Collaborative Divorce & Mediation in Arizona

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Collaborative Divorce & Mediation in Arizona

If you are searching for collaborative divorce lawyers in Arizona, Canterbury Law Group can help! Formally trained in collaborative process, Canterbury Law Group can help with collaborative divorce and divorce mediation in PhoenixScottsdale and surrounding cities.

What Is Collaborative Divorce In Arizona?

Collaborative divorce, also known as collaborative law, is a legal process allowing couples who have decided to end their marriage to collaboratively work with a team of family law professionals in order to achieve a settlement that meets the needs of both parties and children without the threat of litigation. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (a “collaborative commitment agreement”) binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either party in any future family-related litigation if the parties were to ever go back to court. [1]

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost in Arizona?

Some sources suggest the average cost of collaborative divorce in Arizonais $37,500 [2].  However, Canterbury Law Group has navigated many collaborations for less than $10,000 in legal fees per spouse.  This is a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars that other couples inevitably can spend in a contested litigation in a court of law.

Collaborative Divorce In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Experiencing a divorce is never easy. Typically, divorces involve a myriad of legal actions and plenty of attorney involvement, not to mention the fees that come with divorces. Fortunately, a new divorce rule in Arizona (Rule 67.1) is now in place to help parties settle marital disagreements out of court.

While some divorces come with little-to-no disputes, other couples find themselves overwhelmed by litigation and fees.  In other words, a couple seeking divorce wants to come to agreements outside of the courtroom, but generally have different views on various issues involving custody and finances. That’s where collaborative divorce comes in.

On average, collaborative divorces in Phoenix & Scottsdale can be completed two to three times faster than conventional litigation in a court house, and can cost 50% to 75% less than traditionally litigated divorces in court. That means you could be divorced in as little as 60 to 90 days, and you each save thousands of litigation dollars.

Collaborative divorce alleviates disagreements for couples by problem-solving rather than by trying to “win” in a court of law. In other words, couples mediate and mutually negotiate to come to an agreement with the assistance of collaboratively trained professionals. In order for this to work, both parties need to be willing to mutually agree to diverting the case to the collaborative process. Collaborative divorce allows you to save time/money and come to an agreement that works for both parties. Need a collaborative divorce lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale? Look no further than Canterbury Law Group.

How The Collaborative Divorce Process Works

  • Each person hires an attorney, typically trained in collaborative law.
  • You consult your attorney (individually) to explain your goals and what you want.
  • The parties and both collaboratively trained lawyers all sign the Collaborative Commitment Agreement (“CCA”), usually at the first “kickoff” session.  All sessions are hosted in either lawyer’s private offices, you never set foot in a court room.
  • You and your attorney set up recurring group meetings with your spouse and his/her attorney.
  • If needed, third-party representatives will be invited in to help you reach an agreement. This would often include a “financial neutral” or a “communications specialist” or “child specialist” depending on the types of disagreements a couple if facing.
  • The group sessions continue.  Usually most cases wrap up by the 3rd or 4thsession.  Couples rarely find themselves collaborating in a 5th or 6th session.
  • Once collaboration complete, your attorneys will file your final legal papers and settlement agreement with the Court. Then, the judge formally signs off and you are divorced. You will have never seen the inside of a court room, nor will the public have access to any of your collaborative details, which remain 100% confidential.

For more information, dozens of videos and commentary about the emerging collaborative divorce process in Arizona, go to

Benefits Of Collaborative Divorce

There are many benefits of choosing collaborative divorce vs. conventional litigated divorce including:

Peaceful Divorce

Some wounds may never heal with traditional divorce. Litigating and constantly going to court can be explosive and damaging for the parents and the children’s well-being. Collaborative divorce is a more peaceful way to end a marriage agreement.

Lower Cost Of Divorce

According To Family Circle, “Couples doing a collaborative divorce usually spend half as much as when lawyers go head-to-head and about a quarter of the cost of going to trial.” [3]

Faster Divorce Process

A long multiyear divorce process can be terrible for everyone. Collaborative divorce makes it so it doesn’t have to be that way. Collaborative divorce is not subject to the schedules of judges and lawyers. Most collaborations start and end within 120 days or less.  One multi-million-dollar case was completed in just three weeks.

Your Own Solutions

The collaborative divorce process allows participants to come up with their own solutions tailored to their individual needs. This is much better than allowing the court to decide what you need.  Who do you think Is better qualified to craft yours and your children’s future?  A stranger in a black robe that knows nothing about you or your business or your family? Or a team of collaboratively trained professionals?

Collaborative Divorce vs. Traditional Divorce

Learn more about the differences between collaborative divorce vs. traditional divorce below.

Traditional Divorce. Traditional divorce involves a legal process where one spouse brings a lawsuit against the other. Traditional divorce is usually lengthy and painful. High conflict divorce can make it even worse and also makes it impossible for parents to communicate about the future of their children.

Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative divorce is a more humane way to end a marriage. Collaborative divorce happens out of court, in private conferences, and is a more of a mutually crafted agreement between both parties to end the marriage. It is a more comfortable, more affordable, and more equitable form of divorce vs. traditional divorce. Collaboration is far more predictable on final results when compared to the craps table equivalent of “going to court” where somebody will win, and somebody will certainly lose.

Collaborative Divorce Advantages

Collaborative divorce advantages include:

  • Much more humane process than traditional divorce;
  • Costs significantly less than traditional divorce;
  • Greater level of privacy of your personal and financial affairs;
  • More flexibility than traditional divorce litigation;
  • More control over timing, you conduct your sessions on your time table, not the court’s;
  • More support than traditional divorce;
  • Far less collateral damage to the children and the future co-parenting relationship;
  • Collaboration inevitably reduces post-divorce litigation. [4]

Collaborative Divorce Disadvantages

Although collaborative divorce has many advantages, it also has disadvantages which include:

  • Married couple has to work together to make it work;
  • Requires more compromising than traditional divorce;
  • Hardship for less wealthy couples;
  • May have to start over if couples can’t agree, if you do end up in court, you lose your collaborative lawyer.

However, even with all of these disadvantages, according to Best Legal Choices,  “When you want to be fair and to end your marriage with respect, this provides perhaps the best way to do so. A collaborative divorce can help you move forward on a good note and work out your differences together. Even though the marriage did not work, you don’t have to fight at the end.” [5]

Divorce Mediation in Phoenix & Scottsdale

A divorce mediator is a neutral third-party that tries to facilitate legal negotiations between spouses who are getting divorced. If you and your spouse cannot come to conciliatory terms on your own, you may require the services of a divorce mediator.  Learn more about how to find a good divorce mediator in Arizona. Divorce mediation helps keep you in control of the divorce terms. You will never need to step foot in a courtroom! Our divorce mediation process is simple, private and affordable. Our experienced divorce mediators will guide you the whole way through from start to finish.

  • Handle divorce out of court;
  • Help with reaching and drafting agreements;
  • Divorce mediation process is simple;
  • Our divorce mediators will be there for you every step of the way.

However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, skipping mediation could be a better option.


1. “Collaborative Law.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Jan. 2019, law.

2. Equitable Mediation. “Collaborative Divorce vs Mediation.” Fair, Thorough, Compassionate Divorce Mediation Services,

3. Finnigan, Annie. “The Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce.” Family Circle, Family Circle, 5 Feb. 2010,

4. Karen Covy, and Karen CovyKaren Covy. “Pros and Cons of the Collaborative Divorce Process: Is It Right for You?” Karen Covy, 5 Oct. 2017,

5. Michelle Ogborne. “Collaborative Divorce Disadvantages.” Best Legal Choices, 24 Feb. 2018,

Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Reviews

Read reviews and testimonials about our Scottsdale divorce attorneys.


Divorce & Bankruptcy

Dan F. – I’ve known Craig Cherney personally and professionally for almost 5 years now.  When I first met Craig I was in the midst of a divorce and financial hardship… Read more



Honest Family Law Expert

Patrick R. – I am very happy with my experience with Canterbury Law Group. Craig Cherney and his paralegal Leslie Menegay aided me through a divorce process in 2014. They were… Read more



Saved Me Thousands In My Divorce

Dana B. – I’ve known Craig since 2009. He is a brilliant professional and really knows his stuff! He has been a wealth of knowledge in many areas of law, but… Read more



Divorce In Scottsdale

Steve R. – Craig and his staff expertly assisted me in dealing with my ex – P.D. They successfully defended me against countless motions, and our competing Final Decree and Joint… Read more



Difficult Divorce In Scottsdale

Brittany D. – I have been going through a very difficult divorce here in Scottsdale and through this difficult time the Canterbury Law Group has been my support through it all.… Read more



High Conflict Divorce In North Scottsdale

Jennison J. – If you are involved in a divorce with a high conflict personality, go see Craig at Canterbury for help. Having seen both ends of the spectrum – from… Read more


Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Consultations in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for when you need the best collaborative divorce lawyers in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.  You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

We can protect and advise you regarding: Divorce and property division, child custody, child support, legal guardianship, child visitation, marital home and real estate matters, allocation and valuation of investments, businesses, practices, retirement savings, pensions, personal possessions, valuables, vehicles, closely held businesses, alimony and spousal maintenance, and debt division. To find out how our divorce attorneys can help your matter, schedule your initial case evaluation today.