Divorce is one of the most stressful areas of law. Ending a committed relationship that involves the dissolution and restructuring of familial bonds can be difficult or even impossible to handle alone. Keith A. Singer has the experience necessary to help people just like you with families just like yours.
The Law Office of Keith Singer, PLLC, based in Tucson Arizona, focuses on family law, divorce law, and child custody law. Having the right legal counsel help you navigate the complicated waters of divorce can make the experience tolerable.
While no one can predict the outcome of any divorce or legal action, having the right lawyer on your side can help you achieve an outcome that is best for you.
It Doesn’t Matter If Your Spouse Cheated
Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. This means you don’t need to give a reason for wanting to get divorced. You just need to declare that you want one.
In a no-fault divorce state, you don’t have to prove adultery, abandonment, abuse, or any other reason for your divorce. There is no need to present testimony. There’s no need to prove fault. You only need to show that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
Your Marriage is Irretrievably Broken
Arizona only requires that the court find that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means that there is no reasonable chance that you and your spouse will reconcile.
In order to grant your divorce, the court must find there is little chance that you and your spouse will get back together. Usually, both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. When this happens, there is no need for evidence or testimony.
There is One Exception to the Rule
In a no-fault divorce state like Arizona, there is still only one exception to the no-fault rule. If you and your spouse entered into what is known as a covenant marriage, then you must prove fault in order for the court to grant your divorce.
Covenant marriages are special religious marriages and are extremely rare. You would be well aware if your marriage was a covenant marriage. If you don’t think you entered into a covenant marriage, chances are you didn’t.
What’s Your Next Step
It may be easier than you think to begin the process of getting divorced. With the right advocate, it’s not as scary or intimidating as you might imagine. The Law Office of Keith A. Singer is the advocate you need.
You may even be eligible to take advantage of our Single Attorney Solutions for Divorce.
If you are interested in learning more about Arizona’s No-Fault Divorce or if you have other questions or concerns about a family law matter, please Contact The Law Office of Keith A. Singer or call 520.795.1800.
One Divorce. One Attorney.
Divorce doesn’t have to be adversarial. You can choose not to fight. You can choose to work together to amicably end your marriage. You can choose to reach a more efficient and relatively quick settlement. You can choose to avoid a court appearance.
The latest trend in Family Law, with regard to divorce, is the Single Attorney Solution. Divorcing couples our choosing the path of least resistance and deciding to work together to end their marriage. By choosing a resolution with little to no conflict, they are able to maintain a sense of dignity and balance that is often lost during a traditional conflict-filled divorce.
A Single Attorney Solution Can Be Much Easier
Some divorces are amicable. Some divorces are not. If you and your (soon to be ex) spouse are on the amicable side of your divorce, a single attorney solution may be right for you.
If you are comfortable working together to reach the terms of your divorce and you both agree on the distribution of your assets, a Single Attorney Solution can be a viable solution.
While a Single Attorney Solution may not work for everyone, it does work for many couples. If it’s a simple matter of having someone help navigate the legal paperwork, a Single Attorney Solution is an excellent choice.
Bound By Ethics
While a Single Attorney Solution is usually more efficient and often results in a relatively quick settlement, there are a few important issues to note.
When working as a Single Attorney Solution, The Law Office of Keith A. Singer is bound by the Rules of Ethics and of Professional Responsibility. These Rules prohibit the simultaneous representation of both parties in a legal matter. This means that The Law Office of Keith A. Singer is bound by law to only represent one of the parties; the other party must represent themselves. The unrepresented party is encouraged, but not required, to retain independent counsel at any, or every, stage of the process.
With this in mind, it is important to state that The Law Office of Keith A. Singer has ethically and successfully served many families and couples in the capacity of a Single Attorney Solution.
A Single Attorney Solution is most successful in cases where the parties are on reasonably good terms and agree on most of the important issues. Where they want to reach a expeditious resolution, but they are not comfortable with or are unknowledgeable about the legal process.
If you are interested in learning more about a Single Attorney Solution for Divorce or have other questions or concerns about a family law matter, please Contact The Law Office of Keith A. Singer or call 520.795.1800.
In Arizona, you may get divorced in one of three ways:
Divorce Law: Divorce by Consent
If you and your spouse are able to agree to the terms of your divorce, you may be able to be divorced by consent. This process can be completed in as little at 61 days and does not require you or your spouse to appear in court.
Divorce Law: Divorce by Default
If the responding party does not respond to the divorce, you may be able to be divorced by default. The default process requires additional paperwork. Certain issues may not be able to be addressed through the default process. The default process does require one of the parties to appear in court for a default hearing.
Divorce Law: Divorce by Trial
Finally, there is the traditional way of getting divorced wherein both parties participate in a trial to decide any unresolved issues.
Divorce Law: The Petition
To start a divorce, you or your spouse must file a petition. Then, the other spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the petition. In both cases, parties may hire a divorce attorney to help. Informal settlement conversations may start at any point in the process. There is a formal requirement of a settlement conversation, wherein both spouses sit down with a judge pro tempore. The judge pro tempore tries to help the parties reach agreements to all of the issues in the case. If any issues remain after the settlement conference, there will be a trial to resolve the remaining issues. There may also be evidentiary issues that need to be addressed before going to trial.
If children are involved, both parties are required to complete a mandatory parent education course through the Family Conciliation Court. Once both parents have completed that course, the parents are required to attend mediation. At mediation, a trained mediator will work with both parties to resolve the issues relating to the children. Any issues that are not resolved by mediation will be issues that the judge will decide at a trial, if necessary.
Divorce Law: The Paperwork
The divorce paperwork is a critical component to your divorce. It is possible to complete divorce forms on your own, at a self-help legal clinic, or with the help of a divorce attorney. The forms can be confusing and may not include all of your options. There are different forms that need to be filed at different times during the process to keep your case moving. Some of the paperwork includes: the petition, the response, motion for mediation, motion to set and certificate of readiness, pretrial statement, and resolution management statement among others.
Getting help from an experienced divorce lawyer is a good idea. It ensures you and your family are protected, especially if you have many assets. The Law Office of Keith A. Singer will handle all the paperwork and court filings for your divorce. We are experience divorce attorneys and will guide you through the process. We will be your legal advocate. Our divorce attorneys are happy to review your paperwork or directly represent you in the divorce.
Divorce Law: The Divorce Petition
The first step in a divorce is to file a petition for divorce, also known as a petition for dissolution. The divorce petition tells the court what you are asking for in the divorce. You need to cover all of your bases in your paperwork. If you fail to ask for something in the divorce petition, you are probably not going to get it when the divorce is finalized. Having a divorce attorney on your team can be very important at this stage of your divorce.
In filing a divorce petition, you must make a lot of decisions. You will need to make decisions as to the division of property, assets, and debts. You will need to decide if one of the parties is entitled to spousal maintenance (also known as alimony).
If you have children, you need to decide additional issues regarding parenting time and parental decision making for your children. You will have to decide how you and your spouse will work together for your children to make decisions about health care, education, religion, and other major life choices. You will need to devise a parenting time schedule that ensures that each parent has meaningful contact with the minor children. You will have to choose a communication plan and a review schedule in addition to many other decisions.
Additionally, you may need to make more complex arguments like claims of domestic violence or community waste. More complex claims require careful handling of the issues.
Marital Property: What’s Mine is Ours. What’s Yours is Ours.
Arizona is a community property state. This means, in most cases, that any property acquired during the course of your marriage belongs equally to both your and your spouse. This includes incomes earned during the marriage, as well as all money contributed to personal retirement accounts during the marriage.
Community assets may include both spouses’ incomes, any purchases made during the marriage, as well as, real estate, vehicles, or furniture. Community debts include any credit cards used during the marriage or any loans initiated during the marriage.
Separate property is any property that is not included in community property. Examples of separate property are assets or debts you had prior to your marriage and any gifts or inheritance you received during the time you were married.
It’s interesting to note that the legal definition of property includes both assets and debts.
It Doesn’t Really Matter Whose Name is On the Account
Placing money in a separate account, with only your name on it, does not remove the asset from community property. All income is community property, even if you place income into a separate account that’s just in your name. The same is true of debt. Your spouse may be running up debt on a Visa only in her name. If he or she is doing it during the marriage, it is likely your debt too.
Separate Property: Exceptions to Community Property
As you might expect, there are exceptions to the rule that all assets acquired during the course of your marriage become community property. Any gifts or inheritances received by you or your spouse during your marriage do not become community property. They belong to whom they were given. For example, if you inherit $100,000 from a relative during your marriage, that $100,000 belongs to you and is not included in the community assets.
The Changing Nature of Property
While the general property law is simple, property matters can be complicated as the ownership of property can change depending upon how that asset or debt is used. When a spouse places separate property in a joint account or uses separate funds for joint purposes, that spouse may be changing the nature of the property from separate property to joint property.
What’s Your Next Step
If you are interested in learning more about Arizona’s community property law or if you have other questions or concerns about a family law matter, please contact The Law Office of Keith A. Singer or call 520.795.1800.