Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators (MCAFM) is a professional group of family attorneys, mediators, family therapists, child specialists, certified divorce financial analysts, financial experts, judicial officers and others who are interested in and supportive of resolving family issues through mediation and other collaborative problem solving processes.
Since 1994, MCAFM has continued to inform the public about mediation practices and support legislation and court policies that increase the use of mediation in family law related matters.
MCAFM requires its members to meet high standards of performance and expertise and provides the public with guidelines for choosing a professional mediator. Our members adhere to the Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation adopted by the Family Section of the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.
Common Family Mediation Issues include Separation and Divorce, Custody/Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time, Grandparenting, Support, Post-Divorce Modifications, Co-habitation Agreements, Premarital Agreements, Elder Care Decisions, Probate-Estate Matters, Family Businesses, Gay or Lesbian Families, and Parent/Teen Issues.
Benefits of Mediation
Confidential, Cost Effective & Less Stressful --- Mediation is Confidential. Family members often select mediation because it is a cost effective and less stressful method for resolving issues and reaching agreement. Other reasons commonly cited include: privacy concerns, the desire to resolve matters fairly and in our own way, wanting a more supportive environment, having control of both the process and the final outcomes, and preferring an approach which improves communication both short and long-term. Mediation is often less costly than litigation, since it does not rely on time-consuming court hearings and discovery procedures, and makes efficient use of expert professionals.
Private - Safe - Positive --- Family mediation provides parties in conflict with a method for resolving family issues in a private, safe, and positive environment. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates communication and helps people gather information, clarify the important issues, and stay focused on finding solutions, reaching agreement, and making informed decisions. In mediation, the parties make all decisions about the outcome.
Cooperative --- In mediation, family members reach agreement cooperatively, rather than in a competitive struggle. The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator who imposes a decision on people, but a trained professional who helps them to find their own resolutions to their specific conflicts and concerns. Since the mediation process is designed to insure that decisions are jointly made and address the values and needs of the specific individuals involved, mediation participants report a high degree of satisfaction with the final outcomes and a willingness to comply with all agreements long-term.
Consultants May Be Used --- During the mediation process, other professionals and experts may be consulted to provide the parties with the information they need to make truly informed decisions. These expert resources include: tax and financial planners, attorneys, child psychologists, real estate specialists and business appraisers. When these specialists function as neutral information providers and are jointly selected and approved, their cost, in both time and money, is often greatly reduced.
Memorandum of Understanding --- When all of the issues have been resolved and the terms and timetable decided upon by the parties, a written agreement or Memorandum of Understanding is drafted by the mediator and sent to be reviewed by the consulting attorneys for each party.
Professionally Trained - Various Backgrounds --- Although mediators come from a variety of professional backgrounds and may be attorneys, social workers, psychologists, family counselors, members of the clergy, or financial specialists, they also receive specialized training in the mediation process.
This website is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matters covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the service of a competent professional person should be sought. The Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators (MCAFM) searchable database is provided as a convenience to our user public only. MCAFM does not make any warranty, express or implied, regarding the quality of professional services provided by a listed Advanced Practitioner, Practitioner or other MCAFM member. Inquiry should be made of individual mediators as to their qualifications to handle specific matters.