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Who Gets the Pets After a Divorce?

Who gets Pet After a Divorce in Arizona

Most people would agree that they view their pets as members of their families. They may treat their dogs as if they are children in a divorce. People purchase toys for their dogs, send them to obedience school, and use a similar sing-songy tone of voice when they speak to the dogs that they use with small children. When people divorce, it is little wonder that they may have bitter disputes over who will get their cats or dogs. Battles over pets in divorce cases can become ugly, and some couples will spend thousands of dollars in fees to try to win custody of their pets. While people might view their pets as their children, the law treats them differently. Here is what you should know about how pets are treated in divorce cases.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 57% of U.S. households own pets. Approximately 38% of people who own pets own at least one dog, and 25% own cats. According to a survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, pet custody disputes are increasing. In that survey, the AAML found that cases in which pet custody disputes were allowed had increased by 22% over the preceding five years. Of the disputes, 88% involved disputes over dogs while 5% involved disputes over cats. Overall, 27% of the lawyers said that they had noticed an increase in the number of clients who had disputes over their pets.

How are Pets Viewed by Arizona Courts?

Under A.R.S. § 25-211, all of the property that a couple accumulates during a marriage is considered to be the community property of both spouses. Historically, pets have been viewed as a type of personal property and have simply been awarded to one spouse or another just like other types of property such as cars, furniture, art collections, and etc. Some courts will not allow people to argue about pet custody since the judges view the pets as just another type of property. In cases in which the pets were acquired for very little money, the judges may be unwilling to entertain arguments about who will get them.

This is changing, however. More courts are allowing arguments about the custody of pets in recognition of the importance that they have in people’s lives. In three states, including California, Illinois, and Alaska, there are now laws in place that provide factors for courts to consider in contested pet disputes in divorces. Arizona does not have such a law, however, which means that not all judges will agree to hear arguments about the custody of pets. California’s law outlines a number of factors that judges can consider when determining who will get the pets, including the following:

  • Which person feeds the pet?
  • Which person paid for or adopted the pet?
  • Which person pays for the pet’s food and toys?
  • Which person walks the pet?
  • Which person takes the pet to see the veterinarian?
  • Which person spends more time with the pet?
  • Whether there have been allegations of animal abuse against either spouse?

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Legal Separation vs Divorce in Arizona

Legal Separation vs Divorce in Arizona

What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?

While a legal separation is uncommon, it is still used by some couples in lieu of divorces. There are several reasons why people choose legal separation instead of a divorce. In some cases, it may make more sense for a couple to become legally separated while in others, it may be better to file for divorce. Before deciding which you want to choose, it is important that you understand the differences between legal separation and divorce and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each.

Legal separation has some similarities to divorce but has some key differences. When a couple gets divorced, it terminates their marriage. Their property, assets, and debts are divided between them, and the court issues orders regarding child custody, child support, and possibly, spousal maintenance. When a couple chooses legal separation instead of divorce, it is a formal process through which a couple separates without getting divorced. The court will issue orders about the division of the property and debts, child custody and support, and possibly, spousal maintenance. However, the couple will still be married.

People who are legally separated still must answer that they are married on their tax forms and on other forms. They also are not free to marry other people since they are married. While many couples who get legal separations will eventually divorce, some choose to remain legally separated instead of getting divorced for a variety of reasons. If a legally separated couple does choose to eventually divorce, the orders from their legal separation will be incorporated into their divorce decree.

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How is my Credit Score Affected After Divorce?

Credit Score After Divorce

You might have heard that divorce can damage your credit. While the act a divorce may have no direct impact on your individual credit score, there are several scenarios that your credit score can be harmed during and after the divorce process. It is important for you to understand the potential issues that can arise in a divorce that could negatively affect your credit score so that you can guard against them. The Cantor Law Group can work closely with you to help you to protect your financial interests during and after your divorce.

When you get divorced, you may go from two incomes to one. While a drop in income will not directly affect your credit score, it can cause a few situations that can. Banks consider your debt-to-income ratio when they decide whether to extend credit to you. If your debt-to-income ratio is higher after your divorce because your income has dropped, this can make it harder for you to secure new credit.

Jointly-held Debts

Another potential problem occurs when your name still appears on a debt that your ex-spouse is responsible to pay. For example, if you had a joint credit card account that the court ordered your ex to pay in your divorce decree, your credit could be harmed if your ex-spouse makes late payments or ceases to pay it altogether. Creditors are not a party to your divorce, and they are not obligated to follow the court’s orders. This means that they can come after you for payment even if the family court judge ordered your ex to be responsible for the debt.

Having to Refinance Your Home

If you and your ex are both on the deed to your home, and you take it in your divorce, you will have to refinance the mortgage to remove your spouse’s name from it. When you apply to refinance your mortgage in your own name, the bank will look at your income and credit score to determine whether you qualify for a loan on your own. Mortgage applications also require a hard credit inquiry, which will cause a temporary drop in your credit score. Refinancing your home in your own name will also add a substantial amount of debt and affect your debt-to-income ratio.

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5 Common Questions About Divorce when Children are Involved

Common Questions to Divorce in Arizona

In certain cases, going through a divorce with children involved can be an overwhelming situation. Ultimately, it comes down to what is best for the children and both parties coming to an agreement in the end. In Arizona, there are two types of legal divorce motions: contested and uncontested.

The definition of an uncontested divorce means merely that one spouse has filed a petition for divorce and the other spouse is choosing not to respond in court. In an uncontested divorce, the terms of the divorce are agreed upon by both spouses, allowing the process to be completed by simply filing for the divorce and receiving a judgment.

A contested divorce can be much more difficult to work through. In a contested divorce, one spouse files for divorce, but the other spouse challenges the terms. When this happens, it’s beneficial to have an Arizona divorce attorney on your side to guide you through the process and represent your interests in court. Your attorney can offer you legal counsel to help you make informed decisions about financial assets, child custody, spousal support, and real property disputes.

Below are the main Differences Between a Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce.

  • Contested divorces may end up in court.
  • Uncontested divorces are often faster to finalize.
  • Contested divorces could require disclosure of financial assets.
  • Uncontested divorces are usually settled out of court.
  • Contested divorces are usually best left to an attorney.
  • Uncontested divorces may require little legal intervention.


1. How is the Divorce Process Started in Arizona?

Each state might handle the divorce process, but in Arizona it begins when a Petition for Divorce is filed. This action is the actual legal filing of the paperwork outlining the desire to dissolve a marriage by the filing spouse. Your divorce attorney will handle this part of the process, but there are some stipulations involved that are specific to Arizona. Either you or your spouse is required to be a resident of the state for at least 90 days before the filing of the petition for divorce.

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Social Media Pitfalls In A Contested Divorce

In the state of Arizona, a contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot mutually agree on the terms of the dissolution of their marriage. The most common issues of contention in a divorce are generally child custody, child support, and division of marital assets. In such a situation both parties retain independent counsel and battle it out in family court with a judge having the final say on any and all contentious issues.

No Fault Divorce In Arizona

The divorce statute in Arizona requires both parties to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken whereby the court conducts a hearing to see if the parties can be reconciled. In that hearing if both parties agree to proceed with the divorce, the court usually grants the divorce. However, if one party objects, the court may call for a conciliation conference.

Common Fault Grounds For Divorce In Arizona

In the past, a reason was required to proceed with a divorce such as undue cruelty or infidelity. No fault divorces were introduced so that parties do not have to allege a reason in order to separate. In the case of a contested divorce, fault may be cited in order to gain an advantage in custody proceedings or division of marital assets. The fault grounds for divorce laid out in Arizona Statutes are as follows:

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Dealing With Situations Involving Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to violence between spouses or intimate partners. During a divorce, domestic violence can play a role in several aspects such as: determining child custody or legal guardianship. Typically, domestic violence is generally both physical and psychological in nature. In the majority of states, domestic violence is defined as conduct which threatens to cause or actually causes injury between:

  • Family members
  • Spouses
  • Residents of the same household

Although the issue of domestic violence is a serious problem which is prevalent around the world violating the fundamental human rights of women and often resulting results in serious or fatal injury. The statistics vary widely on the prevalence of domestic violence however, it should be kept in mind that women are not the only victims of domestic violence, in certain cases men suffer as well albeit women significantly outweigh men as victims in this regard. According to US Department of Justice reports, the majority of the victims from 1994–2010 were women. Although women may also use violence against intimate partners, their use of violence is distinct from men’s use of violence in more ways than one.

According to statistics, the issue of domestic violence is prevalent worldwide. According to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 entitled, “Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-Partner Sexual Violence,” it was estimated that 30% of women worldwide are victims of abuse perpetrated by their spouses or intimate partners. The report further stated that over 38% of women murdered worldwide are victims of their significant other and 42% of women that were sexually or physically abused were subjected to such treatment by their intimate partner.

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Impact of Changes in Tax Law on Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

For people that signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married believing that there may be a chance that they and their spouse may divorce in the future, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law on December 22, 2017 can potentially seriously affect the agreement that was reached. A major change occurred with the passage of the law stating that spousal maintenance or alimony is no longer be tax deductible after 2018 to the spouse who is paying it and will no longer need to be claimed as income by the person receiving it.

A separation agreement or a judgment of divorce must be signed within the calendar year of 2018 directing that spousal maintenance will be considered tax deductible in future years according to the new law. Prenuptial agreements can address spousal maintenance in a few different ways, some of which are:

Spousal Maintenance is Waived by Both Parties

In some prenuptial agreements both parties may conesnt to waive spousal maintenance altogether. If this describes your prenup, then the new law will not have an impact on you.

Spousal Maintenance is Waived Unless a specific Event Occurs

Some prenuptial agreements state that the lower earning spouse will be entitled to maintenance if there are children or if some other event happens during the course of your marriage such as a certain discrepancy in income between both spouses this new law may have an impact on you.

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How Does the Adoption Process Work?

Adoption refers to taking the responsibility of a child for a lifetime. Similar to legal guardianship, it requires preparation along with dedication. Most of the time, adoption turns out to be in favor of the adopted child. However, problems may arise like adjustment issues, interaction with new parents, exposure to a different and unaccustomed way of living, and sometimes even different ethnicities or culture.

To adopt a child, the adoption process and challenges must be known. Adoption preparation programs are held at different adoption agencies, hospitals, colleges, religious groups and various organizations. Getting advice from friends or relatives who have adopted children before can also prove to be helpful.

How does Adoption work?

There are several types of adoptions, each of which has a different set of rules and regulations. Foreign adoption, for example, depends upon the country of origin and the position of the child. Adoption within the United States can be domestic (with the help of an agency), independent (without the help of an agency) or through a foster care system. All these types of adoptions have different advantages and disadvantages.

Foreign Adoption

Adoption from overseas can be expensive as well as lengthy. The country of origin of the child affects the process of adoption. If the country of the child is a part of Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, “Hague process” will have to be followed. This process requires you to find an adoption provider in the country of your choice through USCIS. You will have to approve yourself eligible for adopting a child. Get the child you want to adopt, complete all the paperwork and then get your adopted child legally recognized through immigration.

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Understand the Process of Going through a Divorce without Children

Filing a divorce case is different in different states. Additionally, each case shifts with the different situations including a divorce with children and a divorce without kids.

In spite of the fact that these laws differ from state to state, couples petitioning for divorce, who don’t have resources or kids, might be required to present extra paperwork with their appeal. This may incorporate money related revelations that talk about the couple’s salary and obligations. Likewise, state laws may require the couple to give waivers of administration, which verify that the couple arranged the appeal mutually.

Petition and Extra Paperwork

Some states also offer a simplified divorce process for couples without children to shorten the divorce process. For the most part, the divorcing couple can document a joint request with the court. The two parties will cooperatively sign the appeal, consenting to the disintegration of marriage. This is just for short-term marriages, and the couple may need to defer divorce settlement claims and rights to a trial. This request of will specifies that they don’t have huge resources or obligations, and clearly state that no kids were conceived or embraced amid the marriage. Furthermore, a rearranged separate request will list essential data about the couple, including their names, dates of birth, date of marriage and justification for which they are looking for the breakage of their relationship.

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Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

The birth of a child is one of life’s greatest joys. When your child has birth injuries, you may also fear for your child’s future and wonder how you will provide the necessary care. Birth injuries are sometimes unavoidable, but are often the result of medical negligence during pregnancy, labor and delivery or shortly after birth. Children with birth injuries may require ongoing medical treatment and have other extensive needs. If you child was a victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to recover substantial compensation that will pay for your child’s immediate and lifelong expenses.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a set of disorders caused by malformation of the brain or brain injury during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or shortly after birth. Each case of cerebral palsy is unique. The effects can range in severity, and each child experiences a unique combination of impairments and conditions. For some, the right medical treatments, therapy, equipment and support can mean living independently and with minimal health problems and pain. Others will require 24-hour supervision and assistance.

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