Phoenix Family Law Attorney
Understanding Your Rights in Arizona
Family law encompasses a large variety of issues, from the drafting of prenuptial agreements to the resolution of divorce-related matters such as asset division and child custody. While it is not required by law to hire a Phoenix divorce attorney, it is often a very wise idea. The laws can get very complicated and situations may become more than you can handle on your own. Before you make this important decision, it is helpful to have more additional information about
divorce law and your rights during a divorce.
We have gathered basic information about the various areas of family law that our legal team can handle on the behalf of individuals and families. Please review the information below or click on a particular topic to learn more about that subject. Here at The Wallin Law Firm we look forward to serving you and we invite you to call our firm for additional answers to any questions you may have.
Child custody is typically one of the most disputed areas of a divorce. An agreement will need to be reached regarding the child's living arrangements and who will make decisions about health care, religion and education. If divorcing spouses cannot reach their own agreement, the court will rule upon the matter.
Both parents of a child have an obligation to support the child. After a divorce, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support payments may also be necessary when parents have joint custody.
Cohabitation is the term used to describe couples who live together but are not married. More and more partners and couples are choosing to cohabit in order to reduce living expenses and avoid the social, personal and legal commitment of marriage. It is wise to create a Cohabitation Agreement in order to protect the rights of each partner in the event of a separation.
A divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. Spouses must work out their own agreements or must have the court rule upon such issues as custody and visitation, the division of property and liabilities, child support and spousal support. Because of the legal and financial implications of a divorce, it is important to approach your case with experienced legal counsel.
Mediation is a process that enables disputing parties the opportunity to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom. In this process, a neutral third party, a mediator, works to guide the parties to a mutually beneficial agreement.
One of the trickiest areas of family law generally pertains to domestic violence, a situation where violence or abuse is occurring between family members, spouses or ex-spouses. In these situations, an attorney may be able to help you obtain a restraining order that will protect you from further abuse, as well as assist you with seeking full custody of your children.
Grandparents have a special relationship with their grandchildren, but this important bond can be severed when parents decide to divorce or separate. Arizona family law provides strict rules for the rights of grandparents in regards to custody, visitation and adoption, and any decision that is made must be in the best interests of the child.
If you are trying to obtain guardianship over a child, there are certain legal steps that must be taken in order to prove that the guardianship is in the "best interest of the child", and the Superior Court may still chose to grant visitation rights to other people who stand in loco parentis to a child.
An alternative to ending your marriage through divorce is to legally separate from your spouse instead. Legal separations must be enacted by court order and a professional divorce attorney should be employed to help you complete the process properly.
When one or both spouses are in the military, a divorce can be slightly more complicated to deal with. There are certain laws that will apply in a military divorce that will not apply in a civilian divorce. There is also the possibility that a spouse will be stationed in another state or overseas.
Modification of Child Custody
If you are looking to change your original custody agreement, there are a couple of factors that the court will take into consideration before approving your request. Arizona family courts take into account the best interests of the child and the child's relationship to each parent before approving any changes to the custody agreement that was formed after divorce.
Modification of Child Support
Are you looking to modify your original child support agreement? Many parents seek a court-ordered modification after they have experienced financial hardship or after the other parent has received an increase in income.
Determining paternity may be a crucial part of child custody or child support proceedings. Arizona laws provide each parent with certain rights and obligations with their child, and either parent can petition the court to order a DNA test to verify if a father is the actual biological parent. Paternity issues will have a direct correlation to child custody and child support agreements.
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are becoming more common in marriages in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. More and more people remarry or marry later in life, and they have already acquired assets that may need protection in the event of a divorce. An agreement of this kind may prove a wise preventative measure.
How will your property be affected in your divorce? This is an important issue to consider. You may wonder what will happen with the family home or may be interested in finding out how your assets and debt will be divided. An attorney can help you approach this issue while protecting your rights and financial interests.
A situation may arise where a parent wishes to move a significant distance, to another county or state, for a job opportunity, to be with family or for another reason. In these cases, child custody may need to be addressed. Parental relocation proceedings can be complex, and the parent who is relocating will need to prove that the change is in the child's best interests.
In some divorces, one spouse may be required to contribute to the other spouse, financially. Spousal support may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the marriage and divorce.
Termination of Parental Rights / Adoption
Any adult resident of Arizona is eligible to adopt regardless of whether they are unmarried, married or legally separated. While this commonly happens when a divorce takes place, it can also happen when grandparents are looking to adopt grandchildren and childless couples are looking to adopt children.
When a parent does not have custody of a child, he or she may have the right to visitation in order to remain involved in the child's life. Visitation may be granted on a set schedule and may be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the specific case.
Why a Divorce Attorney?
Every divorce is different and every family will have varying issues that will need to be addressed. As such, determining whether to hire an attorney is a personal decision you must make. Because divorce proceedings have the potential to be complicated and contentious, you may find it beneficial to involve an attorney who can guide you in the right direction while protecting your legal rights and financial interests to the fullest extent.
Resolving Divorce in a Timely Manner
Family matters frequently enter into litigation when the parties involved cannot agree on the terms of the issue at hand. In such instances, the retaining of a lawyer can mean the difference between a negative case outcome and a resolution that is wholly favorable to the individual. If you are in need of help in settling a family matter such as a divorce or visitation rights, contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer who can speak on your behalf and work to reach an outcome that best serves your needs.
Our team at The Wallin Law Firm is a knowledgeable and dedicated group that serves individuals throughout the Phoenix area. We are available to provide you with compassionate and focused legal representation in your case. Contact us today if you are seeking the resolution of a family law issue, and we will work diligently in an effort to come to a conclusion in your case that is advantageous to you. When you schedule your free initial consultation, we can begin to address the issues that are important to you.