Q: What is the difference between traditional divorce and divorce mediation?
A Phoenix divorce attorney can’t tell you if you should get a divorce. They can only explain the legal process, including each party’s rights and responsibilities, and give legal advice based on each couple’s particular facts and circumstances. The decision to proceed to untie the knot– and whether to do so through traditional divorce or divorce mediation– is a personal one.
With the exception of the rare covenant marriage, all the spouse that wants an Arizona divorce needs to state is that the marriage is “retrievably irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation”. They don’t have to allege or prove the other party is at fault for the divorce due to grounds like infidelity or abuse, because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state.
A skilled Arizona divorce mediation attorney may be a good first step for those considering a divorce. In divorce mediation, a divorce attorney maintains the role as legal counsel but refers the couple to an impartial third party called a mediator to help the couple work out an agreement on all of the terms of their divorce. When the parties can compromise on terms, the divorce can be less confrontational, less costly, and faster, but most importantly, the end result will be something both parties can agree to and live with.
Conversely, in a traditional divorce, if the parties can’t come to an agreement, the judge will make the final decision which may not be favorable to you. Rather than rolling the dice and having a judge decide their fate– on issues like child support, custody and visitation, alimony, and the division of marital property–couples can attempt to arrive at an acceptable compromise through divorce mediation. But if they are unable to agree, the parties are not forced into an agreement. In that case, they may proceed with a traditional divorce knowing that no prior mediation discussion information will be admissible in court.
Sometimes people who think they want a divorce find that frank discussions either during mediation– or even prior to consulting a divorce attorney– can prompt them to try to salvage the marriage instead.
Such was reportedly the case when Busy Phillips, comedic actress and author of her memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, considered divorcing her filmmaker husband because “she was dissatisfied with how unequal their partnering duties had become”. She was reportedly so frustrated by what she described as doing everything related to parenting their daughters herself, she said her “thinking was that if I leave, at least then maybe I’d get two days off a week”. She discusses the factors that made her consider divorce in her memoir.
When she explained this to her husband– who allegedly likes “being good at what he does” — he reportedly promptly and willingly stepped up to the plate in an effort to save the marriage, admitting “I didn’t feel like I was good [in the home] so I stayed away”.
Some marriages can be saved through open communication even when those conversations are difficult to start.
Contact Our Phoenix Divorce Attorney Today
If you are considering getting divorced in Arizona, or have been served with divorce papers, or have any questions regarding any family law matter, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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