Admittedly, the title of this article is sort of a “loaded topic.” What YOU need to know about divorce in Arizona really depends on who YOU are and what is going on in YOUR life. Divorce is governed by several statutes and laws in Arizona but how each will play a part in your divorce depends on your particular facts and circumstances. YOUR best bet is to meet with an experienced family law attorney who will listen to YOUR story, YOUR concerns, what is most important to YOU and will then craft a realistic plan to help YOU achieve those goals efficiently and affordably.
Most people can learn from some quick internet research that Arizona is a no-fault, community property and equal parenting time state. Some will take that information and attempt to navigate the divorce process on their own without truly understanding how their specific circumstances may affect the outcome of their case. For example, what if my spouse has been unfaithful or there was domestic violence during our marriage? Does that matter? Will it play a role in our divorce? What about our investment and retirement accounts? If that was earned or contributed to prior to the marriage, is it sole and separate property or is it community? There are assets or debts my spouse may have that I am not aware of. How do I find that information out? What if my spouse was never responsible for caring for the children during the marriage? Does that even matter? Or will they automatically get equal parenting time? What if my child has special needs? How does that affect a parenting plan or my decision-making rights?
While Arizona does follow baseline principles for divorce, each case has its own particular facts that will play a role. Most importantly, each person has particular fears and concerns. The ability to protect what is most important to you may be lost if your case is not started properly or handled appropriately.
We recommend meeting with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation in depth. If certain positions are not taken at the beginning of your divorce and properly maintained throughout, it may affect your case in the long run. This may include spending thousands of dollars trying to “fix” your case, which may lead to you not meeting your unique goals.
We understand that the thought of meeting with a divorce lawyer by itself can be uncomfortable. At our firm, we try to reduce that discomfort as much as possible. After all, your lawyer is there to help you and to protect you. We are working for you! We practice what we call no pressure consultations. We will listen to your situation, your concerns and what is most important to you. We will then tell you the law in Arizona, how that may affect your goals and how we would handle your case from start to finish. Our intent is not to terrify you so you feel forced or pressured. Rather, we want our clients to leave their consultations feeling informed and less stressed about the life decisions they are about to take. We take this approach because we understand that sometimes you just need to ask some questions before making a decision and we believe YOU should be able to do that without fear.
*This is intended for educational purposes only. This is not intended to serve as legal advice.