written by Sandra Burt
The answer to the title question is an emphatic YES!
Mediating your divorce or even problems you are having after a divorce is a great and less expensive way to resolve disputes. If you have the right type of mediation, then mediating your dispute does not mean you will be giving up any rights you have or compromising on your end result.
There are several types of divorce and post-divorce mediation. There is the mediation that simply helps you and your spouse reach an agreement that is fair but that is not necessarily based on what a “court would do” if the case were litigated. Then there is mediation that facilitates settlement using “what the court would likely do” as a template for creating an agreement. I personally believe in and use the second method because the end result of the mediation is an agreement that is similar to what the parties could be expected to achieve in court, with compromises along the way to save time, money and relationships.
When parties follow a template for mediation that is grounded in Arizona law, they know they are saving money without losing result. A good lawyer mediator can give you an idea of what they believe a court would do in your situation, and can hire experts (accounts, custody experts, business evaluation experts) along the way to prepare reports for use in mediation. These are the same types of reports that are prepared when you have a case that is being litigated. The end result is a mediated agreement grounded in Arizona law.
When you choose to try mediation rather than a combative court battle you can go home at night knowing you’ve used reason and compromise to reach an agreement that is grounded in Arizona law and is the same or close to what you would have achieved in court—but for many thousands of dollars less than you would spend in court!