Phoenix Divorce and Family Law Mediators / Tempe Divorce and Family Law Mediators

Mr. Bishop serves as a mediator at both our Phoenix and Tempe offices. Most of Mr. Bishop’s mediation cases involve parties that are represented by attorneys. However, Mr. Bishop also offers his mediation services to people involved in divorce and other family law matters that are not represented by attorneys.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process to attempt to settle the issues involved in litigation. Mediation is a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), which means a process to settle disputes outside of Court and without having a trial. Our firm provides mediation services including divorce and other family law disputes. Mediation is different than Arbitration (see later discussion at the bottom of this page). During the mediation process, the mediator will assist both parties in resolving their disputes and drafting documents which formalize the agreements reached. 

During mediation the parties meet with a nuetral professional (i.e., the mediator) in order to negotiate agreements and to hopefully avoid further court proceedings. You can meet with a mediator at any time before the case is final (i.e., before the case is filed, or at any time during the case). Mediation can take place for all family law issues – i.e. divorce, modifications, enforcement issues, etc.). Mediators are generally attorneys that specialize in the area of law or former judges who have experience in the area of the law. 

Depending upon their mediation approach, It is important to realize that many mediators will attempt to settle your case but will not tell you whether the settlement is fair or advise you on what you should do to obtain a fair settlement. Rather their main focus is for the most part limited to exploring what each of the parties is willing to do to compromise. Other mediators are willing to provide more analysis regarding the settlement and take steps to ensure both parties have adequate information to reach a fair settlement.

William D. Bishop has a separate mediation practice called AZ Premier Mediation. You can schedule your mediation by calling the same number as our law firm – 602-749-8500. Just make sure to let our office know that you are interested in mediation services up front.  Both parties must agree to mediation and who is going to act as your mediator. You cannot retain our firm to be your attorney and your mediator as this would create a conflict of interest (i.e., mediators cannot serve as both your attorney and the mediator). If you have not hired our firm and would like to explore having Mr. Bishop serve as the mediator in your case,  please contact our office and let our office manager Carolyn know that you are interested in mediation – 602-749-8500.

Summary of Contents

What Kind of Mediator Should We Hire?

As mentioned before, Mr. Bishop is a Certified Specialist in Family Law through the State Bar of Arizona, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. These are the very top credentials for family law attorneys in Arizona. Only about 30 attorneys throughout the entire State of Arizona have such credentials. These designations provide our mediation clients with the security that their mediator not only has the skills and expertise to help them negotiate their differences, but can ask the necessary questions and draft their final agreements.

Mr. Bishop also completed the prestigious Strauss Institute Mediation program at Pepperdine University. Mr. Bishop has successfully mediated many cases and conducted a substantial number of alternative dispute resolution settlement conferences as a judge pro-tem for the Superior Court of Arizona. Mr. Bishop has the skills, credentials and experience to help you resolve your disputed issues in your case so that you can avoid trial and move onto the next chapter in your life. 

Not all people that provide mediation services have the necessary experience and skills to properly address the issues in a contested divorce or other family law case. Some “mediators” are not licensed attorneys. Some are licensed attorneys in other states but not in Arizona. Some used to be attorneys and were disbarred or suspended. Some mediators may be attorneys but are not very experienced with complex family law issues. You sometimes pay as much if not more for these unlicensed and/or unqualified services. Sometimes, the documents that they help draft can cause more harm than good.

 We always recommend that you retain an experienced mediation attorney to mediate complex family law cases. With Mr. Bishop you will have a mediator that is a Certified Family Law Specialist and is highly experienced in all areas of divorce and family law. 

Is Mediation Right for You?

Most people in a divorce or other family law proceeding can benefit by attending mediation. The upmost goal is to reach an agreement on all contested issues. However, mediation can be very beneficial even if the parties can only reach agreements on some of the issues. This narrows the issues that remain open for future settlement or trial. If a full settlement is reached during mediation and attorneys are involved, the Parties generally only have minimal attorney fees necessary to complete the process. If a partial settlement is reached, the Parties save money on future attorney fees  as there are fewer issues left to resolve and/or that are left for trial. 

Can the Same Person Be My Attorney and Act As Our Mediator? 

As explained above, the mediator works for both parties (i.e. husband and wife/father and mother), and thus cannot later represent either party as his or her attorney in the event that the mediation is unsuccessful. 

If you would rather our firm be your  Phoenix divorce attorneys, we can attempt to settle your case as your attorneys. If we represent you already and you would like to attempt mediation, we help you pick a good mediator for purposes of attempting to settle the issues. If we represent you, we of course will attend the mediation sessions with you and take the lead in your negotiations. 

We will be more than happy to discuss the different types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) and help you decide if mediation is the right choice for your situation.

How Much Time & Money Can You Save?

Where there are disputed issues a conventional divorce in Arizona can cost well in excess of $20,000 and often takes anywhere from one to three years to be completely resolved. On the other hand, the cost of mediation services for an Arizona divorce client averages between $2,000 to $5,000. Even more impressive is the speed with which mediation cases are resolved – the majority of divorce cases require only one or two sessions, each lasting a few hours. To learn more about our mediation services, contact us at (602) 749-8500.

Arizona Process: How Mediation Works

Mediation may be an excellent alternative to assist you in resolving all or a portion of the issues in your divorce proceeding or other family law case. Unless ordered otherwise by the Court, both parties must agree to mediation and must agree to who is jointly hired to serve as the mediator. If you are interested in retaining a private mediator, we highly recommend that you retain a qualified and experienced mediator who specializes in divorce and family law to serve as your mediator. Our office provides quality  mediation services, and we will be happy to assist you with settling your case and avoiding lengthy and expensive litigation.