Divorce Settlement Conference Lawyer Scottsdale, AZ
Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney Can Guide You Through the Divorce Settlement Conference Process in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ
Settlement conferences in divorce cases are not mandatory in Arizona. However, judges frequently order the parties to try to reach an agreement before trial using an Early Resolution Conference (ERC). The rationale behind this form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is that settlement conferences can be less contentious, faster, more likely to reach an agreement acceptable to both parties, and less stressful. Another rationale is that by allowing the parties to avoid at least some of the bad feelings inevitable in a divorce trial, an ERC will make it easier for the couple to be good parents going forward.
Details About Arizona Divorce Settlement Conferences
A neutral third party runs the conference in a designated space outside the courtroom. Also present are the two parties to the divorce, as well as each person’s lawyer. Although Arizona courts do not require each party to have an attorney, it is advisable. If for no other reason, having a lawyer present at the settlement conference means that the parties will not agree to something that the court will not accept later on.
Scottsdale Attorney with Extensive Settlement Conference Experience in AZ
At our Scottsdale law firm, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, our family law attorney assists clients at pre-trial conferences. With more than three decades of family law experience and countless settlement conferences under her belt in Arizona, skilled divorce attorney Karen Schoenau is dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome during these meetings. Like all dedicated family law attorneys, she understands the benefits of settlement conferences: less expensive, faster, more control by the parties, and less stressful.
Arizona Divorce Settlement Conference Issues
Although there are many benefits to working out marital settlement agreements through negotiation before trial, parties to a divorce in Arizona should not assume that everything will be easy just because there is no courtroom and no judge. The parties need to resolve all the same issues that would have come up at trial. These can include:
- Deciding what to do with the marital home and other joint assets.
- Dividing marital debt.
- Developing child custody and visitation/parenting plans.
- Determining who pays for insurance coverage for the children and ex-spouse.
- Assigning pension and Social Security benefits.
- Identifying community property and separate property.
- Determining whether one party will pay spousal support (also called alimony or spousal maintenance) and the amount, if agreed to.
- Stipulating how long spousal support and child support will last. For example, will the party paying child support also pay for college? Will spousal support continue for many years or cease after a certain amount of time or after an event such as remarriage or completion of education?
An experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer can help you avoid giving up on core issues. She can also protect your rights and help you resolve disputes during negotiations. Most importantly, she will be there for you in court if no agreement comes from the settlement discussions.
Talk to an Experienced Scottsdale Family Law Attorney and Learn More About Arizona Divorce Settlement Conferences
If you have issues to work out with your spouse but hope to avoid the pain and expense of a trial, contact our Scottsdale law firm today. Call the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau at 480-725-1438 or toll free at 888-304-0928. You may also contact us online.