Divorce Mediation Vs Litigation in Arizona: Which is the Better Option?

Investigative Article

Arizona Marriage Dissolution: Choosing between Divorce Mediation and Litigation

When a marriage is on the rocks, the last thing a couple wants is to add another layer of stress to the situation by embarking on a lengthy and expensive divorce process. In Arizona, couples have the option of choosing between divorce mediation and litigation to dissolve their marriage. It’s important to understand the differences between these two options and choose the one that best suits the situation.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation involves working with a neutral third party, usually a mediator, who helps couples reach mutually acceptable decisions regarding the terms of their divorce. The mediator is not a decision-maker, but a facilitator who helps couples communicate, identify issues, and explore options. Mediation can help couples achieve a divorce settlement that is tailored to their specific needs and priorities. Additionally, mediation is usually less expensive and less time-consuming than litigation.

What is Divorce Litigation?

Divorce litigation is a legal process that involves going through the court system to resolve the terms of a divorce. In litigation, each spouse hires an attorney to represent them in court. The judge presiding over the case makes the final decision regarding issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. Divorce litigation can be a long and costly process, and the final outcome is determined by a judge, who may not be familiar with the unique circumstances of the couple.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation can offer many benefits over litigation for couples that are looking to dissolve their marriage:

1. Cost-effective

Divorce mediation is generally less expensive than litigation. The mediator’s fees are usually split between the two parties, and there are fewer legal fees involved since neither spouse is required to hire an attorney.

2. Time-efficient

Divorce mediation is usually a much quicker process than litigation. Since the couple works together to reach an agreement, there are fewer delays and the process can be completed in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months or even years with litigation.

3. Less adversarial

Mediation is a more cooperative and collaborative process than litigation. Couples are able to work together to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both parties, rather than fighting against each other in court.

4. Allows for more control over the process

In mediation, the couple has more control over the final outcome of their divorce. They are able to tailor the agreement to meet their specific needs and priorities, rather than having a judge make decisions for them.

When is Divorce Litigation Necessary?

While divorce mediation can be an effective and less stressful way to dissolve a marriage, there are certain situations where litigation may be more appropriate. For example:

1. If one spouse refuses to participate in mediation

Mediation requires both spouses to be willing to work together to reach an agreement. If one spouse is uncooperative or refuses to participate in mediation, litigation may be necessary.

2. If one spouse is being dishonest or hiding assets

If one spouse is not being truthful about their financial situation or is hiding assets, litigation may be necessary to ensure that the other spouse is not being taken advantage of.

3. If there is a history of domestic violence

If there is a history of domestic violence or one spouse is afraid of the other, mediation may not be appropriate. In these cases, litigation may be necessary to ensure the safety of both parties.


Choosing between divorce mediation and litigation is an important decision for couples looking to dissolve their marriage in Arizona. While mediation can offer many benefits over litigation, it may not be appropriate in all situations. Consulting with a skilled divorce attorney can help couples choose the best option for their specific circumstances and needs.

Arizona Marriage Dissolution: Choosing between Divorce Mediation and Litigation-Divorce,Divorce

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