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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is a Dissolution of Marriage?

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Learn more about marriage dissolution and how it differs from traditional divorce.

What is the definition of a divorce? Is it just another way of saying “divorce”? Yes, in most states, a dissolution simply refers to how a couple can end their marriage permanently. However, in a few states, the procedure is quite different. To learn more, keep reading.

Divorce vs. Dissolution

A dissolution of marriage is not the same as a divorce in a few states because it does not end the marriage permanently. In some states, couples can only use dissolution if they agree to the dissolution and how to resolve all of their divorce-related issues, such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.

An annulment, on the other hand, effectively voids (or erases) a couple’s marriage. A legal separation is not the same as dissolution. A legal separation allows a couple to ask the court to determine divorce-related issues like child support and spousal support without legally terminating their marriage for religious or other reasons. The couple is “effectively” divorced if a court approves a legal separation, but neither can remarry until they file for a dissolution.

We’ll concentrate on the more common usage of the term in this article.

What Is a Summary Dissolution and How Does It Work?

In some states, dissolution cases are referred to as “summary dissolution,” which is a type of quick divorce. A signed marital settlement agreement addressing child support, custody, property division, and alimony is presented to the court in a summary dissolution. You both agree to waive a trial or judicial intervention by presenting the signed divorce agreement to the judge. To qualify for this accelerated legal process, couples must meet the state’s requirements for summary dissolution.

  • Couples in California, for example, can use the state’s summary dissolution process if they meet the following criteria:
  • For divorce, both spouses must meet the state’s residency requirements.
  • Both spouses agree on the legal grounds for the request (irreconcilable differences).
  • There are no minor children in the household, and neither spouse is expecting a child.
  • The marriage has lasted less than five years.
  • Neither spouse owns any real estate (except a current residence)
  • The couple has no debts totaling more than $4,000 in their marriage (excluding an automobile note)
  • The couple owns less than $25,000 in community property, and neither spouse owns more than $25,000 in separate property.
  • the couple signs a contract dividing their assets and debts from their marriage
  • Neither party has made a request for spousal support.
  • Both spouses agree to give up their right to appeal, and
  • Both partners agree to end the marriage.
  • The cost of this type of divorce is significantly less than a contested divorce in states that recognize it.

Getting a Lawyer

A divorce can be difficult on many levels because it involves potentially complex and emotionally charged issues like child custody and support, property and debt division, and alimony, among others (also known as “spousal support” or “maintenance”).

As a result, spouses contemplating divorce may wish to seek legal counsel. Each of these legal issues, as well as how they might play out in your case, can be explained by an experienced family law attorney. Also, whether you end up settling all issues with your spouse (outside of court) or going through a full-fledged divorce trial, an attorney can prepare all necessary divorce paperwork and ensure that your rights are fully protected.

Speak With One Of Our Divorce Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s divorce attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale will handle your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, divorce mediationcollaborative divorce, and more.

We are experienced divorce attorneys and will fight for you to get you the best possible outcome. Our law firm will represent you fully in court, so you can get on with your life. Call us today for an initial consultation. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions & When Is The Right Time To File For Divorce

In Arizona, divorce refers to a legal “dissolution” of marriage. You will go through a procedure in court to formally end your marriage. If you are the one who goes to court for a divorce, you will be identified as the “petitioner.” The other spouse will be identified as the “respondent.” Divorce in Arizona is not the same as in other states. Here are some answers to common questions most people have about divorce in Arizona.

Can I File for Divorce Anytime?

Either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of 90 days before filing for a divorce at a local Arizona court. That is a legal requirement.  If there are children, they must typically be in the state for 180 days to vest custody jurisdiction, depending on the facts of the case.

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

Technically, you can represent yourself in court. However, it is highly recommended to get your attorney from your local area, like a divorce attorney in Phoenix. If you choose to self-represent, the court will assume that you know all the laws and rules pertaining to your case. You will have to follow court procedures on your own. A judge may disallow you to take certain actions if you do not properly follow court procedure. No one at court will be able to give you legal aid because they are barred by law from doing so.

You can seek legal aid if you cannot afford an attorney for your divorce. You can also petition the court to have the spouse pay for your attorney’s fees if your spouse makes substantially more income than you do.  Every case is unique.  

Do I Need to Give a Reason for Divorce?

Not in Arizona. The state has a so-called “no fault” clause, which means neither party needs to give a reason for the divorce. Moreover, the romantic escapades of Husband or Wife will have no relevance in the underlying dissolution action.  The mere desire to get a divorce is enough. In the court, only one spouse needs to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken “to finalize a divorce. The only exception is if the spouses have previously chosen a “covenant marriage”. Then, the petitioning spouse must provide ground or reasons for the divorce under state law.

What are A.R.S. and A.R.F.L.P.?

You will see these acronyms in the papers your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or elsewhere files. The letters stand for particular legal statutes, or laws, in Arizona. A.R.S. refers to Arizona Revised Statutes, and A.R.F.L.P. refers to Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. You can go to the Arizona court or state websites to get access to these legal documents and rules if needed.  Ideally, you simply hire counsel and let them do their job to advocate for your rights in the underlying divorce.

What Do I Do if My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

Too bad.  It’s going to happen anyway.  In cases where a spouse is morally against the divorce from advancing, there is little they can do to stop the case.  At best, the objecting spouse can request the court order a mandatory reconciliation counseling session which typically only pauses the case for 30 to 60 days. If at the end of reconciliation session, the spouses have not come to an agreement to postpone the divorce, the proceedings will go forward. Conciliation meetings are free of charge and rarely derail a case.  

If you have children, then your proceedings will be subject to a wide range of family laws in Arizona. The legal aspects you should consider will depend on the type of custody you seek. For more information, you should contact an attorney in your area.  Your children are your most treasured asset and case strategy and approach to maximize your custody is critical and experienced legal counsel even more important in such instances.  

Divorce is frequently a lengthy and costly process. Court proceedings can take months to complete. Simultaneously, the spouses may not get along and may be going through a difficult emotional period.

Additionally, the spouses may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of the household income being split and the need to support two separate homes. Having a plan in place for when to leave a marriage can help a spouse minimize the financial impact of the divorce. The following are some of the financial factors to consider when planning an exit from a marriage:

Market for Real Estate

If the couple owns a home together, one of the most important factors to consider when deciding when to divorce is the state of the real estate market. To afford smaller, separate spaces, the spouses may have to sell the house and split the proceeds. In contrast, the spouses may agree that one of them should continue to live on the property while the other receives other marital assets to compensate for his or her equity share. This step is best taken when the value of the property is high for the spouse who will receive other property. The spouse who will remain in the home, on the other hand, may prefer to divorce when the real estate market is weak so that he or she will not have to give up as many valuables to the other spouse.

It’s All About the Kids

If the couple has minor children or children who will be financially impacted by the divorce, this is an important factor to consider. A divorce involving minor children is significantly more difficult than a divorce involving no minor children. Lawyers devote more time to preparing arguments about child custody. A parent may also be obligated to pay child support for many years to come. Some states allow child support obligations to continue after the child reaches the age of 18 and may even require financial support while the child attends college. However, getting a divorce while your children are older but still dependent has a financial advantage in that they may be eligible for student loans or grants that they would not have been eligible for in an intact family. Many of these programs only consider the income of the custodial parent when determining financial aid eligibility.

Job Situation

The spouses’ employment status is another important financial consideration. In an ideal world, spouses will divorce when they both earn enough money to support themselves. This, however, is not always the case. It’s possible that a spouse’s hours have recently been reduced. A spouse’s job may have been lost. A person’s job may have been lost due to a sudden illness. When a couple is going through financial difficulties, it’s common for them to have problems in their marriage as well. Waiting for both spouses to regain financial stability or realign their careers may be difficult, but it may be preferable, especially if one spouse is required to pay spousal support to an unemployed or underemployed spouse.

Due to the separation of the spouses and their finances, a divorce often necessitates a slew of changes. One or both spouses may need to purchase new homes, vehicles, or change jobs. The economy can have a direct impact on whether these changes are feasible. If a spouse has been out of work for a long time, it may be difficult for him or her to re-enter the workforce during a downturn.

Divorce can have a negative impact on a person’s credit score. After a divorce, if spouses have neglected their credit, it can have a negative impact on their lives. Good credit is frequently required to purchase a home, rent a property, open a credit card in one’s own name, and in some cases, to obtain employment. If the parties are in a happy place in their relationship even as they consider divorce, they may want to wait a year or two so that they can both work on improving their credit scores before adding the financial strains of divorce. Another option is to try to stay in the same house or drive the same car so that the spouse is not forced to rely on good credit right away.

Income and Assets in the Future

Another factor to consider when deciding on the best financial time to divorce is the possibility of future income or asset acquisition. When deciding how to divide assets between spouses, many states do not consider the future. If a bonus, raise, or inheritance is on the horizon, it may be in the best interests of the spouse who will receive these additional funds to have the divorce finalized before receiving these funds. The other spouse may wish to postpone the divorce until these additional funds are received and can be divided.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Top Reasons for Divorce

Before you consider divorce, be sure to speak to the Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group to discuss your case and options. A divorce lawyer can act as both a legal counselor and sounding board during this life-changing decision. Although there are many variables and unique reasons for divorce, we have included the statistically top reasons people file divorce in the U.S.

  • 1. Lack of communication. A successful relationship requires constant communication. Distance in a marriage is created quickly if you don’t share your feelings.
  • 2. Finances. If money becomes a consistent topic of disagreement, the road to divorce is almost inevitable.
  • 3. Feeling constrained. Some feel that marriage is holding them back from achieving goals and taking opportunities. If your partner can’t support your dreams, then they may not support the marriage.
  • 4. Trust. Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. Your marriage is unlikely to survive if you do not trust your significant other.
  • 5. Expectations from each other. When expectations aren’t met, it can put a huge strain on the relationship.
  • 6. Your spouse doesn’t understand / fulfill your needs and desires. Everyone has different needs and wants. A successful partnership requires going the extra mile to fulfill a spouse’s needs and wants.
  • 7. Religious and cultural differences. Religious beliefs and cultural values can cause conflict, which affects the way you live your life and raise your children. This situation is often a deal breaker.

Consider the three most common reasons for divorce to determine whether or not your marriage can be saved.

Adultery or having an extramarital affair

When one person seeks fulfillment of their physical or sexual needs outside of the relationship, this can spell the end of the relationship. It’s extremely difficult to regain trust after a partner feels betrayed.

Extramarital affairs cause between 20% and 40% of marriages to fail and end in divorce. This is one of the most frequently occurring reasons for divorce. The reasons people cheat are not as black and white as our rage would have us believe.

Along with differences in sexual appetite and a lack of emotional intimacy, anger and resentment are frequently cited as underlying reasons for cheating.

Oftentimes, infidelity begins as an apparently innocent friendship. It begins as an emotional affair and develops into a physical one.

Infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Apart from living apart for more than a year and subjecting your partner to cruelty, this is also one of the legal grounds for divorce (mental or physical).

Financial difficulties

Money makes people amusing, as the proverb goes, and it is true.

If a couple is not on the same page about how their finances will be handled, it can result in disastrous consequences.

Why is financial incompatibility a leading cause of divorce? According to divorce statistics, a “final straw” reason for divorce is a lack of financial compatibility, which accounts for nearly 41% of divorces.

Everything from divergent spending habits and financial goals to one spouse earning significantly more money than the other can wreak havoc on a marriage. Additionally, differences in the amount of money each partner brings to the marriage can result in power struggles between the couple.

Money has a profound effect on everything. It has an effect on people’s lives. Clearly, money and stress appear to be inextricably linked for many couples.

Financial difficulties are one of the leading causes of divorce, second only to infidelity as the primary reason for divorce.

Inadequate communication

Communication is critical in marriage, and an inability to communicate effectively and quickly results in resentment and frustration on both sides, negatively affecting all aspects of the marriage.

On the other hand, effective communication is the bedrock of a healthy marriage. When two people share a life together, they must be able to communicate their needs and understand and attempt to meet their partner’s.

Yelling at your spouse, not conversing enough throughout the day, and making derogatory remarks to express yourself are all unhealthy modes of communication that should be abandoned in a marriage.

Additionally, when couples stop communicating with one another, they can feel isolated and lonely and eventually lose interest in one another. This can result in the relationship’s demise.

Poor communication is one of the leading causes of divorce in 65 percent of cases.

While practicing mindful communication to correct age-old marriage mistakes can be challenging, the effort required to improve and save your relationship is well worth it.

Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them. Delay may result in limiting your options. Every situation is unique and our attorneys are well equipped to provide you with the tools to make the best decision that suits your particular situation. Hit the ground running on your marital dissolution and consult with the legal professionals at www.canterburylawgroup.com or call 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Divorce Advantages and Disadvantages

Divorce Advantages and Disadvantages

While couples exchange wedding vows with the intention of making a lifetime commitment, there may come a time when the marriage is better off ending. When contemplating divorce, it’s critical to weigh the benefits and drawbacks for yourself, your spouse, and your children. Divorce financially and emotionally divides a family, which may improve life for everyone or create new problems. Before you file for divorce, weigh the benefits and drawbacks for everyone involved.

Disadvantage: Negative Effects on Children

Divorce has an effect on more than just the couple divorcing; it also has an effect on the children. A disadvantage is that it will have a detrimental effect on children. According to the University of Massachusetts Lowell, researchers and psychologists agree that divorce can have a negative effect on toddlers and teenagers. Toddlers frequently believe they are to blame for the divorce, while teenagers may feel pressured to choose between the two parents. A divorced child may develop commitment issues and self-doubt regarding his ability to marry. Some individuals may also experience depression as a result of their family’s disintegration.

The disadvantage is that it has a psychological effect on adults.

A counter-argument to divorce is that it has a detrimental effect on a couple’s psychological health. According to Arizona State University, “divorce has been ranked as the number one life stressor.” Adults can experience a negative psychological balance, which may manifest as elevated levels of anxiety, unhappiness, or depression. As a result, divorce can have a detrimental effect on your psychological and emotional well-being, which can last for the rest of your life.

Disadvantage Divorce is costly.

Although not every divorce must cost $30,000 and last months of wrangling, conflict, and heartbreaking betrayal, the reality is that some do.

Advantage: Children’s Impact

Divorce has previously been identified as a disadvantage for children. There is, however, an advantage to a child’s parents divorcing. A child who has been through divorce may mature more quickly and acquire responsibility at a younger age. If a child’s father leaves and she has younger siblings, she may be forced to share parenting responsibilities with her mother. This exposure will instill in her a sense of responsibility that will benefit her in other areas of her life. Additionally, children benefit from divorce if their parents’ marriage is fraught with conflict. Children should not be exposed to parents who argue and criticize one another.

Advantage: Personal Development

A benefit of divorce is the personal growth that occurs as a result of the event. Individuals who have been divorced report a greater sense of autonomy and personal growth than married individuals. This is because divorced individuals must develop self-sufficiency and learn to deal with the pressures of daily life on their own. Individuals can develop personal skills following divorce that will enable them to work toward a higher quality of life for themselves and their children.

You Can Meet New People As An Advantage

Whether you married young and fell out of love, or you waited a while before tying the knot and feel settled, there are an infinite number of reasons to seek a divorce. One significant reason is a sense that the love between you and your spouse is simply not there. An amicable divorce is a reasonable option that enables you to rebuild a healthy, fulfilling life with a new partner.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Divorce Without Going to Court

How to Divorce Without Going to Court

Learn about the techniques that can assist you avoid having to appear in court throughout your divorce.

Divorce Alternatives to the Traditional Process

Let’s start with a disclaimer: while some states enable you to acquire a divorce ruling without ever entering a courtroom, others require you to appear in front of a judge. However, if you can settle your disputes ahead of time, your court appearance will only take a few minutes, rather than the hours or even days that a contested divorce trial will take. You and your spouse can try to resolve your differences on your own, or you can use one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques (ADR).

Solving Problems by Yourself

If you and your husband are on friendly terms, you might list your marital concerns and try to come to an agreement on each one. It’s a good idea to do some preliminary research on the topics you’ll be discussing so you don’t forget anything. Divorce concerns typically include any or all of the following:

  • partition of assets and debts
  • spousal support or alimony
  • child custody, as well as
  • support for children

You should have a divorce lawyer formalize your settlement by producing a Property Settlement Agreement once you’ve reached an agreement on all of your divorce-related concerns (also known as a Marital Settlement Agreement). In addition to the terms you’ve agreed to, this will usually include significant legal clauses. Keep in mind, however, that you and your spouse cannot employ the same lawyer; you should both have your own counsel evaluate the contract on your behalf.

Choosing a Mediator for Your Divorce

Mediation is a prominent ADR technique. Mediators are qualified professionals who assist spouses in resolving their conflicts (usually lawyers or child custody experts). The couple will prepare material and documents (such as tax records) ahead of time and meet with the mediator as many times as required to reach an agreement. The idea is to limit the parameters of the settlement to a written agreement.

Mediation is usually less stressful than going through a contested divorce. Sessions are usually held in the mediator’s office and are relatively informal. Although the couple can have attorneys present, it is not needed, which adds to the mediation’s cost-effectiveness. (Having attorneys there can actually be unhelpful at times, especially if the attorney is confrontational.) You will have to pay the mediator, although this is normally split between the parties.

Divorce Through Collaboration

Another type of ADR is collaborative divorce. The purpose is similar to mediation in that it is to establish an agreement, but it is structured differently.

A mediator or other third party is not involved in a collaborative divorce. Rather, each couple has an attorney and participates in “four-way” meetings in order to establish an agreement. Collaborative law attorneys often have specialized training in this area. In order to keep them focused on the settlement, most—if not all—states prohibit them from representing the spouses in future court cases if the negotiations fail.

Collaborative law is based on the concept of working as a “team.” To establish an agreement, all players are required to work together. Any professionals involved in the process (such as accountants, property appraisers, and child psychologists if there is a custody dispute) must be impartial and accepted by both parties.

If you’d rather have an attorney represent you throughout the settlement process, you’re more likely to choose collaborative divorce over mediation. But keep in mind that if you can’t come to an agreement, you’ll have to start the entire divorce procedure over with new lawyers. This could result in a huge increase in costs, as these new lawyers will have to learn the case from the ground up.

Arbitration in Divorce

Divorce arbitration is another weapon in the ADR toolbox, and it’s frequently used by couples who don’t think they’ll be able to settle their disagreement but want someone to make a decision outside of the traditional court system. Unlike mediation and collaborative divorce, arbitration’s purpose is for the arbitrator to decide the case and give a ruling, similar to what a court would do after a trial. (Divorce arbitration may not be available in all states; consult a local attorney to see if it is used in your area.)

The advantages of arbitration versus a court trial are numerous. The arbiter is chosen by you and your spouse. You cannot choose your judge in court. You can also choose to relax the standard rules of proof. For example, rather of having a witness attend in person, you can agree to accept the presentation of a witness’s sworn written statement. You’ll also collaborate to define the dates, times, and length of your arbitration sessions. That’s a luxury you won’t find in court, where disputed divorces can drag on for over a year and you can waste hours each time you go waiting for a judge to show up.

The most significant disadvantage of arbitration is that the judgement is final and binding. You usually can’t appeal unless the arbitrator is acting improperly. With a court trial, it’s nearly a given that you’ll be able to appeal. You’ll also have to pay the arbiter in addition to your lawyers. This can be costly, especially in complex circumstances.

Is it necessary for you to appear in court?

You must submit a divorce petition or complaint with the court to formally end the marriage, even if your case has been settled. The divorce is usually based on no-fault grounds (reasons), such as “irreconcilable disagreements,” by whichever partner files the case. You must submit the relevant papers and forms in states that do not require a court presence. These are frequently seen on the court’s website. A judge will approve the settlement and issue a final divorce judgment if everything is in order.

If your state needs a court appearance, you’ll notify the court clerk that your divorce case has been resolved once you’ve completed the initial divorce filing process. The case will be marked “uncontested,” and you will be given an expedited court date. In most cases, you’ll appear in front of a judge for around fifteen minutes, verifying the grounds for the divorce and answering basic questions about the settlement agreement. Again, the court’s website is likely to provide useful procedural information.

Regardless of which path you choose for your divorce, you should seek the advice of an expert family law attorney who can assist you throughout the process.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

How To Divorce Your Wife And Keep Everything
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer

Top 10 Questions to Ask aDivorce Lawyer

If you’re going through a divorce and need an attorney, keep in mind that you don’t have to select the first one you come across. One of the most essential divorce-related decisions you’ll make is selecting the best lawyer to represent you.

Even if a friend or another lawyer has recommended a family law attorney, you should still do your research; examine the attorney’s credentials and make sure he or she has the expertise to handle your case.

There are many lawyers, and many of them advertise themselves as “family law” or “divorce” attorneys. Family law, on the other hand, is a specialization involving complicated legal principles that take time and experience to grasp. There are even more subspecialties within the field of family law, like child custody law, international custody law, guardianship, and a branch of the law regarding Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), which are special orders that must be used to distribute certain types of retirement benefits.

Divorce also has a number of financial implications, including:

  • standards for financial disclosure between spouses
  • Before and during the divorce, restraining orders ban spouses from changing beneficiary designations or transferring assets.
  • alimony is a phrase that refers to a (how to calculate income available for alimony and the special factors courts consider when determining setting payments)
  • support for children (how to calculate child support in your state)
  • Property and assets, such as real estate, collectibles, venture capital interests, stock option portfolios, goodwill, or other company interests, are divided, and
  • the distribution of pension benefits

There is a large body of law that applies to these concerns (which varies from state to state). The government and/or the courts constantly alter or overturn these laws, so you’ll need to choose an attorney who is knowledgeable with the latest regulations and cases that pertain to your divorce.

You might feel comfortable selecting a less experienced family law attorney if you have a basic case with few financial difficulties and no children. If you’re going through a disputed divorce with significant assets, extensive financial concerns, or a complex custody fight, you should choose a family law attorney that specializes in family law and has experience with the issues you’re dealing with. See our article, Hiring a Divorce Lawyer, for advice on how to hire a divorce lawyer to handle part or all of your divorce case.

Ten Things to Ask a Divorce Lawyer

We’ve put up a list of questions you might want to ask a family law attorney during your initial consultation. These may assist you in determining whether or not this lawyer is appropriate for your case.

1. Do you specialize in divorces or do you handle them as part of your general practice? How long have you been working in the field of family law? How many cases have you handled involving family law? Is it true that you’re a “qualified family law specialist”?

2. What is your plan for dealing with my case? How long will it take for my case to be resolved?

3. How long does it take you to respond calls? In the event of an emergency, how can I contact you? What do you consider an emergency situation?

4. Will you be working on my case with anyone else in your office? What kind of background do they have? Is it possible for me to meet them?

5. What method will you use to bill me? How much do you charge per hour? Do you bill for the time I spend interacting with other lawyers, paralegals, and/or secretaries? If so, what is the rate of increase? What is the amount of your retainer up front?

6. What other costs (besides your own) do you plan to incur (for example, for private investigators, forensic accountants, physicians, and/or psychiatrists), and how will you bill me for them?

7. What do you think the total cost of this divorce will be? (Don’t be surprised if most divorce attorneys refuse to answer this question because the cost of the divorce is heavily influenced by the level of contention in your case.) The way attorneys respond to this question, on the other hand, may assist you assess them. An honest attorney will frequently respond that estimating fees in advance is tough. If an attorney offers you a very low fee, it’s possible that they’re just attempting to gain your business).

8. Do you allow me to bargain with my spouse directly? How can I keep my divorce costs down? Is there anything I can do on my own to reduce the amount you’ll charge me?

9. How do you think a judge would rule in my case, based on what you know about it?

10. What can you do to assist me in better understanding the tax implications of the decisions I’ll need to make?

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Intentionally Delaying Divorce: What Should I Do?

Intentionally Delaying Divorce: What Should I Do?

Divorce may be a long and traumatic process for some couples. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Your divorce can be amicable and go at a reasonable pace. Even procrastinating couples don’t always have influence over the divorce procedure. You and your attorney can talk about how to get your divorce started so that you can get back to living your life.

Divorce may be a long and traumatic process for some couples. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Your divorce can be amicable and go at a reasonable pace. Even procrastinating couples don’t always have influence over the divorce procedure. You and your attorney can talk about how to get your divorce started so that you can get back to living your life.

What Can I Expect During My Divorce?

When one of the spouses files a divorce petition, the divorce process begins. Making their divorce uncontested—meaning both spouses agree to all of the terms in the petition—can help speed up the process. In most circumstances, however, one spouse files and serves a divorce complaint, and the other spouse has around 20 days to respond. Divorces that involve more complicated assets and parenting issues are frequently longer and more expensive.

Some facets of a divorce require patience. In many states, for example, a contested divorce requires a waiting time. Between the time they submit their divorce paperwork and the time the court signs off and grants the divorce, a couple may have to wait anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

What Should You Do If Your Partner Isn’t Responding?

If you’ve filed for divorce, your spouse may want to postpone it until you can work things out. A spouse can keep requesting court extensions or refuse to react to your documents. Your spouse’s inability to respond to the divorce petition, on the other hand, can work in your favor. You can seek a default judgment after serving your spouse with a divorce case and the response period has expired.

A judge can offer you exactly what you asked for in your divorce petition if you get a default decision. The failure of your spouse to answer will be interpreted as acceptance of your terms. You’ll have to show the court that you properly notified your spouse about the divorce. A judge may enable you to print a divorce notice in a local newspaper if your spouse has moved without giving you a new address or is dodging service.

Making their divorce uncontested—meaning both spouses agree to all of the terms in the petition—can help speed up the process.

How to Deal with Your Spouse’s Delay Efforts

It’s much more aggravating if you’re in the process of a divorce and can’t get a default judgment because your spouse doesn’t answer, even if it’s slowly. Some vengeful spouses, for example, routinely request extensions, cancel depositions at the last minute, and are constantly too preoccupied to organize a mediation. You may need to take further actions to compel your spouse to participate in certain scenarios. You can, for example, decline your spouse’s third request to cancel a deposition and file a formal motion asking a judge to impose sanctions (fines or other punishments) against him or her. You might be able to reclaim part of the legal fees you paid for the motion as well.

You can also ask the court to schedule a settlement conference if your spouse refuses to attend mediation. Settlement discussions are usually held in the judge’s chambers at the courthouse. If a court is involved, your spouse may take things more seriously. If your husband is attempting to delay your divorce, you must remain firm and continue to go forward.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Sneaky Divorce Tactics

Sneaky Divorce Tactics

At the time, dirty ways to get back at your soon-to-be-ex may seem like a smart idea. Retaliating for your ex’s wrongdoings may provide you with a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are exacting justice or giving your ex what he or she deserves.

However, the truth is that these dirty divorce techniques rarely benefit the perpetrator and nearly usually result in hostility. Dirty divorce methods can inspire the other side in the same way that the bombing of Pearl Harbor roused a sleeping giant. During your divorce processes, fight the impulse to be vindictive, because you may discover that the joke is on you. Here are some instances of things you should not do:

1. Don’t give him anything.

A female client is considering leaving her husband’s home. It appears that if she tells her husband that she wants to leave, he will stop her. It has to be done behind his back. She is furious with him and wants to get even with him, so when she leaves, she takes everything in the house with her. He has nothing to sit on and nothing to cook with when he goes home. She believes she’s shown him something, but all she’s done is provoke him and throw down the gauntlet for all-out war.

2. Cancel all of your credit cards.

I represented a mother of three whose husband, a doctor, was having an affair with a nurse. Both had engaged lawyers, but my client preferred to wait before suing her husband for infidelity in the hopes of reaching an amicable resolution.

My client had just returned from a lengthy journey with one of her kids and was about to pay for gas when her card was rejected. Her spouse, who earns around $1 million a year, chose to terminate all of her credit cards without warning. To say the least, the good doctor procured an adultery complaint and a temporary hearing in which the judge was apprised of his actions.

3. Obtain his dismissal.

Offended spouses’ eagerness to get their ex fired or in trouble with the IRS or, in one case, the Securities and Exchange Commission never ceases to astonish me. What could they be thinking while they’re simultaneously attempting to get enough money from their spouse to make ends meet? What a case of shooting oneself in the foot!

4. Turning Off the Power.

This is undoubtedly one of the nastier divorce ruses. Many people have called me to say that their phone, power, or cable has been switched off at their home without warning. Such an approach simply leads to a downward spiral of attacks and counterattacks.

5. Inform the Paramour’s Partner.

When an affair is discovered, a common reaction is to phone the paramour’s spouse and tell them everything. As a result, that spouse may launch an alienation of affection lawsuit, putting the marital assets at danger. Clearly, this is an extremely self-destructive decision. (There are situations when sharing this information is beneficial, but this should be done by the lawyer, not the client.)

6. Take the kids out of state.

At the time, such a move seemed like a great way to get even with your spouse. However, some cases show that it can be a good method to get a judge to grant custody to your husband in exchange for your bad behavior. It is considered kidnapping in several places.

7. De-clutter your bank accounts.

While this may bring some temporary relief and security, it may also result in an emergency hearing and the costs associated with it. It may also imbue the perpetrator with an unjust taint that they may never be able to escape. (There are situations when this may be essential, but only with counsel’s guidance and for very good reason.)

8. File a Child Abuse Complaint.

I believe that few people consciously make false complaints of abuse, but it is all too common for people in the throes of divorce to stretch regular events to their advantage. This is something that judges are well aware of. Allow no one to speak to your child if there is a risk of abuse, and bring them to a professional who is trained in interviewing children for abuse. Abuse allegations can be made in both directions, so tread carefully before throwing stones. Allow the experts to handle it.

9. Make your spouse feel humiliated.

Many people wish to teach their spouse a lesson by having summons or subpoenas served on them at work or in other humiliating locations. I’m aware of one situation in which a woman requested that the process server serve her husband immediately before he boarded a plane for an overseas hunting trip. Such gestures may provide gratification, but they can also lead to revenge and escalation of the conflict. Remember that they will one day have the power to embarrass you in the same way they embarrassed you.

10. Just because you can, pull the trigger.

Many times over the course of a divorce, there is an opportunity to file anything, take legal action, or seek a sanction, but the better option is to postpone or avoid taking action. Your husband, for example, is an adulterer. You have concrete evidence. You may believe that because the opportunity presents itself, you must file a lawsuit for adultery. However, history has shown that assessing the circumstance and determining when or if such action is most useful is frequently the best course of action. The mere fear of litigation, for example, may be more persuasive in negotiations than the actual filing of litigation.

All of the preceding rules come with the proviso that no rule should be obeyed if doing so would be risky. You have to do some things from time to time. The key is to seek the advice of skilled counsel and to ensure that your relationship with your counsel is not hostile for the purpose of being contentious.

Rather of focusing your efforts on hurting your ex, be sure that every move you make is actually geared to assist you move closer to a positive solution, not just to grasp a purely temporary advantage or to gratify an unproductive emotion. Let’s keep it that way!

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Divorce With Kids

Divorce With Kids

 Divorces often follow a similar pattern. When children are involved, however, further measures and considerations must be taken. Additional discussions with your attorney about child custody, visitation, parenting plans, and child support should be expected.Read on to learn more.

Divorces often follow a similar pattern. When children are involved, however, further measures and considerations must be taken. Additional discussions with your attorney about child custody, visitation, parenting plans, and child support should be expected.

The divorce process can also get acrimonious if parents begin to attack one another in order to acquire custody of their children. In acrimonious family court trials, character witnesses, testimonials, text messages, and social media posts are all fair game – some ex-partners will go to any length to prove the other is an unfit parent.

It’s crucial to remember that many courts will try to find a method to give parents joint custody unless there are compelling reasons not to. Above all, they will think about what is best for your child. You can have a quicker and less hurtful (to you and your children) divorce if you and your husband can work together with the same objective in mind.

The issues following may elicit strong feelings, but they will aid you in preparing for a divorce case with little children. Being as prepared as possible might assist you and your children in comprehending the adjustments that are coming.

The Process of Divorcing With Children

Here’s a quick rundown of how a divorce with children works. It’s important to note that each state has its own procedures and terminology for child custody and visitation.

1) Filing for Divorce

Your divorce will include child custody and child support (your request to start your divorce case).

2) Emergency Proclamations

If your children are in danger, you can request an emergency custody hearing and temporary protective orders from the judge.

3) Settlement Agreement for Divorce

You can include child custody problems in your divorce settlement agreement and ask the court to accept it if you decide on your own. A court will determine whether it is in your children’s best interests. You’ll have to make decisions about everything, from who your child will live with to who will make educational and healthcare decisions for them.

4) Conciliation

For custody and visitation, some states and counties compel parents to attend mediation. You and your husband will meet with a neutral mediator who will assist you in reaching an agreement on child custody, parenting plans, and visitation during mediation.

5) Hearings in Court

If mediation fails or is not necessary, and you are unable to reach an agreement on your own, your case will be heard by a judge. You will be given the opportunity to present your case. The judge may consult mental health professionals to determine what is best for your child, and a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent your child’s interests.

During your divorce, you may have several hearings. If the final custody decision takes a long time, the court will issue temporary custody and support orders that you and your husband must comply.

6) Divorce Decree/Order

Your divorce will be finalized by a court, who will issue orders for custody, parenting time/visitation, and child support.

7) Divorce Decree Appeals and Modifications

There are options for appealing a court order if you disagree with it. Similarly, if something significant happens in your life that affects custody or child support, you can petition the court to alter the order by filing a request to modify child support or child custody (with the court).

If I have children, can I get a divorce without a fight?

If you and your ex-partner agree on the following, you can achieve an uncontested divorce with children.

The physical custody split (which is usually 50/50)

Parenting time (does one parent have custody of the children on weekends or during specific holidays?)

Parental responsibilities (driving to school activities, vacations, purchasing clothing, paying for insurance or cell phones, etc.)

Who is in charge of major decisions? (schooling, healthcare, religion, etc.)

Payments for child support and a payment schedule

You must also agree on all other aspects of the divorce, such as property division and alimony.

It is difficult to get an agreement on these issues during such a trying time. To obtain an agreement, some “unofficial” conversations may be required. You can bypass arguing in court or mediation and go straight to making the plan official once you’ve both agreed on it.

Because there are so many aspects to consider when it comes to child custody, many people choose to have their divorce agreements reviewed by lawyers before submitting them to the court. Limited scope representation is what it’s called.

Can I challenge a court order if I have children?

Most judges are willing to accept child support appeals, changes in your financial condition, unsafe living situations, and requests for more or less time with your children. An attorney can advise you on the appropriate course of action to take in these situations as well as the anticipated outcome.

Because it’s difficult to forecast what life will be like after a divorce, it’s usual for parents to renegotiate child support and custody agreements as their circumstances change. When your preschooler becomes 16, wants a car, and needs car insurance, the agreement that made sense for them will most likely need to change.

Putting Your Children First During Divorce

Children are impacted by divorce, according to research. Even if you try to keep children out of the divorce proceedings, this is a big adjustment for them, and they’ll pick up on your feelings. Divorce may isolate your child from their peers or school, or it may cause them to have unfavorable feelings against one parent or the other. It may limit the amount of time and attention each parent may devote.

An expert divorce lawyer can advise you on the best methods to help your children feel secure in their new lives (such as keeping the family home) while also assuring their financial security. Your county judge’s role is to make sure that everyone is thinking about your child’s best interests.

While the change is significant, you can attempt to make the transition easier for your children while still protecting your parental rights. Here are a few things to remember:

1. When deciding custody, judges pay special attention to the children.

In a divorce involving children, the judge’s responsibility is to evaluate what is in the child’s best interests. When it comes to the following issues, the judge is likely to prioritize your child’s demands over your own:

Keeping siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, adoptive siblings, and other family members together.

Assigning a child custody or co-parenting schedule that favors one parent over the other (most courts assume 50/50 child custody)

Choosing a larger or lower level of child support than you anticipated

If you or your ex-spouse have remarried or have other children, you should reconsider custody or financial orders.

Choosing between two homes the most stable environment

Limiting your child’s exposure to new situations (such as keeping them at the same school or home)

While it may appear that judges are siding with one side or the other, most state statutes prioritize the best interests of minor children over the interests of other family members.

2. Think about keeping your children out of court.

Addiction, cheating, criminality, fraud, domestic violence, financial troubles, and other pressures may be discussed with your children. Children who are old enough to comprehend these issues may need to speak with you before everyone goes to court.

Because the repercussions of divorce are unique to each family, the process may take longer than expected or necessitate the involvement of specialists to speak with your children.

To help lighten the process, soothe uncomfortable themes, and make the transition for children, divorcing parents may choose to try approaches like mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Note that divorces involving criminal problems (such as child abuse or a parent losing all of their assets due to fraud) almost always require the assistance of a judge.

Because most divorces are no-fault, your child will not be called to testify against one of the parents. You can, however, invite your child to speak, or a judge may ask them to testify, if it is important to the case. This is uncommon, although it could happen if there is a problem with harassment or abuse.

3. Children may be able to express their preferences for custody.

Your children will be directly involved in the procedures on occasion. This changes based on the age and health of the child. Some states enable children as young as 12 years old to choose which parent they wish to live with, and many courts will allow even young children to weigh in on custody issues. Rather than a big courtroom, this is usually done in a private meeting with the judge.

Older children may be able to express themselves, and judges in many states will take their preferences into account unless the child is in danger.

The age at which a child can provide feedback is determined by state regulations and specific judges. Consider the following scenario:

At the age of 14, California will allow children to express their preferences for who they wish to live with.

Minors in Washington are not allowed to give their opinions unless the judge specifically demands it.

Wyoming judges can take into account the wishes of minors aged 12 and up.

This also works the other way around. The courts will take into account a child’s wishes if he or she chooses to live with one parent but later refuses visitation with that parent. If the state law allows it and the youngster is capable of explaining their reasoning, they will be able to participate.

For a youngster, speaking with a judge can be frightening, but court advocates attempt to make the process as relaxing as possible and allow the child to express his or her true sentiments.

When it comes to divorce, do adult children have a say?

A child above the age of 18 does not have a legal say in your divorce, according to the law. The child’s and parent’s personal preferences will determine where you live, how much you pay for their needs, and how much time they spend with each parent.

If you have a child with special needs or who is over 18 but incapacitated, this problem becomes more challenging. You may need to arrange a guardianship agreement in those circumstances.

If your child will require assistance for the remainder of their lives, additional arrangements (such as a special needs trust) can be addressed.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Uncontested Divorce Costs 2021

Types of Divorce in Arizona

Divorce is not only an emotionally draining experience, but it can also be financially draining if you aren’t prepared and don’t consider all of your options. You can apply for an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse agree on the divorce, the distribution of your assets, and the care of your children, including custody, visitation, and child support.

If you’re considering divorce, you should be aware of the divorce procedure, your options, the length of time it will take to complete the legal proceedings, and the cost.

Without The Assistance Of An Attorney

You have a few options if you want to file for an uncontested divorce on your own. To begin, you and your spouse should fill out the necessary paperwork and submit it to your local family court. The court will then issue you with the necessary forms, such as a divorce petition and a parenting plan, which details your children’s care. You’ll appear in front of the court to finalize your divorce after filing your documents and waiting the time period necessary by your state’s laws. When filling out divorce forms, such as alimony, child support, and property division, make sure you know the laws in your state.

You could also use an online provider to petition for an uncontested divorce. In general, these services will guide you through the process of preparing and filing the divorce forms that your state requires. Check your state’s laws to see if filing for divorce online is allowed.

The cheapest option is to file for an uncontested divorce without the help of an attorney. Whether you file your documents yourself or with the help of an online service, you’ll have to pay around $300 to the court. In addition to the filing charge, using an online service can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,500, depending on the service and your specific situation.

With The Help Of A Lawyer

If you hire an attorney to represent you, he or she will fight for your rights and wants throughout the divorce process. If you have a complicated divorce or if you and your husband disagree on certain matters, hiring an attorney may be advantageous.

You can’t share an attorney with your soon-to-be ex because an attorney can only represent one spouse. Your lawyer will assist you in negotiating many areas of your divorce, such as property distribution, child custody, and debt settlements. Once all essential paperwork have been filed and a court date has been established, your attorney will accompany you to court and present your case to the judge for a final decision.

The cost of hiring an attorney for an uncontested divorce is cheaper than for a disputed divorce. However, if your case is more complicated or if it is a contested case, your attorney expenses will rise.

A retainer, or down payment, of $2,500 to $5,000 is usually required of your divorce attorney. Until the retainer money runs out, your attorney will charge you against it. You may be required to pay an extra retainer or your attorney may bill you by the hour after that. The average hourly legal cost is between $150 and $400.

Through the Process Of Collaboration

Collaborative divorce is a third option that has gained popularity in recent years. This sort of divorce is a cross between hiring an attorney and mediation, in which both spouses work together to solve their problems.

Each side in a collaborative divorce has an attorney who is conversant with the procedure. Each party promises to work together to solve their problems. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on specific concerns, they may take their dispute to court. Depending on the intricacy of your case, a collaborative divorce can cost as little as $10,000.

You can acquire a divorce in a variety of methods, and the charges vary. Make sure to look into your state’s laws to see what options are open to you. If you and your husband/wife believe you can reach an agreement on important issues, an uncontested divorce may be the best option for you.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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