Phoenix Divorce Lawyer

If you are facing or in the midst of a divorce in Phoenix, AZ, you may feel lost, confused, and unsure about your future. Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally painful experience, especially if you have minor children or significant assets that need to be divided. Knowing who to turn to can make all the difference.

You don’t need to face this challenge alone. Our experienced divorce lawyers can help you understand what to expect and guide you through the process every step of the way. Contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer at Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, at 623-294-2464 to learn about your options today.

PHOENIX ARIZONA FAMILY LAWYERS PROTECTING YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHILDREN, AND YOUR PROPERTY

Sometimes the hardest thing about being a divorce lawyer is having a difficult conversation with a client about the uphill battle they face. The various risks involved in pursuing a certain position in their divorce case also need to be addressed. An honest and effective divorce attorney knows how to inform their client of possible outcomes based on their experience and knowledge of Arizona family law, while doing so with compassion.

The divorce attorneys at our family law firm act as advisors and counselors to our clients in determining the best strategies for proceeding forward. Decisions regarding resolving certain issues out of court or proceeding to trial should be discussed openly and honestly with your Arizona divorce attorney.

Why Hire a Phoenix Family Lawyer for Your Divorce?

You may hope to make it through the divorce process without hiring a divorce attorney, especially if you or your spouse want to keep things civil. Unfortunately, even the simplest divorce may quickly become complicated despite good intentions. Without a knowledgeable divorce attorney on your side, you could end up with an unfair custody ruling, or lose your fair share of the assets you’ve worked so hard for over the years.

Our team of divorce attorneys at Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, can assist with the following:

We prefer to use low-cost mediation and negotiation methods whenever possible. However, if necessary, we will fight hard on your behalf. Our divorce lawyers know what’s at stake and will do everything possible to work toward a favorable outcome in your divorce case.

Child Custody and Visitation

The divorce process in Arizona can be very complex if you and your spouse have minor children to consider. One of our clients’ biggest questions is, “Who will end up with custody of the children?”

In Arizona, the Court and statutes use the terms “Legal Decision Making” and “Parenting Time” to define what is commonly known as “custody.”

  1. Legal Decision Making refers to which parent(s) are entitled to make the major decisions regarding the child(ren)’s education, health, and religious training.
  2. Parenting Time is the actual custody and visitation schedule that the parents will follow with the child(ren).

The idea is to uphold the best interests of the child. The court is required to consider statutory factors when determining Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time, such as:

During custody evaluation, judges will only consider your child’s preference for parenting time with each parent if they are old enough and of suitable maturity. This is dependent on a number of other variables. Also, keep in mind this is only one factor of several the Court has to consider.

  • The child’s relationship with parents, siblings, and anyone else who could affect the best interests of the child
  • The past, present, and future relationship between the child and their parents
  • Which parent is more likely to encourage a relationship between the child and their other parent
  • The parents’ and child’s physical and mental health
  • Whether a parent has committed domestic violence or child abuse
  • Whether a parent has made a false report about neglect or child abuse
  • Whether a parent has intentionally misled the court to gain an advantage in litigation

Domestic violence is another important factor affecting Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time in Arizona. If one parent committed domestic violence against the other parent or the child(ren), a judge might award them limited or supervised child visitation rights.

In Arizona, domestic violence includes:
Physical assault
Trespassing
Kidnapping
Intimidation
Harassment
Unlawful imprisonment
Stalking
Secretly watching victims without their consent

Child custody is a complex and sensitive issue for anyone going through a divorce, which is why you need a child custody attorney to advise you throughout the divorce process.

Child Support

Child support is another major issue that will need to be resolved during Arizona divorce cases. In most cases, the parent who does not have primary custody of the child(ren) will need to make child support payments to the other parent.

Unless agreed upon by the parties, Arizona uses a child support calculator to determine the child support amount, which is based on factors such as:

  • The number of children
  • Each parent’s income or imputed (potential) income
  • The number of parenting time days for each parent
  • The child’s educational, medical, and special needs expenses
  • Whether a parent pays alimony or has other children
  • The amount paid for the child’s health insurance

Whether you’re seeking to establish child support, apply for child support modification or enforce a child support order, our team will work hard to protect the best interests of both you and your child(ren). Call our family law firm for help with your child support agreement today.

Property Division

Arizona is a community property state. Essentially, unless a valid prenuptial agreement exists, the vast majority of all money and property received or earned by either spouse during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution or 50-50 division in divorce. This includes retirement accounts, stock options, personal collections and just about any other valuable asset you can name.

If you have a lot on the line in a high net worth divorce, your financial situation going forward may well depend not only on your attorney’s specific legal knowledge, but also on his or her financial acumen and access to quality professional resources. At Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, our property division attorneys exercise extreme diligence and rigor in defending our clients’ financial interests. Our proven capabilities cover the spectrum of:

  • Comprehensive, proactive investigation and analysis to ensure full financial disclosure is provided by the opposing party when property division may be contested
  • Due diligence to bring forth evidence that specific assets should be treated as separate property, rather than marital
  • Reliance on top-quality experts for testimony on issues such as the proper valuation of a business or professional practice
  • Specific understanding of allocation of military pensions and other key issues in a military divorce
  • Full-service representation on other financial issues such as negotiating property division or litigation of any spousal maintenance order

For an initial consultation to discuss fair property division and viable approaches to your case, please call 623-201-8773 or contact us online.

Alimony

Spousal support is not given in every divorce. Rather, the determination of whether to award alimony is dependent on your unique situation. Once the request for spousal support is granted, Arizona courts consider various alimony laws to decide on the amount and duration of alimony payments from one spouse to the other, including:

  • The accustomed standard of living throughout the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, and the physical and mental conditions of each spouse
  • The comparative financial resources of each spouse
  • Whether the contributions of one spouse affected the other’s earning capacity
  • The ability of the paying spouse to sufficiently support both themselves and their spouse

Call a Lincoln & Wenk alimony attorney for help with your questions about alimony payments, alimony tax implications, alimony modification, alimony eligibility, alimony agreement, and more today.

Contested and Uncontested Divorce

Looking for information on contested vs. uncontested divorce? You’ve come to the right place.

A divorce is generally considered “uncontested” if you and your spouse can agree on all of the issues, including division of property and debt, custody, child support, and alimony before filing, or very shortly thereafter.

There are many advantages of uncontested divorce for both spouses and their children. The uncontested divorce process is usually much less expensive than a divorce in which parties are not able to reach agreements. Moreover, the uncontested divorce timeline is shorter because spouses don’t need to spend months litigating their issues and dealing with the court’s schedule.

Uncontested divorce agreements often involve a dispute resolution method or mediation to help both parties decide on mutually-acceptable terms. At Lincoln & Wenk, we strongly advocate for mediation and believe in its benefits to both parties in a divorce case, including:

Spouses can preserve an amicable relationship going forward
Spouses are more likely tobuild a healthy co-parenting relationship
Spouses can have more input into decisions (rather than leaving it to a judge to decide)
Far less expensive than litigation

Our attorneys at Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, have decades of experience handling both contested and uncontested divorces in Arizona. Contact our firm for assistance with your uncontested divorce process or contested divorce steps today.

Same-sex Divorce

If you are in a same-sex marriage, you might want to know how Arizona’s same-sex divorce laws or LGBT family laws affect you. In Arizona, the divorce process for same-sex couples is the same as it is for people in heterosexual marriages. However, you and your family likely have unique circumstances, which means you could benefit from the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced same-sex divorce attorney.

Dating During a Divorce

Military Divorce

Divorce is challenging enough for civilians, but proceedings can be even more complicated for military members and veterans. You may have questions about military pension division or how military child custody will work if one or both spouses are stationed elsewhere.

If you are a veteran or active duty service member filing for divorce while deployed, you need the advice of a trusted military divorce attorney. Lincoln & Wenk is a veteran-owned law firm and our Goodyear, AZ office is conveniently located and in close proximity to Luke Air Force Base. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you navigate the military divorce process and related challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Arizona

Our divorce attorneys understand the divorce process can be messy and confusing. That’s why we put together answers to several commonly asked questions about divorce in Phoenix and throughout Arizona.

Q.

Who is Entitled to the House after a Divorce?

A.

Arizona is a community property state, which means the court will generally try to go for equitable distribution of all assets and property acquired during the marriage. Assets acquired before the marriage is considered separate property, which means it will not be divided between spouses, but confirmed to the spouse to which it belongs. However, if a spouse chose to mix (commingle) separate property with community property, the court may decide to award each spouse an equal part of its value. The property division laws are complex, so contact one of our divorce lawyers if you need assistance.

Q.

Who Normally Pays Attorneys’ Fees in Divorce?

A.

In the majority of cases, each party is typically responsible for covering their respective divorce attorney fees. Nevertheless, there are situations where a court may require one spouse to cover the legal expenses of the other. When it comes to getting a divorce in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona, the law grants judges the authority to use their discretion in ordering one spouse to shoulder some or all of the legal fees and associated costs of the other spouse. Furthermore, a judge may opt to award legal fees as a penalty for specific misbehavior during the divorce proceedings, such as hiding assets, lying for child custody, or engaging in fraudulent activities.

Q.

Can I move out of State During My Divorce?

A.

Moving out of the marital residence will not impact property division in divorce cases. Assuming the house is community property, it will remain so, and will be subject to division along with the rest of your marital property in the divorce case. However, like many other aspects of planning for and navigating a divorce, this step requires careful planning. This and similar issues illustrate the importance of working with an experienced Arizona property distribution attorney from the very beginning. Your attorney’s advice as you separate your households during or in preparation for your divorce can help you avoid missteps that could increase the conflict in your relationship, put stress on your children, and even impact your finances.

Q.

How Does Adultery Affect My Divorce in Arizona?

A.

Arizona operates on a no-fault divorce system, meaning that you aren’t required to provide a specific reason for wanting to end your marriage. Typically, people opt for the grounds of “irreconcilable differences” when filing for divorce. Even if you have evidence of your spouse’s infidelity, it’s often advisable to stick with irreconcilable differences. Trying to prove infidelity can add complications and expenses to your divorce proceedings.

It’s important to note that, generally, infidelity doesn’t significantly impact the key aspects of divorce, including the division of property, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Regardless of whether you cite fault in your divorce paperwork or not, you must still meet Arizona’s legal requirements to proceed with the divorce.

Q.

Can I File for Divorce in Arizona if We Were Married in Another State?

A.

Arizona Revised Statute 25-312 says that as long as one spouse has been an Arizona resident for 90 days, you can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) in Arizona, regardless of where you were married. It is not necessary for your spouse to be in Arizona as well.

Q.

Does it Matter who Files for Divorce First?

A.

In Arizona, the distinction between being the petitioner, responsible for initiating the divorce and completing the initial documentation, and the respondent, the individual who receives these documents, is not significant.

Q.

How Long is the Divorce Process in Arizona?

A.

If you and your spouse agree on everything before the divorce petition is filed, you could be legally divorced in as little as 60 days–the statutory minimum waiting period. If you have issues related to alimony payments, child custody, child support order, or property division in divorce that you can’t resolve by agreement, you may go to trial and let the judge decide on them. That process can take a year or more. Most Arizona divorce cases fall somewhere in the middle.

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Family Law Attorney in Phoenix, AZ

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