Limited Scope Representation Arizona

In Arizona, someone with a family law issue can hire an attorney to fully represent him/her in a case, or to perform a specific task. Full representation usually entails a significant upfront fee.  The attorney is then responsible for communicating with the other party or his/her attorney, determining what needs to be filed and completed in the case, completing all paperwork, reviewing all Court documents and appearing in any Court hearing, conference or trial. When an attorney is hired to … [Read more...]

A Happy Divorce

Divorce can be one of the most stressful, upsetting events in a person’s life.  But, does it have to be? A February 13, 2012 Newsweek Article entitled:  “Divorce Parties on the Rise as Divorce Becomes Acceptable” by Rebecca Dana discusses the rise of amicable divorces.  Ms. Dana profiles one ex-couple who describe their divorce as a “happy, functional split” and another couple who had a joint divorce party and told their guests: “As we change the parameters of our relationship, our mutual … [Read more...]

What Do Arizona’s Rules Say About Arbitration in Family Law Cases?

What is the definition of “arbitration”?  Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (hereinafter “ARFLP”) 66(B) defines arbitration as:  “a process in which parties agree to submit the issue(s) in the dispute to a neutral third party or parties retained by the parties for a binding decision, in accordance with the Arizona Arbitration Act, A.R.S. §§ 12-1501 to 1518.”  Can family law litigants stipulate to use arbitration?  Yes.  ARFLP 67(c). What issues can be arbitrated?  Parties can arbitrate … [Read more...]

What We Can All Learn From Celebrity Divorces

Celebrity divorces gain national attention.  The nasty celebrity divorces that drag on for years are regular tabloid fodder (Think of Paul McCartney’s divorce).  As a nation, we collectively shake our heads as both sides leak out embarrassing information about the other party and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys and experts. What gains a less attention - but really deserves more attention - are the celebrities who choose divorce mediation to end their marriages with dignity … [Read more...]

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Getting A Divorce in Arizona – Part 2

I have practiced in the area of family law in Arizona for over 15 years. I have litigated divorce cases, mediated divorce cases and worked with a team in a collaborative divorce. This is Part 2 of this article, in which I discuss the five most common mistakes I have seen people make during the divorce process (and other family law matters). Click here to see Part 1. 3. Failing To Realize That, In Litigation, Your Spouse Will Make Sure Anything You Say Or Do Will Be Held Against You. … [Read more...]

Dear Abby Hits The Nail On The Head Regarding Mediated Divorces

On March 27, 2011, someone wrote in to Dear Abby explaining that he wanted to mediate his divorce, and his wife told him if he wanted a divorce, he would need to get a lawyer.  Abby, in her infinite wisdom responded: I have seen both kinds of divorces — one in which the warring spouses spent so much money in litigation there was little left for each of them when it was over; and the other, in which the couple agreed their marriage was broken beyond repair and arranged their divorce with as … [Read more...]

What Happens in an Arizona Divorce Mediation: Step By Step (Part One)

This Article is part of a two part series describing the process when I mediate a divorce matter in Arizona.  The process is similar for other mediated family law cases where documents need to be filed with the Court.  The filing fees will be different depending on the type of matter.  Where filing documents with the Court is unnecessary, only steps 1-3 are utilized. Link to Part 2 1.     The process starts when you contact my office to schedule a complimentary consultation.  If you and your … [Read more...]

Proposed New Custody Laws in Arizona

The Arizona legislature is considering significant changes to the state’s child custody laws.  First, the proposed new law essentially creates a presumption that parents will be awarded joint custody (meaning that the parties are to make important decisions for the children together).  Arizona Revised Statute (“A.R.S.”) § 25-403(C) would state:  “In a disputed family law matter involving children, if both parents are found to be fit or capable to be a parent, the court shall not award sole … [Read more...]

What is an Arizona Custody Agreement?

In Arizona, parties to a divorce, paternity or modification action are encouraged to reach agreements regarding their children. The parties must first decide if they will have joint custody or one party has sole custody.  Custody is a function of decision-making.  Joint custodians make important decisions for the children (medical, educational, religious) together. Parenting times means, not surprisingly, what days / times the children spend with both parents.  Parenting time … [Read more...]

The Family Law Mediation Process In Arizona Explained

When you use Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC to mediate your dissolution or paternity action, the sequence of events is normally as follows: 1.     The two parties can come in for a complimentary consultation.  They can ask any questions they have about the process and select a mutually agreeable mediation appointment.  Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC provides after-hours mediations where the parties’ schedules require it. 2.     Prior to the first session, the mediator e-mails (or mails) … [Read more...]

Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 776-8271