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Can you serve as a mediator in my divorce?

If Adriana didn’t previously serve as the attorney for either you or your spouse, and neither of you consulted with her, then yes, she can serve as a mediator for your divorce. However, mediation isn’t the right path for every divorce.

a mediator for divorce

If you’re going through a divorce and you want to take a healthier, more peaceful path, or if you’ve tried mediation but you want to try a collaborative divorce, or if a contested divorce seems like your only option, schedule a consultation with Tempe divorce lawyer Adriana Blanchette by calling (602) 881-1748.

In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about mediation and if your divorce is a good candidate for mediation.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary negotiation process where a neutral person, a mediator, tries to help two people reach an agreement to resolve all or some aspects of their divorce. The following people are involved or can be involved in divorce mediation:

  • The mediator
  • Both spouses
  • An attorney for each spouse, if they choose to have independent legal representation
  • Financial planner
  • Child custody specialist or therapist.

Anything that can be ordered by a judge in court can be part of an agreement reached in mediation, including:

  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Payment of attorney’s fees
  • Use of or access to property pending the completion of the proceedings.

The mediator and their role

In family law mediation, the mediator is often an experienced family law attorney who’s completed additional training such as in dispute resolution, or they could be a retired judge. Because the mediator is a neutral person, they cannot give legal advice to either party.

Unlike a judge or arbitrator, mediators can’t make decisions or issue binding orders, nor can they force the parties to reach an agreement. Their role is simply to present each party’s position to the other and to help guide them toward a peaceful, middle-ground resolution that they’ll both sign.

Mediation is confidential

Unlike the court process, mediation is entirely confidential, and nothing said or offered during or in contemplation of mediation can be used against you or be told to the judge. If mediation wasn’t confidential, no one would be inclined to make good faith or reasonable settlement offers, and they wouldn’t have any reason to compromise in order to reach a settlement.

Cases that are ripe for mediation

Although mediation can be used for all types of family law cases, even divorces involving child custody disputes, support, and significant assets, not all of them are good candidates for mediation. If you and your spouse communicate well, can generally work together toward resolution on most issues, and if you’ve already reached an agreement on some aspects of your divorce, you’re likely a good candidate for mediation. 

Ready to move forward with your divorce? Call Blanchette Law PLLC

Going through a divorce, even one without children or substantial assets, can be complex and emotionally challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone and with questions. Certified mediator and experienced Tempe divorce attorney Adriana Blanchette and her team provide the compassionate and knowledgeable representation you deserve.

Call Blanchette Law PLLC at (602) 881-1748 today to schedule your consultation to learn more about divorce in Arizona, mediation, or collaborative divorce to find out which type of representation is best for you.

What should I do after my divorce is finalized?

You’re finally at the finish line – your divorce is almost finalized, but you might be asking yourself: now what? If you believe that there’s going to be some work still to do after the divorce decree is received, you’re correct. Here’s a quick checklist to run through to ensure you’ve done everything you need to do following your divorce.

divorce finalized

If you’re getting or are contemplating a divorce in Arizona, contact Tempe divorce lawyer Adriana Blanchette at Blanchette Law PLLC today. Adriana has years of experience as an attorney and a family law mediator, and as a mother, she understands the emotional turmoil (and freedom) that divorce can cause. To schedule your consultation, call (602) 881-1748.

Complete all terms contained in your divorce decree

Obtain a copy of your final divorce decree and do all things required of you in the decree, including in the property division section, or ensuring that your co-parent has been added to your children’s emergency contact information if they weren’t already listed or if you were ordered to add them. 

The property division aspects of your final judgment might require you to:

  • Refinance a home or loan into your sole name to remove your former spouse from that obligation
  • Remove your former spouse from your banking, investment, retirement, or credit card accounts
  • Close jointly-held accounts
  • Conduct the division of the marital estate as outlined in your agreement or decree
  • Issue an equalizing payment to your spouse in order to complete the equitable division of the marital estate
  • Sign the title to any vehicles or property that were awarded to your former spouse or ensure they sign any that were awarded to you
  • If the division of any retirement accounts needs to occur through a specific instrument, such as through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), ensure that those are completed and filed
  • If not prohibited by your decree, remove your former spouse from all insurance policies.

If, as part of your divorce, you opted to revert to your maiden name, ensure that you update your:

  • Social security card
  • Driver’s license or ID card
  • Car title and registration
  • Bank accounts
  • Passport
  • Insurance policies

Other important tasks and documentation

Although they aren’t part of the divorce, there are several other pieces of information you’ll want to change or update following your divorce. Although your attorney can discuss a list that’s more tailored to your specific situation, generally, the following should be done after a divorce:

  • Ensure your mailing address is correct for all accounts and for all important documents, including setting up mail forwarding if necessary
  • Change all passwords, security questions, and recovery emails/phone numbers for the electronic access to all accounts including financial accounts, email accounts, social media, cloud storage drives, iCloud, etc., and ensure that all other devices that were previously connected to those accounts are disconnected or removed from access.
  • If it’s not prohibited by your judgment, update the beneficiaries on all retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other accounts
  • Update your tax withholdings through your employer
  • Create a new estate plan

Need help finalizing your divorce? Call Blanchette Law PLLC

If you feel that your divorce has stalled or if you’re just starting and you don’t know where to start or what to do, don’t hesitate to contact Tempe divorce lawyer Adriana Blanchette. The longer you wait, the more daunting your divorce will seem. Call (602) 881-1748 today to schedule your consultation.

What do I do if my spouse refuses to negotiate divorce?

When discussing divorce with your spouse, promises might be made to negotiate all terms and to reach an agreement together. However, when it’s time to put that into action, your spouse might suddenly be uncooperative or they might outright refuse to engage in the process.

This can be incredibly frustrating, but thankfully there are ways to deal with the stalled divorce and methods to move the process forward, even without your spouse’s cooperation.

If you’re getting a divorce but don’t know your options or what’s required to put the process in motion, contact Tempe divorce lawyer and mediator Adriana Blanchette of Blanchette Law PLLC. To schedule your consultation, call (602) 881-1748.

Have empathy – Consider why they’re being uncooperative

Although you might be emotionally ready for your divorce and the next chapter of your life, even if you haven’t been considering it for long or if your spouse initiated the process, it’s still a difficult and emotional process. spouse refuses to negotiate divorce Your spouse might not be intentionally uncooperative, but they might feel lost and are afraid of starting over alone. They might be worried about the financial impact and strain of the divorce, they could be worried about how your children will handle it, if they’ll be judged by their friends and family, or they simply don’t know how to process their emotions.   Try to remain calm when speaking to them about the divorce and your desire to move forward with the process and be empathetic toward their feelings. It might be helpful to kindly direct them to people or resources who can help them work through and process their emotions in a healthy manner such as a therapist, a member of their church, a support group, or a trusted friend or family member. Your sympathy and support might help them muster the courage to take the next steps in the divorce.

Remember your goals

It’s easy to be sidetracked by your spouse’s refusal to respond or cooperate with the divorce, so you might need to remind yourself of your goals. These will be specific to your situation and your divorce, but they could include:
  • Maintaining civility between you and your spouse
  • Reaching an agreement outside the courtroom
  • Ensuring your children know both parents love them and the divorce won’t change that
Your attorney can also help you develop goals and strategies to entice your spouse into cooperating with the divorce, and if they won’t, they’ll help you move your divorce forward.

Contested divorce is still an option

Even if you set out on the hopeful path of mediation or a collaborative divorce, those simply aren’t viable options in every situation. If you can’t negotiate an agreement or if your spouse isn’t responding or cooperating with the process, you can still pursue the divorce through the contested divorce process.  If you need to proceed with a contested divorce, your attorney will help you file motions and present evidence to the judge so that they can issue orders, eventually issuing permanent orders and your divorce decree. A judge can rule on all issues of your divorce, including:
  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Payment of attorney’s fees
  • Use of or access to property pending the completion of the proceedings
You might feel hopeless and like you’re stuck in a standstill divorce, but with Tempe divorce lawyer Adriana Blanchette on your side, you can ensure that your divorce will progress as needed, even with a little bit of involvement. To learn more about your options and to schedule a consultation, call Blanchette Law PLLC at (602) 881-1748.

What’s the difference between mediation and collaborative divorce?

Both mediation and collaborative divorce can be extremely beneficial and cost-saving tactics in a divorce. However, the processes are handled differently depending on who’s involved and the role of each individual.

difference between mediation and divorce

Adriana Blanchette is a certified mediator in the State of Arizona. If you’re interested in Adriana’s mediation services or if you want her to represent you in your collaborative divorce, call (602) 881-1748 to schedule your consultation today.


Mediation relies on a neutral third party who works to help spouses reach an agreement on some or all of the issues they’re facing. Mediators are expert problem-solvers and can clear up issues while maintaining mutual respect and dignity. However, there’s a very important caveat to mediation: A mediator cannot offer legal advice to either party.

They do not make decisions or force the spouses into an agreement. In family law mediation, the mediator is often an experienced family law attorney who’s completed additional training such as in dispute resolution, or they might be a retired judge.

Each spouse can choose to represent themselves or retain their own attorney, who will guide and advise them, review offers, and help craft counteroffers. The parties can choose whether or not they want their attorney present during mediation or if they’ll simply consult behind the scenes. 

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, Ms. Blanchette represents one party and provides them with legal advice throughout the process.

Before engaging in the collaborative divorce process, each party must sign a contract or agreement which outlines their commitment to proceed with the divorce outside of court. The agreement will also outline what will happen if spouses are unable to reach an agreement, making it necessary to bring the issues in front of a judge.

Ms. Blanchette will work cooperatively with the other party in an attempt to reach a resolution on all or some of the issues of the divorce without putting the matter before the court to decide. 

When Ms. Blanchette represents one party, she will not give legal advice to the other party because she has a duty to her client and isn’t acting as a neutral mediator.

Which is faster?

Like the answer to most legal questions, the answer here is: it depends. There’s no definitive duration or time to completion for either mediation or a collaborative divorce because it depends on the number of issues in dispute and how cooperative the parties are with each other. 

Generally, both can be completed fairly quickly if it’s a simple divorce, like one without children, or if there are few issues in dispute because the parties work well together. However, typically a collaborative divorce takes slightly longer than mediation because in addition to having a sit-down meeting, your attorney will exchange disclosures, communication, and offers with the other party or their attorney, and they might not receive prompt or immediate responses.  

Is mediation cheaper than a collaborative divorce?

The cost of collaborative divorce or mediation also depends on the disputed issues, the relationship between the spouses, the number of professionals involved, and the extent to which they’re involved.

For example, in a mediation where both parties have an attorney and they’re sharing the costs of mediation, if they attend a four-hour mediation, they’ll both be paying for two hours of the mediator’s time plus four hours of their attorney’s time. If they simply consult with their attorney outside of mediation to review disclosures or offers following the four-hour mediation, they’ll still pay for two hours of the mediator’s time and the amount of time they discuss things with their attorney. 

In a collaborative divorce, you aren’t paying mediator fees in addition to your attorney’s fees, however, there could be more back-and-forth between your attorney and your spouse or their attorney, which could ultimately cost the same as mediation but it might take longer.

Do you want an easier divorce? Blanchette Law PLLC can help.

Adriana Blanchette and her team at Blanchette Law PLLC are experienced in both mediated and collaborative divorces, all with a focus on healthy communication and assisting the parties in reaching an agreement that’s best for them and their families. 

To schedule your consultation with Ms. Blanchette, call (602) 881-1748 today.