right up front that what I’m about to say will probably irritate, upset, and possibly even anger some Phoenix divorce attorneys and mediators. They will likely disagree with me. But my point here is to ruffle some feathers in the hope of starting a meaningful discourse on how we think about […]

eFiling Divorce Mediation Documents in Phoenix

Did you know that you can file some of your Phoenix divorce mediation court documents electronically? The Maricopa County Superior Court has an eFiling program that allows parties to file their divorce documents online with the Court instead of walking them down to the Family Court filing counter or paying for a runner to file […]

Post-Divorce: How to Modify your Arizona Parenting Plan, Child Support or Parenting Time

  You are divorced, you have a court ordered parenting plan, but it’s not working anymore or things have changed. How do you modify it? As a Phoenix Divorce Mediator, this is a call I receive quite often. Basically, you can either petition to Modify your Child Support and/or Parenting Plan or you and your [...]

Divorce Mediation in the Same Room?

Many people are not sure what to expect when they inquire about divorce mediation. Often they have been told or heard they will be in two separate rooms with the mediator moving between the two rooms. While this type of “shuttle” mediation can be effective, in my experience as a Phoenix divorce mediator, I have […]

Does it Matter Who Files First in an Arizona Divorce?

  As a Phoenix Divorce Mediator, I get this question A LOT! The short answer is: legally “no”, but personally, often “yes.” Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not need to prove that one spouse is at fault for something in order to file for divorce. One spouse simply needs to […]

Holiday Traditions After Divorce

Holiday time can be exciting, stressful, overwhelming, and/or comforting depending on your holiday traditions.  For many families, it means spending time at different homes, particularly where parents are divorced.  In the movie Four Christmases, a couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day, showcasing the trials and tribulations of splitting […]

Mediated Divorce Timeline©

As a Phoenix Divorce Mediator, I receive a lot of questions about the time it takes to get a divorce in Arizona. Well, depending on the process you and your spouse choose, it can be very lengthy or quite streamlined. For couples going through the traditional litigation process, a divorce can take 1 – 2 [...]

Divorce and The Family Business

A client asked the other day how to handle the family business in their divorce. They had heard business valuations were very expensive – approximately $20,000.00 – and they were hoping for another way. As it happens, quite a few of my divorce mediation couples have family businesses, so this discussion comes up often. There […]

What is Collaborative Mediation?

  A lot of buzz is starting in Arizona about Collaborative Mediation and people are asking what is it and how is it different from collaborative divorce?  To put it simply, Collaborative Mediation is mediation with a team.  It has also been referred to as Team Mediation.  The team typically consists of one or two […]

When Can You Modify Arizona Child Support?

  Many of my Phoenix divorce mediation clients have asked me this question, so I thought I’d provide some general information on when one or both parents can modify their child support. Arizona law provides that child support may be “modified or terminated upon a showing of changed circumstances that is substantial and continuing…” A.R.S. […]

Responding Positively to Tragedy

  I wanted to pass on these excerpts that talk about how to maintain a positive outlook when faced with tragedy.  My whole approach to Divorce Mediation is how we can reframe and refocus the adversities couples and families are facing in going through a divorce into positive outcomes and hope for the future.  This […]

New Changes to Arizona Child Custody Statutes

  In mediation, most of my divorce clients reach their own agreement about custody and parenting time.  However, in other cases, the Family Law Court will make orders regarding child custody and parenting time.  In those cases, the court follows the Arizona Child Custody Statutes. Effective January 1, 2013, Arizona’s Child Custody Statutes have changed.  […]


  We wish for you a healthy, happy new year filled with promise and peace!

Workable Divorce Holiday Schedules

  Most of my divorce mediation clients want a flexible schedule when it comes to spending holiday time with their kids and I think that is great!  However, it is usually a good idea to have a written “back up” schedule that can be followed if needed.  Some tips that seem to work well for […]

Giving Thanks

  The holidays tend to be a time to focus on the positives in our lives.  Personally, I try (though am not always successful) to slow down and take moments all year round to stop and appreciate the “gifts” in my life.  It is very easy to just get caught up in the craziness of […]

Interesting Tidbits About Divorce

I have no idea if they are true or from reliable sources, but thought they were worth sharing:  A divorce in the U.S. occurs every 10-13 seconds 75% of divorced people remarry within 5 years Ends in divorce: 50% of 1st marriages 67% of 2nd marriages 74% of 3rd marriages Military wives 2x as likely […]

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Mediation

As a divorce mediator, I get a lot of calls from people who are interested in pursuing mediation, but don’t know how to talk to their spouse about it.  Often, one person has already made the decision to divorce or separate, but the other person is not ready or willing to accept this or believes […]

Is a Prenup Unromantic?

According to one poll I recently read, 3% of married people have a prenuptial agreement (“Prenup”).  As a divorce mediator, many of my clients come in with prenuptial agreements when they are considering divorce.  In general, it does seem to make the divorce process less contentious and smoother given that many issues have already been […]

Affordable Mediation Chosen Member of the Month

  Thank you Costco for making Affordable Mediation the Executive Business Member of the Month.  We appreciate your support of our local business.  

Custody of Embryos?

  In this age of family building options, emerging issues arise when it comes to divorce. Many couples pursue their dream of being parents through the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). As a result, people are creating embryos which they freeze and store in order to provide them the future option of having children. However, […]

The Holidays – High Season for Divorce?

  Although I do not believe there are any hard and fast statistics, the general impression among divorce and family law professionals is that January and February are “high season” for divorce and separation.  There are many theories about why this time of year sees so many couples calling it quits.  One idea is that […]

Mediation Officially Recognized in Phoenix

  I firmly believe that we are the Mediation Generation. As a community and as individuals, we are looking for a change from the old status quo of going to battle when we have disagreements. Instead, we want to try to work things out, find mutually agreeable solutions, reduce our stress, and minimize needless expenses. […]

You Have Alternatives to Legal Separation or Divorce

  Many couples I work with in my Mediation practice are not ready for a Legal Separation or Divorce, but want to take an interim step that leaves their options and choices open.  Not only does this take the pressure off the couple to make any definitive life altering decisions, but provides flexibility and opportunity […]

New Arizona Child Support Guidelines Could Affect Your Divorce or Separation

  As a Phoenix Divorce Mediator, I am often called upon to assist parties in determining Child Support, whether the parties are divorcing, legally separating, or just establishing a co-parenting agreement.  In Arizona, there are Child Support Guidelines that help determine the amount of Child Support that could be awarded in any given case.  In [...]

The New Divorce: The Mediation Generation

  View/Listen to Webinar I was talking to a charming woman the other day who told me that her divorce was a very positive transition in her life. She remarked that she did not understand why our society had to make the topic of divorce so negative and, in some cases, taboo.  There are many […]

Selling the Home As You Divorce? Don’t Forget to Disclose…

  When considering divorce or separation, a significant issue is what to do about your house.  Among many options is the decision to list it for sale.  A little known fact is that many sellers end up facing liability for failing to disclose important facts about their home.  This is the last thing you need […]

Reconciliation in Mediation? Maybe Your Marriage Can Be Saved.

  Divorce Mediation doesn’t just mean splitting up.  In my experience, it is not uncommon for couples to reconcile during the mediation process, which is another advantage of mediation over the traditional litigation path.  During mediation, couples are assisted in their communications in a supportive and nonjudgmental manner.  Sometimes this is achieved with the help […]

Splitting Retirement Accounts in a Divorce

  As a Phoenix divorce mediator, I am asked a lot of questions about splitting retirement accounts when working with couples navigating a divorce or separation. How do we split a 401(K) versus and IRA? Are there penalties or tax consequences in transferring these assets? What is a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order)? What about […]

DIVORCE MEDIATION SERIES: A Step-by-Step Guide –How do I Remain Financially Stable?

Although there is not a linear process in choosing to divorce or to use a Divorce Mediator; in general, most people will cycle through similar steps.  This series focuses on the most common steps; regardless of the order in which you actually take them. Today’s Blog post will focus on another step in considering Divorce […]

DIVORCE MEDIATION SERIES: A Step-by-Step Guide –Is Divorce Mediation Right for Me?

Although there is not a linear process in choosing to divorce or to use a Divorce Mediator; in general, most people will cycle through similar steps.  This series focuses on the most common steps; regardless of the order in which you actually take them. Today’s Blog post will focus on another step in considering Divorce […]

DIVORCE MEDIATION SERIES: A Step-by-Step Guide – How to Choose a Phoenix Divorce Mediator

  Although there is not a linear process in choosing to divorce or to use a Divorce Mediator; in general, most people will cycle through similar steps.  This series focuses on the most common steps; regardless of the order in which you actually take them. Today’s Blog post will focus on another step in considering […]

DIVORCE MEDIATION SERIES: A Step-by-Step Guide – The Decision Whether to Divorce

Although there is not a linear process in choosing to divorce or to use a Divorce Mediator; in general, most people will cycle through similar steps.  This series will focus on the most common steps; regardless of the order in which you actually take them. Today’s Blog post will focus on one of the first […]

Helping Children Navigate Through Divorce

Among the many issues parents face in a divorce situation is how the children are affected.  Kim R. Lipsman, a Phoenix licensed professional counselor has tips and suggestions for parents in the following article: Divorce can cause many emotions for parents and children. Everyone involved in the divorcing family may feel loss, anger, sadness, a threat […]

New Year’s Resolutions – Life Transitions

It’s something about the clicking over from one calendar to another that seems to trigger in us a desire for change. Somehow the ringing in of a new year symbolizes hope, improvement, and opportunity for many of us. And why not? January is a great time for beginnings and transitions. We can give ourselves permission […]

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