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Family Law Attorneys Representing Mesa Residents in Dissolving a Marriage
Marriage can be difficult, and sometimes marital difficulties become insurmountable, so a couple may decide to divorce. While many people focus on the emotional hardship that comes with the decision to divorce, it is important to consider the legal and financial ramifications of a divorce as well. If you intend to seek a divorce or are considering a divorce, it is critical to retain a Mesa divorce lawyer to help you pursue a favorable outcome. At Stromfors Law Office, we will assertively advocate on your behalf. We know what it takes to develop a plan to help you obtain a fair and durable resolution of your divorce case. We have close to two decades of experience helping residents of Maricopa County obtain divorces.
Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
In Arizona, a party seeking a divorce must file a petition for dissolution of marriage. At least one spouse must be a resident of the state for a minimum of 90 days prior to the filing of the petition. Additionally, there are certain facts and allegations that must be set forth in the petition. Arizona is a no-fault state, which means that a person filing a petition for dissolution of marriage does not need to assign blame to his or her spouse for the demise of the marriage. Instead, in most cases, the petitioner must simply allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one of the parties wishes to live separate and apart. If the marriage is a covenant marriage, however, the party seeking a divorce must allege one of the grounds enumerated under the law to obtain a covenant divorce.
The petition must also set forth information about each spouse, including their birth dates, addresses, and professions, as well as how long they have lived in the state. The petition must include information about when and where the parties were married as well, and it must indicate whether the marriage is a covenant marriage. Lastly, the petition must provide information regarding any children whom the parties have together, and it must provide the details of any agreements regarding spousal maintenance and child custody and support. Our divorce attorneys can help Mesa residents make sure that they thoroughly complete the petition.
Once a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, it must be served on the responding spouse, who must then file an answer in the required timeframe. If no answer is filed, the petitioner can seek a default divorce. If the responding spouse files an answer, however, the length of time before the court enters a divorce decree depends on several factors. If the parties can come to an agreement regarding issues such as property division, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance, they can file a consent decree. The parties must wait at least 60 days after the petition was served on the responding spouse before filing the consent decree. If the court finds the marriage to be irretrievably broken, it will issue a divorce decree.
In many cases, however, the parties will disagree on one or more issues, and it will take longer for the issues to be resolved. Retaining a Mesa divorce attorney is especially important in these situations. In many cases, the parties will conduct discovery to obtain information regarding the value of each spouse’s separate property and the value of any community property. If the parties have a child, they may also seek custody evaluations to determine which division of custody and parenting time would be in the child’s best interest. In most cases, the court will schedule an early resolution conference to attempt to settle any disputed issues. If the conference is unsuccessful, the judge may schedule a hearing before the conciliation court. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement following the conference and conciliation, the court may then conduct a trial on contested matters, during which each spouse can present evidence. Following the trial, the court will rule on the contested issues and set forth a divorce decree.
Retain a Skilled Attorney to Represent You in Your Divorce
A divorce not only changes your relationship status but also typically modifies your rights and property ownership. If you intend to dissolve your marriage, it is essential to retain a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in the Mesa area to assist you in protecting your rights. At Stromfors Law Office, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain a successful outcome, while being mindful of the emotional complexities that come with the decision to end a marriage. We can be contacted at (480) 237-1276 or through the online form to set up a consultation.