December 12, 2017

What Happens In An Arizona Divorce?

In Arizona, the Courts resolve the following issues:

1.     The Court equitably divides community property (property acquired during the marriage, except by gift or inheritance).

2.     The Court apportions community debt.

3.     The Court determines if a party is entitled to spousal maintenance and, if so, for how long and in what amount.

4.     The Court determines if one party is entitled to an award of his/her attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the action.

Where children are involved, the Court also resolves these additional issues:

1.     The Court determines whether the parties should have joint custody (make decisions for the children together) or sole custody.

2.     The Court enters a parental access schedule.

3.     The Court calculates appropriate child support.

4.     The Court determines how dependency exemptions will be divided.

5.     The Court decides who covers the children’s medical insurance and how uncovered expenses will be divided.

Parties can choose to enter their own agreements, rather than leave important issues, like their children and finances, to a third party.  So long as the agreements do not violate the law, the Court will enter the agreements as orders of the Court.

The best way to reach agreements and submit a proposed Decree to the Court is through mediation.  In mediation, the parties use a family law mediator (a neutral party trained in conflict resolution and family law) to help them reach consensus on areas of dispute and submit the appropriate documents to the Court.  Mediation is a confidential and less stressful than litigation, and the parties do not have to risk getting unfavorable rulings from the Court. Mediation is also much less expensive and less time consuming than the average litigated case.  Mediation is highly successful at helping people resolve disputes peacefully.

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona@sglawaz.com.  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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This is a general interest website only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.