Understanding Divorce Mediation in Arizona
By Zachary Mushkatel on April 25, 2013
During the divorce process, you and your spouse may benefit by coming to an agreement regarding several issues. Some of those issues might include division of the marital property, child custody arrangements, and whether child and/or spousal support is needed.
Despite the large role that finances may play in these issues, emotions often reduce the opportunity to settle. If you and your spouse are having trouble agreeing on any divorce-related issue, speaking to an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney is essential. Often an attorney can recommend mediation or some other alternative method for resolving a dispute.
Mediation is a confidential process intended to settle contentious issues by encouraging collaboration and cooperation. During mediation, you, your spouse, and your attorneys sit down with a neutral third party, known as a “mediator.” The mediator is present to help you find common ground and reach an agreement on any outstanding issues. The mediator is not present to talk you out of a divorce, but rather, to help you reach a settlement.
You may consult a mediator at any time during the divorce process. Before the divorce papers are served, you may discuss living arrangements, parenting time, and other issues with a mediator. During the divorce process, any issue appropriate for a divorce settlement – or such issues that may be litigated in court – can be discussed in mediation. Mediation is one option for dealing with disputes even after a divorce is finalized.
Mediation is not appropriate in all situations. If violence or threats of violence have occurred between the spouses, for instance, mediation may not be appropriate. Your attorney can help you determine whether mediation is right for you and help you choose an experienced mediator.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.