Helpful Hints from Affordable Mediation

How Will New Supreme Court Justices Impact Our Lives?

July 11th, 2018 by

     It has been just under two weeks since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. This kind of significant news that has the ability to impact the country for decades gets us all talking about who will fill the vacancy, what cases will be heard or changed, and (of course) the nomination and confirmation commotion.

After days of speculation, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, as his nominee to fill the vacancy on the most-powerful court in the country. Whether Kavanaugh gets confirmed or not, which cases the Supreme Court will hear first will all play out shortly. This change to the Supreme Court will make its mark on the history of America, and could have significant impact on our lives, but exactly how remains to be seen.

The Supreme Court is only nine of the more than 3,000 federal judges in the United States.  In Arizona, we have more than 30 federal judges in our district courts.   Arizona judges have a consistently busy caseload.  It is estimated that our family court judges who hear divorce cases in Maricopa County have a caseload of 800 divorce cases each. Arizona’s legal system is busy!

Whether in divorce and family mediation, real estate mediation or other areas, Arizona mediators support and help their clients navigate a complex legal system that is often overburdened by a very busy caseload. One of the ways to avoid getting caught in the court backlog is to use the mediation process. In divorce mediation, couples have the option of making their own decisions about their lives, finances and children. If you choose a divorce mediator who is also an attorney, your mediator can prepare all your divorce agreements and court documents in a manner that can keep you out of court and streamline the process.

You have a lot of options when faced with a significant personal, business or financial change. Learn more about how Affordable Mediation mediators work alongside their clients through a challenging transition and through a challenging system.

Image courtesy of www.smithsonianmag.com




Affordable Mediation Opens West Valley Divorce and Real Estate Mediation Office

July 5th, 2018 by

West Valley Divorce and Real Estate Mediation Office Sign for West Valley Office
We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new West Valley office in the City of Goodyear. Affordable Mediation has served clients throughout Central Arizona since 2010, and now clients from Tolleson to Surprise to Luke Air Force Base, and every city in-between, can easily work with our highly-trained mediators from our new location.

Starting July 1, clients can schedule appointments with Nicole Pelcic, the Affordable Mediation West Valley-dedicated mediator, at the new office at 2990 North Litchfield Road in Goodyear on the border with Litchfield Park. A dedicated supporter of children and families personally and professionally, Nicole is a West Valley resident and involved in the local community.

Phoenix’s West Valley, which includes: Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tolleson, Wickenburg and Youngtown, almost doubled in size between 2000 and 2010, with expected population growth to around 1.4 million by 2030. This year, Buckeye was named the fifth fastest-growing city out of cities with more than 50,000 residents by the US Census Bureau.

Click here to learn more about our divorce and real estate mediation services. If you are interested in scheduling a session at the new West Valley office with Nicole, call 602-622-2008.




Affordable Mediation Welcomes New Mediator Nicole Pelcic

June 22nd, 2018 by

New Divorce Mediator Nicole Pelcic

Welcome, Nicole!

Affordable Mediation is thrilled to welcome Collette Nicole Pelcic to our divorce mediation practice. An accomplished licensed attorney in both Arizona and California, Nicole (as she is known) brings her legal expertise and passion for helping individuals and families to the Affordable Mediation team.

Nicole will be spearheading the expanding mediation services in the West Valley of the Metro Phoenix region at a new Affordable Mediation office location servicing Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Avondale, Peoria, Surprise, Glendale, Verrado and similar areas. She is a resident of the West Valley and is active in organizations and schools in the area.

With more than 16 years of experience mostly in real estate and estate probate, Nicole is looking forward to using her knowledge of navigating complex family and relationship issues to assist Affordable Mediation clients have a positive experience.

If you’d like to set up a divorce mediation session at the new West Valley office at 2990 North Litchfield Road, Goodyear, Arizona 85395, please ask for Nicole when you call us at: 602-622-2008.




New 2018 Child Support Guidelines in Divorce Mediation

April 20th, 2018 by

www.AffordableMediationAZ.comThe Arizona Supreme Court has adopted new child support guidelines effective April 1, 2018. The child support amounts remain essentially the same.  The major changes include:

  1. The designation of parents is changed from Father/Mother to Parent A/Parent B
  2. The self-support reserve amount has been increased from $1,115 to $1,456, which may affect lower income earners but should have no effect or higher wage earners
  3. The final support obligation field will automatically round up or down so that “cents” are eliminated
  4. The Child Support calculator has been updated

The 2018 Child Support Guidelines will be effective for all child support orders, whether original orders or modification of previous orders, entered after March 31, 2018, except in cases of default or as otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

A common topic in divorce mediation is the amount of Child Support that should be paid.  In my mediations, we typically work with the Arizona Child Support Calculator, but also approach the numbers from a realistic goal and financial perspective.  Sometimes, the number the calculator results in an amount that is not workable for a family.  Other times, it doesn’t take into consideration unique situations, such as one parent paying for a significant percentage of the children’s expenses.  Or maybe the number is just too low to cover the actual living expenses of the children.

In looking at the big picture and common goals for the children, many of my divorce mediation clients mutually agree on a child support number that works for their family.  So, we use the Arizona Child Support Calculator as a tool, but often deviate from the bottom line.  So, frankly, the new 2018 changes likely won’t affect most divorce mediation couples.

For questions about how child support might work with your particular situation, feel free to contact me at 602-622-2008.

For additional information, review: 2018 Guidelines and 2018 Child Support Calculator




Healthy Tips When Moving Through the Divorce Process

June 16th, 2017 by

Health and DivorceIn working with divorce mediation clients, I am privy to the emotions and stress most people experience while going through a divorce. Here are a few tips and resources to help restore balance, promote relaxation and instill some calm energy:

  • Try not to read negative articles or social media that focus on negative thoughts, feelings or events. Keeping your mind focused on more productive, empowering and feel-good messages, can go a long way to elevating your mood and enhancing your coping mechanisms
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise – it doesn’t matter if it’s walking, dancing, weight lifting, or whatever else you fancy – we all know the healthy benefits of exercise on mind, body and mood
  • Take time to spoil or pamper yourself unplugged. Turn off your phone, iPad, computer and TV. Devote an hour (or more) per week where you just check out and do something…Just…For…You…
  • Eat healthier – there is a ton of research out there that supports what we eat affects our mind and body. So, don’t wait for New Year’s – make a resolution now to commit to healthier eating.

Here is a great and helpful article from healthambition.com on 10 foods that naturally reduce stress and anxiety. Who knew oatmeal can produce a relaxed mood?!: Top 10




Mediation Light: New Affordable and Express Divorce Mediation Packages in Phoenix

June 14th, 2017 by

Divorce Mediation documents

I’ve been getting a lot of calls from Phoenix couples who already have worked out their divorce agreements and are looking for help with their divorce documents and some guidance through the process. For these couples, full-blown mediation may not always be needed or wanted. So, I decided to offer an express and even less expensive divorce mediation option for those of you who would like this choice.

Affordable Mediation is pleased to announce that we are now offering “Mediation Light:” a streamlined, professional express mediation package at a very reasonable cost: $695.00 without minor children and $995.00 with minor children. These are designed for couples who have most items already agreed and are looking for a seasoned professional to guide them through the legal nuances and document preparation.

You will meet with your mediator for a 2-3 hour session where your questions will be answered and all of your divorce documents will be prepared with detailed step by step filing instructions with the Court.

If you need more discussion/mediation to assist in reaching your final agreements, we still offer Full Service mediation sessions with costs ranging from $1,800-$3,500. Please contact me (Mara Linder) at 602-622-2008 for more information.