The Biggest Mistake You Can Make If You Have A Support Obligation In Arizona

If you owe child support or spousal maintenance through the Court, the potentially biggest mistake you can make is to enter an informal side agreement with the other parent or former spouse to do something other than what was ordered. Such agreements may include: ·      Temporarily or permanently stopping or modifying the obligation; ·      Agreeing to delay modifying the obligation through the Court; and ·      Agreeing to direct payments when payments are required through the … [Read more...]

Going Separate Ways: An Arizona Divorce and Your Home

When a couple makes the difficult decision to divorce, the stress of dealing with financial details related to the home can be overwhelming. Our mortgage experts can help sort out the home ownership and mortgage issues. In this time when focusing on the future can be difficult, our professionals specialize in helping individuals learn more about choices they have regarding the home mortgage. Questions that may need to be addressed: How is the title (ownership) to the home currently … [Read more...]

Courts Recognize the Importance of Mediation

In 2004, a Court elucidated the importance of mediation recently espoused by many Courts around the world. In Halsey v. Milton Keynes General NHS Trust, the British Civil Court of Appeal decided that alternative dispute resolution - including mediation - is necessary upon request of one party. A party's unreasonable refusal to participate in mediation constitutes unreasonable litigation conduct.  Since the decision, other Courts have stiffened its expectations regarding the need to respond to … [Read more...]

Arizona Family Law Masters

What is a family law master?  The Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure define a family law master as “a person appointed by the court, including a family law conference officer, to take evidence on one or more disputed issues and submit a report to the court containing findings of fact and conclusions of law.” How does a family law master get appointed?  A family law master may be appointed based on the stipulation of the parties or on the Court’s own motion.  ARFLP 72(A).  Who can be a … [Read more...]

Can Military Personnel Mediate Their Divorce In Arizona

USA Today reports that the military divorce rate is at its highest level since 1999.  See Military divorce rate at highest level since 1999, by Gregg Zoroya.  According to the article, almost 30,000 marriages in which at least one spouse was a member of the military ended in divorce.  The numbers are expected to rise as more troops are being withdrawn.  Why is this happening?  The article quotes Chaplain Caarleton Birch, who attributes the high divorce numbers to the fact that more military … [Read more...]

Do I Need A Prenup In Arizona, and Can I Get One Through Mediation?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts entered prior to marriage to address issues during the marriage and in the case of divorce.  Prenuptial agreements are not required.  However, some people feel more comfortable launching into marriage with some financial protections in place. A common use for prenuptial agreements is to ensure someone’s sole property (property obtained prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage) remains his or her sole property in the case of a … [Read more...]

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Getting A Divorce in AZ – Part 1

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. In this two part article, I discuss the five most common mistakes I have seen people make during the divorce process (and other family law matters). 1. Making Decisions Based on Emotion, Rather Than Reason. Divorces are one of the most stressful and painful events one can experience in life. Often, one or both … [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 Child Support and Recent Revisions to the Guidelines

Arizona uses guidelines to determine appropriate child support.  The guidelines base the amount of child support entered on: Both parties’ incomes or attributed incomes (the Court can attribute income if a parent could earn more than he/she is earning); Whether either parent is paying or receiving spousal maintenance to/from the other; Whether either parent has other children; The number of children; The number of children over age 12; The cost of health insurance premiums for the … [Read more...]

Using Mediation To Form A Prenuptial Agreement In Arizona

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two parties who intend to marry detailing their money-related agreements.  Arizona refers to these agreements as “premarital agreements” and defines them as agreements:  “between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.”  Agreements can address issues during the marriage, and in the case of divorce. To be valid, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.  One can fight the … [Read more...]

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