What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation is a non-adversarial process that generally resolves disputes more quickly, is less costly and provides greater privacy than court. Mediation works because it educates the parties concerning their adversaries’ position, offers the parties the opportunity to present settlement positions absent the posturing which frequently accompanies traditional negotiation, and enables disputants to come to an informed settlement, thereby overcoming the risks associated with a forced decision by the court. In domestic relations cases, mediation reduces the likelihood of post-divorce conflict and repeated court hearings because the couple has developed their agreement cooperatively. In my experience, mediation is the most civil and cost-effective method of obtaining a divorce.

Is mediation appropriate for families with children?

Yes. Mediation is very beneficial to the children of divorcing parents because parents work together to resolve parenting issues and keep the child out of the middle. The latest research on divorce and children suggests that how parents go about separating, not necessarily the fact that they are separating, has the most significant impact on children. An ongoing conflict between you, the parents, is what is most damaging to your children. In Arizona, divorcing families with minor children and paternity actions involving minor children are required to try to resolve parental time issues through the use of mediation before seeking the assistance of the court.

How does mediation work?

You will meet together and also separately with the mediator to work out the significant issues raised by the decision to divorce or separate. Your mediator will help identify the problems you need to resolve and help guide you through the decision-making process toward agreements that are acceptable to each of you. An average case involves 2-5 mediation sessions of one to two hours each. The mediator will then draft a memorandum of understanding for your review. The agreement becomes the basis for an uncontested divorce. Frequently no court appearance is necessary.

What are the steps involved in mediation?

Before starting any mediation, the process will be explained, and you will receive a packet of intake forms. The intake forms are either mailed or can be downloaded. With the assistance of the forms, you gather and organize the information needed, such as appraisals, pay stubs and bank statements, for the decisions you will make during your mediation sessions.
At your first mediation session, you review the mediation guidelines, identify the issues you need to discuss, as well as additional information which may be required.  Then the mediator assists you in the development of available options to resolve these issues.  If you can settle these matters, the mediator drafts a memorandum which incorporates the agreements you have reached. The mediator cannot force you to reach an agreement or make the final decisions for you.

What issues are dealt with in divorce mediation?

Clients can choose to talk about a wide range of concerns; however, typically couples in divorce in Arizona need to resolve:

How long does mediation take?

Mediation varies in length depending on the complexity of the issues involved and the readiness of the parties. Mediation sessions are usually held weekly and are approximately two hours in length. While it can take less or more time, the average mediation involves two to five sessions.

What if I’ve already been to an attorney?

Many divorce mediation clients are represented by an attorney. Mediation is not a substitute for the services of an attorney. Your mediator may be an attorney, but will not represent or give legal advice to you or your spouse. You will be encouraged to consult with your attorney; however, your attorney will serve as your advisor, rather than represent you in an adversarial proceeding. While the decisions in mediation are made by you, they should be informed decisions. If you do not have an attorney and you feel you need one, we can help you find one.

What does it cost?

Mediators charge an hourly fee that is usually shared by both parties. Because you and your spouse are doing the negotiating instead of your lawyers, the costs of a mediated divorce are typically much less than a conventional divorce. Further, you’re paying one mediator instead of two attorneys. Even the most highly adversarial circumstances can benefit from mediation-you do not have to be amicable to save money and make reasonable decisions.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call (520) 881-2021


Phone: (520) 881-2021



2 East Congress, Suite 1000

Tucson, Arizona 85701


3919 East Cooper St.

Tucson, Arizona 85711


This website is not a solicitation for business. All content on the Old Pueblo Mediation Services (OPMS) website is intended to provide general information about OPMS and an opportunity for interested persons to contact OPMS. The content of this website is not offered as legal advice or legal opinion and it should not be relied upon for any specific situation.  No attorney client relationship is intended.  This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a complete description of OPMS services. While OPMS endeavors to keep the information updated and correct, OPMS makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the information contained in this website.