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FAQs on Divorce and Family Law in Phoenix, AZ

Arizona Divorce and Family Law FAQs

When you are going through a divorce, you will likely have quite a few questions. After all, it’s not every day that you are faced with the life-changing effects of divorce. You may have questions about the logistics of filing for divorce, whether you need an attorney, and what options you have available. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Arizona, you might find helpful some of the most frequently asked questions regarding family law in Phoenix, AZ.

How Long Do I Have to Live in Arizona Before Filing for Divorce?

What if you or your spouse recently moved to Arizona? How long do you have to wait before you can get a divorce? According to the law, you will have to have lived in the state for at least 90 days. If one of the spouses is in the military and they are stationed in Arizona, that can be a basis for having the jurisdiction for the divorce be in the state. However, the person who is in the military will need to have been present in the state for at least 90 days.

How Do I File for Divorce in Phoenix?

If you are the party that wants to file for divorce, you need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This needs to be done with the clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County. Once this is done, the other spouse will need to be served with a copy of the petition and summons. They will then have 20 days from the date they were served to file a written response. If they are not living in Arizona, they will have 30 days to respond.

What Are Uncontested and Contested Divorces?

Divorces will either be uncontested or contested. In an uncontested divorce, it means that both of the parties—you and your ex—agree on all of the issues in the divorce. This includes things like dividing your assets and debts, spousal maintenance, parenting time, child custody, and child support. These divorces tend to be easier, although they might require some mediation and negotiation to get to that point.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, is one where you and your ex are unable to agree on certain issues. Even if you can agree on most of the issues, if there are areas where there is conflict and no agreement, it becomes a contested divorce. When a divorce is contested, it means that you and your ex will have to go through litigation, which will include a trial in front of a family court judge. In those cases, you certainly want to have the best divorce lawyers in that practice family law in Phoenix on your side.

How Is Child Support Calculated in Phoenix?

Whether you will be paying child support, or you will be receiving child support, you should consult with a child support attorney in Phoenix. The attorney can explain to you how everything is calculated. You will find that in Arizona, a calculator is used. All of the most pertinent financial information about the parents, as well as the age of the children, will be added to the calculator. The amount of parenting time each parent has is considered, as well. The calculator determines how much is paid in child support.

In cases where one parent is not paying child support, or where someone realizes that they can’t afford the support due to changed circumstances, it is a good idea to work with a child support attorney in Phoenix.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process that you and your ex can use if you hope to come to a resolution on the issues of your divorce before resorting to court. A third party will be the mediator and will try to help resolve issues, so both parties are happy enough to agree on certain matters, such as parenting time or division of assets. In some cases, the mediator might be successful in resolving several issues, but one or more may still cause the case to go to trial.

Can I Make My Spouse Pay for My Divorce Attorney?

In some cases, you may be able to have your spouse pay for the attorney fees. The court will have discretion over whether it will award the attorney’s fees against one of the parties. If a petition was filed for an improper purpose, you might have attorney’s fees rewarded. This might happen if your ex filed a petition to delay the case or to make the cost of litigation higher on you, for example.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for My Divorce?

Can you represent yourself in a divorce? There is no law requiring that you make use of an attorney, and you have every right to represent yourself. Cases that are uncontested and fair and simple divorces where there are no assets or children can often be done without an attorney. You can find the files and forms that you need online and handle it on your own.

However, whenever there are circumstances that complicate the divorce, it’s better to work with the best divorce attorneys in Phoenix.

Can I Reduce the Cost of My Divorce?

Divorce has the potential to be expensive. However, there are some things you can do that will help to reduce the cost. First, you can opt to do some of the work on your own and use a limited scope attorney. For example, you could have them take care of the bulk of the paperwork that’s involved in a case, while you take care of negotiations and going to court. This can help you reduce the cost of family law in Phoenix, AZ.

Work with the Best Divorce Lawyers in Phoenix

Of course, these are just some of the most commonly asked questions regarding family law in Phoenix, AZ. You may have some other questions of your own that need to be answered. It’s time that you started looking for the best divorce lawyers in Phoenix to help answer those questions and take on your case. Find an attorney that has plenty of experience in family law and get the representation you deserve.


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