Best Divorce Attorney in Mesa, AZ, Serving All of The East Valley
At Bryson Law, we know that divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, and it is our goal to guide you through the process and protect your interests. Together, we will create a plan to achieve a solution that addresses your unique situation. If you are searching for the Best East Valley family law attorney, Bryson law is here to help. Brent Bryson is dedicated to fighting for his clients in the courtroom and serving the Mesa and Gilbert communities with exceptional legal services.
Bryson Law can help resolve legal issues related to:
Whether you have a blended family, substantial assets, or own a business, Bryson Law will fight for you every step of the way during your divorce proceedings. While we are fully prepared to go to court when needed, we can also be your advocate in divorce mediation and other family law settlement negotiations.
Divorce can be stressful, whether you and your spouse agree to split amicably or not. You have to think about and agree on many factors in the divorce process: separating finances and assets, splitting time with children, providing spousal or child support, and more. Approaching any of these decisions without a divorce lawyer on your side could impact your family and livelihood for years to come.
As your dedicated divorce attorney in Mesa, AZ, we at Bryson Law Firm, PLC, are with you throughout your divorce proceedings. Our attorneys are committed to protecting your rights and giving you a voice throughout the divorce process. We’ll guide you through every step and help you achieve a fair and amicable outcome with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
Contact us today at 480-813-0444 to schedule your consultation with a Mesa divorce lawyer at Bryson Law Firm, PLC.
Arizona’s Residency and Jurisdiction Requirements for Divorce
Before initiating a divorce in Arizona, be sure you meet the state’s specific requirements for divorce.
First, you or your spouse must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before you can file for divorce. If you don’t meet this residency requirement, you may choose to file for divorce in your previous state of residency.
If your divorce involves child custody issues, you must ensure that Arizona has jurisdiction over these issues to file for divorce in the state. This means your minor children must have lived in Arizona with a parent for at least six months (or since they were born if they are less than six months old).
If you don’t meet either of these requirements, speak with one of our Mesa, AZ, divorce attorneys to learn how to proceed with your divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in Mesa, Arizona
Some states require divorcing couples to meet certain “grounds” for divorce. In Arizona, most couples cite that their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning there is no chance of repairing the marriage.
However, citing more specific circumstances as your grounds for divorce could help your divorce case. If any of the following occurred during your marriage, you may want to include this information on your petition for dissolution:
- Domestic violence
- Severe mental illness
Do you need help citing grounds for divorce? Talk to your attorney from Bryson Law Firm, PLC, before filing your petition.
How To File For Divorce in Arizona
The basic process to file for divorce in Arizona involves these steps:
- You file a petition for dissolution of marriage: You (or your spouse) can initiate the divorce process by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with your local Mesa court. You’ll need to pay a small filing fee.
- You serve the petition and summons to your spouse. You will need to formally “serve” this petition to your spouse to inform them of your intent to divorce. You can either pay to use a process server or ask the sheriff’s office to formally serve the paperwork; you cannot hand-deliver it.
- Your spouse responds to the summons. Next, your spouse will have 20 days to file a written response to your petition with the courts.
- You negotiate the separation: You and your spouse must reach an agreement on major issues in the divorce, including the division of assets and child custody, before you can finalize the divorce.
- The judge signs your consent decree: After you and your spouse have filed all the necessary paperwork and are in complete agreement on all issues, the judge will review the paperwork and sign the final consent decree. This final signing will take place at least 60 days after you file the initial petition.
While some divorces follow this basic process smoothly, many have bumps along the way. Working with an experienced divorce attorney from Bryson Law Firm, PLC, can help you finalize your divorce as soon as possible with minimal hassle, so you can forward with your life.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces: What’s the Difference?
Arizona recognizes two types of divorce: uncontested and contested.
- In an uncontested divorce, both parties fully agree on all of the divorce terms and conditions, including property division, child custody, child support, and other issues.
- In a contested divorce, one or both parties disagree on at least one issue in the divorce.
Uncontested divorces are often faster and simpler than contested ones, but they aren’t realistic for many couples. You and your spouse may disagree on how you will split your lives when you are no longer married. In this case, you must involve the court to reach a mutually beneficial decision.
Divorce attorneys are crucial in contested divorces, but they can also be extremely helpful in uncontested divorces. Your attorney can help you voice your opinions and concerns and reach a fair decision with your spouse to avoid the court’s intervention. If necessary, your attorney can even provide mediation services to help you settle a dispute without going to court.
Contact our divorce attorney in Mesa, AZ, today to learn how we can help you navigate a contested or uncontested divorce.
Division of Property in Arizona Divorce
During your divorce process, you and your spouse will need to agree on how to divide all your marital assets and property. Arizona is a community property state, which means you’ll divide any personal property that you or your spouse purchased or acquired during the marriage 50/50. Your shared property may include any of the following:
- Assets (cars, real estate, etc.)
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Debts accumulated during the marriage
If you cannot agree on how to split these assets yourselves, the court will follow a 50/50 division process, equally splitting all property. In cases where you cannot equally split certain assets, such as your house, one spouse may need to “buy out” the interest of the other spouse.
Even if certain assets are only under one spouse’s name, they may be community property under Arizona law. Speak with a divorce attorney in Mesa, AZ, to learn more about negotiating property division and protecting your rights to your property during a divorce.
Arizona’s Child Custody Laws
Arizona no longer uses the term “custody” in its guardianship laws. Instead, it uses the phrases “parenting time” and “legal decision-making,” which are two separate issues that you and your spouse must agree on in your Mesa divorce.
Parenting time refers to the time the child will spend with each parent. Legal decision-making is each parent’s ability to make legal decisions on behalf of the child, such as decisions about medical care and schooling.
Arizona courts seek to uphold your child’s interests when ruling on parenting time and legal decision-making. Often, this means splitting your child’s time equally between you and your ex-spouse and giving you each decision-making ability. But depending on your physical locations and schedules, this equal split may not always be a good option for your child.
The court also takes into account issues of violence, abuse, and criminal charges when determining parenting time. If you are seeking majority custody over your children, partnering with a skilled divorce attorney from Bryson Law Firm, PLC, is essential. We’ll help you collect evidence showing why your child would benefit more from spending the majority of their time in your care.
Potential Financial Impacts of a Divorce
Divorce won’t automatically affect your credit score, but the aftermath of some steps in the divorce process might.
If you and your spouse both work, your household income will drop significantly after the divorce. You may be eligible for spousal support if your spouse makes significantly more money than you and is leaving you in financial hardship by separating their finances from yours.
You’ll likely also need to close shared bank accounts and reopen them in your name. Closing lines of credit can impact your credit score for a short time.
Sometimes, a spouse in a heated divorce will take out excessive debt on shared credit cards in retaliation. You may want to freeze your credit cards before initiating the divorce to prevent this.
How Can a Divorce Attorney in Mesa, AZ, Assist You?
Does every divorce require the assistance of a divorce attorney? Some simple, uncontested divorces don’t require legal assistance, as both parties cooperate and agree on child custody, child support, and shared assets. But when divorces become complicated, having legal help can be extremely beneficial.
Your divorce attorney can assist with all the following tasks:
- Help you file all divorce paperwork or even file it on your behalf
- Help you gather financial information to create a comprehensive asset disclosure document
- Speak with your spouse and all other parties on your behalf
- Represent your interests in a contested divorce
- Help you fight for child custody and child support
- Represent you during mediation or a collaborative divorce
- Represent you in court during property division and child custody hearings
- Provide legal guidance throughout the entire divorce process
Bryson Law Firm, PLC: Your Trusted Divorce Attorneys in Mesa
Bryson Law Firm, PLC, is here to take the stress of your Mesa divorce off your shoulders and help you begin moving forward. Schedule your consultation with a divorce attorney in Mesa, AZ, today by calling 480-813-0444.