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Scottsdale, AZ 85250

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Contested Divorce

A contested divorce in Arizona means that one the spouses cannot agree on the terms of the divorce. Child custody, child support, and marital property division are common points of contention in contested divorce cases. When the parties retain independent counsel the parties may have to go to court in order for a family court judge to make the final decision about dividing property and awarding child custody and visitation.

Phoenix Contested Divorce Attorney

The Daly Law Firm represents clients going through divorce in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and other communities within Maricopa County. If you have been served with divorce papers or you are contemplating a divorce, contact the Daly Law Firm for an analysis of your case. Divorce is a difficult event for all the members involved. With the help of a compassionate, understanding divorce attorney, you can get through the divorce process as smoothly as possible.


What is a no fault divorce?

In Arizona, the divorce statute requires the parties to state the marriage is “irretrievably broken in order to obtain a divorce. The court will conduct a hearing to see if reconciliation is possible. If both parties agree to proceed with the divorce, the court will grant the divorce. If one party objects to the divorce, the court may call for a conciliation conference.

You still need to consult a licensed Arizona family attorney when considering divorce. Even if both parties are in agreement, you still need to protect your legal rights and make sure the no fault divorce is settled on equitable grounds.


What are fault grounds for divorce?

Historically there had to be a reason for the divorce such as cruelty or adultery. Arizona now allows fault based divorces so the parties do not have to allege a reason for the divorce. However, sometimes reasons are given for the divorce as a strategy for gaining an unequal property division or child custody. The fault grounds are still listed in the Arizona code, but it is not a requirement to allege fault to obtain a divorce in Arizona. The fault grounds for divorce are laid out in Arizona Statutes Title 25 Chapters 312, 901 and 903 respectively:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Abandonment
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Separation for at least 2 years or more without reconciliation before a divorce can be granted

A divorce attorney can provide you with the correct strategy for filing your divorce. Remember that no-fault divorces are available and very common in Arizona. Each divorce is unique so consult an experience Arizona attorney to help you file or fight a divorce.


How does a contested divorce go through the court system?

Jurisdiction is the most important thing to establish in an Arizona divorce. The party filing for divorce must have been a resident of Arizona for 90 days prior to filing the divorce petition.

In order for a divorce to start in Arizona, parties much allege sufficient grounds for divorce. Since Arizona is a no-fault state it is permissible to state the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

At this stage, if the parties agree to the terms of divorce the lawyers can write an out of court settlement and have the judge finalize the divorce. In contested divorces, hearings and court proceedings will need to occur for the judge to make a final ruling on the divorce. The basic divorce litigation process is:

  • Petition- the filing of the petition starts the divorce proceedings

  • Summons- the formal notice to your spouse that a divorce action has been initiated.

  • Response- the response is the other party’s answer to the summons and acknowledgment that a divorce proceeding is underway.

  • Motions- these are formal requests to the court for action before the actual divorce trial begins. An example of a pre-trial motion is a protective order or restraining order.

  • Discovery- In this part of the divorce litigation process, the parties are able to gather information in order to support legal arguments. In a divorce case this is especially important in terms of property division and determining the worth of the marital estate and community property. Depositions or interviews will occur at this stage of the litigation.

  • Hearings- The judge can decide some matters like temporary child custody or restraining orders while the divorce is still pending.

  • Temporary Orders- If your spouse is hiding assets it is possible to get a court order to force the parties to provide information in order to have an equitable property division.

  • Trial- All the previous steps were preparation for the trial. At the trial witnesses, friends, the parties, financial experts, psychologists and others give testimony and present records in order to convince the judge to divide property and award child custody in the manner that is best under the particular circumstances of the case.

  • Judgment- This part is the judge’s final decision in the case. It is the judge’s final ruling on all the issues presented to the court and should encompass property division, child support, child custody, visitation and any other matter litigated during the trial. The court ruling is called the final divorce decree and officially ends the marriage.

Daly Law Firm, PLLC - Scottsdale Contested Divorce Lawyer

If you have been served with divorce papers or you are contemplating a divorce, contact the Daly Law Firm at (480) 607-8308 for a free initial consultation. The Daly Law Firm represents clients going thorough divorce in the greater Phoenix area, including: Maricopa County, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. It is important to get competent legal advice when going throught a divorce. Specifically you need to consult with a capable Scottsdale divorce attorney in order to present your side of the case to the court.

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