Do I Have to Respond to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona?

If you were served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or a Petition for Legal Separation (hereinafter “Petition”), ignoring it may result in unfair or otherwise undesirable orders. If you fail to formerly respond to the Petition within 20 calendar days of service (or within 30 days, if you were served outside of Arizona), your spouse could file an Application and Affidavit of Default.  You should receive a copy of this document in the mail.  If you fail to respond to the Petition … [Read more...]

When is Collaborative Law the Best Option for my Arizona Divorce?

A. What is Collaborative Divorce Law? Collaborative law is a method of resolving disputes without litigation. The parties agree to stop, delay or avoid litigation and hire professionals trained in collaborative law to negotiate settlement. The parties may just hire their own collaboratively trained divorce attorneys or other professionals as well. Financial experts and child specialists (where children are at issue) are jointly retained. The parties agree not to go to Court, agree to … [Read more...]

Divorce Mediation Arizona – Choose Your Own Slogan

I am convinced that, if more people knew about mediation and its benefits, more people would use it as an alternative to litigation or ongoing conflict. My challenge has been overcoming the paradigm that has been in place for hundreds of years: conflict = lawyers = litigation. Because we live in a world of two minute sound bites and catchy (or annoying) jingles, I have tried, without too much success, to come up with some snappy slogans. See if any of these resonate with you, or suggest a few … [Read more...]

Arizona Divorce Process and Taxes

When in an Arizona divorce, it is very important to plan the transfer of property between spouses very carefully. In most cases, no taxable income is recognized on the transfer of property such as stocks and real estate between spouses. Unfortunately, taxable consequences can be quite severe post-divorce if tax considerations are ignored. In order for non-recognition to apply, the transfer of property must be considered “incident to a divorce.” To qualify, the transfer must occur … [Read more...]

Can I Get Divorced In Arizona If I Am Out Of The State Or Country?

As long as you or your spouse has been a resident of Arizona for 90 days or more at the time of filing, you can get a divorce in Arizona.  If you are in the military and serving overseas, Arizona may still be your residence. If you are divorcing using mediation or another cooperative means, you do not even have to come to Arizona to complete the divorce. With mediation, all discussions can occur over the phone or via Skype, or another online conference site.  The mediator would draft all the … [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...]

What Is A Default Decree Or Default Divorce In Arizona?

A divorce is initiated in Arizona when a party filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The party who files the Petition is called the “Petitioner.”  The other party is called the “Respondent.”  The Petitioner has to serve the Respondent with the Petition.  Service is completed with the aid of a process server.  In the alternative, service is completed when the Respondent voluntarily signs a document called an Acceptance of Service.  The Respondent, if living in state, has 20 days to file … [Read more...]

Arizona Family Law Mediation – An Insider’s View

I am a legal assistant for a law and mediation firm in Scottsdale Arizona, and I assist with family law matters.  I have had a front row seat to observe the benefits of mediation, and the effect that costly and contentious divorce litigation has on all parties involved. With mediation, I see how happy our clients are with how quickly, inexpensively and amicably their divorce or other family law matter is completed.   The mediator helps the parties reach agreements in a comfortable and relaxed … [Read more...]

The Easy Arizona Divorce

The office supply store Staples is well known for their “Easy Button.”  A person presses the large red button and quickly gets what he/she wants. Is there an Easy Button for divorces in AZ?  There are admittedly very few easy divorces in Arizona because divorces are normally fraught with emotional pain.  But there is an “easy” divorce process – mediation. In mediation, the parties work cooperatively to reach agreements with the assistance of a mediator.  The mediator drafts and … [Read more...]

How Do Assets Get Divided In An Arizona Divorce?

In an Arizona divorce, the parties’ community property must be divided equitably. The Arizona Divorce Laws are as follows; What is community property? Community property includes any property obtained during the marriage.  The exception is property one party obtains through gift on inheritance. What does equitably mean? The law says community property should be “equitably” divided.  That means that the division should be near equal.  In other words, instead of dividing a couch in half, one … [Read more...]

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