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7537 East McDonald Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
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Phoenix, AZ 85004

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Today it is typical for divorcing couples to attend some form of dispute resolution in order to speed up the divorce process. In fact it is a requirement for couples seeking a divorce in Maricopa County to engage in some form of alternative dispute resolution. The common forms of dispute resolution used in divorce cases are:

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Settlement Conferences

Phoenix Divorce Mediation Lawyer

The Daly Law Firm represents clients going through divorce in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and the surrounding communities. Mediation can help you finalize your divorce faster. It is important to contact a divorce lawyer that is a good negotiator and knows how to compromise. Divorce is a difficult event for all the members involved. With the help of a lawyer that can effectively utilize alternative dispute resolution you can help minimize conflict and reach a positive outcome.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Information Center


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What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is an alternative to the trial process. ADR seeks to reduce the cost of litigation by using mediation, arbitration, or settlement negotiations in order to resolve cases faster. ADR is a voluntary and usually less expensive way of solving problems then completing a trial.


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What is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is a much more informal process than arbitration. The mediation process is run by a neutral third party called a mediator. This person usually does not have specialized knowledge in the area of dispute, but usually the person went through a training and certification process in order to be licensed as a mediator.

During the mediation, each side will be able to present their side of the story. The mediator acts as a facilitator to help the parties communicate and reach a mutually agreed upon divorce settlement.

Unlike arbitration, the settlement reached in mediation is not binding on the parties. Also mediations are completely confidential so nothing said in the mediation can be used in trial. The mediator cannot be called as a witness during trial to testify as to what occurred during the mediation.


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What is Divorce Arbitration?

Arbitration is when a case is decided by a neutral third party called an arbitrator. The arbitrator is usually a retired judge, another lawyer who is very knowledgeable about the subject matter in dispute.

In divorce arbitration, the facts of the divorce case are presented to the arbitrator. Typically the arbitrator will be a retired family law judge or an experienced family law attorney. Make sure that you select the arbitrator for your case with care. The arbitrators have a lot of power and you will have to prove that the arbitrator was obviously biased or was unethical in order to set aside the arbitrator’s decision. The arbitrator has the power to make either a binding or non-binding decision about the divorce case.

Keep in mind that you are paying for the arbitration. It is usually completed within a few days at the maximum. If you choose to have binding arbitration there is little recourse to appeal the decision. If you choose non-binding arbitration then it is easier to appeal, but you will incur additional costs.


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What are settlement conferences?

Arizona family courts order parties to engage in at least one settlement conference to see whether or not the parties can come to an agreement. The settlement conference is held before the judge and each side is able to give an assessment of their case and the likelihood of reaching a consensus.

The judge cannot force parties to settle at the conference, but it is highly encouraged for the parties to make a genuine and reasonable effort to come to an agreement at the settlement conferences. It is possible for attorneys to request additional conferences or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) meetings.


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Resources

Maricopa County ADR Information - Court website that explains ADR and provides resources and contacts for mediators and arbitrators.


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Daly Law Firm, PLLC | Phoenix Divorce Mediation Attorney

The Daly Law Firm represents clients going thorough a divorce or other family law case throughout Maricopa County, including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Peoria. If you need an experienced Scottsdale Divorce lawyer, or have been served with divorce papers, contact the Daly Law Firm at (480) 607-8308 for a free initial consultation.