We know you have questions. We have your answers.
*These responses cover most but not every scenario. If you have additional questions or want to discuss your individual case, feel free to contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten P.L.C. We are here to help you.
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I am ready to interview potential Scottsdale divorce lawyers for my case. What kinds of questions should I ask?
After narrowing down your options, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to ask before hiring your Scottsdale divorce lawyer. We strongly recommend that you start writing down questions you have about your specific circumstances, but also be prepared to ask about:
- Qualifications: Your Scottsdale divorce lawyer should understand local and state laws and be able to provide information about his or her qualifications. For example, we deal with divorce in Maricopa County on a daily basis and have achieved an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating possible.
- Experience: No amount of education or qualification can replace real courtroom experience. Our respected Arizona divorce attorneys have put in real time in the courtroom and have experience in handling both high- and low-profile cases.
- Case history: Of course, experience doesn't matter if your attorney has never won a case. Take a look at our client testimonials and successful case history.
- Personal principles: Meeting with a potential Tempe divorce lawyer gives you a chance to ask questions about your situation and get an idea of how your lawyer approaches divorce cases.
If you have any questions about divorce in Maricopa County, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. Our clients have described us as "lawyers you can talk to," and we look forward to meeting with you in a free, confidential, and no-obligation legal consultation.
Why should my fianc and I consider a prenuptial agreement in Arizona?
Although many people feel that an Arizona prenuptial agreement is unromantic or expresses mistrust, nothing could be further from the truth. Deciding what will happen with your children, family home, and finances in the case of a divorce or sudden death is a part of planning for your future together. A Phoenix prenup means that you both have a chance to talk about the hard stuff while you're deeply in love and have a clear idea what you want out of the future.
It's never a bad idea to ensure your future or the futures of your children. In cases of divorce or the sudden death of a spouse, an Arizona marriage contract can ease the pain of the difficult time and offer some peace of mind. Especially for couples with high salaries, substantial assets, or children from another marriage, a prenuptial agreement is an important safeguard. It also shows that you both care what happens if the worst occurs.
If you have questions about a prenuptial agreement in Maricopa County, give the friendly Phoenix family lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call at 1-888-929-5292 for a free consultation.
What are the grounds for the annulment of a marriage in Arizona?
It's important to remember that an annulment in Arizona is very different from divorce in Arizona. This difference is reflected in the grounds for annulment in Arizona:
- Mental illness/mentally challenged
- Lack of consent
- Inability to consummate the marriage
- Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage
- An already married spouse
- Incestuous marriage
- Same-sex marriage
- Mock marriage
Each of these reasons describes a situation in which the marriage begins as invalid. Whether one spouse is legally unable to give consent or existing laws void a consensual marriage, an annulment essentially wipes the marriage from the record. It is crucial that you understand that your rights are not the same after an annulment as they would be after a divorce.
If you have questions about divorce or annulment in Arizona, we have answers. Contact one of our experienced Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If you'd like to know more about us and what we do, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Is it possible for me, as a parent, to be charged if my teen violated the Phoenix curfew laws?
Yes. According to Phoenix curfew law, the parent or guardian of a teen can be charged with a Phoenix curfew violation if the adult allows the teen to "be, remain or loiter in, about or upon any place in the City away from the dwelling house or usual place of abode of said juvenile" without adult supervision.
As a parent, it is important to understand curfew laws in Arizona and talk to your teen about both the law and your expectations. In Phoenix, minors aged 15 or younger need to be in by 10 p.m., and minors older than 15 should be in by midnight. The curfew ends at 5 a.m. These hours are in effect seven days a week, and they are the same during the summer and the school year.
If your teen has been charged with a Phoenix curfew violation, give our Arizona juvenile defense lawyers a call at 888-929-5292 today to set up a FREE consultation. We also offer a FREE book for parents, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.
Is it possible to be denied visitation with my children after an Arizona divorce?
Yes, but usually only in extreme cases. The idea behind visitation in Arizona is to ultimately protect the health and well-being of the children. Visitation can be denied or limited to supervised visitation in just about any case in which the child could be harmed by normal visitation. These circumstances include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Incarceration of a parent
- Sexual abuse
- Substance abuse
- Risk of abduction
- Neglect or parent alienation
This is by no means a comprehensive list, either. Any situation that harms the child has the potential to limit the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. This may include differing religious practices or cohabitation of the noncustodial parent.
If you are going through an Arizona divorce and have questions about what that means for your visitation rights, contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer right away at 1-888-929-5292 for a free consultation. You also can request a copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
I already have been in contact with a birth mother regarding a potential adoption in Arizona, but does the birth father also have rights?
The birth father does have rights when it comes to Arizona adoption. In fact, birth fathers have many of the same rights as birth mothers. For the most part, if the father is known, attempts must be made to notify him. If he is contacted, he also must have the opportunity to consent to the adoption placement.
Arizona has a "putative father registry" for birth fathers. This allows a birth father to register his claim of paternity and receive notification of adoption proceedings while protecting the security of the adoption. A birth father who registers before the birth or within the 30 days after the birth has the right to be notified of any adoption-related judicial hearing.
If you are seeking adoption in Arizona and have questions about how the birth father may affect your case, contact a Maricopa family law attorney with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292.
For answers to other questions, see our FREE book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
During our marriage, my spouse constantly paid for expensive items with the credit card and took out payday loans. Will I be responsible for his poor choices after the divorce, even though I didn't spend the money?
Unfortunately, it's possible that you will be held responsible for your husband's debts if they were incurred during the time you were married. Arizona is a community property state, which affects things like credit card debt or loans. The debt incurred by either spouse during a marriage is considered "community debt", and in the event of a divorce, the responsibility is divided equitably between both parties.
There are some exceptions, however, and a debt may be assigned to only one spouse by the court under particular circumstances. The problem is that the creditors waiting to get paid are not legally required to only go after the spouse the court has assigned to the debt. These institutions have a legal right to continue to pursue both individuals for payments.
Dividing property and debt is one of the most difficult parts of an Arizona divorce case. If you have questions about community property or community debt, please don't hesitate to contact one of our compassionate Phoenix divorce lawyers by calling 1-888-929-5292 today. We understand that divorce is never easy, and we are prepared to treat you with respect and dignity while answering your questions honestly. If you'd like to learn a little more about Arizona family law, we will send you a completely FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Is it possible to adopt a child in Arizona if I am a grandparent of the child?
Yes. In fact, although there are unique challenges to relative adoptions in Arizona, many of these cases are treated less formally than other types of adoption. Under Arizona law, certain relations (such as grandparents) do not need to be certified, although the biological parents generally must terminate their parental rights. In certain Arizona counties, a "social study" may be necessary before an adoption by a relative.
Although it seems counterintuitive, adoption in AZ by a stepparent or cousin is not generally considered adoption by a relative. Such an adoption has a different set of rules.
If you have questions about adopting a child in Arizona, schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Maricopa County family law attorney at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 888-929-5292. For additional answers to your questions, order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What impact will it have on my divorce given that Arizona is a community property state?
Arizona is one of several states that are considered community property states. That fact alone will have a big impact on how your property is divided following a divorce.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-211, “all property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife.” Yet, there are some exceptions. For example, if the property was a gift to one spouse or it was obtained as part of an inheritance, it is considered separate property. Also, for the most part, any property that was acquired before the marriage will be viewed as separate property in the eyes of the court.
The courts typically focus on distributing the property equitably, but it is important to understand that it is not necessarily the same as evenly. An experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer will be able to further explain how the court looks to divide property and debts.
For more information, order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. You can also call our office for personalized answers to your questions. We can be reached at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
How are debts divided in an Arizona divorce?
Just like property and assets have to be divided in an Arizona divorce so do community debts. These debts might include bills and other financial obligations that were acquired during the marriage.
The court will determine which spouse is responsible for each community debt. While the court will not use marital misconduct as a factor when deciding how the debts will be divided, it will consider “excessive or abnormal expenditures” of the community property.
Once a court order is in place regarding the allocation of debts, it is considered binding on the spouses. However, that doesn’t mean that either spouse is relieved of liability for the debts. The contract between the creditor and the couple will still be in effect.
You can learn a lot more about how debts are divided in Arizona by ordering a FREE copy of the informative guide, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
For additional questions or advice about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form. We represent families throughout Maricopa County.