Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer
Helping Clients Transition to a New Beginning
Establishing a new identity and rethinking your daily activities is hard enough without having to deal with the stress, depression, and anger that often accompanies a divorce or separation. The transition from married to single may overwhelm individuals who lack adequate support.
The experienced Scottsdale divorce attorneys at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC can walk you through the divorce process and advocate for your rights. Our areas of expertise include division of marital property, addressing spousal support issues, and setting up custody, visitation, and child support discussions.
Whether you’ve decided to terminate your marriage, or you’ve been caught off guard by a spouse’s request for a divorce, our team is ready to stand by your side and fight for the best possible outcome to what is surely an already difficult situation.
The amount of time needed to finalize a divorce in Arizona depends on many different factors, including:
- Separation requirements. Arizona law does not require any set amount of separation time prior to filing for divorce.
- Residency requirements. One or both spouses must have lived in Arizona for at least the past 90 days before the filing date. A court cannot legally grant a divorce sooner than 60 days after the responding spouse (the defendant) is served with notice of the divorce proceedings.
Grounds for Divorce
Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means the law does not require the petitioning spouse to prove fault or to explain why the marriage is dissolving. However, the petitioning spouse must cite the grounds for seeking the divorce. Arizona law lays out two legal grounds for a divorce:
- Irreconcilable differences. This situation involves a marriage that is irreparably broken. Here, you and your spouse are unable to save your marriage, even after numerous attempts.
- Incurable insanity. An option that is rarely used and refers to a situation where one spouse is insane and remains incurably insane, with medical proof.
Division of Obligations and Assets
Arizona is one of only nine community property states. In these states, all property or debt that either spouse acquires during the marriage is likely considered community property. Examples of community property include:
- Real estate
- Home and furnishings
- Wages earned by either spouse during the marriage
- Electronic devices
- Art and antiques
- Bank accounts, whether held jointly or separately
- Investment accounts
- Car payments
- Credit card payments
- Any debts incurred during the marriage
Exceptions to the above community property rules exist, however. In some instances, property is considered owned solely by one spouse and not subject to division, including:
- Property that belonged to one spouse before the marriage
- An inheritance received by either spouse, either before or during the marriage, if not commingled or merged with marital assets
- A gift that either spouse receives from a third party
- Financial compensation received as the pain and suffering element of a personal injury judgment
- Property designated as separate by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Whether you are seeking or defending against spousal support, the mitigating factors are the same. For the purpose of determining financial maintenance, a court will consider several relevant matters, including:
- The earning capacity and abilities of both spouses
- What the supported spouse would have derived from a continuation of the marriage
- Any business venture with which either spouse is involved
- The educational background of both spouses
- The physical condition of each individual
- The current financial condition of both parties
- The size and the relative value of each spouse’s estate
- The nature of the property to be divided
- Attorney fees of both parties
Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce
Going through a divorce can be quite stressful and may cause some people to make irrational decisions. Some of the most common mistakes that we have seen individuals make include:
- Hiding assets
- Talking badly about your spouse in front of your shared children
- Settling too soon
- Becoming overly emotional
Divorce is a complicated and stressful time that impacts every facet of family life. Do not try to weather the storm alone. If you would like more information about our services, do not hesitate to call DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC at (800) 409-0262, or contact us online, to schedule your initial consultation and discover how we can help you through the divorce process. Facing divorce is never easy, but having the right family lawyer on your side can make it easier.
Preparation Is Key
When life as you know it is about to change, you may consider many things. When it comes to dissolving a marriage, there is no one size fits all solution. Every case is unique, and preparation is the key to managing the changes to come. Below we discuss some of the best ways to remain proactive pending a divorce or separation.
Create a file that contains important financial, tax, and legal information, such as:
- Copies of all state and federal tax returns for the past five years
- List of all household bills with account numbers
- Bank statements for the past five years
- A list of benefits provided by both spouses’ employers
- Copies of all birth certificates, marriage licenses, and other legal documents related to the marriage, including prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
Make an inventory of all property, including:
- All personal property, such as vehicles, cash, jewelry, art, furniture, etc.
- All real estate holdings and the value of each
- The source of the funds that you used to purchase each property
Privacy will be important, so take the following steps:
- Change all online passwords and access codes
- Rent a post office mailbox for your own personal use
List the balance, accretion date, and interest rate of all debts, including:
- Credit card balances
- Student loans
- Personal loans
- Business loans
Know where you stand financially.
Under federal law, everyone is entitled to a copy of their credit report once every 12 months. Each of the three credit reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—can provide you with a copy of your credit report and credit score. Dispute any errors you find as soon as possible.
Help Is One Phone Call Away
If divorce is inevitable, consult with an experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney to protect your rights and preserve your assets. At a tumultuous time like this, a legal team led by a Certified Family Law Specialist is a wise investment. Call the Scottsdale office of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC today at (800) 409-0262, or contact us online, to speak with a member of our legal team today.