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Understanding the difference between traditional and collaborative divorce

The State of Arizona allows couples to get a divorce through collaboration. People should know how this differs from a traditional divorce.

For couples in Arizona who for one reason or another have found that a marriage will no longer work for them, a divorce may be the next step. Arizona has its own laws and procedures for going about divorce, and it is one of the states in which the divorce process does not have to be one of pain and disputation thanks to there being options for what is known as a collaborative divorce. Collaborative mediation is an option for couples who want to remain on good terms by discussing the terms of their divorce on even standing ground. Anyone looking at divorce options in Arizona should understand collaborative mediation in divorce and how it differs from a more traditional divorce.

Divorce proceedings in Arizona

The document that must be filled out and approved by the court is a petition for the dissolution of marriage. This form is filled out by both spouses and includes information such as how attorney fees will be paid, how property will be divided and how custody of any children will be handled. Either spouse may serve the other with this petition, however there must be a 60 day “cooling-off” period before proceedings are finalized. If one or the other spouse does not want the divorce to happen, a conciliation meeting can be set up, but unless both parties agree to postpone the divorce, it will move forward. Ultimately, because Arizona is a “no-fault State”, there doesn’t need to be a specific reason for requesting a divorce.

How does collaborative mediation work in Arizona?

When couples elect to undergo their divorce proceedings by means of collaborative mediation, they chooses to share their information with the same professionals who will work with them to best figure out how things are to be parsed out. For instance, hiring an attorney in collaborative mediation might be a way for a couple to best determine how to divide their assets, while in a more traditional divorce, a hired attorney would just represent one or the other party. In such cases as these, an attorney can be hired as a mediator, and will work with both parties to ensure that the divorce goes in an amicable way.

The process of getting a divorce can be a sensitive issue for everyone involved. Hiring an attorney is a good step whether a couple is following a more traditional proceeding or they are going for a collaborative divorce. Whether seeking a mediator or a representative, it may be helpful to hire an attorney in the local area who practices family law.