Is Mediation Right for Your Situation

Is Mediation Right for Your Situation?

Is Mediation Right for Your Situation?

Is Mediation Right for Your Situation

While every divorce is unique, in Arizona divorce mediation is generally the preferred divorce process. It is a more amicable and affordable alternative to battling your spouse in court. In addition, you may use mediation to solve all divorce-related issues, including division of assets, custody of children, etc.

The process involves a family law attorney to keep the peace and ensure fair negotiations. However, the question is not whether mediation is a beneficial process. Instead, the question is whether mediation is a good fit for you. You can read more about why you should consider mediation here.

Do You Have to Get Along with the Other Person?

While you do not have to be best friends with your spouse to have a successful mediation session, it can certainly help. Many types of mediation are generally used depending on how well you and your spouse get along. The main two types of mediation include a shuttle or a facilitative session.

Shuttle Mediation: These mediation sessions are better for couples who cannot work together. This form includes if the couple argues more than they can calmly talk or if they have trouble listening to one another. The participants would have their own rooms and their attorneys in this case. The attorneys would then move between the rooms to negotiate on behalf of the participants. Both participants can either share a mediator or have their own. However, it can be beneficial for each participant to have their own attorney since they can help make decisions or evaluate offers.

Facilitative mediation: In this type of mediation session, the participants are directly involved in the negotiations. These sessions are participant-driven, meaning the participants control the outcome. The mediator will help guide the discussion to important topics and offer expertise on various subjects. Still, the participants will ultimately determine the agreements. Once the mediation is complete, the family attorney will draw up the agreement stating the decisions made during the session.

Can Mediation Improve Our Communication?

Yes! Although mediation should never be considered a form of therapy, mediation can help improve communication. When couples begin the discussion during mediation, the mediator will help ensure all communication goes smoothly. There are three different mediation styles: the transformative, the evaluative, and the facilitative.

The transformative style is where the mediator empowers each participant to share their thoughts and respond kindly to one another. Their goal is to help each person understand the motive behind the other’s communication.

The evaluative style is where the mediator removes emotions from the equation and sticks to the fact. The mediator will use current laws to help the couple resolve their disputes. This style is better for couples who seem unable to find a middle ground and would rather have a third party decide.

The facilitative style, also described above, is where the mediator acts as a third party and makes sure all topics discussed and both participants stay on track. The mediator is considered a neutral party.

Who is Not a Good Fit For Mediation?

Partners with a significant imbalance of power may not be suitable for mediation. The dominant partner will likely bully the partner into agreeing to uncomfortable terms. Other couples that would not be a good fit include those that experience ongoing domestic violence. Mediation will not be viable if there is a worry that the other spouse will get aggressive. Instead, they would have to turn toward the traditional divorce process.

Who is a Good Fit For Mediation?

Mediation is a good fit for couples who want to find a peaceful and private solution to their disputes. A good reason could be because they want their children to grow up in a healthy environment where their parents get along. It could also be because they do not want to spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting their spouse in court.
Some couples who do not get along can also be a good fit for mediation. Remember, there are plenty of mediation styles, so ask what approach your mediator will take before starting the session. If you are looking for a mediation attorney in Arizona, contact ELCV LAW to ask about our various mediation styles for couples.
At ELCV LAW, we understand mediation is not the right option for everyone. For more details on who is a good fit for mediation, contact Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano, P.C., one of the finest mediation lawyers in Arizona. Take control of your future and call us at 520-795-2235 or visit our website at today.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of actual legal advice. Not all circumstances are the same, and it is suggested that you should seek legal counsel if you need assistance in any of these areas.

Read More
Vicarious Trauma - Its Affects on the Legal Profession

How Vicarious Trauma Affects the Legal System

How Vicarious Trauma Affects the Legal System

Vicarious Trauma - Its Affects on the Legal Profession
Lawyers, judges, and paralegals are all meant to maintain a strong front and help clients through their trauma. But what happens when the trauma of others begins to take a mental and emotional toll on those that represent them? This type of trauma may seem like an odd problem – like a doctor being infected by his patient. However, it is a widespread issue for attorneys and other legal professionals who internalize their client’s trauma. After hearing many tragic stories a day, it’s not a surprise legal professionals would empathize with clients. In fact, most professionals in the legal system tend to suffer from some form of vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue. So how does vicarious trauma affect the legal system? Read on to find out!

What Is Vicarious Trauma?

Vicarious trauma is second-hand trauma that many legal professionals face when defending clients. Professionals affected by vicarious trauma can become more cynical of their world. This effect can cause legal professionals to struggle with existential questions and developmental health issues.

Examples of common mental health issues caused by vicarious trauma include depressionanxiety, and PTSD-like symptoms. Additionally, some professionals will have other adverse reactions to vicarious trauma, such as feeling hopeless, constantly worrying about potential dangers, emotionally numb, or having problems with personal relationships.

Who Is Most Susceptible to Vicarious Trauma?

While anyone working with victims can be at risk of being affected by vicarious trauma, the legal professionals who work in criminal justice and family law tend to be the most affected. These results are because they are more exposed to traumatic stories that would naturally cause them to be empathetic.

Aside from professionals in specific legal fields having a greater possibility of being susceptible to vicarious trauma, personal factors can also make certain people more vulnerable. These factors include:

  • Having prior traumatic experiences similar to those of the client 
  • Lack of preparation and boundary training
  • Tendency to withdraw from situations and avoid feelings 
  • Lack of support from coworkers and supervisors
  • Difficulty expressing emotions

How Does Vicarious Trauma Affect the Legal System?

As vicarious trauma causes legal professionals to have an increasingly hostile point of view and cause mental health issues, more and more professionals are quitting the field.

Vicarious trauma can also lead to other issues, such as excessive drinking to deal with the stress. In fact, in a study by the American Bar Association in 2016, 20.6% of attorneys who participated in the survey indicated a problematic level of drinking. Even more shocking is that 61.15% of the respondents had anxiety, and 45.7% had depression. These statistics show the dire need for mental health reform in legal professions. If the legal system does not change how law professionals are supported, the number of people interested in a law career will likely decrease. In contrast, the number of lawyers who quit due to vicarious trauma will increase.

What Can Be Done About Vicarious Trauma In the Legal System?

Lawyers have recently pushed to recognize how and why legal professionals are at a higher risk for mental health issues. This push has included a call for lawyers and legal professionals to be better trained in dealing with clients who have faced trauma.
Separating oneself can be difficult since each client’s story is unique, and it is hard not to get attached or relate to others. These training sessions help the lawyer empathize from afar without internalizing the client’s suffering. Many law professionals also suggest that fields with high levels of vicarious trauma should provide organizational support to professionals working in this area. Employers are also encouraged to check on their employees and have an open-door policy where they can easily discuss their concerns.

As a Family Law Attorney in Arizona, Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano, P.C. has been part of the legal professionals working to spread awareness of vicarious trauma for many years. She has taught vicarious trauma’s dangers and adverse effects throughout the years in a creative and informative presentation.

Take control of your future and the effects of vicarious trauma. As a family law mediation attorney in Arizona, Erika has firsthand seen the effects of vicarious trauma. Because of this, she teaches other legal professionals what to look for and practices mindful meditation to ease the effects and regain confidence. Contact ELCV LAW today at 520-795-2233. You can also schedule an appointment at

Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of actual legal advice. Not all circumstances are the same, and it is suggested that you should seek legal counsel if you need assistance in any of these areas.

Read More
How To Save A Marriage - Start With A Marital Contract

How To Save A Marriage – Start With A Marital Contract

How To Save A Marriage - Start With A Marital Contract

How To Save A Marriage - Start With A Marital Contract
When you and your spouse decide to get married, no one intends to have anything tear you apart. However, in the grand scheme of life, many unforeseen issues arise during marriages. No one knows what their life will look like decades into the future. Unfortunately, if not appropriately handled, marital issues can have the power to tear your marriage apart. Luckily, there is a solution to help solidify and even save your marriage: marital contracts. Marital contracts refer to various agreements that you and your spouse enter. These can cover things like cohabitation, asset division, and more. Even though marital contracts are recommended before you say “I do,” you can have one produced at any time during your marriage. Many people think marital contracts are only for the super-wealthy and those who have had many prior marriages. However, marital contracts are actually perfect for saving your marriage. This post dives into what marital contracts are, when they can be signed, and how they can save a marriage.

What is a Marital Contract?

Broadly, a marital contract refers to any agreement that you and your spouse come to surrounding your marriage. These contracts can come in many forms, including cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements, and more. Most often, these agreements revolve around who will get what if that marriage is to end. Marriage contracts help foster clear communication in a marriage, even if nothing ever comes up to tear your marriage apart.

When can you Sign a Marital Contract?

Marital contracts are an excellent option for preserving your marriage because they can be signed before and during your marriage to your spouse. Premarital or prenuptial agreements are agreements made between spouses that will become effective once marriage occurs. Both parties must sign these. Generally, prenuptial agreements cover things like property rights and obligations. Prenup agreements usually seek to protect what will happen to these assets if separation, death, or divorce occurs. In addition, premarital agreements can include provisions for making wills, trusts, or other arrangements. Basically, pretty much anything that a couple could conceivably fight about during a marriage can be pre-decided in a prenuptial agreement. Even deciding whom the pets will go to in a cohabitation agreement if a separation occurs can be determined. A postnuptial agreement can be signed after you and your spouse is already married. These contracts are used to either establish agreements or change those initially established under a prenuptial agreement.

How can Marital Contracts Save a Marriage?

Many people wrongly assume that entering a marital contract means you and your spouse anticipate separating. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Marital agreements have the power to save a marriage by providing solutions to common issues that couples fight about before they even begin.
Marital agreements foster clear and precise communication among spouses. This type of clear communication at the start of a joint-venture can lead to a long and happy marriage where both sides feel no pressure.
Postnuptial agreements are often perfect for saving a marriage. When new assets are acquired, arguing about who owns what in a marriage is natural. Using a postnuptial agreement can allow you and your spouse to legally decide who retains ownership of pets and other things. This contract also allows many arguments about money and other assets are put to rest.

Family Law in Tucson

All in all, a marital contract of any type can help you and your spouse remains in a healthy marriage. In order to enter into a marital agreement, you need a team of professionals to help. If this sounds like something you need, consider using ELCV LAW, a Family Law Attorney in Tucson that provides Marital Contracts and Mediation Services.
If you need a Family Law Attorney or Mediator in Tucson, Arizona, don’t hesitate to get in touch with ELCV LAW by filling out a request form at or call us at 520-795-2235. Take control of your future to learn how you can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Contact Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano, P.C. for a consultation, today.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of actual legal advice. Not all circumstances are the same, and it is suggested that you should seek legal counsel if you need assistance in any of these areas.

Read More
Why is Mediation Important to Any Relationship

Why is Mediation Important to Any Relationship?

Why is Mediation Important to Any Relationship?

Can a parent refuse medition
Disputes of any kind can often lead to broken relationships and hard feelings, especially true when it comes to a divorce. Divorces tend to result from problems in the marriage, and there is often lots of fighting in the household leading up to the divorce. Having a court battle over assets and money to get a divorce can perpetuate these feelings of anger, frustration, and uncertainty about what is to come.
Divorces are not only hard on the spouses who are getting divorced, but they can also be hard on children and extended family. That is why mediation is the best way to ensure the least emotional damage and trauma resulting from a divorce. 
How Can Mediation Preserve Your Relationship with Your Spouse? 

Less Fighting

Before a divorce, there is usually plenty of fighting. An impartial professional family law attorney will help direct the process, so there is less fighting during the division of money and assets. When you go to court to get a divorce, you both have to hire your own attorney to fight for what you want with little regard for the other person. Mediation can help preserve your relationship by easing uncertainty and anxiety. Although mediation can’t solve your current relationship, it can help end your relationship with less fighting.

Improve Communication

Experiencing a mediation process together can benefit your relationship with your spouse after the divorce. It may be difficult, but you will both need to set your differences aside and work together to find a resolution. During this process, you will need to listen to one another and keep an open mind about how the mediation might go. The common goal of finding a solution peacefully between the two of you can be critical to mending your past differences. Mediation can also help improve your communications in the future as a divorced couple. You will need to treat each other with respect and civility while in a mediation session, which can set a precedent for future conversations. Improved communication will also help you co-parent.

How is Mediation Better For Your Relationship With Your Children?

Less Hostility At Home

Divorces are almost always hard on children. However, mediation will be better for your relationship with your children since there will be less fighting in the home. When you are in the process of getting divorced, there is a time when you will still live with your spouse and children. There can be lots of tension at home during this time, which can strain your whole family. Hostility in your home can confuse children, and they may end up resentful. Lessening the anger and fighting within the home with divorce mediation can improve relationships with your children since they can see their parents as civilized and end the relationship amicably. In addition, you will be able to model common courtesy, respect, and civilization for your children.

No Picking Sides

Oftentimes, children get caught in the crossfires of battles with parents considering divorce. It can get messy when you and your spouse go through a court battle. Your children may have to hear you and your spouse argue over who gets custody of them or other complex subjects. They also might start to pick up on your attitudes and anger towards one of you at home. As a result, they may begin to pick sides and hate one of you, causing further division amongst your family and can lead to unhealthy relationships. Mediation is better for your family since it will show your children that you and your spouse can get along even though you may be getting a divorce. That way, they won’t feel the need to defend one parent over the other or pick sides.

We understand that divorce is hard for any family, but knowing that you can mitigate some of the trauma with divorce mediation is essential. Divorce mediation in Arizona will allow you and your spouse to split in the most amicable way possible, making it easier for everyone in the family. Visit our website to discuss how mediation could help your family through a divorce. If you are looking for a family law mediator in Tucson, Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano is one of the best mediation attorneys in the industry. With over 30 years of experience, ELCV LAW is considered highly skilled among divorce mediators in Arizona.

Take control of your future. Call us at 520-795-2235 to set an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of actual legal advice. Not all circumstances are the same, and it is suggested that you should seek legal counsel if you need assistance in any of these areas.

Read More