Family Law Attorneys Serving You

Skilled, Caring Divorce Attorneys You Can Rely On

Divorce is about the future, not the past. We help our clients develop positive solutions to their most difficult and personal issues, so they can move forward with their lives. We are compassionate counselors and strong advocates who work to protect our clients’ rights at all stages of the divorce process.

Helping You Move Forward

In guiding you through the divorce process, we will develop a comprehensive solution designed to enable you to move forward after your divorce.

We can address issues involving:

  • Uncontested and contested divorce
  • Legal separation
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Property division
  • Alimony (spousal support)
  • Post-decree modifications in support, custody and visitation

Whenever possible, we favor the use of quick and cost-effective negotiation or mediation to achieve workable solutions. If necessary, we are strong litigators who will not hesitate to take your case to trial to achieve your goals.

Legal Decision-Making And Parenting Time

In Arizona, courts make decisions regarding legal decision-making and parenting time based on the best interests of the child. Unless there are parental fitness issues or other concerns, the court generally favors joint legal decision-making and equal parenting time. Other arrangements and parenting time schedules are available, however, depending on the circumstances of the case.

At Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, we place the highest priority on achieving the best solutions possible in matters involving children. We understand there is no greater priority in a parent’s life than their children, and we will work to develop a custody arrangement that enables you to enjoy a rich and meaningful relationship with yours.

Property Division

The property settlement you receive forms the financial basis for your life after divorce. It is important, therefore, that we protect your rights to enable you to receive a favorable settlement. The law in Arizona states that all property received or earned during the marriage is community property, with some exceptions. Determining what was earned during the marriage and discovering what those assets are can be difficult if one party is uncooperative, and complex if those assets are numerous.

The lawyers at Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, have experience in a wide range of divorce and family law situations, including complex property division cases involving ownership of businesses, division of retirement accounts and other matters.

Answers To Common Questions About Arizona Divorce

Below, we’ve answered some of the most common divorce questions clients ask us. After reading, we invite you to ask any additional questions you may have during an initial consultation.

How much will my divorce cost?

Because each divorce is different from the last, we do not have a one-size-fits-all approach to cost. However, we are sensitive to your needs and goals throughout this potentially turbulent time. You may have complex financial concerns as they relate to the dissolution of your marriage, including on alimony, the division of your marital property, child support and more. We will be upfront about the cost of your divorce when we meet with you and offer flexible fees dependent on your situation.

How long does divorce take in Arizona?

Arizona law has a 60-day waiting period from the date of service of the petition. Beyond that, however, it’s impossible to predict exactly how long a case will take. Straightforward, uncontested cases can be resolved through an agreement in as little as a few months. For more complex or contested cases, it could take a year or more to reach a final outcome. Much depends on the individual circumstances of your case, including:

      • Whether you have minor children
      • Whether you agree about custody
      • The value and complexity of the marital estate
      • Whether you agree about who will keep the house and other aspects of property division
      • Both parties’ incomes and employment histories
      • Whether there are any disputed alimony claims
      • Whether one spouse is hiding assets

An attorney may be able to give you an estimate of how long your divorce might take. However, because unexpected issues or disputes could arise at any time, there are no guarantees.

What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on the major issues – property division, alimony, child custody and child support – and all that’s left is to iron out the details. The divorce can be concluded outside of court by mutual agreement. The upside of an uncontested divorce is that it is much less costly and time-consuming. However, it’s still wise to consult with an attorney so you don’t end up overlooking critical details or agreeing to an unfavorable arrangement that comes back to haunt you later.

In a contested divorce, by contrast, the parties disagree over one or more major issues. Contested divorces don’t always end up in court. You may still be able to reach an agreement through mediation.

How do I file for divorce?

In Arizona, a divorce is officially called a “dissolution of marriage.” The process starts with filing a dissolution petition, which typically lays out what you’re looking for in the divorce (requests for spousal maintenance and other details of property division or custody, for instance). Your spouse then needs to be served with the dissolution petition and will have time to file a response. How things go from there will depend on whether aspects of the divorce are contested.

Whether you are the filing spouse or the responding spouse, the best way to protect yourself and keep your legal options open is to consult an experienced attorney like those at our firm.

Do I have to disclose all my finances during divorce?

Yes, you do. This is a legal mandate and you need to sign a financial affidavit attesting that you are telling the truth about your finances. Lying about or failing to disclose finances can result in a range of penalties if a judge finds out – and they usually do because good attorneys do the work to uncover hidden assets and follow up on financial discrepancies.

The upside to all of this is that your spouse isn’t allowed to lie or conceal, either. This will ensure a fair division of property under Arizona law.

Can I get divorced without going to court?

Yes, there are a number of options that may allow you to avoid going to court altogether, or to appear just once to finalize an agreement and formalize a divorce. The most straightforward approach is to file uncontested divorce, which is mentioned above.

If you and your spouse can agree on all terms of property division, custody and other aspects of the divorce before paperwork is ever filed, you can document the terms in your initial divorce petition, which will then need to be filed with the court. Your divorce could be finalized in approximately 60 days.

Uncontested divorce is not an option for everyone because there are often disagreements about some divorce terms. In such cases, you can still greatly limit your court appearances by using a form of alternative dispute resolution like mediation.

Consult With An Experienced Divorce Lawyer

To schedule an initial consultation with a skilled attorney Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, call 623-748-4890 or contact us online. We provide legal guidance to people throughout the Goodyear, Peoria and greater Phoenix areas.