What To Expect During the Divorce Process

Are you considering ending your marriage and have questions about what to expect during the divorce process? Contact our Phoenix lawyers now.

Choosing A Divorce Attorney

What To Expect During the Divorce ProcessWhen you’re choosing a divorce attorney, you’ll find a wide range of divorce lawyers. Should I get that aggressive, bulldog attorney? Or should I get the guy that specializes in fathers’ rights, or that represents females, or abuse victims? You’re going to see people that profess to have a wide range of experience in all different kinds of law. You someone who is a divorce lawyer.

What’s more important than any of that stuff, you need someone that has experience in the law. They need to understand that this is a family. It’s two people’s lives who have been joined together. They’ve in some cases have had children together. This is not just representing someone and collecting a paycheck. It is trying to piece together the family. Sometimes family lawyers forget that these people still have to be involved with each other, especially those that have children, have to be involved with each other long after the Decree of Dissolution has been issued by an applicable court of competent jurisdiction.

These people still have to get along, their children, their grandchildren, and their family members that don’t go away. You have to have someone who understands the dynamic of the family, that are sensitive and empathetic to the issues, the concerns, and to the needs, but that has the ability to balance, and deal with the emotions that come along. Not only to counsel as it relates to arduous representation but sometimes to counsel the client. It’s a very arduous process. It becomes an emotional process sometimes for even the lawyers. We have families ourselves. We have children ourselves and spouses ourselves. You really want someone that has that great balance, that legal prowess, that professional decorum to themselves, but that empathy that understands that this is the dynamic of a family, and that can meet that client where they are emotionally.

Oftentimes, that client being represented by that lawyer is a part of the healing process of them moving forward in their lives. I would always tell someone that’s looking for family law, look at somebody that knows how to aggressively represent you, but that also knows how to walk that fine line and that balance into making sure that they are being holistic in their counsel to you, and they understand the dynamic of the family. You’ll have a spectrum of lawyers out there. Some people that are way too much on the emotional counseling side and some people that are just way too much – they’re just all legal. They don’t care anything about it. Write them a check, they’re showing up to court. You won’t want either of those extremes.

I think you want someone that can occupy that middle space and can represent you arduously, make sure your claims are forwarded, but understand that you at the end of the day are a human. This is your family whether you’re glad to get out or whether you still have some hesitancy in getting out. Each case is different. Have that lawyer that you can connect with, that you understand, that understands where you are, and what your interests are. They can represent that interest and help you move forward to the next place of your life.

Cost of Divorce

In reality that’s a very difficult question; it’s almost impossible for us to know, from the very beginning, how much it’s going to cost.  All divorces are different.  Some divorces, there’s not a lot of property involved.  In some divorces, there’s tons of property involve.  Some divorces have kids, some divorces don’t have kids.  Some divorces, the two parties can get together and they can work out a reasonable agreement.  In some divorces, they fight over every single thing.  It really depends on your specific situation.

Serving Divorce Papers

That requires us to locate the other party, first of all. Are they in state? Are the out of state? It requires us to look at the nature of the divorce. A lot of that can be determined with our interview with our client. Is this going to be a highly contentious divorce? Have there been past domestic violence issues? Are they still living in the same house? Does our client know where the other party lives or works?
There are a number of factors that we analyze to determine what the best pathway is. It must be pursuant to the rules of family law in the state of Arizona. We must do it by procedure because there is a certain way that they must be served. We would find out the most productive means of service that subjects our client to the least amount of liability, especially if the other party does not know that they are going to be served with divorce papers.

If there is some mutuality, we may even invite the other party in and have them sign the acceptance of service in the office if their divorce is that amicable. If the other party is, for example, an ex-veteran with a gun safe as big as an office, and they’ve been fighting with their spouse for the last three years and struggle with suicidal tendencies, then I would absolutely not send the client over there to serve them with divorce papers. I’d even be reluctant to send a process server over there in circumstances similar to that. We would figure out the best, and safest way to serve these papers.

It is a case by case basis. Once you’re represented by our law firm, it becomes our responsibility to determine the method of service and make sure that it is consistent with the rules of family law procedure in Arizona. This service must be effective, because there are certain things attached to the service that you would want in place prior to the divorce proceeding to its next phase.

Children and Divorce

This is a very tough process for the parents. It’s a very tough process for the children regardless of their age range because things are about to change for those children. Things are about to change for those parents. Arizona has codified, within its revised statute, certain requirements that even attempt to speak to that arduous effect that this would have on children. For example, in Arizona, if there are children involved in a divorce, there’s a mandatory parenting class that you have to take. If you don’t take that parenting class, you could waive your right to parenting time, and/or decision-making authority with your children. That’s how strict Arizona is because it becomes a tough process with the children.

Some people ask, will my children have a say in who they stay with? Who’s going to pay child support? Who are the kids going to spend the night with? Who’s going to be the custodial parent? All of these things are things that are answered during the course of the divorce. There’s a number of factors that are considered. We can sign a Prenuptial Agreement delineating out certain things as it relates to the kids.

They might not understand that broadly you cannot delineate out certain things as it relates to the kids in the Prenuptial Agreement. The court makes a decision for the child that’s in the best interest of the child. What you agree to in a Prenuptial Agreement may not be what’s in the best interest of the child now.

There are certain things that the court will want to see: A Financial Affidavit of Records. They would want to get information with the child. Sometimes the child sits with a therapist or a counselor. Sometimes they get the child’s input depending on the age. Who’s the child been with? Have you been in prison for seven years? You come out and all of a sudden, you want custody rights to your child. There’s no hard-line rule as to what the court would do. The framework is what’s in the best interest of the child, making sure that the child’s life stays as consistent as possible.

Consider meeting with the lawyer. They would do a thorough interview with you about the child, about where the child goes to school. Do the parents live in the same neighborhood? Do they live in the same state? There is a myriad of things that have to be looked at when deciding about the children. What’s important to the divorcees that are going through the process is that divorces can have a long-lasting, substantial, and negative impact on children if not handled properly. We try to walk our clients through that process with a great decree of sensitively but also representing the interest that our clients want. You want to sit down and discuss all these factors with an attorney and come up with a strategy that’s in the best interest of the child because that is what the court is going to use broadly as a standard in making its decision as it relates to the parenting time, and as it relates to decision-making authority, or what’s commonly known as custody in other jurisdictions.

Are you considering divorce and have questions about what to expect during the divorce process? Call our experienced and dedicated Phoenix divorce lawyers for a free confidential consultation and legal case evaluation.

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