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Can you move on in life without going to court for a divorce?

Like all good parents in Arizona and beyond, your children's best interests are your highest priority. Yes, parenting can be exhilarating, wonderful and challenging all at once, but you wouldn't have it any other way. When you decided to divorce, you might have been a bit worried about how your kids would take the news.

You may have also worried about going to court. After all, you never expected litigation to be part of your adult life. You'll be glad to know that it's often possible to finalize a divorce without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom. In fact, approximately 95% of all those going through a divorce will settle through alternative processes. Exploring your options ahead of time is key to accomplishing your goals.

How can you divorce without litigation?

In a litigated divorce, the Arizona judge overseeing your case is the one making all the decisions. Whether the issue at hand concerns child custody, child support, alimony or property division, choosing litigation means you and your spouse are unable to settle things peacefully and are seeking the court's intervention.

If, however, you both agree to peacefully discuss all pertinent issues in order to come up with a fair and agreeable settlement on your own, you are free to choose other options, such as divorce mediation or collaboration, rather than going to court.

There are ground rules

Mediation is definitely not for everyone. If you and your spouse argue more than talk, it's not likely that alternative dispute resolution will be the best choice for you. In order to mediate a divorce, you must first agree that you will amicably discuss the issues and will avoid confrontation at all cost.

You must also agree to leave some things left unsaid. For instance, a mediation session is not the place to talk about all the things you hate about each other or, even, the reasons you decided to divorce. Instead, mediators carefully facilitate discussions to resolve issues concerning financial matters, custody and other important topics.

How much does it cost?

Of all the ways to settle a divorce, litigation is definitely the most expensive. It takes weeks, months, even years to finalize a litigated settlement. Divorce mediation not only takes less time than a court battle, it is often the least expensive means for severing marital ties.

Some cases are more complex than others, which is why it's a good idea to speak with someone well-versed in Arizona divorce laws ahead of time. This way you can determine a course of action that best fits your immediate and long-term goals, as well as your financial needs.

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