An Experienced Family Law Firm

It Doesn’t Have To Be A Fight

Divorce and custody disputes evoke strong emotions, including your protective instincts or aggressive tendencies. If things escalate, you end up in court, spending lots of money to have a judge dictate various aspects of your life.

At the Law Office of Heather L. Stewart, we strongly encourage alternative dispute resolution for the complex issues of divorce proceedings and family law issues involving children. Namely, we can provide mediation services (our attorney is a certified mediator) or advocate you in collaborative law negotiations. We invite you to explore the approach that makes the most sense for your situation.

The Benefits Of Divorce Or Custody Mediation

In mediation, a neutral professional facilitates multiple sessions to help you resolve disputes and reach an out-of-court settlement. The mediator does not represent either party or give legal advice, but can make suggestions and clarify points of law. Mediation is preferable to litigation for numerous reasons:

  • Less animosity – The focus is common ground, compromise and communication.
  • Less expense – Even in complex cases, mediating costs considerably less than litigating.
  • Timeline – Divorce can take a year or more. Mediation can be completed in weeks or months.
  • Flexibility Mediation is on your schedule, not dictated by the court docket.
  • Privacy Mediation sessions and settlements are not public record.
  • Control You have a say in the outcome. You decide what’s acceptable.

As an experienced litigator, Heather Stewart knows that going to court often means there are winners and losers, and that’s not healthy for families in the long run. Mediation is about win-win solutions and parenting plans that everyone can live with. Heather is licensed and certified as a mediator by the State Bar of Arizona.

Collaborative Law: A Better Approach To Negotiations

Collaborative law is a holistic approach to divorce and family law matters that creates an environment conducive to agreement. Each party is counseled by a lawyer who is trained in collaborative methods. It’s different from traditional negotiations in a couple of key ways:

  • The spouses and lawyers sign an agreement not to litigate. If either side withdraws from the process, the parties would have to start over with different lawyers to go to court. Without that tension and legal maneuvering, the only way forward is cooperation.
  • Professionals are part of the solution. Instead of dueling courtroom experts, we bring in custody evaluators, accountants, business valuation specialists and others to help resolve conflicts and suggest solutions.

What Is The Best Approach For You?

Collaborative law and mediation are not right for every situation. Both spouses must be willing to engage in good faith and do the work to reach a resolution. But if you are committed to avoiding litigation, the process and the outcome are so much better.

To discuss our experience in alternate dispute resolution and how it may apply to you, call the Law Office of Heather L. Stewart at 480-500-8473 or contact us by email. We serve clients throughout the Phoenix-Mesa metro area.