Common Issues in a Phoenix Divorce
The law requires you and your spouse to resolve certain issues before the court will legally dissolve your marriage. The unique issues in each divorce case will depend on the length of the marriage, the property you own, whether you have children, and other factors. However, some common divorce-related issues our firm regularly handles include:
- Division of marital property and assets – Arizona is a community property state, which means that courts view all property and assets acquired during the marriage as community property. Generally speaking, courts will divide community property equally between divorcing spouses. If one spouse wants to keep more property or assets, such as one spouse keeping the family home, that person will generally have to compensate the other spouse, so the division represents a 50/50 split.
- Division of debts – The law also requires all divorcing couples to divide any debts acquired during the marriage, with few exceptions. This may involve selling collateral to pay off debts, one spouse paying the other half the balance of a debt, or other solutions.
- Legal decision-making and parenting time – Arizona laws and courts now refer to child custody as legal decision-making and parenting time. Couples will need to determine how they will divide the responsibility of making important decisions for their children, including decisions about education, religion, activities, and more. Parents will also need to determine a schedule that dictates when a child will spend physical time with one parent or the other. They will need to create a detailed parenting plan they can refer to as they co-parent.
- Child support – If there is a financial discrepancy between parents or if a child will spend significantly more time with one parent than the other, the court may order one parent to pay child support. Child support is based on specific guidelines set out by the state that takes into account the income of the parents. In limited circumstances, a court may stray from the guidelines, such as in cases involving significant wealth or unusual situations. Courts may modify child support down the road if a substantial change in financial circumstances takes place for one or both parents.
- Spousal support – Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is not an issue in every divorce case. However, if the spouses have substantially different earning abilities, the court may award one spouse financial support from the other for a period of time. This is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce case.
Our attorneys know that resolving the complicated issues listed above can involve the examination of many financial documents. We are here to identify all relevant issues in your case and help to find solutions that work best for you.
Finding a Method That Works for You
Each divorce case is unique, and many factors may come into play when resolving divorce matters. For example, a prenuptial agreement may mandate a specific amount of spousal support or agree to the payment of no spousal support at all. Couples may agree on how to resolve all issues, some issues, or may fight over every little detail. Our attorneys will identify the best options to resolve your case depending on your unique circumstances.
Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the various options available to separating or divorcing couples. Some people start with a legal separation and decide later to move forward with a divorce.
Reaching an out-of-court settlement agreement with your spouse is always more efficient and economical, as well as less stressful and emotionally draining. Relatively amicable, affordable and mutually empowering processes such as mediation, negotiation, or collaborative divorce might interest you.
Regardless, we will help you determine what options work best for your specific situation while considering your concerns involving:
- Property division
- Asset and debt division
- Legal decision-making and parenting time
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
Our attorneys also realize that spouses cannot always reach their own resolution. For example, if your spouse refuses to agree to a fair division of property or custody arrangement, your best interests may dictate that we present your arguments to the court for approval.
When one or more issues in a divorce go to trial, each side will present its case, and the court will then determine how to resolve the matter. A trial is generally more adversarial and costly than a settlement, though it can prove necessary in difficult divorce cases. Our attorneys are skilled litigators who know how to protect your rights and interests in the courtroom as well as at the negotiating table.
At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we help you analyze the costs and benefits of divorce litigation. Our attorneys appreciate the economic and emotional value of reaching a negotiated settlement when appropriate. However, we are prepared to aggressively litigate your case in court through final trial when there are no reasonable possibilities of settlement.
What You Can Expect, and What You Should Bring to Your Initial Consultation
When you come to our Phoenix or Scottsdale office for your first consultation, you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion. Our goal is to make the process easier for you and less confusing. We strive to ensure that you fully understand your rights and options when it comes to divorce.
We encourage you to bring the following with you to your initial consultation:
- A list of your questions and concerns. Maybe you want to know about the likelihood of gaining full custody of your kids, or perhaps you’re wondering how long the process will take from start to finish. Don’t hesitate to ask us.
- Financial information. Bringing copies of your recent pay stubs and tax returns can make it easier for us to understand your financial situation — and to better advise you on issues such as assets and property division, child support and spousal maintenance.
- Existing legal documents. If you have a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement or other court orders in place, bring them along to your first appointment with us. It may likely play a key role in your case.
How Our Phoenix Divorce Lawyers Can Assist You
Are you thinking about filing for divorce? Has your spouse started divorce proceedings?
At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we are always ready to encourage cooperation to resolve divorce issues in the most economical and efficient manner possible. However, our legal team is also well-equipped to represent clients in adversarial divorce cases. We can review your situation and advise you what you may expect from the Arizona divorce process.
Facing divorce is never easy, but having the right family law firm on your side can make it easier. Our goal is to help you obtain the results you want quickly, efficiently, and economically.
If you would like more information about our services, do not hesitate to call our office at (480) 645-9077 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation and see how we can help you through the divorce process.