Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Win Child Custody


To win child custody essentially means that you are happy with your custody circumstances and the custody agreement is in the best interest of the child or children. How this happens depends on the situation. It could possibly mean that you get sole custody of your child, that you share custody with the other parent, or that the judge agrees to your proposed parenting plan, etc.

In the end, how do you win custody? You work on your own or with the other parent to create a custody agreement that meets the needs of your child. After that, you work with the other parent or on your own to get the court to agree to your plan.

To create a winning parenting plan to present in court, call Canterbury Law Group today.

Create a winning parenting plan

Your parenting plan demonstrates how you and the other parent will continue to care for your child now that you are separated or getting a divorce.

A satisfactory parenting plan has:

  • A defined parenting schedule that shows when the child spends time with each parent
  • Details about how the parents will make decisions for the child
  • Specifics about expenses and finances
  • Parenting requirements and rules about raising the child
  • Any other information you may want to add

To produce a winning parenting plan, you must customize it, so it suits the needs of your child and fits your unique circumstances.

You can draw out your plan on your own, work closely with the other parent to develop it, and/or hire an attorney or legal professional to assist you.

Negotiate a plan with your child’s other parent

The best way to win custody of your child is to work with your child’s other parent to make a custody agreement both of you approve of. This helps you avoid a drawn-out, costly court battle and makes your agreement more effective, and is only beneficial for the child.

It doesn’t matter if you and the other parent disagree about custody, it is still worthwhile to try and arrange an agreement. In order to do this, you will both have to set aside personal differences and focus on what is in the best interest of the child.

Here are some recommendations to help you when meeting with the other parent:

  • Prepare example parenting plans and parenting time schedules to show your ideas
  • Write down the thoughts and concerns that you want to go over before you meet
  • Be flexible about your parenting agreements
  • Hear out the other parent’s ideas and concerns
  • Set aside any personal differences with the other parent
  • Think of your child when you work out your parenting agreement
  • Don’t talk about divorce issues or other outside issues during the meeting
  • Bring your work schedule and the child’s school schedule
  • Talk to your child about what they want in the agreement (if your child is old enough)
  • Seek mediation or counseling if needed
  • Get enough sleep the night before you meet, maybe each bring a friend to reduce tension
  • Allow multiple meetings (don’t try to discuss too much at once)
  • Take a break if things get strained, you can always try again later

Record your actual custody circumstances

You may find it beneficial to track the actual time, so you know how to prepare your custody plan.

Track your actual parenting time, so you know how your actual time correlates to your scheduled time. This can help you define your custody and visitation schedule and know if the schedule is being upheld.  For example, if one parent works nights and weekends, creative scheduling is going to be required to see the children during normal waking hours, when they are typically in school.

You can also keep a custody log book where you write notes about what happens during your parenting time. You can use your book to communicate with the other parent or keep it for your records.

Tracking your parenting time and keeping a log book helps you win custody by making sure your plan is the correct one for you and your child. It also helps each parent follow the plan.  The log book can also be critical for “going back to court” after your original plan is in place.

Present a winning case in court

If you and your child’s other parent are incapable of coming to an agreement about custody arrangements, you will go to family court, and a judge will determine the final parenting time arrangements.

To win in family court, you must develop a parenting plan and show the judge how that plan will benefit your child. It might be a good idea to hire an attorney to come up with your plan and represent you in court.  Things can and will get complicated.

You can represent yourself and still win custody, you will just need to prepare an appropriate plan and present it very well.

Attend custody mediation to win your case

If both parents cannot work out a custody agreement, you should consider going to custody mediation with a third party professional.

In custody mediation, you and the other parent will meet with an impartial third-party mediator who can help you create your agreement. The mediator will help you as you make decisions for your plan and help you work out your disagreements.  The mediator is usually a retired family law judge or attorney well versed in custody issues.

Some states require that parents go to mediation first before actually going to court. You may also have the alternative of getting free or discounted mediation through your court or state. If mediation isn’t offered in your court, you can pay for mediation privately.  Each parent usually pay 50% of the meditor’s fees.  You can also bring your attorney to mediation.

Mediation is successful for a lot people, and if you can co-author your parenting plan in mediation, you will be happy with your plan and you both win your case.

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 represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call 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.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Family Law?


Family Law is a legal practice area where attorneys focus on legal issues such as divorce, adoption and child custody among others. Practicing family law attorneys can represent clients in family court proceedings, related negotiations and can also help to draft legal documentation such as property settlement agreements or court petitions. Some family law attorneys also offer services to help with adoption, emancipation, paternity or other matters not usually related to divorce.

A term known as: “reasonable formal requirements” are determined by individual states for marriage, legal capacity, and age as well as the procedures and rules for family law matters and divorce. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriages- there were states who restricted marriage (and divorce to couples only of opposite sexes.  That is no longer the case.

Helpful Terms

The following family law terms are often used in family law cases:

  • Alimony or Spousal Maintenance: An monthly cash allowance from one partner to the other for support during or following a divorce or legal separation for a period of months or years.
  • Emancipation: A court process through which a minor becomes self-supporting, is no longer under the legal custody of his or her parents and assumes adult responsibility for their own welfare.
  • Marital Property: Property acquired by either spouse during a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce, also referred to as community property.
  • Prenuptial Agreement: An private contractual agreement made between partners before marrying in which they forego future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.
  • Paternity: Descent or origin from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father) legally declaring the rights and obligations of both parents for a child born in common between them.

Reasons To Hire A Family Law Attorney

Family law is a broad area of practice and encompasses more than just matters related to divorce including issues such as reproductive rights and foster care. It is important to have a trusted legal professional by your side ensuring those closest to you are protected and represented properly during any legal processes involving their well being.

The most common reason to hire a family law attorney includes the following:

  • Adoption / Foster Care: Adoption is a complex process that differs according to the adoption type, from where the child originates, and other factors such as variances in state laws. Foster parents sometimes adopt their foster children, but the foster process does not necessarily require legal representation. It is always vital to consult with a good family law attorney.
  • Child Support / Child Custody: Court orders and settlement agreements involving both support and custody usually are included in large divorce cases, but may be revisited for example if the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes post-Decree.
  • Divorce: Each spouse or partner hires an attorney of his or her own to devise and negotiate a plan of settlement with the purpose of avoiding a trial.  Well-versed divorce attorneys are skilled at the division of marital property, the calculation of spousal support and proposing visitation, support and child custody plans.
  • Paternity: In most cases, paternity cases are filed by the mother to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity in order to have a relationship with their child. Paternity typically is determined through DNA testing.

Related Practice Areas

Family law will often intersect with many other areas of legal practice. Child Abuse and Domestic Violence typically involve criminal investigations and family courts determine how best to protect the victims and ensure safety for those involved. Other related legal practices include:

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. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Long Does A Divorce Mediation Take?

On average, divorce mediation can take anywhere from 1-6 months depending on the complexity of your situation. How the two parties deal with their issues and the ability to be flexible as they negotiate a fair agreement dictates how long the mediation will take. As each case is different, the average case typically takes at least one half-day, or full day mediation session.  About 75% of mediations will settle on the first day.  The other 25% will have to come back another day, sometimes with more documents or things required to fully resolve all disputed issues.  Mediations are usually scheduled at least a month in advance and several weeks apart so that both parties have time to locate and produce all relevant financial documents.

How Long After Mediation Is Divorce Final?

After the divorce mediation concludes with signatures on binding settlement papers, you can expect your divorce to be final anywhere from 1 to 4 months, according the FindLaw®. To some extent, parts of mediation are more straightforward than litigation. One of the advantages of working collectively with your spouse on drafting a Separation Agreement together is the considerable ease with which you can complete your divorce.

Most final Decrees and Joint Parenting Plans will be signed by the judge within 2 to 4 weeks of their submittal to the Court for final approval and signature.  Typically no formal court appearance will be required of either party.  If you are working with a knowledgeable divorce mediator, they can help you arrange your final divorce documents. You can simply file the documents within the court for evaluation once the papers are prepared.

What Happens After A Divorce Mediation?

Regardless of when a final ‘deal’ is struck at mediation, neither party can rush to the Court for a judge’s signature on the Decree and Joint Parenting Plan unless at least 60 days have passed since service of the original divorce petition in Arizona.  This is known as the “Cooling Off Period”.  In California, the Cooling Off Period is 180 days.  Every state is unique, and make sure you consult with licensed attorneys to naviagate this narrow issue.

Read More About 

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arizona?

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost?

Collaborative Divorce In Arizona

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

Speak With Our Divorce Mediators In Scottsdale

We have a network of Arizona attorneys, 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 divorce mediators and collaborative divorce lawyers in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost?


On average collaborative divorce costs $7,500. Collaborative divorce costs ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 per spouse in the US for 2019, according to Equitable Mediation. However, Canterbury Law Group has navigated many divorce 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 will inevitably spend in contested divorce litigation in a court of law, not to mention the high emotional cost in traditional divorce cases.

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

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost in Arizona?

On average, Arizona collaborative divorce costs about $10,000 per spouse.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Unlike traditional litigated divorce cases where both sides are dug in, and legal meters are running full bore each month, collaboration is quite the opposite.  A team of family law professionals is assembled and there is a group push towards resolution.  Usually completed after 3 or 4 group meditation sessions, and within 60 to 90 days, you will have your divorce in hand almost overnight compared to your friends and colleagues slogging their way through a multiyear litigated divorce costings them tens of thousands of dollars.  Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.  Society has evolved in all facets of life—including divorce, why keep doing things in a time consuming and expensive way, when instead you can go through a transformative process of collaboration where only you and your spouse make the big decisions, and not a stranger in a black robe.  Collaborate, do not litigate.

Learn more about Collaborative Divorce In Arizona

Affordable Collaborative Divorce Lawyers in Phoenix & Scottsdale, Arizona


Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for when you need the best collaborative divorce lawyers in Arizona including Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Our experienced Arizona family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.  You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Legal Guardianship in Arizona


In Arizona, an adult may obtain legal guardianship over a minor or an incapacitated adult with approval from a court. The person for whom a guardianship is established is known as the ward. Legal guardians have specific responsibilities including providing their wards with protection, support and care. Have questions about obtaining legal guardianship in Phoenix or Scottsdale Arizona? Contact Canterbury Law Group’s Guardianship Lawyers today.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is an appointment made by the court for a specific entity or individual to make personal decisions and provide care for an adult who is incapacitated or for a minor.

The title given to the person to who a guardian is appointed in the above process is known as a ward.

A ward is an adult who is unable to communicate or express reasoned decisions for themselves to protect their own interests and welfare because of some physical or mental condition. Similarly, minors are made a ward because they cannot legally take those decisions for themselves.

Who Serves As A Legal Guardian?

An entity (for example, a private fiduciary holding a license to act as guardian for someone and receives payment for such a service) or an individual may serve as a guardian of an incapacitated adult or a minor. Usually, a public fiduciary does not act as a guardian on behalf of a minor.

In the case of a minor, the court will appoint a person who will act in the minor’s best interests. A guardian may be nominated by a minor ward who is 14 years in age or older.

Any competent person may be appointed guardian for a person who is incapacitated. Although the law states a list of priorities for this appointment, the court may appoint someone with a lower priority if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the ward. The highest priority will go to someone who has already had guardianship in another county or state. Then from highest to lowest the priority includes the adult nominated by the ward (if the court thinks the ward has the capacity to make an intelligent decision), a person nominated in the ward’s power of attorney, the spouse of the ward, an adult child of the ward, the wards parent, a person who was nominated in a Will or any relative who the ward has lived with for more than six months.

Before being appointed as a guardian, the individual is required to provide background information to the court, such as previous occasions the person acted as a guardian on behalf of someone, any felony history, and other information.

Establishing Child Guardianship In Arizona

In the state of Arizona, a “Consent Guardianship” gives parents the written consent option to grant legal authority of a child to a non-parent. This also allows for the withdrawal of consent and the authority of Guardianship. Also, this also means a non-parent cannot petition for Guardianship if contested by one of the parents. In a situation like this, the non-parent may attempt to establish custody of the child through what is known as a “non-Parent Custody” position. Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you are seeking a Consent Guardianship in Arizona.

Who Grants Legal Guardianship?

In Arizona, the legal guardianship of a minor will be granted by a probate court or a juvenile court. You may think of probate courts as places that oversee proceedings of probate and administering wills. However, these courts also appoint guardians. It is a requirement of Arizona law that individuals wanting to obtain legal guardianship over a minor to give the minor child’s parents and/or custodian a 60-day notice before the filing of a petition for guardianship. Furthermore, an individual wishing to obtain legal guardianship over a minor child must have to prove to the court that the guardianship is in the best interest of the child. When petitioning for the guardianship of an adult, the petitioner also must file in probate court as well. He or she must notify the proposed conservators of the ward, any adult children and current guardians.

How Is Guardianship Appointed?

A guardian may be nominated by any interested person who files for the appointment of a guardian with a court. Additionally, it may be nominated by a Will. An adult who is incapacitated or any person concerned with the welfare of said incapacitated adult may also petition the court for a finding of incapacity and the appointment of a guardian. You can download the forms for obtaining the appointment of a guardian at: and then clicking on “self-service center” and on “forms.”

Notice of the place and time of the hearing has to be personally served on the potential ward and specified by statute given to the other persons, who include the alleged incapacitated person’s spouse, adult children, parents, anyone currently serving as a conservator or as a guardian or anyone who has custody and care of the person as long as anyone else who asked to be notified and if it is the case there is no one to give notice then the closest living relative will be given notice.

An adult ward named in a petition of guardianship must be represented by an attorney. The ward may also choose to use an attorney with who the ward has a professional and established relationship. Or the court may appoint an attorney on behalf of the ward. The court also must appoint a court investigator and a physician who must submit reports to the court prior to the date of the hearing, after conducting an interview with the potential adult ward. The potential ward is, of course, to be present in person at the live court hearing.

For a minor guardianship, there is not a need for a report from a physician, and no attorney is appointed on behalf of the minor. Additionally, the minor’s parents, in this kind of guardianship must give their written consent to the appointment of a guardian on behalf of their minor child.

In certain circumstances, the court may appoint a guardian temporarily for a specific period or a specific purpose.

When Can Guardianship Be Granted?

Guardianship may be granted by a probate court ifs the parent of a minor child left instructions in their last will and testament. This is known as a “testamentary appointment.” Furthermore, an individual may petition the court for legal guardianship in a case where the court has decided to terminate the parental rights of the ward’s proposed parents. A court may grant legal guardianship when an incapacitated adult requires supervision and care.

How Long Does Guardianship Last In Arizona?

Guardianship may last until a minor child reaches the age of legal adulthood which in the state of Arizona is 18 years old. Usually, if guardianship is objected to by the parents of a minor child and their parental rights have not been terminated, they may petition the court for a guardianship termination, even if they consented previously.  Guardianship is also terminated upon the death of the ward.

Guardian Duties

The responsibilities and powers of a parent are like those of a guardian. A guardian may make personal choices for the ward relating to living arrangements, social activities, education and the withholding of professional or medical care, advice and treatment. The guardian must always ensure the decisions that are made that serve the ward’s best interest. The guardian must always ensure the ward is living in an environment that is the least restrictive in which the ward can remain safe.

The guardian also must submit a written report to the court on an annual basis on the date on the anniversary of the guardian’s appointment. This report must contain information on the living and health conditions of the ward as well as an up to date report from the ward’s physician.

Can You Avoid Appointment Of Guardian?

Often if the adult has executed a valid Mental Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney for the end of life decisions, a Living Will, it may be that a guardianship is not needed. All these forms can be found under Life Care Planning at An adult may only appoint an agent under the power of attorney if the adult is competent enough to understand the power of attorney documentation. Even if the adult successfully completes the living will and powers of attorney, they could still be subject to a guardianship proceeding. If someone thinks the person nominated to be the health care power of attorney is not acting in a way that is in the best interests of the incapacitated person, they can file a guardianship petition with the court.

Two Types Of Legal Guardianship In Arizona

There are two kinds of guardianship a person may petition the court for. However, they are different, and each has specific requirements to be met.

Title 8 Guardianship

  • You do not need the consent of both parents, but Title 8 Guardianships are more difficult to obtain.
  • Against the parents’ wishes, someone may apply for guardianship if they think it is not in the best interest of the child to remain with a legal parent (e.g. the parents are abusing drugs or alcohol or the children).
  • Juvenile court grants the guardianship.
  • These guardianships are permanent meaning the child will remain in your care until they are either 18 years old or the guardianship is revoked by a court order.
  • There will be a hearing when attempting to obtain a guardianship. There will be evidence and testimony involved if a parent disagrees with the guardianship. The court may appoint a person to represent the child and make recommendations to the court as to what the best interests of the child are.
  • These guardianships are also more difficult to terminate. Whoever wishes for a termination of the guardianship, must file a petition to do so. Once again, a hearing will be set, and testimony will be taken to determine if it is in the best interests of the child to terminate.

Title 14 Guardianship

  • Although easier to obtain, Title 14 Guardianships must have the consent of both legal parents. The only exception to this is if a parent is deceased or their rights have been legally terminated.
  • These are often used for short term guardianships. For example, if a parent is vacationing, out of town, working or during times of deployment abroad.
  • The probate court grants the guardianship.
  • The guardianship can be ended at any time by the legal parent. It is virtually impossible to prevent them from ending the guardianship.
  • The legal parent must request through the court revocation of the guardianship and a hearing is then scheduled.

What Type Of Guardianship Is Best For Your Situation?

Guardianships are often complex and complicated especially when a legal parent contests the guardianship. You will want to consider the situation carefully before filing for the guardianship of a child. If you are aware both parents want only a temporary guardianship and both are willing to give consent to this, you will want to file a Title 14 Guardianship.  Even with the consent of both parents but you require the guardianship to stay in place for an extended period, then you’ll want to file a Title 8 Guardianship. If both parents are non-consenting, you have no option and indeed are required to file a Title 8 Guardianship.  There are no guarantees that you will prevail at court.

How Long Does The Guardianship Process Take In Arizona?

This is dependent on the kind of guardianship you are filing and whether you have the consent of the parents or not. Both Title 14 and title 8 move very quickly indeed if both parents give their consent. It may even be completed within the time frame of just one month. However, if a parent does not give consent, understand there may well be multiple hearings scheduled together with evidence gathering and investigations. This can all take several months or a year to complete and assemble. Therefore, it is very likely you will not have guardianship immediately. In the case that you believe this is an emergency, you can request the court put in place a guardianship that is temporary until all the other steps are completed for it to become permanent.

Do You Need An Attorney To Obtain Guardianship?

If you have the consent of both parents and you are good at handling paperwork, you should be able to accomplish this on your own. However, if you are not especially detail-oriented and one of the parents is not consenting, it is highly recommended you speak with an attorney who has dealt with both Title 8 and Title 14 guardianships.

Non-Parent Child Custody In Arizona

In Arizona, Arizona Revised Statute §25-415 entitled “Custody by Non-Parent define who and how a non-parent can gain custody of a child that is not theirs. A non-parent can file a petition in the County Superior Court where the child permanently lives or is currently located. The petition must include detailed facts that support the Petitioner’s right to file the petition, and they have an obligation to provide notice to all the following:

  • The parents of the child.
  • A person with visitation rights or Court ordered custody.
  • The child’s Guardian ad Litem or guardian.
  • An agency or person that has physical custody of the child or who claims to have visitation or custodial rights.
  • Any agency or person who has previously appeared in the action.
  • The Court will summarily deny the petition unless it discovers the Petitioner pleadings establish all the following are accurate and true:
    • The person who files the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.
    • It would be “significantly detrimental” to the child to remain or be placed in the custody of either the living legal parents of the child who wishes to obtain or retain custody.
    • A Court of competent jurisdiction had not approved or entered an order concerning the custody of the child within one year before the person who filed the petition under this section unless there is a reason to think the child’s current environment may seriously endanger their physical, moral, emotional mental or moral health.
  • Or if any single one of the following applies:
    • One of the legal parents is deceased.
    • The legal parents of the child are not married to each other when the petition was filed.
    • And when there’s a pending proceeding for Dissolution of Marriage or for Legal Separation of the legal parents at the time of the petition being filed.

There is a “rebuttable presumption” available if a person other than the legal parent of the child is seeking custody that it is in the best interest of the child to award custody to the legal parents because of the psychological, emotional and physical needs of the child to be reared by the legal parent of said child. To rebut this presumption, the non-parent Petitioner must chow “clear and convincing evidence” that the awarding of custody to the current legal parent is not in the best interests of the child. Additionally, the Superior court may grant a person who stands as loco parentis to a child. This would include grandparents and great-grandparents, who meet the requirements of: Arizona Revised Statute §25-409 – this assures “reasonable visitation rights” to the child on a finding that it is in the child’s best interest to receive visitation and that any of the following are true:

  • One of the legal parents has been missing for at least three months or is deceased.
  • The legal parents of the child are not married to each other at the time of the filing of the petition.
  • There is a proceeding that is pending for Dissolution of Marriage or the Legal Separation of the legal parents at the time the petition was filed.

A grandparent or great-grandparent who stands in loco parentis to a child may want a proceeding for Visitation Rights with a child. They must file a Verified Petition in the county where the child has been found or is a permanent resident. Click Grandparent’s Rights to learn more about the options available for Grandparents Visitation. For a free initial consultation contact us by email or call The Canterbury Law Firm for an appointment, today!

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


  1. State Bar of Arizona. “A Guide to Guardianship and Conservatorship.” State Bar of Arizona,
  2. Redsteer, Andrine. “Legal Guardianship in Arizona.” LegalZoom Legal Info, 21 Nov. 2017,
  3. “Quick Guide to Guardianship Types in Arizona > My Modern Law.” My Modern Law, 12 Jan. 2018,

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

Written by Canterbury Law Group

What to Think of Before Marriage – Should You Get a Prenup?

Prenuptial, it isn’t the most pleasant conversation to have while planning out your wedding. For many cases though, a prenup is essential to have. For others though, they can just as easily do without one.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that predetermines someone’s property holdings before marriage. The purpose is that someone is ensuring the disposition of the property in case the marriage ends in divorce. Not only that, but it also protects one spouse from the other spouse’s debt if they have any prior to marriage.

How do you know you should get a prenup before marrying? It varies couple to couple, depending on their financial situation, investment account levels, and anything one feels that it should belong to them regardless of whether the marriage survives. However, there are a few important guidelines to consider.

If you’re wondering about prenuptial and other legal matters around marriage, contact your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale for information.

A Prenup Can Usually Speed Up the Divorce Process

Although you don’t enter a marriage with the intent of getting divorced, it can be beneficial to know that a prenup can speed up the process just in case. Without one, you’re likely to spend months in the courtroom discussing legal matters, marital property allocations, and having to decide who gets what.

By signing a prenup, you won’t have to go through the fighting and arguing over the property. Instead, you can simply the matter and move on with your life a lot quicker.

You Can Reach a Fair Deal

Unless your divorce is uncontested and mutual and the two of you can easily agree on who gets what, deciding who gets certain properties from the marriage can be time-consuming, challenging, and frustrating. This is when a divorce can get real ugly quick.
A prenup, if deemed valid by the Court, saves you from all of this. The legal document helps you and your spouse reach a fair arrangement in case of a divorce, usually in a swift and rapid manner.

Protects You From Debt

In today’s world, debt is more common than ever. Signing a prenup can protect you from your spouse’s debt that he or she incurred before the marriage. The legal document will outline what happens with the debt if a divorce occurs. If the debt was not your debt, to begin with, it could save you a lot of money in the long run.

The Downside to a Prenup

One of the most obvious downsides to a prenup is the lack of romance they instill. They can cause issues in a relationship. The partner being asked to sign a prenup may feel like the other partner may not trust him or her. This lack of trust could continue and end up damaging the relationship beyond repair.

Another reason is that many feel a prenup is basically a plan for heading to an ultimate divorce. When someone asks for a prenup, they may not believe the marriage will last. Again, this can cause issues in the relationship, whether or not the person asking for the prenup believes this.

Before asking for a prenup, seriously think about whether or not your situation needs one. Asking for one when the other partner doesn’t agree on it could end up being a deal breaker before the wedding even happens. Prenups provide protection and help settle the worst case scenario, but they can also bring up unpleasant feelings and you may lose your fiancé.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope Through a Divorce

A divorce is not something you plan for when getting married. Unfortunately, many families face divorce at some point. Going through a divorce can be highly stressful for both parties involved, children especially.

Every divorce will affect kids in some way, whether it be through sadness, anger, frustration, or even worrying. However, as their parents, you can help your children cope with the divorce process so that they use this as a growing experience.

Talking with your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale will help to give you the best advice for your situation. There are also the following top six tips that you can use to help your children cope with a divorce.

Inform the Kids of the Divorce

It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it is essential to talk to your children about the divorce. They’ll need to know that mom and dad will be living apart. Explain why you made this decision and that it was never caused by them. Keep the conversation appropriate for the age, temperament, and maturity of the child. Stay positive, stay optimistic—do not drench the children in negativity.  To the contrary, tell them they have a new optimistic life ahead.

Let Them Speak

It’s important that kids can express how they feel in these types of situations. This will mean the parents, both if possible, sit down and listen to them and acknowledge their feelings. If they are struggling, help them put how they feel into words.  Provide the children with counseling if needed.  They must repair their internal feelings immediately to avoid long-term emotional scarring.

Be Their Support System

Although you’ll have so many things going on in your life with a divorce, it’s crucial that you remain a strong support system for your children. Be there for them, talk to them, ask what will help them feel better.  Do NOT complain about the divorce, or your spouse, or the lawyers or the court—these kids have enough to deal with if you must vent, do so with capable adults, not your own children.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

If your children see you upset or stressed out, it will start to seriously affect them. As their primary emotional support system, trying to be as calm and collected as possible will be more beneficial in helping your children cope with the divorce. Approaching the situation angry and frustrated will only get them agitated.  Vent your deeper feelings on your own time, in your own space, and not within the sight line of your kids.

Be Kind to Each Other

Kids hear, see, and remember almost everything. You would be shocked to walk in their shoes for 24 hours.  If they see you and your partner actively arguing, or if you’re speaking poorly about your life partner when they’re not around, there’s a good chance that they’ll pick up on these things. Being kind and civil to each other will help prevent putting your kids in a difficult situation, or feeling like they need to choose sides.  Take the high road.  Stay silent when the kids are in the room and handle your “adult business” only with adults in the room.

Reassure They Are Loved

In the end, it’s important to reassure your kids that they are always loved by both parents no matter the divorce outcome. Explain the new living arrangements and express that while you’re with one parent, the other parent still loves them.  Money and property rights come and go, your children are the bedrock of your life today and into the future.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Five Ways to Keep Your Marriage Alive and Well

There is absolutely no doubt that sustaining a healthy marriage is a challenging feat. Having said that, there is a myriad of things that you can do to maintain a happy and flourishing marriage. Divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend considering the following points about maintaining a lively and happy marriage.

Find your bliss

While you and your spouse love each other, you (and only you) are the one driving your happiness. Thus, you should never place that responsibility on your significant other. Take time to understand what makes you happy and what makes you tick.

Take it one day at a time

You should be both honored and ecstatic to be in a loving marriage. As a result, it takes work (on a daily basis) to maintain that fire. It’s important for the two of you to take a few minutes out of each day to express your affection towards one another. Whatever you both deem as intimate should be brought to the forefront each and every day. Ultimately, you should think of this as a daily practice.

Be in the same lane

One of the most critical components of a relationship is making sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to a variety of issues/topics. Rushing into an engagement without similar outlooks can lead to trouble.

At times, divorce is the answer

While some people refuse to admit that divorce is the best solution, others understand if/when it’s necessary. After all, there really is no reason for everyone to be upset. Think about how much happier people would be if you removed yourself from the equation.

Other times, divorce is not the answer

It is absolutely critical to understand the difference between employing divorce as a means to avoid conflict and a way to legitimately make a situation better. Don’t be one of those people who gets divorced for all of the wrong reasons.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Leading Reasons for Divorce in New Marriages

If you’re in a marriage that’s less than three years old, you’ll likely experience any of the following signs that, of course, may not seem like such a big deal, to begin with.  Over time, these signs can emerge to more serious family issues.  Pay attention.

During the onset of a marriage, you may still be infatuated with each other or may be too deeply in emotional love to see any signs of things going south. Having said that, divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend paying attention to the following red flags in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic situation.

You Think You’re Too Good

While it may seem like a funny thought that you think you’re too good for your spouse, dissatisfaction over time will lead you to make mistakes that you may end up regretting. Take another look at your spouse’s great qualities instead of only focusing on the negative.

You Feel Constrained

Do you feel like your marriage is holding you back from achieving your potential? If you feel like you’re being tied down, chances are you’ll seek out opportunities to break out of the cage when your spouse’s back is turned.

Lack of Communication

Communication isn’t just about speaking with one another. Communication is also about understanding each other clearly and learning more about what makes each person tick. Take some time to understand the difference between talking and truly communicating.

Expectations From Each Other

For many people, marriage is the next step in the great cycle of life. Having said that, this is not the case for everyone. When two individuals get married, they have expectations from each other and the relationship. Sometimes, these expectations aren’t mutual and end up distancing two people. This goes back to our previous point about the utmost importance of communication.

Difference in Cultural Backgrounds

Differences in family members, friends, and religious beliefs may seem cute at first. However, all it takes is a few months of suppressed ideas and opposing thoughts to create real problems in a marriage.


Think about whether or not you really trust your spouse. If you find their behavior suspicious, that could be a serious red flag. Trust is an integral part of any marriage. If you can’t trust your spouse, your marriage will not survive in the long haul.

Incompatible Personalities

Both of you and your spouse may be two perfect individuals who are just entirely imperfect for each other. If you have nothing in common, it may be a better option to date other people and cut your losses.  You only can get one journey on this planet, make the best of it while you’re still healthy, attractive and have other options.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Why January Sees a Surge in Divorce Filings

The holiday season is in full swing right now. Everyone expects a great start for the New Year, especially families. However, come January, we will also see a rise in divorce filings, according to data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”). During the months of January in the past several years, AAML data shows between a 25 to 30 percent increase in divorce filings nationwide. This trend isn’t confined to the US either. Researchers have observed it in the UK as well.

In other words, one in five couples gets a divorce in January after the holidays. What could be driving this trend and should married couples be worried? How can family law help in Scottsdale assist in a post-holiday divorce? Read below to find out:

Driving Forces Behind Post-Holiday Divorce Filings

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly one cause for why people file for divorce so soon after the holidays. It could be that most people want to start a new year with a clean slate. If the marriage has been experiencing severe problems in the past year, then it makes sense to start the New Year with a divorce and hope for the best in the future.

The holiday season itself could be a driving force behind the divorce. Families get together for important events like Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means staying together, often with extended family, in the house without that many excuses to leave. Instead of bringing people together, the holidays can also exacerbate problems that drive people toward separation. The holiday time can exert pressure to present a happy face and pretend that everyone in the family is doing fine. It can take a toll on the psyche.   Many spouses see January as their first real time to flee the marriage without doing so during the holiday crush.

The holidays can also make financial problems worse, one of the main reasons behind the divorce. People spend enormous amounts of money shopping for the holidays, throwing holiday parties and enjoying vacations. When the final credit card bill arrives, marital fighting ensues, and the marriage is broken beyond repair come January.

Reasons Not to Rush a Post-Holiday Divorce

Anger and tension can be high when the holidays end. But like all things in life, it can be unwise to rush towards a divorce according to marriage experts and even some divorce lawyers. In states like Arizona, divorce can be expensive and protracted because courts are overwhelmed with so many cases. Besides, Arizona is a community property state, where all assets acquired during the marriage are presumably distributed equally, despite the income levels of each spouse. Contesting such distributions in court can prove costly in time, treasure and emotion.

It’s best to consider alternatives before rushing to separate from a spouse. For example, divorce lawyers in Scottsdale can help you and your spouse mediate differences in marriage. The couple can consider the possibility of divorce and see how assets may be divided before going to court. It’s best to negotiate a separation without contesting everything in a full-fledged litigation. A temporary legal separation is also an option for those who don’t want to divorce, who want to continue to be on each other’s health insurance and other issues.

Instead of rushing to file for a January divorce, think about the end game. What will happen to kids, pets, or elderly dependents? What about finances for the rest of the year and health insurance? Consult a lawyer regarding all of this before going to divorce court.  You can confidentially consult that lawyer in December, January or any other month of the year. Don’t rush—instead be smart, prudent and calculating to maximize your property recovery and your emotional health.

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