NEGOTIATED/MEDIATED DIVORCE vs. GOING TO COURT - Costs, Time and Outcomes Compared
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Here are some common situations where we believe Agreement House™ Mediations could be of help to you…
1. You’d like to do a divorce without attorneys, but worry that there are issues that you haven’t considered or don’t know how to resolve.
Our lead mediator, John Zarzynski, has been a divorce attorney for over two decades. He has put together a list of issues that people getting divorced should consider. We will go through this list with you and help you resolve those issues, at which point you can proceed with a do-it-yourself filing.
(Most people don’t trust themselves -- and their futures -- to do-it-yourself projects. We offer mediators who are attorneys, as well as ones who are not. The way our legal system is set up, an attorney represents one side of a dispute and is not allowed to offer legal advice to both sides. However, most of the issues are not legal, but human or financial. Thus, we can resolve these in mediation and the eventual legal filings are merely a way for the court to validate a new agreement, and our attorneys can quickly put together the appropriate forms.)
2. You’ve agreed on most or all of the matters of ending the relationship, but want help with the legal documentation, making sure it’s done right.
We can review your agreements, make sure there aren’t any items you haven’t considered, then write-up and file the paperwork.
(One member of our team, Georgia Wilder, is one of only a handful of lawyers in Arizona who is able to handle the specialized orders required by the courts and the IRS for distribution of retirement and pension funds.)
3. You have major areas of disagreement, but you believe there has to be a better way to resolve them than having attorneys fight the conflicts in court.
This is a situation where we can be of particular help….
We’ll work through mediation to resolve the difficulties and come up with agreements. However, should there remain an item or two on which the parties disagree, we offer the option of having John Zarzynski arbitrate the item(s) holding up the process – he is an experienced arbitrator and a judge pro tem, which means the courts have given him authority to reach legal decisions. This means a quick, private resolution, without paying attorneys to do battle.
4. You have begun proceedings, using attorneys, and have grown frustrated with the lack of progress, or the expense involved, and just want to get things over with.
We can often take cases that have been in dispute for months and resolve them in a day – with or without attorneys for each side present. And we do mean resolve them – under Arizona law, John Zarzynski has been given authority to read aloud the points of agreement into a tape recorder, then have the parties state that it is indeed their agreement and they will abide by it, and this effectively creates an “instant” resolution. The oral agreement is then typed up and it becomes the basis for the legal documents which put an end to the case, and allows you to step forward into a new life.
We believe that the mediators at Agreement House Mediations can offer a faster and less expensive alternative to legal confrontation, and we do so with the goal of helping our customers move forward with their lives.