Divorce Process in Arizona
Whether you are thinking about filing for a divorce or have already been served divorce paperwork, our dedicated Tucson Divorce Attorneys are here to help. We understand this will be one of the most stressful and emotionally challenging experiences and the effects have a lifelong impact. There are several issues that a court needs to address in a divorce including division of property and debts, spousal maintenance, parenting time, child support, and possibly name changes, restraining orders and other issues. While some divorces can be uncontested, when it comes to the details there are often disagreements between the spouses. It is important to have an attorney well-versed in family law to advise you of your rights and assist you in the process. In Tucson, the attorneys of Desert View Law are experienced in divorce and proudly serve their clients.
Arizona requires that one spouse live in the state for at least 90 days before filing the request for divorce. The next step required is that the responding spouse must be notified about the filing via a formal process called service. Once the responding spouse has been served, they have 20 days to file a response with the Court. If there are any disagreements, no matter how minute, the divorce is considered a contested divorce. If your case is contested, it is important to have a Tucson Divorce Attorney to help guide you through the process.
Once your case has been filed and served, there is a 60-day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. But what happens between the filing of the paperwork and during the interim time until you can finalize? What if you and your spouse do not agree? It may be necessary to file a request for temporary orders. These orders are a placeholder to assist the parties during the period of transition. These temporary orders hearings involve a significant amount of preparation and having a divorce attorney to represent you can make a significant difference. At Desert View Law, we take time to make sure your voice is heard, and your concerns are addressed at these hearings. The court’s main goal with finances in temporary orders is to preserve the assets of the community and ensure any debt accounts do not go into default or foreclosure. If there are minor children, the court will issue a temporary order addressing parenting time and legal decision-making for the children. The Family Court judges prefer the parties show that they attempted to settle disputes through mediation or a settlement conference before taking the issues to court. Our experienced Tucson attorneys know how to advocate on your behalf and recognize when it may be in your interest to settle or proceed to a hearing. If there is no agreement reached, the court will hold a temporary order hearing on those contested issues and issue a ruling that lasts only during the pendency of your divorce until it is finalized.
Attorneys for each spouse will then complete the discovery process, which is an investigation and fact-gathering process. Our attorneys then use what information they obtain to attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, then the court will set the case for a trial in front of a judge.
If you and your spouse agree on every issue in your divorce, including a parenting time schedule and child support if you have children, you can file a consent decree. This generally happens when the parties have been married only for a brief period of time or have little property and debts to distribute. If this is your case, a Desert View Law divorce attorney can prepare this paperwork for you at our offices in Tucson.
Division of Property and Debts
Arizona is a community property state. This means that there is a presumption that all property and debts that were acquired during the marriage are community and are the property or responsibility of each spouse. It does not matter if only one spouse’s name is on the ownership documents or debt obligation. This means all your assets and debts that are accumulated during the marriage are put into a “bucket” and then essentially divided evenly between the parties. However, it is possible for one of our Tucson divorce attorneys to negotiate with your spouse or their attorney to reach an agreement to fit your specific situation and address your concerns.
Property and debt acquired prior to marriage or obtained through inheritance, or a gift are not considered community property. It is separate property of one spouse. However, if the property or inheritance is comingled with community property, such as funds being deposited into a joint account or a transfer of title to both spouses’ names, it complicates matters. The court could determine that there was intent to gift the separate property to the marital community and order that it be divided equally. It is important to remember that each situation is different based on the facts and circumstances in the marriage. Our family law attorney can help review the details in your case and assist you in determining what might be an equitable division of the assets and debts.
At Desert View Law PLLC, our experienced divorce attorney will work with you in an efficient and compassionate manner to make sure you understand your rights as you go through the divorce process and advocate on your behalf. Contact our office today to set up your free 30-minute case evaluation with our Tucson attorney.
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