We are so delighted with our Tempe office location. We know you will be, too. What a terrific place to live and work! Tempe has so much to offer residents, its business community, the ASU student body, and the many visitors who come here for the arts, entertainment, shopping, and sporting events.
Shopping anyone? Start with our Tempe Marketplace or Arizona Mills. In search of water? There’s Tempe Town Lake and Sea Life Arizona’s aquarium experience. Looking for theaters, music, and culture? There’s the Tempe Center for the Arts, Herberger Institute’s Katzin Concert Hall, and the ASU Art Museum or Gammage center for the performing arts. In fact, a Festival of the Arts is held every Spring and Fall.
Sports enthusiast? There’s golf, the Tempe Sports Complex and, of course, Tempe Diablo Stadium is the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Angels. Tempe always has a lot going on. There must be something going on with you, too. How can we help? Stewart Law Group has law offices across Greater Phoenix to serve you better – now including Tempe, AZ.
Our lives do not always go as planned. As fallible human beings, we sometimes make poor choices. That’s true for the good people of Tempe just as it is for those living and working in every Arizona community.
A marriage unravels and divorce proceedings begin. A romantic relationship leads to the birth of a child, paternity establishment, a custody determination, and child support orders. Someone close passes away and contested probate proceedings ensue. A driver has one-too-many and is arrested for DUI. An aggrieved customer files a complaint with the state board against a licensed professional.
When a civil or criminal situation challenges you or someone you care about, be willing to seek legal representation. That’s how attorneys with Stewart Law Group can help.
Persistent conflict (or more subtle indicators that the marriage is not right, or both) may push spouses to the breaking point and final separation. When the relationship falls apart and parties begin the process of assessing their circumstances and dividing everything acquired during the marriage, reality sets in. Living separately by maintaining two households intensifies financial pressures. Life seems out of control. Each new day brings greater uncertainty and worry. We want to answer your questions and concerns, including:
• How will community debts be paid?
• Can one spouse be ordered to pay for all or some of the other spouse’s attorney fees and costs?
• How will military divorce papers be served on a servicemember who is deployed overseas?
• How long will the divorce take and how much will it cost?
• Could interim spousal maintenance or temporary child support be ordered while the case is ongoing?
• Will you lose a portion of a pension or retirement plan if it’s a divisible community asset?
• Who stays in the marital home and who leaves?
• Must the house be put on the market right away or can the status quo be maintained for six months, a year, or longer?
• How do you go about negotiating a settlement over property division and other family matters?
• What if the divorce goes to trial?
Be wise. Consider your options. Get all of your questions answered before making important decisions about your family’s future. Find out precisely what your marital rights are in Arizona law (and the other spouse’s) by consulting a Tempe family law attorney.
Although the future is never a certainty, a fair and workable resolution of all divorce issues should lay the groundwork for a successful transition to the next stage of your life. Our family law team will stand by you every step of the way. By counseling you on what the law is. By protecting your legal rights. And by aggressively representing you in court.
Did you promise your youngest birthday tickets to a Spring Training game? Do you fear the other parent might alienate your child from you? Divorce can change long term plans for children, too. Is your oldest graduating from Tempe High School this year? (Go Buffaloes!) How will a degree program at ASU be financed without additional support from the other parent? How can you be assured the money will be there for your child? Your future depends in many ways on the decisions you now make.
Moms and Dads, do you know how to present your case for a desirable parenting time schedule? For many reasons, child custody decisions are among the most challenging for parents, attorneys and judges alike. Especially when parents have different ideas about how a son or daughter should be raised and who that child should live with most of the time.
Don’t shy away from difficult circumstances like the ones mentioned above. In our experience, the best possible outcome always requires planning and a sound legal strategy. Although the judge may make some very close calls regarding a parenting plan, winning the case is not about luck. It’s about preparation and planning every alternative. Hopes alone won’t put your family on the right path to a better future. When seeking a custody arrangement that is truly in your child’s best interests, have an attorney analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case and that of the other parent.
We assist each client in negotiating workable solutions to matters involving legal decision-making authority and parenting time, division of debts and assets, child support and spousal support and other serious issues. Should it become apparent that negotiations with the other spouse’s lawyer will not resolve every issue, we are fully prepared to litigate aggressively on our client’s behalf.
Another important aspect of the case is an attorney’s knowledge and familiarity with the court where the case is brought. Knowing the judge’s idiosyncrasies and expectations, along with past rulings with prior clients, can help avoid problems and disappointing results.
A court must have jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter in order to make rulings, enter orders, or convict someone of a crime. Generally, a criminal charge arising out of an arrest within Tempe’s city limits will be prosecuted in one of three courts: the Maricopa County Superior Court, Tempe Municipal Court, or U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Much depends upon the nature of the crime alleged and whether it was a felony or misdemeanor.
For example, if the charge is misdemeanor DUI that occurred in the City of Tempe, then the city prosecutor may try the case. By contrast, if the alleged crime is felony armed robbery, then it must be prosecuted in Superior Court. Why? Because city courts do not have jurisdiction over felony cases. Having said that, most misdemeanor trials are held in Superior Court. As are adult probation cases. At Stewart Law Group, our criminal defense team represents clients who have been charged with violating probation, DUI, theft, drug crimes, and many other general criminal offenses.
Civil and criminal appeals from Tempe Municipal Court are heard and decided by the Maricopa County Superior Court. By contrast, a direct appeal from a final judgment entered by the Superior Court is heard and decided by the Arizona Court of Appeals (Division One is in Phoenix; Division Two is in Tucson).
The Tempe Municipal Court has jurisdiction over civil and criminal traffic violations and misdemeanors (including DUIs) involving violations of the city’s ordinances and violations of Arizona state law. The municipal court can also issue protective orders within the city limits.
An order of protection (OP) is intended to protect a victim from the defendant’s abuse or harassment. For instance, an OP may be sought where there is a threat of domestic violence. The defendant’s acts of assault, unlawful imprisonment, crimes against children, harassment, stalking, endangerment, and other domestic violence crimes in the past year will support the need for an OP.
Tempe’s court also has several special programs:
• Compliance Assistance Program: Helps people arrange to pay overdue fines/fees arising out of civil traffic, parking, and criminal matters in the city.
• Mental Health Court: Helps people with unique needs related to mental illness and developmental disabilities.
• Diversion Program: Helps people who received a criminal misdemeanor or criminal traffic complaint by providing, if eligible, an alternative to the usual trial process.
Superior Court has many special programs as well, including a DUI/drug diversion program and conciliation court program (including child custody mediation).
Importantly, civil domestic relations matters of divorce, father’s rights, child support, and the like, along with probate and mental health cases are, without exception, filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court. If parents and children reside in Tucson, for example, then Pima County Superior Court would be the proper place to file. With parents and children residing in Tempe, the family law case would be filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court. In certain instances, there may be an exception or a case might be removed to another county for cause. Talk to a lawyer.
The scope of an attorney’s trial experience should matter greatly to a client. Civil litigation and criminal defense attorneys with Stewart Law Group have appeared on behalf of their clients in courtrooms around the state, including federal court. Having committed the court rules to memory, our attorneys are in the best position to anticipate how those rules are likely to be interpreted by various judges.
When you first meet with one of our attorneys, you will find a knowledgeable, dedicated professional who listens. Someone who is genuine. A person who truly cares about obtaining for you the best possible results in the case; about defending your freedom if facing criminal trial.
Whatever circumstances led to the need for legal representation, you will be treated with dignity and respect. The attorney you meet at the initial consultation will be the one representing you. He or she will help you identify goals, both immediate and long term. That attorney will develop a legal strategy designed to achieve those objectives. And will relentlessly protect your rights in pre-trial proceedings, at trial, during sentencing, post-trial proceedings, and on appeal – whether criminal or civil.
Not every client needs immediate attorney representation in court. Sometimes an individual wants a Tempe estate planning attorney to develop a written plan in anticipation of future events. To assist the client in implementing serious adult responsibilities regarding beneficiaries.
There are many reasons why it’s important to have a basic estate plan with a Last Will and Testament, a living will with health care power of attorney, a durable general power of attorney, and life insurance. An existing estate plan needs revising when something really important happens, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or grandchild, increased wealth, serious health problems, or the death of a spouse or child.
However difficult, making these decisions is necessary to avoid intestate succession and to make clear one’s intentions. A case in probate can always be contested by a third party creditor or beneficiary of the decedent’s estate. A well-executed estate plan is most resistant to challenge.
Planning your estate involves making end-of-life decisions. It means delegating authority and responsibility to a fiduciary on what he or she must do in the event of your disability or death. Among other things, it’s an opportunity for you to:
• Choose an executor to administer your Last Will;
• Select a guardian to care for your minor children; and
• Appoint a trustee for an Inter Vivos Trust or Testamentary Trust.
Additionally, an estate plan may provide for succession of a business. Whether it be the family farm, working ranch, or some other enterprise, an estate plan ensures the business continues at a certain operational level. This can require sophisticated planning and, possibly, a Trust Agreement or Declaration of Trust. One goal should be tax avoidance, but other objectives include keeping the family business intact for future generations.
Whether your estate is modest or includes substantial assets, making inheritance decisions and planning for succession can protect the people you care most about. That is how wealth is preserved for the next generation and how charitable gifts are made.
Resolving the most difficult legal problems are within your reach with legal guidance from Stewart Law Group. Life does get better. To arrange a confidential consultation with an attorney at our Tempe office location, call 480-420-0502. When easier for you, just email your question to email@example.com and we will get back to you right away. You can put your trust in the Stewart Law Group.