Phoenix Divorce Lawyer - Stewart Law GroupExperienced Arizona Divorce Lawyers Near You in Phoenix

If you live in Arizona and are contemplating a divorce, or if your spouse has already served you with court papers, then you need the advice and representation of an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney (or “marriage lawyer”). In many ways, your future and the impact of divorce on your children will depend upon the decisions you now must make.

Our team of dedicated Phoenix divorce lawyers always takes a personalized approach. Every family law solution involves careful consideration of a client’s unique circumstances (Gray divorces for couples over 50 years old, for example). An attorney with Stewart Law Group will listen to your side of the story and discuss your goals. On accepting the case, your attorney will invest the time necessary to really learn about you and your concerns, about the children and their needs, and about your financial situation.

When marital problems turn your thoughts to the possibility of divorce, ordinary activities become more complicated. A spouse’s absence is increasingly awkward to explain away to the children, other family members, friends, and coworkers. Concentrating at work becomes more difficult because of unmanageable stress at home.

From there, your Arizona divorce attorney will strategize and develop legal solutions to resolve:

All with the best potential for a favorable outcome for you and your children.

Check out our video on how you can prepare for a divorce:

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Divorce Terminates the Marriage Contract

Divorce Attorney PhoenixWhat is a divorce? Well, from a legal standpoint, divorce is the method of terminating a marriage contract between spouses. Divorce gives parties the right to determine the future care and custody of their children; the right to divide their marital assets and debts; the right to arrange for child support and spousal maintenance (similar to alimony). Lastly, with the divorce final each is free to marry someone new.

While state laws vary in how they address these issues, the basic principles courts follow when considering requests for divorce are relatively uniform. If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Arizona, then speak to an attorney with our law firm. Every case accepted receives personal attention, careful meticulous preparation, skilled negotiation, and aggressive litigation. Our legal team of marriage attorneys will achieve the best possible solutions for you and protect your marital assets.

 

Why does the court need jurisdiction to hear my case?

Before a court can render a decision, it must have the power and authority over the subject matter (the divorce), over both parties (the spouses), and over the things in dispute (the property). Our Superior Courts have original subject matter jurisdiction over divorce, legal separation, child custody and support, and annulments. Personal jurisdiction is the court’s jurisdiction over the parties. In rem jurisdiction gives the court power over property, so it can divide the couple’s assets located within the state’s territory. 

 

Marriage and Divorce Rate in Arizona

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Source: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System

 

Navigating Family Law Proceedings in Arizona Courts

arizona divorce attorney, stewart law group

Before deciding on divorce, set time aside to learn how the dissolution of marriage proceeds in family court and the key issues that must be addressed. Divorce is uncharted territory for most people and can be intimidating, another reason to hire an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney in your area to guide you through each proceeding. Absorbing accurate information about the process could ease your anxieties considerably. At Stewart Law Group we have a wealth of knowledge and can help you deal with any type of divorce situation you might be dealing with including:

 

Is an Annulment the Same thing as Divorce?

No. An annulment is not the same thing as a divorce. Many of the same issues in a divorce must be hashed out in an annulment, including custody and child support. Here’s the main difference between a divorce and an annulment: a divorce terminates a valid marriage, whereas an annulment declares for the record that no marriage existed — it was null and void.

 

What is a Covenant Marriage?

In contrast to a standard marriage, a covenant marriage has additional requirements and formalities. The marriage license reflects the couple’s covenant election. Entering into a covenant marriage requires premarital counseling. Because there must be grounds for divorce, dissolving a covenant marriage is more complicated than with a standard no-fault divorce. The parties may still agree to dissolve their covenant marriage.

No matter what the circumstances at Stewart Law Group we can assist you, whether it be a contested or uncontested divorce. Also, if you have a premarital agreement, we can also walk you through the process (ARS 25-202). 

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When can I file for Divorce in Arizona? How long must I live in a state to file for divorce here?

To file for divorce in Arizona, either you or your spouse must have lived here for at least 90-days. If one of the spouses is in the armed forces and stationed in Arizona, and that is the basis for Arizona jurisdiction, then the military presence must have been maintained for 90 days before the petition is filed.

 

Service of Process

divorce paperwork stewart law group

One court rule tells us how to notify the other party of the divorce filing – Rule 4, Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 4, the divorce petition and court summons must be served on the other spouse for what is known as “service of process.” What if the service is improper? If the other party is not served as required by law, then the court’s orders are invalid and unenforceable! Service of process must be done right, whether the other party is served in Arizona or out-of-state.

Proper service is essential for the case to advance. The opposing party (the other spouse) is entitled to the legal notice of a lawsuit so a response can be filed within the requisite time period protecting that spouse’s rights and interests. Service of process ensures fairness in the proceedings. “Proof of service” is evidence filed with the court showing the other party was properly served by one of Rule 4’s methods:

  • Service by Acceptance. The opposing party receives the court papers and completes the “Acceptance of Service” as proof of service.
  • Service by U.S. Mail or National Currier. The opposing party signs for the court papers when the US postal carrier or commercial courier delivers them. An “Affidavit of Service with Signature Confirmation” is proof of service.
  • Service by Private Process Server or County Sheriff. The opposing party receives the court papers from a private process server or the sheriff who delivers them personally. The process server or sheriff completes an “Affidavit of Service” as proof of service. When the other party is served out-of-state, an “Affidavit Supporting Out-of-State Service” is proof of service.
  • Service by Publication. When other methods of service prove fruitless, service by publishing a legal notice advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation may be used. Proof of service by “Affidavit Supporting Publication” gets filed after notice has been published. Unless the other party responds to the lawsuit, there is no evidence that the spouse ever actually read the legal notice in the newspaper.

To initiate a divorce in Arizona, a spouse files a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the clerk of the Superior Court and pays the requisite filing fee. The other spouse must be served with a copy of the petition and summons. He or she has 20 days from the date of service to file a written response with the court (30 days if service is out-of-state). The other spouse may waive service by signing and having notarized an “Acceptance of Service.” The petition and response make up the initial family court pleadings. An extension of time is possible, so talk to a lawyer. The other party’s response acknowledges the divorce procedure has begun.

 

What Are Contested and Uncontested Divorces?

contested and uncontested divorce papers stewart law group arizona divorce attorneyBefore a divorce will be granted, there needs to be a clean slate. Matters of spousal maintenance, assignment of separate assets (ARS 25-213), division of community property (ARS 25-215) and pensions, legal decision-making authority and parenting plans, and child support obligations, must all be resolved. Divorcing spouses who agree to a settlement, in writing, on all of those issues are likely to be granted an uncontested divorce, which avoids adversarial litigation and trial because there are no disputed issues for the court to decide. Settlement negotiations are an integral part of the divorce process.

Conversely, if spouses do not reach agreement on all the basic issues, then a contested divorce ensues. If the respondent disputes any matter raised in the petition, then the divorce is contested. In that instance, the parties proceed through all phases of litigation.

 

Is mediation available to help us resolve issues in our divorce?

Arizona Divorce MediationYes. You may be familiar with mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) — a forum for settling disputed issues in the family law case before a trial. In Arizona, couples with children often participate in the Conciliation Services’ court mediation program or they may be ordered into ADR by the court. Private mediation is also available for all couples and for any disputed issue.

Settled issues are removed from the trial agenda, while all outstanding issues are decided after a bench trial before the judge. There is no jury in an Arizona divorce trial! If a party disagrees with the trial court’s final judgment, then a timely appeal may be filed. Your Stewart Law Group attorney can handle the appeal as well.

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Petition for Divorce

First, certain statements in the divorce petition must be verified, meaning Petitioner swears under oath all statements are true, correct, and complete to the best of Petitioner’s knowledge and belief. Required verified statements include:

  • Personal information about both spouses: Full names, SSNs, addresses, birth dates, occupations, and duration of each spouse’s domicile.
  • Date and location of the marriage.
  • That there has or has not been significant domestic violence.
  • That the marriage is “irretrievably broken” with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. (Additional allegations will be made with a covenant marriage.)
  • One or both spouses has been domiciled in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition (or is a service member stationed in Arizona for at least 90 days in a military divorce).
  • Personal information about all minor children born to or adopted by the spouses.
  • Whether the wife is pregnant or not and, if pregnant, when the baby is due and whether the husband is the father.
  • Whether the spouses have arrived at a parenting plan agreement.
  • Assets and debts, including community property and separate property.
  • What assets should be given to which spouse (bank accounts, real property, household furnishings, pensions and retirement accounts, vehicles, and the like).
  • Marital debts and which spouse should pay each.
  • Desired income tax arrangements.
  • Request for spousal maintenance or, alternatively, a statement that neither spouse is entitled to such support.
  • Whether parties have a written agreement.
  • Whether a child support order has already been entered.
  • Whether Petitioner has attended the mandatory Parent Information Program Class.
  • The prayer for relief sought, including court orders to dissolve the marriage, restore a former name, order spousal maintenance, order child support, and so on.

When seeking specific relief, the Petitioner may ask for joint legal decision-making or sole legal decision-making, and proposed parenting time schedule (including a request the other party have supervised parenting time). The Petitioner asks the court to assign each spouse his and her separate property and to divide all of their community property. The court is asked to order each party to pay marital debts as requested in the petition, and asked to “order each party to pay any and all other community debts unknown to the other party.” In many instances, the Petitioner will have specific requests for additional court orders. 

 

Changing Your Name

Do you desire to change your name? To have your previous last name or maiden name restored, including a name change request in the petition. A former spouse may seek a name change after the divorce is entered, too, by filing an Application for Change of Name for an Adult as a separate civil action.

 

Preliminary Injunction

Before going any further, you need to know about the preliminary injunction in effect upon commencement of divorce proceedings. The preliminary injunction is a court order limiting the parties’ activities during the pendency of their divorce. This is an important protective measure. ARS § 25-315. Unless the other spouse consents in writing or permission is granted by the judge, each spouse is prohibited from taking unilateral action against the marital estate, among other things. Here are some examples of prohibited actions:

  • Do not hide earnings or community property from your spouse.
  • Do not take out a loan on community property.
  • Do not sell community assets or give them away to someone without the other spouse’s written consent or court authorization. One exception allows a spouse to transfer joint or community property in the ordinary course of operating a business. Another exception is selling marital property to provide for the necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing), court fees, and attorney fees (ARS 25-324) with the divorce.
  • Do not harass, physically abuse, or threaten your spouse or the children.
  • Do not remove the children from Arizona without first obtaining a written agreement with your spouse or court order.
  • Maintain all insurance coverage and do not take the other spouse or your children off your policies.

The settlement process in divorce is up next. Take a look.

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Divorce Settlement Process and ADR

In Arizona, every family law case is heard and tried by a Superior Court judge. Issues involving spousal maintenance (ARS 25-322), child custody and access, asset and debt division, and child support must be resolved before the divorce will be granted and a final divorce decree entered. Any or all of those key matters may be resolved by agreement and made binding on both parties. Rule 69, Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (ARFLP).

A settlement program (ADR program) is available in family law cases, other civil cases, and probate cases within the county. The conference involves a presiding commissioner or judge pro tempore (a temporary judge) who offers a legal opinion on the likelihood of success on each party’s position. The non-binding advisory opinion is often a much-needed “wake up” call on the legal merits of each party’s case and provides incentive to attempt to settle the remaining issues without trial.

 

What is the purpose of a separation agreement?

Whenever spouses enter into a complete separation agreement addressing every issue in the case, their uncontested divorce avoids litigation. There’s no trial. A consent decree is entered by the family law judge and the marriage is dissolved. The purpose of a separation agreement is to “promote amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage attendant on their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement containing provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them…” A.R.S. § 25-317 legislative history.

Divorces can involve marriages of long duration with considerable marital assets. Even in these complex situations, the parties may achieve a property settlement that is written into a separation agreement. The separation agreement then becomes part of the court’s final decree of dissolution.

Read our article on Property Settlement and the Separation Agreement.

 

What about a partial agreement?

With partial agreement, the divorce proceeds through all phases of litigation, including trial. Because the settlement process is so important to the case, both spouses are expected to try their best to negotiate one solution at a time. By resolving what they can, they reduce the issues the judge must decide for them.

Throughout divorce, parties may participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation. The spouses may do so voluntarily or they may be ordered into ADR by the judge. Mediating parenting plan matters is typical, either through the court’s Conciliation Services or a private mediator arranged by the parents with their attorneys’ assistance and judge’s approval.

Settled issues are removed from the trial agenda, while all outstanding issues are decided after a bench trial before the judge. There is no jury in an Arizona divorce trial! Should a party disagree with the family court’s final judgment or order, then a timely appeal may be filed. Your Stewart Law Group attorney can handle the appeal as well.

 

What is a collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution, a way for couples to dissolve their marriage without going to court. The couple has to work together, or collaborate, toward the goal which is divorce settlement. At the outset, both parties agree and commit to resolving their disputes through negotiation, compromise, and agreement. If either party’s attorney moves the case toward litigation, then both attorneys will be disqualified and neither may continue the representation in court.

 

How soon can I remarry after divorce?

Once the final divorce decree is issued by the court, the marriage is legally terminated and a new marriage may be entered into. There is no post-divorce decree waiting period in Arizona.

Note, however, that unless there is a provision in the divorce decree stating otherwise, a remarriage will terminate any spousal maintenance or alimony.

 

Default Divorce

arizona marriage and divorce statistics infographic

Default divorces are not uncommon in Arizona, particularly among spouses with no minor children. A default divorce could result from an “off the record” agreement between them. When in complete agreement on all family matters, the other party may simply refrain from filing a response. In other words, he or she has made a conscious decision to not file an answer to the divorce petition.

With no responsive pleading filed by the other spouse (who was properly served with process under Rule 4), the Petitioner files an Application and Affidavit for Default and waits at least 10 business days. The Petitioner must mail or hand-deliver a copy of the filed application and affidavit to the other party. Thereafter, the Petitioner schedules and appears at a default hearing. (Filing a request for default decree without hearing is possible in some instances.) The petitioner brings all required court papers to the hearing:

  • Application and Affidavit for Default
  • Proof of Service
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Legal decision-making and parenting time request
  • Parent Information Program Certificate

If the motion is granted, then the divorce process continues by mail. Once all documents are submitted and the court’s review process is complete, the default divorce is ordered and the final decree mailed to both parties.

 

 

 

 

Continued Health Insurance Coverage Under COBRA

Divorce often impacts employer-provided group health and dental insurance coverage for dependents. Insurance availability, terms of coverage, and replacement costs should be factored into the spouses’ divorce just like assets and debts are. For example, health insurance coverage should be discussed when parties negotiate spousal maintenance or a parenting plan for their children.

Furthermore, if a spouse’s employer is subject to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provisions, and not all employers are, then after the divorce is final health insurance coverage may be continued for dependents (children and a former spouse) as qualified beneficiaries. Both divorce and legal separation (ARS 24-317) are qualifying events triggering COBRA.

As a qualified beneficiary under COBRA, the non-employee-spouse has the right to pay the premiums and continue under the former spouse’s employer-provided group health insurance. Insurance coverage can continue under COBRA for 18 months, 29 months, even 36 months after the divorce, depending upon the circumstances.

COBRA requires proper notice of the divorce or legal separation followed by an election period. The employee-spouse, non-employee spouse, or qualifying dependent must notify the group health benefit plan administrator. Thereafter, the qualified beneficiary must be given an election period of at least 60 days to choose continued health care coverage under the group plan or not.
The health benefit provisions in COBRA amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, and the Public Health Service Act.

 

Self-Help: Maricopa County Superior Court’s Self-Service Center

Here’s some Maricopa County divorce information:

Maricopa County Superior Court has a website with do-it-yourself court forms for divorce and many other civil matters. Every spouse should consult with a Phoenix divorce lawyer before making important decisions about child custody, property division, and financial support. If you prefer to handle your divorce without legal representation from a divorce or paternity lawyer, then you can utilize these forms. Learn more about getting a DIY divorce in Arizona.

The Arizona Judicial Branch has a historical repository of divorce and child custody guidelines available to the public. ASU’s family law research guide also has information about divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance obligations in Arizona.

We also provide a FREE e-divorce handbook called The 7 Must-Do Items for Divorce Planning for more information on how to get started on divorce in Maricopa County (or elsewhere in AZ), and other important information regarding divorce in Arizona.

 

How do I cope emotionally with my divorce?

Given how emotions so often run high with family law matters, your safety and your children’s safety is of foremost importance. With your focus on the legal matters at hand, you may be distracted, your financial resources may dwindle, your job or school performance may be interfered with, and your energy may be tapped. If your mental health is suffering, consider appropriate counseling or therapy.

 

Is free marriage counseling available to Arizona couples?

Yes, free counseling is available to married couples through the Family Court’s Conciliation Services. This marital counseling is available when either spouse wants to attempt reconciliation or resolution of the couple’s disputes, regardless of whether a divorce, legal separation, or annulment action has been filed with the court.

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What Our Clients Have to Say:

“My attorney, Christa Banfield, was more knowledgeable and responsive than I ever imagined a lawyer would be. The divorce process is a long, complicated, nerve-racking endeavor where you can feel that the law isn’t fair and that you might lose everything, but Christa remained a confident, calming influence throughout the entire process. From my initial consultation to the final decree, I was sure that Christa had my interests protected. She is intelligent, honest and straightforward in her advice; exactly what you need a lawyer to be. She astutely informed me about my options and guided me through tough times where I focused more on emotion than logic. I suppose no one ever really “wins” in a divorce, but I am completely satisfied with Christa’s representation and recommend her highly to anyone going through this difficult process.”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Robert Collison
Read more of our 62+ reviews on Google!

 

Stewart Law Group
202 E Earll Dr Ste 160
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 602-548-3400
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Need a Pheonix Family or Divorce Lawyer Near You?

Remember, the choice you make in hiring a family law attorney will greatly impact the outcome of your divorce proceedings. We help clients navigate complicated family law and divorce issues such as unmarried step-parent rights. Contact Stewart Law Group in Arizona today at 602-548-3400.

We have many attorney offices with family and divorce lawyer in Phoenix and surrounding areas. Stewart Law Group has been serving Maricopa County, Pinal County, and all of Arizona since 2004. We have office locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Tempe, and Gilbert so please visit us at the location that is closest to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

 

What Is Common Law Marriage?

Can a man and a woman become legally married by living together as husband and wife — in a “common law marriage” — under Arizona’s laws? No, a common-law marriage cannot be created in Arizona.

Some states do recognize common law marriages between a man and a woman. If a couple with a real common-law marriage moves to Arizona, then their marriage would be recognized in Arizona as well. In that situation, a divorce of the common law marriage is possible in Arizona.

The District of Columbia and the following 15 states allow couples to create common-law marriages:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Georgia — only if created before Jan. 1, 1997Arizona Common Law Marriage
  • Idaho — only if created before Jan. 1, 1996
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire — only for inheritance purposes
  • Ohio — only if created before Oct. 10, 1991
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania — only if created before Jan. 1, 2005
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah

 

Can I make my spouse pay for my divorce attorney?

Sometimes, yes. In some instances, the court has discretion over whether to award attorneys’ fees against a party. In other instances, the court shall award attorneys’ fees against a party, as when a petition wasn’t filed in good faith or wasn’t grounded in fact or law. Fees are more likely to be awarded if a petition was filed for some improper purpose, such as to delay or simply increase the cost of litigation, if a party maintains an unreasonable position, or there is a great disparity in the parties’ incomes. A great way to reduce costs is to educate yourself on the issues relevant to your family law case.

 

Are my divorce attorney’s fees tax deductible?

Unless you fall into a very narrow exception in Internal Revenue Code § 212, then generally the answer is no. IRC § 212 only allows a tax deduction for expenses, including professional fees, paid or incurred in the production or collection of gross income. For specific tax advice and information, please contact your tax professional.

 

Am I required to hire an attorney for my divorce?

No. Although it may be prudent to hire a Phoenix divorce lawyer and get them involved early on in your case, it is not a legal requirement. Parties who represent themselves in court do so “pro se” or “in propria persona.” Assuming there isn’t a domestic violence issue, there isn’t anything to prevent you and your spouse from sitting down and working out settlement terms between you. If you and your spouse cannot settle a disputed issue, then the court will decide the matter for you.

 

Who presents evidence and witness testimony at trial?

During the trial, each party presents witnesses and evidence. The evidence, in both verbal and non-verbal forms, is presented through witnesses who are placed under oath. The attorneys do not testify in a case, they facilitate the presentation of testimony from the witnesses. If necessary to assure the presence of a witness or to compel the production of documents at trial, subpoenas are issued to procure witnesses’ appearances in court along with documentary evidence in their possession. Any person who fails to obey a subpoena may be sanctioned by the court.

 

What is the purpose of the Resolution Management Conference RMC?

The purpose of the Resolution Management Conference (RMC) is to settle issues before trial. A party may request an RMC or the court may schedule the conference on its own initiative. In preparation for the RMC, each party files a “Resolution Statement” covering every remaining issue in the case, including custody, child support, spousal maintenance, asset and debt division, attorneys’ fees, name changes, and any other additional issues relevant to the family law case. If there is no settlement agreement on all the issues at the RMC, then the judge will automatically set the case for trial.

 

Should I Post to my social media websites during the divorce?

Yes, but do so carefully. Both parties to a divorce are under heightened scrutiny. Therefore, anything that you post online can and will be used against you in court. Social media evidence will be gathered and used to undermine your credibility with the judge and any child custody evaluator. This evidence may be used to establish your lack of credibility and propensity for untruthfulness, and even to demonstrate that you are an irresponsible parent.

Our own Scott Stewart explains:

 

Can I secretly record my spouse’s telephone conversations?

Under Arizona’s electronic communications statute, A.R.S. § 13-3005, it is permissible to record a telephone conversation if one of the parties to the communication is aware of and has consented to the recording. That means you may consent to the recording of your own telephone conversations. It is illegal, however, to record a telephone conversation between your spouse and a third party when neither is aware that their conversation is being recorded. Be aware that some states require that both parties to the telephone conversation have knowledge of and consent to the recording. Therefore, if you record your telephone call with an out-of-state participant (without his or her knowledge and consent), then you could be in violation of the other state’s privacy laws.

 

Is it a crime to eavesdrop on your spouse’s telephone call or emails?

In Arizona, eavesdropping on an electronic communication includes a transfer of data or intelligence by computer or telephone. A person may commit a crime by intentionally eavesdropping on another’s communication, even if one of the parties to the conversation is a spouse. When someone eavesdrops on an oral or electronic communication, without consent, then this act of listening-in is spying. The wrongful, intentional, and deliberate eavesdropping on other people who are communicating between themselves is a crime. Such deliberate interception of oral or electronic communications can result in felony charges under A.R.S. § 13-3005.

 

What is the best way to handle all of the issues in my divorce?

The best way to handle a divorce is to really understand what goes on. You need to know what your rights are, what your spouse’s rights are, and what protections are in place for your children. Understanding all of these aspects will make your divorce considerably easier.

 

How Do I Find The Best Family Law Attorney in Arizona?

To find the best family law attorney, begin by gathering information about the lawyers in your area and asking questions. Ask the people you trust and respect for leads to local Arizona divorce attorneys, or leads to other people who may have attorney recommendations. Talk to your relatives, your friends and neighbors, your co-workers, and even your business contacts about their attorneys and about attorneys who have represented people that they know. Clergy and mental health professionals who provide marriage counseling or couples crisis counseling are often good sources of information on the local family law bar.

 

What is discovery?

The Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure refer to the gathering of evidence as “disclosure and discovery.” Discovery procedures involve the formalized exchange of information in the context of litigation, as with a divorce. Generally speaking, any information that is relevant, or that would lead to relevant information, may be discovered. Through discovery, each party gains knowledge of the facts and of the strengths and weaknesses of each position on the issues.

There are four important limitations on discovery. First, the information requested must be relevant to the case. Second, privileged information is not discoverable. Third, one party cannot inundate the other with discovery requests. Fourth, one party cannot use discovery to embarrass or harass the other.

 

How can I protect my credit rating during divorce?

In order to protect your credit rating during your divorce, you should consider closing or freezing any joint credit cards by closing joint bank accounts. You can open new bank accounts in your name only, which will give you greater spending power and prevent your spouse from damaging your credit. 

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