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Can a Parent Refuse Mediation?

Can a Parent Refuse Mediation?

Most child-related issues can be solved in the most pleasant way possible through mediation. Disputes involving children can often become messy and complex when families split up. Mediation can often provide a more civil alternative whereby families meet outside of court with a licensed neutral mediator who seeks to settle their dispute.

However, as part of a divorce, some spouses who tend to have more control in the relationship can try to use mediation as a tactic against their soon-to-be ex-spouse. This tactic leads some to wonder if a parent can refuse mediation. The simple answer is yes, but it also depends on the circumstances. Mediation is voluntary, meaning both parties must agree to participate before it can begin. However, there are different types of mediation that cannot be refused.

Refusal Depends on the Type of Mediation

Not all mediation is equal. Some mediation is court-ordered, meaning a judge has said that you and your spouse need to engage in some form of mediation. Refusing court-ordered mediation can have severe consequences. If your spouse merely suggests mediation before court proceedings, it can be rejected, but you often need a good reason to refuse mediation.

Can You Refuse Mediation Requested by Your Spouse Before Seeing a Judge?

If your spouse suggests mediation before seeing a judge, then you have every right to refuse it. However, your spouse will almost certainly bring your refusal of mediation before the judge. So, you need to have a good reason for refusing. Otherwise, you may receive sanctions from the court.

What are Acceptable Reasons for a Parent to Refuse Mediation?

There are two generally accepted valid excuses for refusing mediation. As mentioned above, mediation can sometimes be used by one spouse to try and gain the upper hand on the other when seeing a judge may yield a different result.

Spouses who hold significantly more power over assets and shared wealth may suggest mediation as a tactic to bully their ex-partner into an uncomfortable agreement. They hope to gain an advantage on items like child support by forcing you into mediation. In this instance, this spouse knows that going before a judge will likely result in them losing many more assets than they would like.

The same can be said for spouses with a history of domestic violence. Undoubtedly the abused spouse will use this history against the other spouse to prevent children from living with them. In mediation, this violent history may not come up.

If one of these instances applies to you, you should be able to refuse mediation without any consequences. However, if you, as a parent, refuse mediation without a valid reason, you may be sanctioned once the case gets to court.

Can a Parent Refuse Court-Ordered Mediation?

Certain states require all child-custody cases to undergo mandatory mediation before being put before a judge. Refusing to participate in this mediation can have serious consequences.
If you refuse to participate in court-ordered mediation, you open yourself up to contempt of the court. At the bare minimum, your refusal will be used by your spouse’s attorney to show that you are unwilling to negotiate. This refusal can affect how often you may be allowed to see your child. At its worst, contempt of the court can open you up to fines, jail time, or community service.

Mediation Attorney in Tucson, Arizona

In Arizona custody mediation, a parent refusing to participate in the process can bear various consequences depending on why the parent refused it and when mediation was presented as an option. Mediation can be complicated, but when you hire the right mediator specializing in family law and mediation to help you navigate this arduous process. Things can go a lot smoother.
ELCV LAW is an attorney specializing in Family Law in Tucson. Attorney Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano is a meditation expert, ensuring that parents cannot use mediation as a tool against their spouses. Take control of your future, and contact ELCV LAW today at 520-795-2235 or visit our website at
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Advantages Of A Prenuptial Agreement

Advantages Of A Prenuptial Agreement

Advantages Of A Prenuptial Agreement

Advantages Of A Prenuptial Agreement
Many people wrongly believe that a prenuptial agreement is only necessary for people like movie stars or those who are at threat of being preyed upon by “gold diggers.” In addition, many prospective spouses fear signing a prenuptial agreement is equivalent to signing a “pre-divorce.” However, in reality, all marriages can benefit significantly from prenuptial agreements.
A prenuptial agreement refers to a legal contract that you and your spouse devise before you are married in the eyes of the law. When you become married, the prenup goes into effect. Prenuptial contracts usually cover things like asset division and debt assumption in the event of a divorce or separation.
Here, we will discuss some of the many advantages of entering into a prenuptial agreement with a spouse. We will discuss how prenuptial agreements foster clear communication, prevent worst-case scenarios, and protect you and your spouse’s financial interests.

Prenuptial Agreements Foster Clear Communication

Anyone who has been in a relationship understands the value of clear communication. This communication is particularly true in marriage, where assets are meant to be shared among you and your spouse.
Prenuptial agreements can help couples be open and transparent with each other about exactly what assets they have and which ones they would like to hold onto in the event of a separation. Suppose you and your spouse enter into a prenuptial agreement. In that case, you are legally obligated to inform the other of any debts or other negative things you may be liable to assume.
In this way, a prenuptial agreement can give both parties the peace of mind that they truly know and are protected from any and all liabilities that their spouse may carry. These agreements also help ensure a better relationship because there is no ambiguity which happens to be one of the biggest reasons for a dissolution of a marriage.

A Prenuptial Contract can Prevent a Worst Case Scenario

No one wants to assume that something horrible will happen between you and your spouse. But, especially in something as important and potentially life-changing as a marriage, the phrase “better safe than sorry” rings true.

If you are the spouse who makes the majority of income and/or holds the majority of assets in your marriage, a prenup can ensure you are both protected from a worst-case scenario. For example, it can prevent your partner from leaving and staking claim to some portion of your life’s work.

On the other hand, if you are the spouse who does not hold most of the assets and looks to your partner for financial support, a prenup can actually be used to ensure that in the event of a separation, you won’t be left out to dry. Prenups can specify how much or how little one partner must provide to the other in the event of a separation, giving you peace of mind in your marriage.
If the worst-case scenario of a spouse passing away occurs, prenuptial agreements can even be used for things like power of attorney and the right to write and execute wills. This means that if you or your spouse’s death results in the nullification of your marriage, a prenuptial agreement can still be used to protect your family.

Prenuptial Agreements Protect Financial Interests

Most importantly and most often, prenuptial agreements can help you protect your financial interests. In today’s world of side-hustles and complicated asset packages, a prenup can ensure that your financial status won’t be compromised in the event of a separation.

A premarital agreement can protect things like the inheritance rights of your descendants from a previous marriage. In addition, if you own a business, divorce law in some states might force you to give part of that business to your partner suddenly. A prenuptial agreement can resolve this.
Furthermore, if one partner has significant debt, a prenuptial contract can ensure that you won’t be liable for their many obligations in the event of something like that person’s passing.

Prenuptial Attorney in Tucson

ELCV Law has provided Mediation and Family Law in Tucson to thousands of spouses. In order to enact and reap the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, you need a qualified team of professionals to help you draft and submit your agreement. This is where ELCV Law can help.
If you need a Family Law Attorney or Mediator in Tucson, Arizona, don’t hesitate to contact ELCV LAW by filling out a request form at or call us at 520-795-2235. Take control of your future, and learn how you can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Contact Erika L. Cossitt Volpiano, P.C. for a consultation, today.
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