Peoria Family Law
Peoria Divorce Lawyer
The technical term for a divorce in Arizona is a dissolution of a marriage, and it marks the termination of the community that was created when you married. A divorce can be a complicated process because of the complexity of the legal issues and the high emotions. It’s not just a transaction or a business dismantling, it’s a shift of your entire life. However, if the parties can reach agreements on certain issues, it can be a lot easier to get through the divorce, especially with the help of an attorney.
Unfortunately, divorce is not a simple process, and most people find that they need the help of an experienced Peoria divorce lawyer for advice or representation. We can help you make the most of this process and see to it that your interests are represented during negotiations and court proceedings.
Where Should You File for Divorce in Peoria?
Those looking to file for divorce must go to any superior court within Maricopa County. If you live in the North Phoenix, Peoria, or Glendale area, the closest courthouse is located at 18380 N 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032. You should expect to pay the filing fee for a divorce petition as well as to include six or seven other accompanying mandatory documents such as a notice concerning creditors and health insurance, a preliminary junction, and more. One of our diligent team members can help you gather all the necessary paperwork and ensure that you submit it with the proper court, or we can file everything on your behalf.
Is There Any Advantage to Filing for Divorce First?
A little bit. If you file first, you get to control the dates – specifically, the date of service, which is important because that’s when the community ends. The other potential advantage is that you get to present your evidence in court first.
These are two slight but very real advantages to filing for divorce instead of waiting to be served. If you don’t file first, it’s not a big deal. We can work with whatever the situation is, and respondents can win as much as petitioners.
Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce means that a couple has unresolved issues that have to be litigated either through alternative dispute resolution or in front of a judge. An uncontested divorce is where the parties are in agreement upon all of the relevant issues.
If you are seeking an uncontested divorce, you still must follow the same process as if issues were contested. The biggest differences are that you have an agreement on the outcome, and your divorce will resolve faster. You should get a written agreement of everything you and your spouse have agreed upon at any time during the divorce process and then have a Peoria marriage dissolution attorney review it. To secure your divorce, a petition must be filed, and then submit a signed “consent decree” after the 60-day mandatory waiting period. Otherwise, parties who can’t agree on the resolution of their marital issues would move forward in the legal process and eventually find resolution or present their cases in court for a judge to decide.
Legal Separation as an Alternative
A legal separation differs from a divorce in that the parties remain married, but the process resolves all of the issues related to divorce. Property is divided, spousal maintenance and child support can be ordered, etc. However, neither party can legally remarry while separated. This option can be useful for couples who are contemplating reconciliation but who want their financial and custodial issues resolved.
There are several reasons why someone would want to pursue a legal separation versus a divorce. Some people need a cooling-off period before they can resolve their financial and custody issues or simply want to try living apart.
Others may not want to get divorced for religious reasons. They may have no interest in remarrying, so they stay legally married and resolve their financial and custodial issues through the legal separation. If they do eventually get divorced, they do not have to go through all those issues again – or at least not as many of them. Others stay legally married for the benefit of health insurance or other tangible, practical benefits.
Couples who legally separate can file a motion to convert their separation to a divorce in the event they want to change their legal status from separated to divorced. In the meantime, the parties live separately from each other or together in the same home, but the community property rules that create joint property and debt have been terminated.
Call a Peoria Divorce Attorney Today
If you are considering filing for divorce or need help responding to served papers, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team is very familiar with the process that goes into dissolving a marriage, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm today for assistance. Schedule a consultation with a Peoria divorce lawyer to learn more about your options.