The Ultimate Guide to a Divorce Settlement Conference

Getting a divorce in Arizona is often a contentious process. No one wants to give up anything – not the house they lived in together, not the savings they had, not the retirement accounts they had, not the investments they had, nothing. Everything thinks they are entitled to more than they are, and everyone is ready to fight, not only to get what they want but also to make the other party suffer.

The courts will often recommend – and sometimes order – a divorce settlement conference to try and avoid a trial. The hope with a divorce settlement conference is that the two parties can reach some agreement to settle their divorce, so they don’t have to use up valuable resources in the court system. If you go to a divorce settlement conference, you would still have a Mesa divorce attorney guiding and advising you, but the hope is that you would work together with your ex toward a resolution.

Husband and wife during divorce settlement conference

Pros and Cons of a Divorce Settlement Conference

There are a lot of advantages to reaching an agreement with your ex through a divorce settlement conference, rather than litigating the case in court. Some of those advantages include:

  • Reaching an agreement more quickly
  • Spending less money on legal fees
  • Keeping your private business private (instead of airing it in open court)
  • Maintaining some control over the process and the outcome – going to trial can be unpredictable
  • Negotiate complicated settlements – especially helpful if you have a lot of assets, have children together, have inherited property, and so on
  • Receive a better outcome

Even if you don’t reach an agreement at the settlement conference and your case ultimately does go to trial, you have a better idea of what you want, and nothing you said during the conference can be used in court.

In some cases, your divorce attorney in Mesa may tell you that going to trial will get you a better result. In that case, going through with a settlement conference could be a negative. However, in most cases, the settlement conference

What to Expect at the Conference

The goal of the divorce settlement conference is to review all the issues in the divorce – the pertinent legal issues, not the emotional ones – and to work together to reach an agreement resolving all those issues. A mediator will be present to guide the negotiations and structure the discussions.

The person mediating the conference may be a judge, a retired judge, an attorney, or a professional mediator. Sometimes, the conference can involve only you and your ex and your Gilbert divorce attorneys. Depending on how willing you and your ex are to negotiate, and depending on what you have to resolve, your settlement conference could take only a few hours. In some cases, it could take a few days.

Preparing for the Settlement Conference

Your divorce attorney serving Gilbert will help you prepare for your divorce settlement. You will talk through your goals for the settlement, including what assets you want to get, whether you plan to ask for alimony, the child custody agreement you want, and so on. Agree with your attorney ahead of time where you will be willing to negotiate, and how much you may be willing to give.

You may need to provide documentation to back up your asks during the conference. Gather the documents and any other evidence you may need so that it is ready to go during the conference.

Talk to your divorce lawyer in Gilbert about how a conference settlement may benefit you, and what your best strategy is for getting what you want from it. You could actually reach a resolution for your divorce faster, and you could save a lot of money.

If you are just entering the divorce process, or you are thinking of separating from your spouse, call My AZ Lawyers in Mesa to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. We’ll help you understand your options for moving through the divorce process as quickly and as painlessly as possible without sacrificing what you want. We are committed to helping you get the outcome you want, including the division of assets, as well as the child custody and support arrangement that’s best for your family. Call us in Mesa today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated divorce lawyer and learn more.

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Mesa, AZ 85202

Office: (480) 448-9800
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Glendale, AZ 85308

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Tucson, AZ 85701

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Avondale, AZ 85392

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