Flagstaff Divorce Mediation Lawyer

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Flagstaff Divorce Mediation Attorney

If you are considering getting a divorce in Flagstaff, or anywhere in Northern Arizona, and are looking for a stream-lined and low-conflict solution, then hiring a mediator may be the answer for you. The traditional court process is long and emotionally draining, while mediation involves collaboration between you and your ex-spouse. A mediator, or neutral party, will assist you and your ex-spouse in reorganizing your lives and finding practical solutions for issues such as spousal support, child custody, and how you will divide your assets and debts.

An experienced and dedicated Flagstaff divorce attorney who offers mediation services can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have a caring professional working to resolve your divorce amicably and peacefully. By opting for mediation instead of arguing against your spouse in Arizona or Flagstaff family court, you are choosing peace and long-term stability for your family and your children tailored exactly to your unique situation.

At Glazer, Hammond, Ruben & Smets, PLLC, our legal team is here to provide you with a wealth of legal knowledge and valuable negotiation skills.

How Does Arizona Define Divorce?

In Arizona, the legal term for divorce is “the dissolution of a marriage.” In simple terms, this dissolves the marriage and the individuals are considered legally single by the government.

Arizona is considered a no-fault divorce state. This means that to file for a divorce in the state you do not need to prove that one person was responsible for the breaking down of the marriage.

Flagstaff Divorce Mediation Process

Mediation means that disagreements can be settled outside of court and between the parties, saving time, money, and emotional stress. The state’s divorce mediation process is an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings in the courtroom, allowing you and your spouse the chance to come to terms on common agreements. Glazer, Hammond, Ruben & Smets, PLLC offer two approaches to mediation:

  • Product. While divorce is never a simple process, this approach to mediation is sometimes considered the “easy” button. First, you will be asked to complete forms that provide all of the necessary information for Jennifer B. Ruben and her team to create final, working drafts of your divorce papers. Then, once the drafts are completed, a meeting between both parties and Jennifer B. Ruben will be scheduled. This meeting will be for up to four hours long and that time will be used to review the drafts, answer questions, and fine-tune the agreement. This option is the most appropriate when parties agree on most outcomes but need some assistance working through a few discrete details.
  • Process. This is a non-adversarial way to create a personalized resolution respectfully and productively to your case. Jennifer B. Ruben will keep the conversation legally relevant and ensure that the documents created will meet the Court’s standards for filing. This is an interest-based, problem-solving approach that serves to minimize conflict and to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement. Unlike the Product approach, the process approach is focused on the conversation and the negotiations and works well when both parties are on good terms with each other, but don’t necessarily see eye to eye right away on the details.

It is important to choose a mediator that you trust. When you are selecting a mediator to aid in your divorce, make sure that they are knowledgeable and comfortable with the process and how it relates to your county. It is important to note that a mediator is not there to offer legal advice to either party, but they serve as a guide to keep the conversation productive and focused on the legal side of the process. The court can always recommend a mediator, or you can seek one out yourself. Jennifer B. Ruben is proud to offer her mediation services no matter the approach you and your ex-spouse are hoping to take.

Arizona As A Community Property State

Arizona is a community property state, which basically means that, as a general rule, all debts, property, and other assets that are acquired during a marriage by either spouse are considered to be owned by both spouses as a “community”. Thus, when a divorce is set into motion, any community property will be generally split evenly between both parties. However, a different allocation of community property can be made if both parties agree to split the community property differently during negotiations or mediation.

The opposite of community property is separate property, which are assets or property that was owned by one party before the date of the marriage. Separate property can also be property given as a gift or inheritance. Separate property, unlike community property, will not be considered part of the assets and property that need to be divided during the divorce process.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which property is community property and which is separate property. A skilled divorce lawyer who is familiar with the divorce and mediation process in Flagstaff, Coconino County, and throughout northern Arizona can help you better determine what category these assets fall and provide advice and guidance on how to divide it up.

Mediation And Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) In A Flagstaff Divorce

If one spouse was making more money than the other prior to a divorce, the lower-earning party may be wondering how they can continue with their existing lifestyle, while having enough time to look for an occupation that will allow them to get back on their feet. The mediation process can be particularly useful for negotiating spousal maintenance openly and honestly, while avoiding resentment and confusion in the future.

The mediator during this process will help both parties evaluate the following factors to aid them in making an agreement:

  • Needs of each spouse.
  • Ability of each spouse to pay the other.
  • Creative solutions for ensuring each party is able to meet their reasonable and necessary living expenses.
  • Sustainability of a solution for both parties.
  • What about the situation is unique and requires specifically designed solutions.
  • How the statute for spousal maintenance applies to each party.

Mediation is advantageous for negotiating alimony or spousal support because it allows each party to have their concerns heard. The end goal of spousal maintenance is to ease the transition from living in a shared household to being single again, and the result should be financial independence for both parties.

Tips For Arizona Divorce Mediation

When it comes to divorce mediation, it’s important to prepare yourself so that you are in the right mental space for helping facilitate the process. At the end of the day, a negotiation can only go as far as the two parties are willing to go.

If you are considering the divorce mediation process or are currently getting started, here are some tips to consider:

  • Prepare all of your plans and documentation. Because the negotiation process relies heavily on looking at the hard facts, it’s important that you gather all key information, such as asset reports, outstanding debt, pay stubs, and more, so that decisions can be more clearly made. Also, if you have preferences for child visitation schedules, map out what the days and weeks will look like for you so that you have visuals to bring to mediation. If you are unsure if a piece of information is necessary or not, err on the side of caution and bring it with you. It is better to be overprepared.
  • Keep an open mind. Mediation requires that each party listens to one another, takes their concerns into account, and considers how to make their goals align with the other’s. In order to do this, everyone must come to the table with an open mind. During the negotiation process, a solution might arise that was not initially anticipated, but would best serve to accommodate both parties.
  • Consider future implications. When working through negotiations, try not to get caught up with your emotions in the present. Think about what will benefit you and your family in the long run and what decisions can be made now to help you move forward successfully in life.

By being mentally prepared, gathering all plans and documents, having a keen awareness of the Arizona divorce and mediation process, and hiring a lawyer who works in mediation, you will increase your chances of having a smooth and stress-free divorce.

What to Look for in a Flagstaff Lawyer Who Offers Mediation Services

Finding a mediation divorce lawyer who will work hard to make sure your marriage ends peacefully is critical to ensuring that the negotiation process will go smoothly. It’s important to keep the following things in mind when determining who your lawyer will be:

  • Years of experience in mediation. When you are asking around and doing your research, it’s recommended that you look for lawyers who have prior experience working in divorce mediation. By having a seasoned negotiator, you and your ex-spouse will have the skillset and knowledge needed to find common ground so that you can move on with your new life with confidence.
  • Ample experience in family law. Not only should your potential lawyer be well-versed in divorce negotiations, but they should also be familiar with the court system and legal requirements in Arizona.
  • Professionalism. Look for a family lawyer who is deeply empathetic, timely, respectful of your situation, and professional in all settings.
  • Outstanding communication skills. You will want to opt for a lawyer that knows how to communicate with ease: both clearly and appropriately. Having a lawyer who can break down complex legal concepts into easy-to-understand language is critical to making informed decisions about your future.
  • Availability. When you are speaking with a lawyer to determine whether they are right for facilitating your divorce mediation, ask them about their schedule in the upcoming weeks and months. Be sure that they are available at the same times that are convenient for you and your spouse, in order to ensure that the mediation stays on schedule.

Overall, when choosing a Flagstaff lawyer who offers mediation services, choose a firm that both you and your spouse feel comfortable with, and can trust.

Find a Better Solution for Your Divorce Today

If you are concerned about being caught in a messy and high-stakes divorce in Flagstaff, Coconino County, and throughout northern Arizona, and want to simplify the process to spare time and money for your family, then hiring a mediator could be a sound option for you. Reach out to a family lawyer at Glazer, Hammond, Ruben & Smets, PLLC, to learn more about how you can spare yourself from the headaches of a traditional divorce.

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