Divorce

& Family Law Attorneys in Arizona

infographic: top reasons people get divorced

Divorce can be emotionally devastating.  You are ending what may be a years-long marriage, and what almost certainly represented the hope of something more. Getting un-married can also be financially devastating.  Also, you may have given up your job to care for children or your home while your spouse worked.  Even if you did work, your spouse may have made more than you did, providing the majority of support.

When you go your own way, you may find yourself scrambling to find a job, worried about how to afford your own place, and having to buy new furniture and other household items.  If you have children, you may not have the means to support them on your own.  Plus, you may now have to worry about health insurance and car insurance.  Perhaps you need to get your own cell phone plan.

A Mesa divorce lawyer can help you protect your rights and fight for a settlement that allows you to continue living the type of life to which you were accustomed and to provide for yourself.  An experienced divorce attorney will get you the results you seek.  Call and set up a free consultation with one of our Arizona family law attorneys today.

In addition, a divorce lawyer can help you fight for a fair division of assets, an alimony settlement and child support that helps you provide for your children.

Divorce Law Services in Arizona

CHOOSING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY IN ARIZONA

Arizona custody attorney
Choosing a divorce attorney is an important part of a successful divorce.  It seems like many people are looking for a “bulldog” attorney or an attorney who is aggressive, a fighter, and no nonsense.  When our Arizona family law staff hear this (and we often do), it makes us shudder.  Talented attorneys, like those on our staff at My AZ Lawyers, don’t need to unnecessarily fight or sling mud in order to achieve a successful outcome to a divorce.
We are by no means saying that our attorneys won’t vigorously represent our client, we just know that as divorce attorneys we must separate feelings and emotions in order to achieve the best outcome for our clients.  Additionally, our family law team has represented thousands of people in Arizona who were filing for divorce.

THE MY AZ LAWYERS DIFFERENCE

The exceptional results that we get are due to our knowledge of not only the Arizona family laws, but also to the fact that we are in front of the same judges case after case.  Therefore, with all of the face time that we get in front of these judges we get to know their preferences and stances on the multitude of family issues.  Additionally, our large staff make notes of not only the judges but also of the many opposing attorneys that we face. Our attorneys and staff compile all of these notes which gives our clients an upper hand when filing a divorce in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Tucson, Arizona.

ARIZONA DIVORCE TERMS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ANSWER: 

Divorce is the legal dissolution of marriage. Once your divorce decree is finalized, your marriage is officially over. About 50% of first marriages end in divorce, with that percentage increasing for subsequent marriages. Arizona is a community property state, meaning both spouses have rights and obligations for most debts and assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the paperwork. Divorce usually also involves splitting up these assets and determining child support and custody.

ANSWER: 

You can always proceed with a legal matter in pro per, or without an attorney. For couples who are splitting amicably, this may be a viable option. If you have only been married a short while, you don’t have significant assets, and you don’t have children, your case may be relatively simple enough to file without an attorney. If you foresee a custody battle, want to request child support or alimony, or have significant assets to divvy up between you and your ex, you may want to hire an attorney.

ANSWER: 

Your attorney should hopefully be more knowledgeable about family law and court procedures than you are. They will also be able to file documents for you electronically, whereas you may be required to file your documents in person at the courthouse. While you may be able to file a divorce on your own, it could cost you more in the long run if your assets aren’t split favorably and you end up with years of alimony and child support payments. If your spouse has an attorney and you don’t, you are entering the proceedings at a huge disadvantage. If you have an attorney and your spouse doesn’t, you will have the advantage. Hiring an attorney when your spouse also has one ensures you are at least on an equal playing field.

ANSWER: 

To divorce your spouse, you will be required to file a divorce petition and have it served on your spouse. In Arizona, your spouse has 20 days to respond to the petition. If your spouse agrees to all the terms of the divorce, they can file a consent decree. They can also simply not respond at all. If this is the case, your next step is to file a request for default. The court will order the divorce under the terms of the petition you filed.

ANSWER: 

Paternity needs to be established before a father has the obligation or right to pay or receive child support and have visitation with the child. Getting the results from a paternity test should only take a few business days at most. However, if the parents of the child in question aren’t on good terms, they may need to get paternity testing through their local child support office. This will need to be court-ordered and will take much longer than a voluntary paternity test.

ANSWER: 

Physical custody is having the child live with you, while legal custody is decision-making authority on behalf of the child. Both legal and physical custody can be classified as sole or joint. Sole custody means only one parent has that type of custody, while joint refers to both parents. It is possible for custody agreements to be sole legal custody with joint physical custody, or vice versa.

ANSWER: 

If the parents can’t agree during mediation or informally on how much child support is to be paid, the court will have to decide. The guidelines for calculating child support can vary by jurisdiction, circumstances, and can even be left up to a judge’s discretion. The judge will have tables showing an acceptable range for support payments based on the case details. Factors the judge will consider include the needs of the children (healthcare, education, etc.), the paying parent’s income or ability to earn an income, the needs and income of the custodial parent, and the child’s lifestyle before the parents divorced or separated.

ANSWER: 

A legal separation, unlike a divorce, doesn’t legally terminate the marriage. It is an option commonly utilized by couples who aren’t completely sure yet that they want to divorce, or for those who can’t afford financially to divorce. You can still ordered to pay alimony during a separation, and child support and custody orders will be put in place if minor children are involved. You will still legally be married after a period of legal separation.

ANSWER: 

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you don’t need to have a specific reason to file divorce.  You can cite “irreconcilable differences” on your divorce petition.

ANSWER: 

You will first want to consult attorneys to learn your legal rights and steps you will need to take on a case-specific basis. You will need to tell the attorney what you want out of the divorce and parenting order so they know how to draft your petition. Your paperwork will be filed with the court and will need to be served on your spouse. Your spouse will either respond with their own demands, or the judge will issue a default ruling based on your petition. You may  need to attend parenting classes, mediations, or go to court.

ANSWER: 

While your spouse won’t be financially penalized just for having an affair, you may be compensated for extravagant purchases by your spouse leading up to the divorce. Lavish gifts for a mistress, gambling expenses, and other fraudulent attempts to dispose of marital property can qualify as marital waste. The purchases must have been made with the intention of defrauding their spouse while divorce was imminent.

ANSWER: 

One parent can’t simply flee the state to avoid paying child support. The custodial will still be able to collect child support due to the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (RURESA). One way the custodial parent can enforce support is by registering their current child support order with the county where the other parent moved. In this method, the noncustodial parent has the opportunity to argue to the court that their child support should be lower. The custodial parent can also move to enforce the order in their home state, and the court will notify the courts in the other parent’s new state to withhold their wages to pay the child support. The parent won’t have the opportunity to argue that their support should be lower, but their new state may choose to withhold less than the ordered amount from their paychecks. They will still be liable for the unpaid balance in their home state.

ANSWER: 

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. That means that in most cases, the fact that your spouse cheated is of no benefit to you. However, if you had a prenuptial agreement, it may be affected by your spouse’s cheating. Many prenuptial agreements are invalidated because of infidelity, or the victimized party will be entitled to more assets in the divorce. You will likely need to prove the infidelity in the court in this situation.

ANSWER: 

Alimony was originally intended to be spousal support the husband pays the wife after a divorce. Times have changed, and alimony can go both ways now. If one spouse earns far more than the other spouse, the court will be more likely to award alimony. The length of time the spouse is required to pay alimony will depend on how long the couple was married before divorcing. Other factors the court will consider are if one spouse sacrificed their career or education for the sake of the other spouse’s career or education. This includes staying home from work to raise children, allowing the other spouse to focus on their career.

ANSWER: 

A guardian ad litem is a neutral third party appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child in a custody matter. One or both parties can be ordered to pay the expense for the guardian ad litem. Having a guardian ad litem assigned to your case will likely extend your case 90-120 days to allow time for the guardian’s investigation.

My ARIZONA Divorce Lawyers

The attorneys at My AZ Lawyers in Glendale have the experience and training to help you through the divorce process and to fight for the settlement you need.  Our family law lawyers at My AZ Lawyers have experience and dedication.  Furthermore, our divorce attorneys serve clients in Glendale, Mesa, Gilbert, Avondale, Tucson, Phoenix and Chandler.

Additionally, a Tucson family lawyer can help you not only with the financial aspects of your divorce, but also the logistical details.  An attorney can help you work out a custody agreement and help you with the details of keeping your last name, among other things.  Having an experienced family law team on your side can make all the difference.

Contact My AZ Lawyers today to find out how our divorce attorneys may be able to help you work through this difficult transition and ensure that you have what you need to start again.  

Do I Even Need A Lawyer? Can’t I Handle My Own Divorce?

When any marriage ends, the results will forever change your future.  The stakes in a divorce are far too high to take a do-it-yourself approach. Though filing without an attorney can be done, it is not recommended.  The Arizona marital dissolution process and the paperwork associated with it are more complex than they may initially seem.  Keep in mind, once a divorce is finalized, for most practical purposes, it is done.  Make sure professionals are handling such an important process. 

If you choose to forego an Arizona family lawyer and choose to fend for yourself, you are running a risk of not getting everything you are entitled when seeking a dissolution of marriage.  The ramifications of a divorce done wrong are too heavy to take such a risk. Making the smallest error or overlooking what a you may think is a minor detail or unnecessary paperwork can have catastrophic consequences on your divorce.

By handling all aspects of your dissolution, our experienced family law attorneys strive to reduce the stress and uncertainty you may be experiencing. While you tend to the care of your children or take care of yourself, our family law team attends to every legal detail of your divorce.  We strive to provide the best customer service to ensure that the orders you receive are clear, concise, and enforceable.  

Phoenix | 480-833-8000
Tucson | 520-441-1450

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