Scottsdale Divorce Attorney
Our Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Will Advocate for You
Are you considering a divorce? If so, you shouldn’t take another step without talking to an attorney for help. Indeed, once you have made the decision to separate from your spouse, an attorney can help you take the first steps to carry out the process, and then continue to guide you the rest of the way.
But you shouldn’t simply pick any attorney in the phone book. Instead, you should perform due diligence when finding the right lawyer for your case. First, consider a Google search of “Scottsdale divorce attorney” – this should give you many results to start. Pick a few from the list, and make sure to read their online reviews and testimonials; while you can’t be guaranteed the same results, impartial reviews from previous clients should help you learn more about the attorney’s services. Finally, don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with one or more of the attorneys that you find online. An initial consultation will help you discover whether or not the attorney is the right fit for your case, and if you will likely work well together.
Once you have hired a lawyer, you’ve taken one of the biggest steps toward completing your divorce. After that, it’s time to learn more about common issues that rise, certain laws you should understand, and what you need to do next.
Common Issues in Divorce
Getting a divorce is more than just saying sayonara to your spouse – it also requires making decisions about things like property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. Our knowledgeable Scottsdale divorce attorney can guide you through what you need to know about:
- Division of property and assets. The state of Arizona recognizes two types of property: community property and separate property. Community property is that property (or debts) which was acquired by both or either spouse during the course of the marriage. Separate property, on the other hand, are assets that are not part of the marital estate because they were acquired before the marriage. Separate property is not up for division in a divorce, whereas community property is subject to equal division, or a 50/50 split, in a divorce. There are some exceptions to this.
- Alimony. One spouse may be ordered by the court to pay the other spouse alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. This is the case when one spouse lacks the income or resources necessary to provide for their reasonable needs, is unable to be self-sufficient, or contributed to the educational or employment opportunities of the other. For how long a maintenance award will last, and how much a spouse may be ordered to pay, is based on a number of factors. These factors can be found in Arizona Statutes Section 25-319.
- Child custody and support. Parents who are divorcing should submit a parenting plan to the court (or two separate parenting plans if agreement cannot be reached). A court will review (a) parenting plan(s) to determine if a submitted parenting plan addresses the best interests of the child. Parents may be granted sole or joint legal decision making custody, and the court may also allocate how much parenting time (physical time with a child) is permitted by each party. Each parent is also responsible for providing for a child financially, which is why a court may order one parent – typically the one who does not have physical custody of the child – to pay monthly child support payment.
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Law for Filing for a Divorce
If you are unhappy in your marriage and wish to dissolve it, you have the right to do so by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. However, you must be a resident of Arizona for a minimum of 90 days before you can file such a petition. Further, you must assert that you believe that your marriage is irretrievably broken (but do not need to prove fault or other grounds for divorce) in order for the divorce to be granted.
Once you file your petition for dissolution of marriage, then you must serve your spouse with the petition. From there, your spouse has 20 days to respond (or 30 days if they are living out of state). Once your spouse files a response and you and your spouse come to an agreement about all issues in a divorce, together you will file a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. This decree must be signed by a judge.
In many cases, spouses are not in agreement about issues in a divorce, and may need to engage in mediations or negotiations as such. In some cases, a divorce case will go to trial.
Contact Our Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Today
Divorce is emotional and complex, and if you don’t work with a lawyer, you may walk away from a divorce without your best interests being served. In nearly all cases, it is advised that you consult an attorney for, at the bare minimum, a consultation about your divorce and issues within it. If you decide to work with a Scottsdale divorce attorney, your attorney can advocate for you throughout the process and help you and your spouse reach a fair settlement.
To schedule a consultation with the firm of Modern Law, PLLC, contact us today. We are reachable online or by phone.