2023 Best Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer | Top Scottsdale Divorce Attorney
The Top Scottsdale Family Law Firm
Facing a divorce in Arizona is emotionally, mentally, and financially challenging. The choice to end a marriage, regardless of its duration, is significant. At Cantor Law Group, our team of experienced Scottsdale divorce attorneys is here to guide you through this tough phase. We possess in-depth expertise in various divorce matters, such as child custody, child support, alimony, community property division, intricate asset valuation, and gray divorce involving couples aged 50 or more.
While we handle divorce proceedings and legal representation, our aim is to help you explore the best path for your future. Taking time apart and legally separating can offer a fresh perspective on the marriage, allowing all parties to make thoughtful, informed decisions. Our Scottsdale family lawyers are dedicated to assisting you throughout this challenging process.
Benefits of a Legal Separation vs. a Divorce in Arizona
Legal separation in Arizona offers several advantages for couples facing difficult decisions. This alternative provides spouses with the opportunity to:
Take time apart to reflect on their relationship.
Experience life as single parents.
Increase the chances of reconciliation.
Engage in counseling before finalizing a divorce.
Potentially strengthen family bonds.
Respect religious beliefs that prohibit divorce.
In Arizona, legal separation, governed by A.R.S. § 25-313, allows couples to live separately while remaining legally married. This option suits couples seeking time to address unresolved issues or wishing to maintain benefits like joint insurance plans and Social Security.
Is Divorce the Best Option for Me?
In Arizona, marriages transition from a “Dissolution Proceeding” formerly known as “Divorce.” The sole recognized ground for divorce in Arizona is “irretrievably broken/irreconcilable differences.” Fault is not required; one party’s desire for divorce suffices. While divorce is a necessary step when a marriage cannot be saved, it often brings emotional and financial challenges, especially when children or significant financial matters are involved.
In Arizona, two divorce types exist: Contested and Uncontested.
Uncontested Divorce: When a spouse doesn’t respond to the “Petition for Dissolution,” it may result in a “Default Judgment” or an agreement like a “Consent Decree/Marital Settlement Agreement” without a court battle.
Contested Divorce: Here, the spouse contests the “Petition for Dissolution” by filing a response. This doesn’t necessarily prevent a future agreement. Often, both parties work out an agreement through attorneys, typically after the “Discovery” phase. If no agreement is reached, a trial becomes necessary.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces Explained
In the realm of divorce, two distinct paths exist: contested and uncontested divorces. Before a divorce can be finalized in Arizona, certain matters must be resolved. These include spousal maintenance, allocation of separate assets (A.R.S.§ 25-213), division of community property (A.R.S.§ 25-215) and pensions, legal decision-making authority, parenting plans, and child support obligations. When divorcing spouses come to an agreement in writing on all these issues, they are typically granted an uncontested divorce. This streamlined process avoids adversarial litigation and trials because there are no disputed matters left for the court to decide. Negotiating settlements plays a pivotal role in the divorce process.
On the other hand, if spouses fail to reach consensus on these essential matters, a contested divorce unfolds. When the respondent contests any issue raised in the divorce petition, it becomes a contested case. In such situations, the parties go through all the phases of litigation.
Petition for Divorce in Scottsdale, Arizona
In the heart of Scottsdale, Cantor Law Group, your dedicated team of experienced divorce attorney, is here to guide you through the divorce process. Our Scottsdale divorce attorneys have a deep understanding of Arizona family law and are committed to helping you navigate this challenging time with care and expertise.
Filing for Divorce in Arizona
When filing for divorce in Arizona, several crucial steps must be followed, ensuring a smooth legal process. The divorce petition is a fundamental document, requiring specific verified statements, including:
Personal Information: Details of both spouses, such as full names, SSNs, addresses, birthdates, occupations, and duration of domicile.
Marriage Details: Date and location of the marriage.
Domestic Violence: Whether there has or hasn’t been significant domestic violence in the marriage.
Irretrievable Breakdown: A declaration that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” with no hope of reconciliation. (Additional allegations apply to covenant marriages.)
Residency: Confirmation that one or both spouses have been domiciled in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing (or military service requirements).
Minor Children: Information about minor children, including those born or adopted during the marriage.
Pregnancy: If applicable, the pregnancy status of the wife, the expected due date, and paternity.
Parenting Plan: Whether the spouses have agreed on a parenting plan.
Assets and Debts: Disclosure of assets, debts, community property, and separate property.
Property Division: Requests regarding the allocation of assets and debts between spouses.
Income Tax Arrangements: Desired income tax arrangements.
Spousal Maintenance: A request for spousal maintenance or a statement that neither spouse is entitled to such support.
Written Agreement: Indication of whether there is a written agreement.
Child Support Order: Information on any existing child support order.
Parent Information Program: Confirmation of attending the mandatory Parent Information Program Class.
Relief Sought: Specific court orders sought, including dissolution of the marriage, name restoration, spousal maintenance, child support, and more.
As your Scottsdale divorce lawyer, we ensure that all necessary details are addressed in your divorce petition. Depending on your circumstances, you may also request joint legal decision-making, sole legal decision-making, or a proposed parenting time schedule. Our experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney will guide you through the process, striving to achieve the best outcome for your unique family law case.
For a confidential consultation and expert legal support, contact Cantor Law Group, your trusted Scottsdale divorce attorneys. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of divorce and family law in Arizona.
Why is court jurisdiction important in my case?
In order for a court to make a decision, it must possess the legal authority over various aspects of the case. This includes authority over the divorce itself, the involved spouses, and any contested assets. In Arizona, our Superior Courts hold original jurisdiction over divorce, legal separation, child custody and support, as well as annulments. Personal jurisdiction pertains to the court’s authority over the parties involved, while in rem jurisdiction grants the court power over property, allowing for the equitable division of assets situated within the state’s boundaries.
For more information on specific family law matters, reach out to Cantor Law Group, your trusted Arizona family law attorneys.
Understanding Family Law Proceedings in Arizona Courts
When contemplating divorce, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of family court proceedings and the essential matters that require attention. Divorce can be a daunting journey for many, making it all the more imperative to enlist the expertise of an Arizona divorce attorney from Cantor Law Group to steer you through each step. Gaining a clear understanding of the process can significantly alleviate your concerns.
Our team of skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyers specializes in addressing a wide range of family law matters, including child custody, legal separation, child support, alimony, and division of assets. Whether you’re facing a contested divorce or an uncontested one, our experienced family law attorney team is here to provide guidance tailored to your unique situation.
At Cantor Law Group, we offer free consultations to ensure you receive the support and legal counsel you need. With our dedicated Scottsdale attorneys by your side, you can navigate the complexities of family law with confidence, addressing issues such as domestic violence, spousal support, and modifications to divorce agreements. We are committed to serving the needs of Arizona couples, providing comprehensive family law services in a community property state.
Don’t let the uncertainties of marriage and divorce rate deter you from seeking the assistance of a successful family law attorney in Scottsdale. Schedule a consultation with Cantor Law Group, your trusted legal team, and gain the knowledge and support necessary to navigate family law proceedings effectively in Arizona courts.
Is Annulment the Same as Divorce?
No, an annulment and a divorce are not the same. While many issues, such as custody and child support, are addressed in both, there’s a key distinction. A divorce ends a valid marriage, while an annulment declares that no marriage ever existed—it’s null and void.
Understanding Covenant Marriage
Covenant marriage differs from a standard marriage due to additional requirements and formalities. The marriage license reflects the couple’s choice of a covenant marriage. To enter into one, premarital counseling is mandatory. Dissolving a covenant marriage is more complex, as specific grounds are required; however, parties can still mutually agree to end it.
In any family law case, whether it’s a contested or uncontested divorce, or if you have a premarital agreement (A.R.S.§ 25-213 25-202), a Cantor Law Group experienced Arizona Divorce Lawyer can guide you through the legal process.
Understanding Preliminary Injunctions in Divorce Cases
In the realm of family law in Arizona, a Preliminary Injunction is a significant document filed alongside the “Petition for Dissolution” when initiating divorce proceedings. Issued as the initial ruling by the Court, this injunction plays a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of both spouses during the divorce process.
Key Functions of a Preliminary Injunction:
Protecting Community Property: The Preliminary Injunction prohibits either spouse from selling or transferring “Community Property” without the written consent of the other spouse or court authorization. Exceptions are granted for necessary life expenses and court or attorney fees.
Child Custody Arrangements: It outlines the terms of contact and prevents harassment between spouses during the divorce proceedings. Additionally, it addresses child custody arrangements for couples with minor children, ensuring stability for the children involved.
Actions Prohibited by the Preliminary Injunction:
Under this injunction, certain actions are strictly prohibited, unless written consent is obtained from the other spouse or court permission is granted. These include:
Concealing earnings or community property.
Taking loans against community property.
Selling or gifting community assets without proper consent.
Harassing, physically abusing, or threatening one’s spouse or children.
Relocating children outside Arizona without written agreement or court order.
Modifying insurance coverage without maintaining coverage for the spouse and children.
Considerations When Dealing with a Preliminary Injunction:
Property Rights: Seek legal counsel to comprehend your property rights and responsibilities.
Financial Transparency: Be prepared to provide financial documentation if you challenge the injunction.
Responsible Use of Support Payments: Understand that support payments should be utilized responsibly.
Documentation: Maintain a comprehensive record of all payments for tax and legal purposes.
If you find yourself confronting a preliminary injunction, reach out to Cantor Law Group, your trusted Scottsdale Divorce Attorney. We are here to guide you in protecting your custody rights and property interests. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for valuable insights and assistance with your family law case.
Changing Your Name
If you’re considering a name change during your divorce proceedings, our Scottsdale Divorce Attorneys at Cantor Law Group can assist you. Alternatively, a former spouse can pursue a name change post-divorce by submitting an Application for Change of Name for an Adult in a separate civil action.
Once these documents are submitted to the Court, it’s crucial to establish the Petitioner’s residency, ensuring the Court’s jurisdiction. Arizona law requires one of the spouses to have resided in the state for a minimum of 90 days before initiating a “Petition for Dissolution.” Following the petition’s filing, there’s a mandatory 60-day waiting period after serving the other spouse before the divorce can be finalized.
For guidance on this matter or any other family law issues, consult our experienced Scottsdale Divorce Lawyers for a free consultation. We provide comprehensive legal services across various family law practice areas and are dedicated to helping Arizona couples navigate their legal separations successfully.
Can Mediation Help Resolve Divorce Issues?
Arizona Divorce Mediation Absolutely. Mediation serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method—a platform for resolving disagreements in family law cases before resorting to a trial. In Arizona, couples with children often engage in the Conciliation Services’ court mediation program or may be court-ordered to participate in ADR. Private mediation is also an option for any couple facing disputed issues.
Resolved matters are taken off the trial agenda, leaving only outstanding issues to be decided during a bench trial presided over by a judge. It’s worth noting that there are no juries in Arizona divorce trials. Should a party disagree with the trial court’s final judgment, they have the option to file a timely appeal, which can be handled by your Cantor Law Group attorney as well.
Divorce Resolution Process and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
In Arizona, every family law matter falls under the jurisdiction of a Superior Court judge. Matters such as alimony (A.R.S. § 25-322), child custody, parental rights, visitation, property, and debt distribution, and child support must be resolved before a divorce can be granted, leading to the issuance of a final divorce decree. These critical issues can often be resolved through mutual agreement, which becomes legally binding for both parties. This process adheres to Rule 69 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (ARFLP).
For those seeking an alternative to courtroom proceedings, there’s an available settlement program known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This program extends to family law cases, as well as other civil and probate cases within the county. During the ADR conference, a presiding commissioner or a temporary judge offers a non-binding legal opinion on the likelihood of success for each party’s stance. This advisory opinion serves as a valuable reality check regarding the legal aspects of each party’s case, often motivating them to resolve any remaining issues without resorting to trial.
What is the purpose of a separation agreement?
In the realm of family law, a separation agreement serves a crucial role. When spouses craft a comprehensive separation agreement that addresses all aspects of their case, it paves the way for an uncontested divorce, eliminating the need for litigation or a trial. Instead, a family law judge enters a consent decree, officially dissolving the marriage. The primary objective of a separation agreement is to foster a harmonious resolution of disputes that arise during a separation or the dissolution of a marriage. This written agreement can include provisions for the disposition of any property owned by either party, as outlined in A.R.S. § 25-317 legislative history.
Even in complex divorce cases involving long-standing marriages and substantial marital assets, parties may achieve a property settlement by documenting it in a separation agreement. This agreement then becomes an integral part of the court’s final dissolution decree.
What about a partial agreement?
In cases involving partial agreements, the divorce process proceeds through all stages of litigation, potentially culminating in a trial. The settlement process plays a pivotal role, with both spouses striving to negotiate and resolve individual issues one at a time. This approach reduces the number of matters that require adjudication by the judge.
Throughout the divorce proceedings, parties may engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation. This can be a voluntary choice or mandated by the judge. Mediation is often used to address matters related to parenting plans, either through the court’s Conciliation Services or with the assistance of a private mediator, facilitated by the parties’ attorneys and approved by the judge.
Resolved issues are excluded from the trial proceedings, leaving only outstanding matters for determination in a bench trial presided over by the judge. It’s important to note that Arizona divorce trials do not involve juries. If a party disagrees with the family court’s final judgment or order, they have the option to file a timely appeal, which can be handled by your Cantor Law Group attorney.
What is a collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce represents an alternative dispute resolution method, offering couples an opportunity to dissolve their marriage without resorting to litigation in court. In a collaborative divorce, both parties commit to working together towards the shared goal of reaching a divorce settlement. They pledge to resolve disputes through negotiation, compromise, and agreement. It’s important to note that if either party’s attorney shifts the case towards litigation, both attorneys will be disqualified and unable to continue representing their clients in court. If you require experienced divorce attorneys in Peoria, don’t hesitate to contact our Arizona family lawyers now.
How soon can I remarry after divorce?
Once the court issues the final divorce decree, the marriage is legally terminated, and you are free to enter into a new marriage. In Arizona, there is no waiting period after the divorce decree for remarriage.
However, it’s essential to be aware that unless the divorce decree contains a provision stating otherwise, a remarriage will typically terminate any spousal maintenance or alimony obligations.
What is the Discovery Process in a Scottsdale AZ Divorce?
In a divorce case in Arizona, the “Discovery” process is the method through which each party can gather evidence to support their claims. Both spouses in Arizona must provide written disclosures of their legal and factual grounds for their defenses and claims. This is done through a “Notice of Witnesses,” where they must reveal the names of all witnesses and exchange any trial-related documents. Failing to fully disclose these items may result in their exclusion at trial.
“Interrogatories” involve written questions that each party must answer in writing. “Depositions” are court-ordered interviews usually conducted in the presence of both attorneys and a court reporter. Sometimes, one spouse may be present to assist their attorney in elaborating on the other spouse’s or witness’s answers. A “Request for Admissions” is a list of specific questions seeking clear admissions, streamlining case preparation (e.g., “are you the father of the child”).
Lastly, a “Request for Production of Documents” is a targeted request for specific documents believed to benefit the case. These Discovery tools are crucial in solidifying all issues on both sides and expediting the case towards a “Marital Settlement Agreement/Consent Decree,” which is preferred over a trial. However, if a trial becomes inevitable, these Discovery measures are vital for securing the best possible outcome.
Examples of Documents Obtained in Discovery include:
Property ownership documents
Child support expenditures
At Cantor Law Group, our Scottsdale family attorneys have an extensive computer database of Interrogatories and Deposition questions, as well as thorough Requests for Production of Documents to assist our clients effectively within the legal field.
Child Custody (Temporary Orders)
When going through a divorce in Arizona involving children, it’s common to request “Temporary Orders” for Child Custody. At Cantor Law Group, your trusted Scottsdale Divorce Attorney understands the importance of maintaining stability in your children’s lives during this challenging time. These Temporary Orders are designed to prioritize the best interests of the child and typically cover aspects like the child’s residence, parenting time, legal decision-making authority, Child Custody, and Child Support.
Here’s what you need to know about Temporary Child Custody Orders:
Temporary orders remain in effect throughout the divorce process.
Each order is crafted with a focus on your children’s well-being.
You may have the option to contest a temporary order.
It’s crucial to adhere to these orders precisely to avoid legal consequences.
Temporary child custody orders can potentially become permanent.
Typically, it takes a few months for Temporary Child Custody Orders to be heard in court. However, in cases involving imminent harm to the children due to factors like child abuse, substance abuse, or mental health issues, “Emergency Temporary Orders” can be requested by either party. These orders are usually expedited, often within 24 hours, and may be granted without both parties present.
At the Emergency Order’s hearing, the judge relies on declarations and sometimes brief testimony to make a decision. A Return Hearing is scheduled within seven days to allow the non-appearing spouse to present evidence countering the allegations. At Cantor Law Group, we have extensive experience in handling both Child Custody Emergency and Standard Temporary Orders to ensure the best protection for your children. Contact our experienced AZ family law lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your specific family law case.
Service of Process and Summons in Divorce Cases
In the realm of family law, proper service of process is a pivotal step in initiating divorce proceedings. When you file a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” in Arizona, your spouse, the “Respondent,” must be served with essential documents, including the “Summons.” Here’s a breakdown of the process:
Service of Process: It’s crucial to ensure that your spouse receives legal notice of the lawsuit. This enables them to respond within the stipulated time frame and safeguard their rights. Failure to respond may result in a “Default Judgment” in favor of the petitioner.
Methods of Service:
Service by Acceptance: The Respondent signs and returns an “Acceptance of Service” form.
Service by Mail: The court papers are delivered to the Respondent via the US Postal Service or a commercial courier, with their signature as proof of receipt.
Service by Process Server or Sheriff: The Respondent is personally served with the court papers by a private process server or a sheriff.
Service by Publication: In cases where other methods of service fail, the court may authorize service by publishing a legal notice in a widely circulated newspaper.
Respondent’s Response: After being served, the Respondent has 20 days (or 30 days if served out of state) to file a written response with the court. This response acknowledges the commencement of the divorce process.
A “Default Judgment” occurs when the served spouse does not contest the divorce or its terms, making it unnecessary to litigate issues in court. This can often be favorable for the petitioner.
Regardless of the service outcome, it is advisable to consult with an experienced Arizona divorce attorney, such as Cantor Law Group. Our team can assist you in filing a well-crafted petition for divorce, ensuring that all documents align with your desired outcome. If you’ve been served with divorce papers, especially when matters like “Property Division” and “Child Custody” are at stake, it’s imperative to reach out to us promptly.
At Cantor Law Group, we are here to provide expert legal guidance and support during this challenging time. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our dedicated Scottsdale Divorce Lawyers are ready to assist with your family law case, including high asset divorces, child support, spousal support, and other family law matters. Your rights and interests are our priority.
Property Division / Community Property & Division of Community Assets
Arizona is a “Community Property” State. “Separate Property” (property brought in prior to the marriage) is retained by the owner of the property. In addition, it is normally held that an inheritance and separate gifts are also to be considered Separate Property. It is the general proposition that all property and debt acquired during the marriage (including wedding gifts) through the joint resources or funds of the spouses are considered to be “Community Property”. This includes property acquired by either spouse outside of the State of Arizona. If that property would have been Community Property if acquired within the State of Arizona while married. Marital misconduct or “Fault” is irrelevant when dividing up the property. In addition, the fact that only one spouse may have held a job during the marriage is also irrelevant when dividing up Community Property.
Community Property also includes pensions, benefits, stock plans, accrued vacation, deferred compensation, frequent flier miles, publishing rights, copyrights, patents, or anything else of value acquired during the marriage. The Court may also take into consideration the wasteful spending of Community Property assets, destruction of assets, and concealment or fraudulent transfers of Community Property when making the determination of the “Property Division.” Other issues examined by the Court include the length of the marriage; how much property is available for Division; the financial requirements of each of the parties based upon age, health, and children’s needs (see “ Child Support “); education level and ability to obtain work and things of that nature.
Under certain circumstances, the Judge can order repayment of Separate Property contributed to improving Community Property assets (i.e. inheritance money used to improve the house). Lastly, the Court has the ability to place a lien upon a spouse’s Separate Property in order to secure payment of things such as “Spousal Maintenance,“ “Child Support,“ or any other order under the Judge’s “Final Judgment ” per the “Decree of Dissolution.“
Community assets are assets that are owned jointly by both spouses during a marriage. In Arizona, community assets are divided equitably between spouses upon divorce. Common community assets include:
Salaries earned during the marriage and their associated purchases
Cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets
Appreciation on investments, rents, and profits
It is important to note that debts accumulated during the marriage are also considered community property, regardless of which spouse incurred the debt.
Child Custody (Permanent Orders) in an Arizona Divorce
A skilled Scottsdale Divorce Attorney understands that when determining permanent “Child Custody” in Arizona, the court takes into account various factors in the best interest of the child. These factors include:
The child’s preference if they are of suitable age and maturity.
Each parent’s ability and willingness to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other spouse.
The parents’ preferences.
The child’s attachment to their home and school.
The physical and mental well-being of the child and parents.
The relationships between the child and parents, as well as with siblings.
Evidence of past child abuse.
Evidence of past domestic violence in the household.
Any signs of duress, coercion, or unfair tactics in obtaining a custody agreement.
Which spouse primarily provided childcare.
Criminal convictions for sex crimes or substance abuse.
In contested Child Custody cases, the court must first resolve all issues related to “Property Division” and “Spousal Maintenance.” Often, spouses and their attorneys will draft a written agreement for “Joint Custody,” including visitation schedules for holidays, weekends, birthdays, and more. Arizona child custody laws guide the court in assessing the feasibility of Joint Custody based on factors such as the parents’ living distances and work schedules.
Sometimes, the court may order Joint Custody despite one parent’s objections. Additionally, grandparents may be granted visitation rights if they file the necessary paperwork with the court.
Courts often rely on expert witness testimony when deciding Child Custody matters. It’s advisable to consider a “Custody Evaluation” or “Dispute Assessment,” which may involve the appointment of a Mental Health Expert. This expert conducts tests on both the children and parents, interviews relevant parties, and provides recommendations to the Judge. They can also use confidential sources to prepare their reports and opinions.
These reports can either be agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the Judge, even if both parties object. At Cantor Law Group, we have access to a network of expert witnesses who can assist our clients and the Judge in determining the child’s “best interests.”
Remember, the primary concern in awarding Child Custody (whether Sole or Joint Custody) is the child’s “best interests.” At Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyers, Cantor Law Group, we ensure that all relevant information is presented to the court for a comprehensive evaluation.
Child Support in Arizona Divorce
In an Arizona divorce, the Judge may order either spouse to pay Child Support, intended for the child’s housing, food, and education. Child Support determination relies on specific factors, not on who was the “better parent.” These factors include:
The child’s financial needs.
The standard of living the children enjoyed before the marriage dissolution.
Any medical, educational, or mental health requirements of the child.
The financial resources and debts of both parents.
Whether jointly held property was damaged, concealed, fraudulently disposed of, or if excessive expenditures occurred.
The amount of time the child spends at each parent’s residence (in cases of Joint Custody) and related expenses.
Child Support in Arizona typically adheres to guidelines established by the Arizona Supreme Court, employing mathematical formulas that consider various factors such as each parent’s income, time spent with the child, health insurance expenses, and support obligations for other natural children living with a spouse. At Cantor Law Group, we utilize a specialized spreadsheet provided by the Arizona Courts to accurately determine Child Support obligations for each spouse.
What is the best way to handle all of the issues in my divorce?
When dealing with all the aspects of your divorce, it’s crucial to approach it wisely. Understanding the divorce process, your rights, your spouse’s rights, and the legal safeguards in place for your children under Arizona divorce laws is key to a smoother divorce.
Finding the best Family Law Attorney in Arizona requires some research. Start by gathering information on local lawyers and asking for recommendations. Seek advice from trusted individuals like friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and business contacts who may have insights into experienced Arizona divorce attorneys. Additionally, consider consulting clergy and mental health professionals who work with couples, as they can often provide valuable referrals within the local family law community. This approach ensures you’re well-prepared to navigate the challenges of divorce with the right attorney by your side.
Speak With Our Scottsdale Family Law Attorneys
Speak with a Scottsdale attorney today. Our Scottsdale AZ offices are available 24 hours a day at (602) 254-8880 or by sending us a confidential email to talk about your related family law services. We will have a skilled Scottsdale divorce attorney go through your Scottsdale divorce case with you.
People Also Ask:
A divorce in Scottsdale, Arizona, like in most places, refers to the legal process through which a marriage is legally terminated or dissolved. It involves resolving various issues related to the marriage, such as the division of property, assets, debts, spousal support (alimony), child custody, visitation rights, and child support. In Scottsdale, which is a city located in Maricopa County, Arizona, the divorce process generally follows the laws and regulations of the state of Arizona. Some key points to consider regarding divorce in Scottsdale, Arizona, include:
- Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Arizona, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing.
- No-Fault Divorce: Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a spouse does not need to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to cause the divorce. Irreconcilable differences or the breakdown of the marriage are typically sufficient grounds for divorce.
- Legal Process: The divorce process usually starts with one spouse (the petitioner) filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the appropriate family court. The other spouse (the respondent) is then served with the divorce papers and has the opportunity to respond.
- Property Division: Arizona is a community property state, which generally means that property and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to equal division. However, equitable division based on factors like contributions, earning capacity, and needs may be considered as well.
- Child Custody and Support: If the divorcing couple has children, decisions about child custody (now commonly referred to as legal decision-making) and visitation are made based on the best interests of the child. Child support is also determined based on state guidelines and the financial circumstances of both parents.
- Spousal Support (Alimony): If one spouse requires financial support from the other after the divorce, spousal support (alimony) may be awarded based on factors like the length of the marriage, financial needs, and the ability to pay.
- Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Scottsdale, like many places, encourages couples to use mediation and alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve issues more amicably and efficiently. However, if disputes cannot be resolved outside of court, the case may go to trial.
It’s important to note that divorce processes and laws can change over time, so it’s recommended to consult with the Cantor Law Group family law attorney knowledgeable about the most current regulations in Scottsdale, Arizona if you are considering or involved in a divorce.
The time it takes to get a divorce in Scottsdale, Arizona, can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the level of cooperation between the spouses, and the court’s schedule. On average, a straightforward and uncontested divorce in Arizona can take around 3 to 4 months from the time of filing to the finalization of the divorce. However, more complicated cases can take significantly longer, sometimes extending to a year or more. Here are some factors that can impact the timeline of a divorce in Scottsdale, Arizona:
- Type of Divorce: An uncontested divorce, where both spouses agree on all major issues such as property division, child custody, and support, can be processed more quickly than a contested divorce, where disagreements require court intervention and extended negotiation.
- Court Docket: The availability of the family court’s docket and schedule can influence how quickly your case is heard. Courts may have a backlog of cases that could lead to delays.
- Required Waiting Period: In Arizona, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period from the time the divorce papers are served or the respondent spouse files their response. This waiting period is in place to provide a cooling-off period and to allow time for both parties to consider their decisions.
- Complexity of Issues: If there are complex issues to be resolved, such as significant assets, business interests, or disagreements over child custody arrangements, the process could take longer as these matters might require more negotiation, mediation, or even court hearings.
- Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution: If the spouses are able to come to agreements through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods, the process could be expedited.
- Court Schedule: The availability of court dates, judges, and court personnel can impact the overall timeline. High caseloads and scheduling conflicts can lead to delays.
- Custody and Child Support Issues: If there are disputes related to child custody and support, the court may take additional time to ensure the best interests of the child are considered.
- Spousal Cooperation: The willingness of both spouses to cooperate and provide necessary information and documents can impact the speed of the process. Delays can occur if one party is uncooperative or unresponsive.
It’s important to consult with a family law attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona, to get a more accurate estimate of how long your specific divorce case might take, given your circumstances. Our Scottsdale Divorce Attorneys can provide guidance on the legal process, potential timelines, and help you navigate any complexities that might arise during the divorce proceedings.
Full-service family law firm
Cantor Law Group is a full-service family law firm that will commit all necessary resources to fight for your rights in a divorce or other family law matter. Your questions and concerns are very important to us. We promise that we will respond immediately to any emergency phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.