There are so many lawyer jokes. So many people nervous and unhappy about the way the government handles itself. That’s why the idea of working through the courts with two teams of lawyers doesn’t give divorcing couples a warm-and-fuzzy feeling about what’s coming for them and their future.
The good news is that most of that can be avoided with a good divorce mediation team. You can stay out of court with divorce mediation. You can work through your divorce in a very deliberate, fair process where you and your spouse make the decisions, not the court. Let’s take a look at why you might want to avoid the courts in your divorce.
Three reasons to go with divorce mediation and stay out of court:
- Judges as the 3rd Parent: Arizona law has gone back and forth on this issue, as both appellate and supreme courts make decisions on this sensitive issue. One thing that parents rarely want is “The Court” (i.e. judges) making important decisions about their kids. That’s known as judges acting as the 3rd parent. With mediation, you make the decision for your kids and how you and your spouse will co-parent after the divorce. Keep the judges out of it.
- Changes to the Spousal Maintenance Laws: Another highly volatile area of Arizona’s Family Law that seems to change regularly is the spousal maintenance law and judges and attorneys’ interpretation of it. (Read our update here). The key change, most recently, is to Part A of the law, which specifies how a spouse must qualify for alimony (spousal maintenance) and adds in a few new wrinkles. The latest change includes a fifth test for qualification, namely that a spouse has “significantly reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.” It appears the Arizona legislature was sending a message to the court that more spouses should qualify for spousal maintenance, but some judges are applying this in a way that defeats that purpose. For example, I recently heard that some judges are ruling that a spouse qualifies for spousal maintenance under this new provision, but then award that spouse $0 spousal maintenance for 0 months. Again, why leave this up to a court to interpret?
- The Child Support Calculator is Wrong: Don’t even get me started on this one. The Child Support Calculator is inaccurate. It has not been revised to mesh with the changes in the Federal Tax laws. It doesn’t leave you with a feeling of confidence in working with the court system, does it?
Going through a divorce is challenging enough without courts, lawyers, and bureaucracy piling on. Our simple 5-Step Divorce Mediation Process will help you avoid losing control of the outcome of your divorce and ensure that both you and your spouse get through this in an understanding, compassionate way.