Resolution Focused

Divorce Mediation

Best Mediation Services works hard to find a win-win solution for everyone involved.

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What happens during mediation?

Divorce mediation is for anyone that is preparing to get divorced that doesn’t want to go through the stress and expense of hiring an attorney. Most people who have gone through a divorce will tell you it’s challenging. It can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining. And unfortunately, the legal system can make the divorce process more complicated and time-consuming than necessary. You have heard countless divorce horror stories. And sadly, a lot of them are true. That’s because when you and your spouse don’t agree on an issue, you are giving a stranger (the judge) the power to make the decision for you. When you and your spouse mediate together, the two of you retain the power to make decisions about your future. You control the terms and conditions of your divorce and make sure you get what you want out of the settlement.

Learn More About How Mediation Can Help You.

Schedule a time for you and your spouse to speak with one of our experienced mediators about the process with Best Mediation Services.

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The Top 5 Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce

Mediation leaves the decision power strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is fair or who is right or wrong.

  • Mediation saves time, money and stress
  • Avoid legal fights, making it easier to move on
  • You control the settlement agreement, not the court
  • Secure what is most important to you
  • Resolve everything quickly and efficiently
Meet Our

Experienced Mediators


Cindy Best
Mediation Attorney
Robbie Hendricks
Mediation Attorney
David Uffens
Mediation Attorney
Stephen Vincent
Mediation Attorney

Best Mediation Services grew out of a desire to help more people avoid the conflict and stress of divorce litigation. Our award-winning attorneys strive to provide the best legal service in Arizona by focusing on communication, professionalism, and results. All of our mediators are experienced family law attorneys who have seen all types of cases, judges, and rulings. Our goal is to listen and facilitate a negotiation that suits you; our mediators have a variety of backgrounds including conducting court-ordered settlement conferences, Justice Court mediations at the Lodestar Mediation Clinic, and representing their own clients in private mediation. All of our mediators are equipped with the ‘insider knowledge’ of how the court system works and will put you and your spouse in the best position for successful resolution.

See How We Do It

mediation process


01.
Decide to Mediate

Choosing to mediate your divorce is often the hardest part of the process. We encourage you to learn more about the benefits and how it works. At Best Mediation we can help the two of you determine if mediation is right for you, explain the process, and answer any questions you may have. We find these conversations are most successful when both parties focus on the benefits, understand that the mediator is 100% neutral, are familiar with the process, and recognize how it can help your situation.

02.
Agree to Mediate

Agreeing to mediate means you both recognize the advantages of taking control of the outcome of your divorce, understand the mediation process, and want to negotiate on your terms without court intervention. With Best Mediation, this will include an actual written agreement you will sign as your commitment to the participation expectations.

03.
Prepare for Mediation

Once you have agreed to mediate and scheduled your appointment, both parties should individually complete our Mediation Preparation Form . This can act as a guide to gather and exchange any information that will be necessary for the two of you to reach agreements on any unresolved issues. For example, for a divorce, both parties should have full knowledge of each person's assets and debts.

04.
Attend Mediation

On the day of mediation, you will meet with your mediator who will review the process with you and outline the expectations of everyone involved until both individuals are comfortable. The mediator will facilitate the conversation and help you work through the unresolved issues. Your participation in negotiations will determine the success of the mediation. Keep in mind, the mediator cannot give legal advice, but they can inform you of the law.

05.
Memo of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding is a written agreement outlining the agreements reached during the mediation. At the conclusion of your mediation, if an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft the Memorandum of Understanding. He or she will return with a copy of the Memorandum for each party to review. We will make changes necessary until both parties approve. Once signed, the Memorandum will be legally binding and can be used to prepare the Court paperwork necessary to make the agreement an order of the Court.

06.
What Happens After?

The Memorandum of Understanding is a legally binding agreement, but the Court still requires the proper paperwork to be prepared and filed in order to make it final. We can help you draft the documents you need, but we must follow strict ethical rules for attorneys in order to draft and file the documents on your behalf. We will need you both to sign a Consent Waiver, acknowledging that you approve and agree to waive any conflict.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the cost of mediation?

We charge $300 per hour for mediation, with a minimum of 2 hours for the initial meeting. If needed, subsequent sessions to resolve any outstanding issues can be scheduled with a 1 hour minimum.

Is mediation successful?

In 95% of cases we mediate, the parties reach full agreements. If you are unable to reach full agreements at the first mediation session, you can schedule a second session to mediate any remaining disputed issues. You control the process, so the success is dependent on you and your spouse 's reasonableness.

Who controls the outcome in mediation?

The parties do. Our mediator will work with you to reach agreements, but ultimately all decisions, including the decisions to reach agreements or not reach agreements, belong to the parties. While the mediator will help evaluate the parties' positions regarding disputed issues to help facilitate agreements, the final decision is completely up to the parties.

What happens if we do not reach agreements?

Depending on the outstanding disagreements, you have the option to schedule another mediation session or take these issues to Court for a judge to decide. Frequently, a second mediation session can be helpful prior to seeking Court intervention and spending substantial time and money on the fees and costs of litigation. Even if you don't reach agreements on all issues, reaching agreements on some of the issues saves you the time, stress, and money involved in going to court over those issues.

We have filed in Court, can we still mediate?

Absolutely. You can mediate at any time during the divorce process. If you have already filed, please let us know if you have any deadlines or hearings coming up. Even if you have already filed in Court, it is possible that you can have everything fully resolved without ever having to step foot again in Court.

What does the mediator do?

The mediator guides and moderates the discussion, but both parties are given a chance to speak, and neither party is forced to make any agreements. The mediator helps the parties reach fair and equitable solutions for all the issues that need to be resolved. In the event the parties reach partial or full agreements, the mediator types a Memorandum of Understanding (agreement) for the parties to review and sign.

Will the mediator give us legal advice?

The mediator will not give you or the other party legal advice. This means the mediator will not tell you whether you should agree or disagree with what is being proposed by the other party. But the mediator will tell you what the law is and will tell you how judges normally rule, based on his/her experience. The mediator may propose resolutions for you to consider facilitating fair and efficient resolution.

Is mediation confidential?

Yes, bot h parties must sig n a confidentiality agreement prior to beginning mediation and neither party's positions can be used in Court. The mediator may not be called as a witness, should your case move forward with litigation. What you discuss with our mediators and staff is confidential pursuant to Rule 67.3(b)(I), Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure and our confidentiality agreement. There are limited exceptions that are extraordinarily rare.

How long does filing a divorce take?

Once the Petition for Dissolution is filed with the Court and the Acceptance of Service is signed the 60-day waiting period begins. During this time, you can prepare your Consent Decree to be filed on the 61st day to be signed by the Judge.

Can you draft court documents for us after mediation?

Yes, we can draft all the documents you need to file with the court. But for us to be allowed to draft your documents, we need both parties to sign a conflict waiver, and we will need to enter into a separate agreement before we are legally allowed to draft your divorce documents.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for mediation?

You don’t need a lawyer to represent you. That is one of the benefits and cost saving aspects of mediation. But having a lawyer is allowed and in certain circumstances may be beneficial. If you and your spouse would feel more comfortable with you each being represented by an attorney at your mediation, we would be happy to accommodate that. the mediator thinks the parties would benefit from being separated to ensure both parties are transparent and honest about their goals and concerns.

Will my ex and I be in the same room or will we be in separate rooms?

Generally, our mediators prefer to meet with both parties in the same room if the parties can be cordial to each other. But the parties can be separated into separate comfortable conference rooms if (1) one of the parties would prefer to meet separately, or (2) the mediator thinks the parties would benefit from being separated to ensure both parties are transparent and honest about their goals and concerns.

How does the mediator guide the conversation?

The mediator focuses the conversation on one issue at a time. Generally, a mediator will start with the issues where the parties are closest to reaching an agreement and then work toward the more difficult issues. But in some mediations, the mediator may change that order. The mediator will address specific topics and ask each party how they would like to resolve the issue. Where the parties are close on an issue, the mediator may propose a resolution for the parties to consider. Where the parties are far away, the mediator can help guide the parties' negotiation and help the parties reach fair compromises to avoid the costs and stress of further Court intervention.

What are the types of things we discuss during a divorce mediation?

In every divorce, we must divide all the marital property (which typically includes a house, bank accounts, vehicles, retirement accounts, stock options, credit card debts, and other debts) and decide if there is a claim for spousal maint enance. In a divorce with children, we must determine the custodial issues of legal decision-making and parenting time (the parenting schedule) and child support.

Does the mediator does take sides?

Absolutely not, the mediator must be neutral. Our mediators are evaluative and help the parties understand, based on their extensive experience, their positions and risks if they go to Court and what a Court may decide. However, our mediators always strive to be fair and impartial and do not give either party legal advice.

What is mediation used for?

To help parties reach agreements and avoid the cost, time, and stress of battling outstanding issues out in Court. Mediation also helps the parties control the outcome and avoids putting what will happen with their property and children in the hands of a judge who may issue a ruling that simultaneously upsets both parties.

Who pays for the cost of mediation?

The division of costs is up to the two of you to decide. Generally, parties agree to split the costs or divide them proportionately, but often one party covers the full cost of mediation when he/she makes significantly more than the other party. The division of costs for mediation and drafting final documents can also be negotiated as part of your agreements.

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