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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Divorce?

What Is Divorce

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce. In basic terms, a divorce is an action sanctioned by law that ends the marital relationship between two parties. Sometimes known as a dissolution, it legally brings a marriage to a conclusion before either spouse dies.

According to Justia, “A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse. During a divorce proceeding, a court may resolve issues of child custody, division of assets, and spousal support or alimony. After a divorce becomes final, the parties are no longer legally bound to one another, and are free to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership with another person.”

Uncontested Divorces

This is the best choice if both parties are agreeable. The parties work alongside each other regarding the terms and file the appropriate court papers to solemnize the divorce proceeding. Most likely you will not be required to attend court and there will be no trial, no judge, no waste of time or money.

Contested Divorces

When an agreement cannot be reached because of there being too many disputed matters, a judge makes the final call when you proffer the issues to him or her in court. Information will be exchanged, and settlements will be negotiated. If no resolution can be reached, it will go to a court trial and it will be essential to speak with a lawyer to help you advance your case.  Get ready to spend money.

Collaborative Divorces

In these cases, both parties each hire legal representation and they work in active and mutual cooperation to try to settle the outstanding issues. Each party agrees to the 100% disclosure of information for negotiations and meets with one another with the purpose of obtaining agreeable terms.  Most collaborations can conclude within three to four group meetings.  If this fails, both parties will agree to use different legal representation if you go to trial to resolve your case.

No Fault Divorces

This is often known as divorce because of “irreconcilable differences.” – The genesis of this was the thought one of the parties may vacate the marriage and can do so independently of the other party.  Put another way, if one party wants a divorce, you cannot force them to remain married.

Default Divorces

When one party fails to respond to the divorce petition, the court may grant a divorce by default. For example, when one party cannot be located and takes no part in the legal proceedings eventual a default decree can be entered against the non-participating party.

Legal Separation

Overwhelmingly similar to a divorce, papers are filed with the court and a court will make outstanding decisions for both parties and allocate all assets and liabilities. When this has been completed, both parties are still married but separated from a legal standpoint, therefore abrogating responsibility for one another.  Many couples choose this option to maintain healthcare insurance for the other party post-separation.  At any time during a legal separation, either party can ‘convert’ the case to a marital dissolution.

Purpose And Process

So, a marriage can be ended, the parties and the court have to handle property division, issues of child custody, child support, alimony as well as the splitting of assets and debts. It is the presumption of state laws that each party is responsible for fifty percent of everything including debts. Property that is non-marital and meant for just one person will not be split during the divorce.

Marital Property

Unless otherwise shown all property acquired during marriage is considered to be marital community property – even if held in just the name of one party. Property brought into the marriage relationship is considered the same dependent on the duration of the marriage and the kind of property it may be. In certain circumstances, the court may attribute it to one party or the other. Courts have the aim of being fair to both sides and each party has the responsibility of fully disclosing all the relevant information so the court can make that determination to allocate the marital estate.

Spousal Support

Alimony, also known as spousal support may be ordered by the court in circumstances where the health and age of the parties as well as the marriage duration and living standards come into question. This is separate from child support. Spousal maintenance may last for only a few years or for a period with no end date. Should circumstances change for either party it may be further reviewed, or be terminated by the court.

The Attorney

Although a party may always represent themselves, if there are outstanding issues regarding a child, children, property, debts, assets, or alimony, it is incredibly wise to have the assistance of an attorney. Keep in mind an attorney can only represent one of the parties involved in the divorce or legal separation.

Source: Emily Doskow, Attorney. “The Different Kinds of Divorce.” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 7 Apr. 2013, www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/the-different-kinds-divorce.htm.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Who Gets To Stay In The House During A Divorce?

Who Gets To Stay In The House During A Divorce?

With the exception of when a restraining order is in play that orders a person to stay away from their property, child, children, or spouse, anyone can legally keep living in their house that they either own on their own or co-own with their spouse. Read on to learn more.

People have different comfort levels and obviously many will choose to leave to prevent further marital problems. But if you are on the title or lease to the property, you have the right to stay there from a legal standpoint as long as there is no evidence of harassment, domestic violence, or criminal activity.

Moving Out Can Be A Mistake

When a man moves out, he may have just opened himself up to problems especially if papers are yet to be filed – this is, even more, the case when the man has a child or children. It is vital not to leave on a voluntary basis as that can sometimes be seen as abandonment – even if you think your reasons are justifiable. It may be suggested it is a good idea to leave to reduce the amount of stress to a child or children by your spouse. They may also promise ample parenting time but none of this can be guaranteed and if you are on the mortgage or lease, you have a right to stay at your home.

Even with a protective order in play, there is far more potential for conflict by removing yourself from the home as well as the breakdown of family routine than can impact a child or children.

When you leave the home on a voluntary basis it can send the message to the court that daily interactions with your child or children are not a high priority for you. However, it looks particularly good when you can show the court how much you are involved in the lives of your child or children and how that is the main priority by staying and having the other parent leave.

When you leave the home that may carry over into court orders while the divorce case is getting underway and may work against you if the present arrangement works when shown to the court. This may result in you paying far more in child support and having limited access to your child or children.  Put simply, stay put, until your lawyer says otherwise.

Comfort And Safety

If you are at risk of domestic violence in the home, leaving maybe the safest thing to do and that may include taking a child or children with you. But a temporary custody order must be obtained from a court as soon as possible, so kidnapping accusations cannot be leveled against you. In situations where there is no violence, it is still of primary importance that child custody be foremost. It may be necessary for a court to approve parenting time when a parent moves out. As soon as this can be done the better it will be for your future parenting prospects.

Custody Of A Child Or Children

In instances where a child or children has remained in the family home, it increases the chances the Judge will maintain that position to prevent disruption. This can be avoided with a parenting agreement written by the parents before one of them leaves, the establishment of a schedule for parenting, and the agreement that no parent is giving up their rights.  The parenting agreement however must then be submitted to the Court for the judge’s signature to be binding and enforceable.

My Spouse Wants A Divorce Should I Move Out?

When possible stay in the marital home, in the long run it increases your likelihood of the best possible outcome. If you can find a way to coexist it really is for the best. Move to a new room, avoid un-needed interactions, and keep being part of the lives of your child or children.  Do not bring new romantic partners to the home, this confuses the children and causes your current spouse to likely escalate the litigation.

Source: Cordell, Joseph E. “The #1 Divorce Mistake Men Make.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 19 Aug. 2014, www.huffpost.com/entry/moving-out-after-divorce_b_5510895.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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What Is Proof Of Service?

What Is Proof Of Service

In every lawsuit, a person has to be notified when a legal action has commenced against them – be it taking an issue to court, or if they are being sued. Copies of pertinent official legally binding documents are filed with the courts in the correct manner. This is known as “service of process.”

The plaintiff (who starts the action) has to demonstrate evidence to the court that the defendant has been timely served the underlying legal documents by completing and filing a Proof of Service form. Read on to learn more.

Proof Of Service Definition

This is an official affidavit, that must be signed under oath and then filed with the courts by a person following the successful service and personal delivery of legal documentations to another party.

The reason for having a Proof of Service is to ensure legal proceedings run smoothly, with notice to all parties to assure due process, and according to the established protocol. It gives both parties the opportunity to prepare and defend the case. Sometimes you will hear a Proof of Service referred to as “Affidavit of Service.” It always has to be completed and filed with the court within specific chronological parameters for it to be valid.

The Proof Of Service Form

Although they can vary from place to place as well as in some cases for varying actions being taken – each Proof of Service incorporates the following details:

  • The official name of the court where the documentation has been filed.
  • The case number and name.
  • The name of the defendants.
  • A manifest of documents timely and physically served.
  • The time and date of the serving of the documents.
  • The method of service.
  • The place where the documentation was served.
  • Clarifying if the documents were served in person, by drop service or by mail.

The person responsible for serving the documentation must put their signature of an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that the documents were served in the method and manner started in the Proof of Service form. This can be written or typed as long as it contains the pertinent information and a valid signature from a licensed process server.

Usually there are check boxes you can mark off so the documentation can be easily identified. Categories may include summons, complaint, alternative dispute resolution package, the cover sheet for the civil case, the cross-complaint and other.

The serving of legal documents must be completed by a non-party to the case and is normally performed by a county Sheriff, Constable or Marshall, a licensed process server greater than eighteen years of age.

Service Methods

Although laws can differ depending on your location. In all cases the documentation must be personally served – this equals the server handing the papers to the party wherever the defendant may be located. It may be at the workplace of the person, their home, a store, a restaurant or on the sidewalk or street. The person responsible for the serving of the papers must ensure they have verified the identity of the individual they are serving the documentation too and to let them know these are court documents.

However, the defendant does not have to accept the documents. They can be left at their feet or even at the front door. Should the individual being served destroy the documents – they still count as being served. The proof required must include, the time, date, and location where the documentation was handed to the party they are intended for.

Service By Mail Delivery

Further documentation can be served via mail. The documentation must be contained in an envelope that is securely fastened and has the address of the party on the envelope that matched the address the court has, or the address where the party has asked for documentation to be delivered. This may be an office used by the attorney of the person being served. The cost of mailing must be covered in full. It is also vital to note the date of the mailing as in many areas it takes five days before they are considered to be served.

Substituted Service

When delivery has not succeeded, some courts allow a form of substitute service. There are very certain rules that must be followed regarding previous delivery attempts and they must be documented. For example:

  • One must demonstrate at least three prior attempts at delivery.
  • Personal service tried at the home of the recipient on multiple days of the week and at times of the day that differ.
  • If their place of employment is known, attempting to serve them there has met with a lack of success.

In these circumstances, so long as you have court approval to do so, the papers may be left with an individual who resides in the same home as long as they are greater than eighteen years of age. Or a person of authority, also over the age of eighteen at the place of employment of the recipient. The server has a duty to inform the person where and with who the documents have been left and that they are legal documentation for the party. The server has an additional obligation to mail a copy of the documentation to the address where the documents were dropped off.

Source: Team, by: Content. “Proof of Service – Definition, Examples, Processes.” Legal Dictionary, 19 Aug. 2015, legaldictionary.net/proof-of-service/.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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What Does A Family Lawyer Do?

What Does A Family Lawyer Do

Family lawyers specialize in matters pertaining with family law. This includes the handling of issues with a legal component among family members. Examples of this include the custody of a child or children, a couple seeking a separation or a divorce as well as guardianship regarding a child or children. Family lawyers can adopt the position of being mediators but can also be highly effective in representing members of a family when disagreements have to go through the court process. Read on to learn more.

Divorce Issues

A divorce can be an emotional experience, precluding a couple from an amicable solution. By acting as a mediator, a family lawyer may within the confines of the law, assist the involved parties in looking at the situation in a rational manner, possibly avoiding the major headache of going to court.

Wills and Estates

When people state how they desire their assets to be managed and distributed once they have deceased, they utilize a legal document known as a will. A family lawyer can draft these documents on your behalf to ensure they are legally binding as well as ensuring the estate is administered according to the requests of the person who has died.

Child Custody

The issue of a child or children is often fraught with emotion and resentment when a couple decide to go separate ways. Yet there needs to be discourse and an agreement regarding the care of a child or children in their parents new living circumstances. A child custody agreement is something both parents have to comply with. A family lawyer can help form this agreement as well in assisting parents in making any needed amendments that are law-abiding over time.

Prenuptial Agreements

This is an agreement a couple sign before a civil union or marriage. These can vary a great deal, but its purpose will list the degree of support a spouse will receive as well as any property divisions should the relationship not work out. A family lawyer can assist in assembling a prenuptial and can address any matters that result in a legal way.

Litigation

When you have an issue that ends up in court, justice is best obtained by utilizing the services of a family lawyer. They handle cases likes yours on a very regular basis and possess the knowhow and experience to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.

Importance Of Family Lawyers

An experienced family lawyer is paramount if you need a satisfactory conclusion to your situation. Although they cannot guarantee the outcome you most desire, you greatly increase the odds of obtaining the best outcome possible by retaining their services. When you have a legal issue needing a balanced and thought-out strategy, a family lawyer is your best option.

“5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You.” Lawyer Referral Service, 8 Nov. 2018, austinlrs.com/blog/5-things-a-family-lawyer-can-do-for-you/.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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Do I Need a Family Lawyer?

Do I Need a Family Lawyer

A well-versed attorney can make crucial differences when dealing with a family related legal issue. Specializing in many areas from divorce to the adoption of a children and able to offer counsel important matters like the drafting of documents as well as representation in court. Read on to learn more.

What Is The Role Of A Family Lawyer?

A family lawyer can lessen the strain of communication with family members in difficult situations as well as taking care of legal actions involving members of your family ranging from disputes, negotiations, unions, lawsuits, and split ups.

What Can A Family Lawyer Help With?

A family lawyer can help you deal with major changes in the life of your family including in some of the following areas:

  • Domestic partnerships and civil unions
  • Marriages
  • Prenuptial contracts and agreements
  • The separation of a couple
  • The divorce of a couple
  • The settlement of property issues
  • Assisting with alimony
  • Dealing with accusations of child abuse and neglect
  • Dealing with accusations of spousal abuse and neglect
  • Issues of custody regarding a child or children
  • The kidnapping of a child or children
  • The adoption of a child or children

Remember to confirm the area you are looking for assistance with when first meeting a family lawyer.

The Cost of A Family Lawyer

Although it is conventional for family layers to charge an hourly rate, there are those who use a flat rate scale, especially if the task required is simple or more elementary such as the drafting or review of documentation. Rate can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the matters at hand as well as your location.

Expectations Of Working With A Family Lawyer

Given the wide areas of knowledge a family lawyer has, a good goal should be a relationship with your family that is clearly defined. Regardless a family lawyer can recommend whether your case is worth taking to court or analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a case. They are capable of guiding you through each phase of the legal process. You can be sure a family lawyer will ensure all documents are legally binding and has terms that are easy and clear to comprehend. Should you have to negotiate or visit court, there can be no guarantees your outcome will be favorable but with an experienced family lawyer you will have the greatest opportunity to win your case as they will be armed with correct information.

Source: “Do I Need a Family Lawyer?” Affordable Legal Services, Free Legal Documents, Advice & Ask a Lawyer, www.rocketlawyer.com/article/do-i-need-a-family-lawyer.rl.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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What is a Family Lawyer?

What is a Family Lawyer

Family lawyers are attorneys who specialize in family law. For example, some of the issues within their field of knowledge include guardianship, family lawyers and divorce. They can be mediators in a dispute between family members and represent individuals in conflicts within a family that go to court. Read on to learn more.

Divorce Issues

A family law attorney may act as a mediator between two people seeking a divorce and help to settle outstanding matters in a manner that is calm. They can look at issues from a rational and objective standpoint and within the parameters of the law. In many cases, an experienced family lawyer can play a valuable role in the divorce process by being able to reach a fair middle ground for the involved parties, without the need to go to court.

Estates And Wills

Family lawyers can help people draft wills that deal with how individuals want their property to be managed when they pass away. A family lawyer can also administer the will to ensure the wishes of the deceased are abide by.

Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody in basic terms is an agreement between the parents of a child or children and both parents must agree with and stick to the terms of the child custody agreement. A family lawyer is useful in that they can draft a child custody agreement and help make amendments if needed.

Prenuptial Arrangements

This is a contract a couple sign prior to a civil union or marriage. Although the nature of the details of any prenuptial agreement varies, the central purpose is to state the ways property will be divided and levels of spousal support paid should the marriage or civil union fail. A family lawyer is versed to assist in the draft of such an agreement. They can also deal with any issues as well as offering their practical experience to ensure everything is adhered too from a legal standpoint.

Representing Litigants

Sadly, some family disputes do end up in court and a family lawyer can help a litigant get the justice they deserve as they have the knowledge and experience to handle these delicate situations in front of a state court judge.

The importance of family lawyers should now be clear. They have the ability, knowledge and experience to help people resolve situations like prenuptial agreements, child custody, estate agreements, divorce as well as other legal issues that may impact families.

Source: “5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You.” Lawyer Referral Service, 8 Nov. 2018, austinlrs.com/blog/5-things-a-family-lawyer-can-do-for-you/

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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How Much Does A Family Lawyer Cost?

How Much Does A Family Lawyer Cost

Generally, a family law attorney charges around $350 per hour but that cost varies widely based on the experience of said attorney and where they are located and may range from as little as $150 to around $650 per hour. Nonetheless, it is vital to comprehend how different attorneys’ price themselves and what is usually covered in those fee structures. Read on to learn more.

Fee Structures

There are normally two forms of attorney’s fee structures:

  • Flat Fees: This is a charge conventionally paid upfront and will cover the total cost of your attorney from start to finish, including any court filing fees or couriers.
  • Hourly Rates: This more often used option is based on the total number of hours the attorney spends working on your situation. Hourly rates usually come with an up-front retainer fee as an initial payment and those hours are worked by the attorney and deductions are made from the fee as the hours of work accumulate.  Invoices are usually generated every 30 days, at which point, the client is typically asked to “re-up” the retainer with fresh funds.

Representation Levels

Fees can be adjusted on occasion because of the level of representation offered by the attorney. For example:

  • On occasion initial consultations are offered at no charge. Usually in these early meetings, the attorney will listen as you describe the issue and offer some initial thoughts.
  • When an attorney agrees to tackle only certain parts of your case this is known as limited scope representation. For example, an attorney may not handle visitation or child custody matters but may handle other aspects of your divorce case on your behalf (e.g. property issues).
  • When an attorney handles your entire case and all aspects of it, this is known as full representation.

What Is Covered?

In normal circumstances the following are covered:

  • Time
  • Advice
  • Use of their resources.
  • Legal Research time.

Additional Fees

Examples of additional fees you may have to pay include:

  • Transportation fees
  • Travel fees.
  • Court Filing fees.
  • Expert witness charges
  • Courier/delivery fees.
  • Printing/reproduction fees.

Remember that attorney fees are often based on experience. So, an experienced attorney may charge $500 per hour but be able to complete the case far quicker and more efficiently than an attorney with less experience who charges (say) $150 per hour. All financial matters should be discussed prior to the outset of an attorney taking on your case. Any attorney will be able to tell you their fee structure and explain expenses and additional fees that may be incurred.

Source: Peeler, Travis. “How Much Will a Family Lawyer Cost?” LegalMatch Law Library, 12 Nov. 2019, www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/how-much-will-a-family-lawyer-cost.html.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arizona? & Attorney Fees

On average, an Arizona divorce costs about $20,000. The average cost of divorce in Arizona without a Lawyer is $577. The average cost of divorce in Arizona with a Lawyer is $20,000. However, the average cost of divorce in Arizona can range from $15,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees.

Hiring a divorce lawyer in Arizona can cost as much as $550 per hour. The cost to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Maricopa County is $349.  The responding party will be required to pay $279 when filing their Response, or if both parties have agreed to a Consent Decree, the $279 is still due and owing from the responding party when tendering a consent decree for the court approval. Want to find a cheaper way to get divorced in Arizona? Arizona collaborative divorce only costs about $10,000 per spouse.

*Disclaimer – These fees are always changing and this is not an actual quote. If you need an experienced divorce lawyer contact Canterbury Law Group to start your initial consultation.

These costs may include:

  • Monthly Child Support
  • Monthly Spousal Maintenance
  • The Division of Property and Debt
  • Attorney Fees
  • Waste Claims For Reimbursement
  • Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • And more.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Arizona?

Getting an Arizona divorce can be costly. However, how much you spend will depend on the type of divorce. A contested divorce with protracted proceedings will definitely cost more than an uncontested one. While there are no set rates, it is possible to get an approximate cost estimate based on historical averages of what divorcees spend on their cases.

According to some estimates, the average divorce case can cost as much as a new car. However, people typically do not spend more than $10,000 per spouse.

While costs will largely depend on attorney’s fees, most people do not realize it right away, but there are other costs to consider as well. Divorces that go all the way to trial will incur third party expenses for such things as depositions, a child custody evaluator, a business appraiser, and forensic accountants to present financial data to court. If the couple is divorcing with children, then the divorced parents will have to attend a Parent Information Program class. If the divorce diverts to a private divorce mediator, then that will be an additional cost for the mediator who typically charges an hourly rate.

How Much Does A Divorce Lawyer Cost In Arizona?

Most of the expenses will come from the attorneys. Consider, for example, the average cost of a divorce lawyer in Scottsdale. Family lawyers in the Scottsdale area charge between $250 and $550 per hour on average. If you hire an immensely experienced lawyer in Arizona, the cost can be as much as $400 to $750 per hour. In addition to the hourly rate, some lawyers also charge extra for drafting letters, printing documents, travel time, mailing, stamps and so on. Divorce lawyer fees in Arizona can total a combined average of about $20,000 per divorce.  However, there is no assurance that fees come in higher or lower than this figure because every divorce is truly unique.

After attorneys, those filing for divorces should expect to pay for outside expert witnesses. The divorce case may require the services of a mental health expert, business accountant, real estate appraisers, and many others. Collectively, these expert witness fees can cost as much as the attorneys. Of course, not all divorces require experts to testify or issue expert reports. If two people with a shared business or significant real property get a divorce, the expert fees can be meaningful. So how much does a contentted divorce cost in Arizona? In some contested divorces, total costs can range from $25,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees.

Learn more about Divorce In Arizona

How Much Does An Uncontested Divorce Cost in Arizona?

Divorces do not have to go to trial if certain conditions are met. If the divorcing spouses agree on the material terms of the separation, or if one spouse does not participate in contesting the divorce, then the case does not have to go to trial. As a result, the costs will be considerably less.

The divorcing couple can go to the court and file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The court, depending on the county, will charge between $300 and $400 in filing fees. This makes the average court cost of an uncontested divorce in Arizona about $620. This does not include Arizona divorce attorney fees. If the two parties amicably divorce at this point, then only court fees will have to be paid assuming the parties are sophisticated enough to paper their own divorce.

If the divorcing couple needs legal assistance, for example, a divorce attorney in Scottsdale, legal fees at an hourly rate will have to be paid in addition to court fees. Some couples prefer to hire a mediator and legal counsel.  Mediators typically charge similar rates to attorneys. Overall, the fees of an uncontested divorce are far less in comparison to contested litigation.

If you are planning for a divorce, it’s best to talk to your spouse and amicably separate. Otherwise, you will have to be willing to pay a lot more for the lawyers to fight it out.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. You can contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your unique situation. You can also check frequently asked divorce law questions at Romano Law.

Learn more about Uncontested Divorce In Arizona

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost in Arizona?

On average collaborative divorce in Arizona costs about $7,500.  Arizona collaborative divorce costs ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 according to Equitable Mediation. However, Canterbury Law Group has navigated many collaborations for less than $10,000 in legal fees per spouse.  This is a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars that other couples inevitably can spend in a contested litigation in a court of law. Collaborative divorce is one of the peaceful divorce options, also known as amicable divorce.

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost in Arizona?

Divorce mediation costs about $7,500.  Divorce mediation costs in Arizona ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 in 2019.

What is the Average Cost of Divorce in Arizona?

The average cost of divorce in Arizona is $20,000. Arizona divorce costs ranged from $15,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees in 2019. The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer in Arizona can cost as much as $550 per hour.

How Much Does a Legal Separation Cost in Arizona?

The complete cost of legal separation can vary enormously, from as little as $1,000 to in excess of $100,000 when matters such as alimony, child custody and having to work through the disposition of a very complex marital estate are to be decided. So, you can imagine, there are many factors coming into play to determine the total legal separation costs. Read on to learn more about these factors.

Arizona Divorce Attorney Fees

In a divorce proceeding, a request may be made to the judge by one party that the payment of the attorney fees for that particular party should be covered by the other party in the divorce process. The court can order attorney’s fees paid when the party being asked to cover the cost was not represented by legal counsel or when both parties were represented by legal counsel. The importance of this is delays and errors that are unintentional yet caused by the pro se litigant can have on the outcome of the award of the legal fees of the other party that were incurred when these mistakes were being dealt with.

A.R.S. § 25-324 is an Arizona statute allowing the for the payment of fees due to an attorney in cases of marriage dissolution. The court does have the discretion to award the attorney fees against a specific party in some circumstances.

When it comes to making a decision regarding a fee award, the court is obliged to objectively make an evaluation of how reasonable the legal positions were adopted by the parties during the divorce proceedings. The subjectivity of a spouse’s intentions is not taken into account when it comes to the decision made by the court and neither is the party’s lack of knowledge regarding family law, divorce law, local rules and court procedures. The court will examine the available financial resources of both parties before making a decision. What is more, the court will also take into account the financial disparity between the two parties and compare the fees that are owed versus the assets of each party and so on. In three circumstances, though, the court shall award attorneys’ fees against a party:

  • The petition was filed by the party in bad faith
  • The petition submitted by the party was not grounded in fact or the law
  • The party’s petition was filed for some “improper purpose, such as to harass the other party, to cause an unnecessary delay or to increase the cost of litigation to the other party.”

Other costs that may be considered for award include but are not limited to the following:

  • Deposition costs and expenses considered to be reasonably incurred during the litigation process and any following appeal
  • If the court makes the decision that orders money to be paid directly to the attorney of the requesting party, that attorney will be responsible for the enforcement of the order

Sources:

  1. “Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.” Arizona Mediation, azmediator.com/uncontested-divorce-arizona/.
  2. “How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arizona?” Arizona Legal Center, 12 June 2018, arizonalegalcenter.org/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost-in-arizona/.
  3. 25-324 – Attorney Fees, www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00324.htm.

Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?

The Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale orPhoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.

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What Is Custodial Interference?

What Is Custodial Interference

What does Custodial Interference mean? In simple terms, when one parent attempts to create disruption to the custody rights of the other parent of the child or children, this is known as custodial interference.

Often a highly contentious issue, when custody orders are interfered with it can lead in some cases to consequences of a criminal nature. However, there are a very few situations where it may be legally permissible to temporarily interfere with the custodial rights of the other parent. The following are important facts you should be aware of regarding custodial interference and what can be done regarding it.

Types Of Custodial Interference

There are many ways custodial interference can happen. Here are some examples:

  • Making a visitation upon the child or children while the other parent is supposed to have custody of the child or children.
  • When the other parent has a planned and a scheduled visit, the refusal to release the child or children to the other parent.
  • Limiting the telephone or online contact the child or children has with the other parent.
  • Not returning the child or children on time for a planned exchange.
  • Using enticements to turn the child or children against the other parent.

However, in certain situations, custodial interference is not a violation of the law. For example:

  • When you are protecting a child or children from danger.
  • When previously made agreements disrupt custodial arrangements.
  • When outside events prevent a parent making a timely transfer of the child or children (bad weather being one example.)

What Can Be Done?

A parent can report to law enforcement and the courts any examples of custodial interference. Courts will often try to remedy the ongoing situation. Here are a few ways they try to achieve this:

  • Instituting revised and specific orders for visitation.
  • Instituting make up time for visitation purposes.
  • Family mediation or therapy.

Depending on the situation more severe intervention may be required – a parent may request greater relief. Examples include:

  • Third parties being present at supervised visits.
  • A neutral location being designated for the transfer of the child or children.
  • Reductions or loss of custody or visitation.
  • Fees and fines.

Many states consider custodial interference to be a felony or misdemeanor crime.

Source: “What Is Custodial Interference?” Findlaw, https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/08/what-is-custodial-interference.html.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 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

Custodial Interference By Grandparents

Custodial Interference By Grandparents

Child custody describes the legal relationships and status regarding a child or children and their legal guardians and/or parents. An individual with the custody of a child or children by default has all the responsibilities and rights of raising the child or children. This includes caring for the child or children and making choices and legal decisions for the child or children. The custody of a child or children can be granted by a court to anyone, meaning, a legal guardian can be the child or children’s, adoptive parents, biological parents, cousins, grandparents, siblings that are of legal age as well as friends, uncles and aunts. Read on to learn more.

In most custody cases for a child or children, grandparents are often not given consideration, when it comes to visitation and securing custodial rights. Even when the grandparents have been separated from the child or children from their parents because of causes like divorce, death or the breakdown of communication between a child or children and their parent or parents.

Primary Arguments For The Rights Of Grandparents

  • The child or children can suffer from trauma when they no longer have contact with the grandparents.
  • Divorce or the incarceration of a child or children or if a child or children should die does not give the parent who has custody the right to sever the relationship the children or child has with their grandparents.
  • Grandparents offer a stable role in the life of a grandchild or grandchildren. This is especially the case for a child or children following a death or a divorce.

Primary Arguments Against The Rights Of Grandparents

  • As long as the parents are competent, the state generally has no right to interfere in the decisions of how those parents raise their child or children – meaning a parent has the right to exclude a visit from a grandparent, even when supervised.
  • There can be good reasons to exclude a grandparent or grandparents. For example, if they have a history of child abuse or interfere with the process of the conventional decisions competent parents make on behalf of their child or children. Also, some grandparents will bad mouth the parents of the child or children in front of them.
  • Grandparents and parents often have conflicts but even when parents are being irrational or unfair, interference from a court can make the home of the child or children less stable than before.

Currently, a grandparent visitation law does not exist nor is it protected in any shape or form in common law or the constitution of the United States of America. In the last 40 years, any statutes or laws on the books regarding the rights of a grandparent of a child or children are not similar from state to state. It is true all 50 states have visitation laws for a child or children as well as who may be permitted to have visitation with them after a case of child custody has been determined. These laws can consider, stepparents, parents and grandparents.

Approximately forty percent of US states only allow grandparents of the child or children to have rights of visitation and not any other person. The consequences of this are cousins; foster parents, stepparents or other relatives cannot be granted rights of visitation. However, in all of the fifty states, Grandparents are able to file a lawsuit in court in situations when they have been told they are denied the right to visit or see their grandchild or grandchildren when there is apparently no reason for them not to be allowed access to the grandchild or grandchildren.

Grandparents Rights In Arizona

In Arizona, the custodial rights of Grandparents are defined by statute A.R.S. § 25-409. Therefore, Grandparents maintain the right to be involved in the lives of their grandchild or grandchildren and if needed, to seek safe protection for them, on their behalf. Grandparents can seek legal assistance when the relationship between a grandchild or grandchildren has become broken in cases where the grandchild or grandchildren may be in risk or danger. These rights can help Grandparents retain involvement in the lives of their grandchild or grandchildren as well as protect their own rights as Grandparents. Some examples of where legal advice may be required include:

  • Parents refuse Grandparents involvement or even access to their grandchild or grandchildren.
  • Adoption, permanent custody or guardianship of a grandchild or grandchildren.
  • In cases of parental abuse of a grandchild or grandchildren.

Furthermore, Grandparents are realizing they have rights and can exercise them, examples include:

  • The filing of court petitions with the purpose of requesting continued visitation and access to their grandchild or grandchildren.
  • The filing of child custody petitions with the purpose of care of a grandchild or grandchildren.
  • The filing adoption petitions with the purpose of care for a grandchild or grandchildren.

Grandparents often seek legal advice on their visitation rights regarding a grandchild or grandchildren. There are legal requirements that must be gone through and met including the fact Grandparents must provide evidence their contact with a grandchild or grandchildren is in the child’s best interests. Some factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • The historical bond the Grandparent has with the grandchild or grandchildren.
  • A parental divorce of at least a minimum of three months.
  • A parental absence of at least a minimum of three months.
  • When a child or children are born out of wedlock.

Custodial requests by Grandparents are considerably more complex as a vital key to success will be providing convincing evidence the parents are unfit.  Grandparents seeking such relief will very likely need competent legal assistance to advance their case.

Source: Phoenixdivorceattorney. “Grandparent’s Rights in Arizona (Ultimate Guide for 2019).” Cantor Law Group, https://cantorlawgroup.com/grandparents-rights-in-arizona.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 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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