Mesa Divorce Lawyer

We have all heard the stats that half of marriages end in divorce. The good news is that number is falling and hovering around 40 percent after reaching the peak in the mid 1980s. By the time one or both spouses want a divorce, there have been years of conflict, and at least one person has agonized over the decision for a long time. As tragic as a divorce feels, no one person is ever to blame or usually “at fault”. Spending your life with someone is hard, growing and changing in the same direction is almost impossible. As hard as the situation currently feels, if you can celebrate the time you spent together, you will be setting yourself up for the most amicable possible divorce.

Most clients want an amicable and fair divorce. They don’t want to spend more money than they need to in order to protect themselves and their children. However, dissolving a legal union is not a simple matter. You are untangling years together and a very complicated transaction involving the most important issues facing both of you. 

Every local divorce must be processed through a superior court. The local courthouse in Mesa family court is located just south of the US 60 off Mesa Drive. The Mesa Family Court has the jurisdiction to decide matters such as property rights, spousal support eligibility, and custody arrangements. A Mesa divorce lawyer has the advantage of understanding the local courthouse and local judges to guide you through the legal process regardless of whether you are seeking to initiate litigation or need to respond to documents you have been served. A family law attorney may be able to provide essential experience and knowledge to help you pursue your case and protect yourself and your children. 

Marital Issues During a Divorce

Both parties to a divorce enjoy equal rights to community property obtained during their marriage, the ability to ask for a spousal support order, and to retain custody of and support for their shared children. That means regardless of whether you had separate accounts during your marriage or you have no idea how much is in your spouse’s bank account, you both get half unless you reach a different agreement. While many divorcing spouses settle the case by agreeing on the eventual outcome, it is not unusual for some issues to be decided by a judge. For example, some estranged spouses disagree about the ownership of real estate, family businesses, or bank accounts. Mesa courts assume that all assets a couple acquires during their marriage belongs to both parties equally unless it was gifted, inherited, or is co-mingled with separate premarital property.

The most common source of conflict during a divorce is deciding which parent will retain custody over their children. Local courts no longer presume that a mother would be the best parent of her children. Arizona Revised Statutes §25-403 requires a judge to carefully consider children’s best interests when making decisions that may affect their futures. For instance, a court will consider:

  • Relationships between parents and their children
  • A child’s ability to adjust to a new home, school, or social circle
  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties
  • Any history of mental or physical abuse
  • The wishes of a child who lacks sufficient age or maturity to provide their own opinion

A Mesa divorce attorney could help identify your goals before entering litigation and fight to promote your rights during the process.

What to Expect from Divorce Litigation

Every divorce in Mesa begins when someone files a petition with the court to hear their legal grounds for dissolution, according to AZ Rev Stat §25-314. The filing party does not need to cite a specific reason for a divorce, but the courts need to see that a marriage is irretrievably broken before they can grant a final decree. There is no separate process for an uncontested divorce. 

Next, the court schedules hearings to determine the rights and obligations of either party, which can include property division, the assignment of debt, spousal maintenance, child support, and the custody of shared children. If parties cannot agree on how their marriage should end, the court will hold a full trial.

However, most of the time, people come to agreements and draft a separation agreement, marital settlement agreement, or rule 69 agreement before their case escalates to litigation. Through the use of court-facilitated mediation or a prenuptial, postnuptial, or separation agreement, most marriages end with some sort of compromise. A divorce lawyer in Mesa could help protect your future regardless of how your marriage ends.

Enlist the Help of a Mesa Divorce Attorney Today

A divorce is both an unfortunate end to a marriage and a complicated legal matter. Parties to a divorce must process their case through a superior court in Mesa, Phoenix, or Surprise through family court. While this process could take several years, retaining legal representation could help protect your assets and parenting rights within a shorter period of time.

While any dissolution has the potential to go to a trial, it is more likely that the matter will end with some form of compromise. A Mesa divorce lawyer could help identify your goals, explain your rights, and advocate for your success in court. Contact our firm today to schedule an initial consultation.