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Why should Arizona residents use mediation for divorce?

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Mediation can be a very useful tool to sort out a variety of different legal issues. Arizona residents who are trying to sort out the legal issues that often accompany a divorce such as child custody, property division, asset division, child support, or spousal support, should consider mediation. Mediation also allows both parties to emerge from a divorce proceeding with less financial and emotional turmoil than if they were to litigate every issue in court.

A typical court proceeding is adversarial in nature, but mediation is just the opposite. A neutral mediator assists parties in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement. It gives couples a chance to have all of their individual needs addressed. Mediation emphasizes cooperative problem solving by allowing each party an equal say in the process.

Some other benefits to mediation are that it can take place to fit one's schedule, including nights and weekends. In addition, mediation allows for an agreement to be individually crafted to suit the parties' needs. Unlike some court proceedings, everything that is said during the mediation process is confidential.

Often, emotions can run very high when dealing with these legal issues. Mediation is a safe environment where both parties are allowed to express their feelings, but are not concerned about winning or losing their case. This is because the only objective of a mediation is to reach a final divorce settlement and end the case. Normally, after a successful mediation, neither party emerges feeling victorious. That is because the entire process is designed to encourage compromise between the litigants.

Finally, when dealing with the issues surrounding minor children, a mediator can help educate the parents in a neutral manner and keep the focus on the children's needs instead of the parents' negative feelings towards each other. This can also lead to more successful communication between the parties post-divorce with respect to their continued obligations for their children.

Source: Huffington Post, "Celebrate Mediation Day: Top 10 Reasons To Mediate Your Divorce," Sherri Donovan, Oct. 18, 2012

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