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Divorce
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FAQ

Why Should I Hire a Divorce Mediator?

A divorce mediator brings value to the process as a neutral third-party, having no agenda other than to facilitate an agreement. Mediators bring their experience, perspective, creativity, good will, listening, and communication skills to the forefront of the settlement process. If the parties have not moved toward a resolution on their own, or have only moved part of the way, then the assistance of a third-party mediator is a likely crucial step to a settlement. The mediator is neither a judge nor an arbitrator, but rather a catalyst for the parties to reach their own agreement.

A divorce is more than preparing a divorce settlement agreement. Affordable Mediation ensures that all of the legal, life, and financial aspects of a divorce are addressed properly and in small manageable pieces. Learn more about our simple, easy Divorce Mediation 5-Step Process©.

Do We Have Too Many Complex Issues to Use Divorce Mediation? We Own a Business and Multiple Properties. I Thought Mediation is Only For Simple Divorces?

We have mediated divorces that have included multi-million dollar properties, businesses, and other “complicated” issues. Mediation can be used in a variety of divorces or separations. Our background in the legal aspects of divorce allows us to address a variety of perceived challenges.

Can We Mediate Before We Have Really Made the Decision to Divorce?

Mediation is about providing you with the guidance, support, and information that you each need to make decisions about your life. Many couples meet with Affordable Mediation before they have made any decisions simply so that they can identify all of their options before taking any legal steps.

Can I Get Legal Guidance?

If your Divorce Mediator is a licensed attorney, you will be provided with legal information to help you make your own decisions about what you think is fair. While an attorney acting in the role of Divorce Mediator does not represent you and cannot advise either party, the Divorce Mediator can share his or her general knowledge of the divorce process. Although it is not a requirement, each spouse is also encouraged to consult with a separate attorney for legal advice, especially before signing the Settlement Agreement.

If a Judge is Not Involved Who Makes the Decisions?

In Divorce Mediation, the couple controls every aspect of the divorce process including: how quickly or slowly decisions are made, when the divorce Petition is filed, and what the terms of the divorce will be in the Settlement Agreement. Each step is by agreement, in contrast to the adversarial process in which attorneys set court dates and judges make decisions with very limited time and information.

How long after mediation is divorce final?

On average my clients take 3-5 months total for the divorce process. In Arizona the fastest you can get divorced is 61 days from the date of Service (the second filing). Some clients take 1-2 years. It’s a very personal process and timing is entirely up to them. However, the vast majority take 3-5 month. Here’s a blog I did on the mediated divorce timeline.

Mediated Divorce Timeline

How does divorce mediation work?

Couples meet with a neutral mediator to discuss options, address concerns and develop mutually workable short and long term agreements. If the mediator is also an Arizona licensed attorney, he/she can prepare all the court documents and settlement agreements.

How to prepare for divorce mediation?

First, download our free Divorce Mediation Preparation Checklist! Also, order the Homework package we provide that will help you organize and prepare for the first session. It is a $50 non-refundable charge that will be applied towards your first mediation session.

Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions on Divorce Mediation
Mara and Nicole teaching peer mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process wherein a neutral person assists the parties to a dispute in achieving an agreed-upon resolution. The goal of mediation is to assist parties in reaching a workable agreement. Mediators use various techniques to assist the parties in reaching a settlement that is feasible for both parties. You may meet jointly with the mediator or in a separate session (called a caucus). Mediation does not produce a “decision” by the mediator. Only the parties to a mediation can agree to settle their dispute and decide on the best terms for settlement.

A divorce mediator focuses solely on achieving a mutual, effective agreement between two parties on all the terms of a divorce or separation. In addition to a comprehensive Divorce Settlement Agreement, Affordable Mediation offers a variety of tools and services to address all of the legal, financial, and personal details of a divorce or separation.

Will I Still Have to Go to Court?

In most cases, couples do not have to appear in front of a judge, even if children are involved. Affordable Mediation has implemented a streamlined procedure that can reduce your involvement in the court process, saving you time and money.

Why is Affordable Mediation Much Less Expensive Than Other Divorce Mediation Companies?

At Affordable Mediation, our focus is providing high quality, professional mediation services that are still accessible in these difficult economic times. Therefore, we are not trying to make a big profit like other companies. We’re here to provide a service and help you.

We keep our overhead extremely low, so that we can pass on those savings to you. That is why we offer pay-as-you go, upfront billing, so that there are no invoicing or collection expenses. The money we save is then passed on to you in lower fees.

In addition to low overhead, we provide you with homework and worksheets that you can complete BEFORE starting your mediation sessions. This way, you can spend your time in the mediation sessions being more efficient, which results in less mediation sessions. Other mediation companies bring you in for mediation sessions before they provide you with the homework; thus adding to your time and cost. Not us. We think you should have the option of making most of your decisions on your own time without added expense.

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

When both spouses meet with a Divorce Mediator at Affordable Mediation, they can share the cost, which is commonly only $2,800 to $4,500 total. If the spouses were to retain separate attorneys to represent them in the divorce, they would pay a retainer of about $2,500 – 7,500 each, costing $5,000 – $15,000 just to get started. According to attorney sources, the average divorce in Maricopa County with attorneys can cost $30,000-$100,000.

Affordable Mediation does not hide fees or waste your time with sales gimmicks. Our streamlined processes, use of innovation, and our extensive legal background allow us to provide excellent customer service and insight at a fraction of the cost of a traditional divorce.

What to expect in divorce mediation?

Each session is tailored to your specific situation, but we typically discuss options for how everyone can best move forward given each of your individual goals, family goals, personal senses of fairness, honoring the history of the marriage and realistic financial situation.

How long does divorce mediation take?

On average, without minor children divorce mediation takes 1-2 meetings (2 hours each) and with minor children 2-3 meetings (2 hours each)

What does a mediator do in a divorce?

The mediator facilitates open communication between the couple. Often in a divorce situation, communication can get strained or break down. The mediator manages the discussion, the emotions and helps everyone move forward. The mediator may offer suggestions, ideas and help each person recognize and acknowledge the other’s point of view. Couples using a third party neutral mediator are much more likely to end up on the same page on most if not all issues.