Peter D. Axelrod,
Family Law Attorney
177 N. Church Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701
Divorce: How To Get Started, page 1 of 4
Divorce: How To Get Started
The most important question to consider before starting a legal action is: What
dispute resolution process am I going to use to resolve my case?
Before starting a divorce, legal separation or other family law case, a careful
consideration of the kind of process you want to use to resolve the legal issues is
important, especially if you have children. For better or for worse, the dispute
resolution process you choose will have a significant impact on your family
relationships, your well being, and the success of the case.
There are at least four different ways to proceed with a divorce, legal separation
or other family law case. Your attorney should explain in detail these four
dispute resolution processes to help determine which one is best suited to your
The use of one neutral mediator/attorney, who represents neither you nor your
spouse. The mediator aids both of you in reaching an out-of-court settlement of
the disputed legal issues.
In mediation, a neutral mediator/attorney agreed upon by you and your spouse is
used to help resolve your legal issues. The mediator does not represent either of
you, but serves as the facilitator and source of information for the settlement
discussions between the two of you. The mediation is conducted within a
structured framework where the mediator's role is to:
• Provide the necessary legal and other information that you and your spouse
need to make appropriate settlement decisions.
• Help both of you think through the various options and consequences of your
• Ensure that the discussions and negotiations are held in an environment
characterized by safety, respect and equality.
• Require that you and your spouse disclose a