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Potential Alternatives To A Contested Divorce In Arizona

Contested divorces generally occur when the spouses do not respond to each other or disagree with the grounds cited for divorce or have issues regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, spousal maintenance or issues regarding distribution of marital assets, such as retirement plans and family-owned businesses. Whether a divorce is contested or uncontested depends upon the feelings the spouses have and the investments they have made in the marriage. The consideration of what is in the best interests of your children is also paramount in contesting a divorce.

A contested divorce can either be settled amicably or in a hostile fashion. The spouse that is served notice is can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage if they wish to. It is important to know that even a no-fault divorce can be a contested divorce. The spouses agree to grounds of irreconcilable differences and to not argue about any grounds in Arizona law in a no-fault divorce. Disputes may still arise on matters such as parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance and the distribution of marital property.

Some of the common methods used to resolve a contested divorce are as follows:

Mediation Process

It is not mandatory in Arizona to first attempt mediation when filing for divorce unless there are children involved. However, mediation can be worthwhile if you are close to resolving the crucial issues. Mediators are skilled and trained in helping you and your spouse to amicably arrive at an agreement. Attorneys may not represent you in mediation because the whole idea behind this process is for the parties to resolve things on their own.

Arbitration Process

Arbitration is a substitute for an in-court divorce trial if mediation proceedings reach an impasse. It is up to both parties to agree on and choose an arbitrator. The couple may also outline their terms as to what procedure is followed and the timeline for the arbitrator to make a decision. This approach, just like mediation, is less stressful for the spouses and family. The aim of arbitration is to foster better communication and provide privacy unlike in a court trial. The arbitrator’s decision usually cannot be appealed.

Collaborative Divorce Process

Each spouse retains an attorney trained in collaborative law in the collaborative divorce process. Both parties and their legal counsel cooperate and hold meetings to draft an agreement but other collaborative law professionals, such as financial professionals, personal coaches and child psychologists, may be retained to help resolve specific issues. If a complete agreement cannot be reached, the next step usually is litigation. Both parties will then need to retain new attorneys. In Arizona, collaborative divorce provides a range of services that serve to guide the divorcing couple in proposing equitable and fair resolutions without threat of litigation hanging over their heads.


If any alternate dispute resolution process that you have tried fails then your divorce issues will be resolved in court through a trial and it usually is part of the public record. In the event of a trial you need a Divorce lawyer in Miami Dade County  who is familiar with Family  law and the county courts and judges.

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