Bracing for the dissolution of a marriage can be challenging, both emotionally and financially. Even the most amicable of divorces can be stressful, so divorce proceedings where both parties are in a court battle over the house or the children can be especially overwhelming.
Fortunately, not every marital split in Arizona has to involve going to trial. Resolving divorce-related issues through informal negotiations can make navigating this type of family law proceeding easier.
Most divorces are actually resolved before the couples' issues have to go before a judge. Alternative dispute resolution -- or ADR -- processes, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, help to make this possible. Through ADR, two spouses can negotiate how to deal with matters such as property division, child support and child custody. However, the success of negotiations really depends on two factors:
- How much of a dispute you and your spouse are having regarding key issues
- How willing both parties are to work together in resolving these issues
Property division is one of the biggest areas of contention during the dissolution of a marriage, especially if a couple has large assets or high-value assets. Another important consideration when dealing with the division of property is addressing the division of debt -- including a mortgage, credit cards or a car loan.
During negotiations, when dealing with the family home specifically, you and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement on who gets to keep the house, or you may both decide to sell the house and split the profits, for example.
Compared with going to trial, ADR tends to be much more casual and less adversarial. In addition, it can facilitate and encourage early settlement. Through processes such as collaborative divorce and mediation, both you and your future ex have the chance to play equal and active roles in addressing key issues in your divorce.
If you are unable to achieve a settlement on your own, including your own parenting plan if child custody is an issue in your marital split-up, then a judge in Arizona will have to make these important decisions for you, and the judge's decision may not be in alignment with what you or the other party would have wanted.