Top-Rated Mesa Arizona Divorce Attorney 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.

How Do I File For Divorce in Arizona?

To begin divorce proceedings in Arizona, you must file a “petition for dissolution of marriage” and pay a filing fee to the court. Then, you must ensure that your spouse is served with a copy of the divorce petition and summons. Your spouse then has 20 days to file a written response with the court. Next, you will enter into negotiations with your spouse over the nature of the separation. This includes typically negotiating over two primary areas: assets and children. 

What Is The Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorces?

Before a judge grants a divorce, matters regarding spousal support, division of assets, parenting plans, and related issues must be decided. Couples who can agree about these issues will be granted an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces don’t require a trial since there are no outstanding disputes for the court to make a judgment.

Alternatively, if spouses cannot come to an agreement and the judge must make a ruling regarding child custody, alimony, the division of assets, etc., then a contested divorce ensues. If a divorce is contested, both parties proceed to litigation. 

How Long Do I Need to Be an Arizona Resident Before I Can File For Divorce? 

In the US, each state has different divorce laws and rules. In some states, if you have been married for at least a year, you only have to live in the state for six months before you can file for divorce. In Arizona, you need to have been a resident of the state for 90 days before filing for divorce. In addition, some states have no-fault divorce laws, while others have fault-based divorce laws. Arizona is a no-fault divorce, which means that the actions leading to divorce by either partner do not generally influence the outcome of the settlement or the course of the divorce. 

Division of Property in Arizona

Arizona is a community property state which means that all assets and possessions gained during the marriage are considered equal property of the spouses. However, some possessions are considered separate, such as property that one spouse had before marriage, property given as a gift to one spouse, and personal possessions. Still, given the intermixing of funds and property that often happens during a marriage, it can be difficult for a judge to determine communal and separate property. For this reason, you need to consult a local Arizona divorce attorney that will advocate for your best interests and will help you reach the best settlement possible.

How Is Child Custody Determined During a Divorce In Arizona?

In 2013, Arizona changed the terms used to govern guardianship of children. Legally, “custody” has been replaced with “legal decision making” and “parenting time.” These are separate issues that must be either agreed upon or litigated. For example, a parent may have legal decision-making rights to decide their child’s medical care, but it is possible for them to have limited or no parenting time, or vice versa.

Regarding legal decision-making and parenting time, Arizona law makes a presumption that it is in the child’s best interest to continue a relationship with both parents. Compared to other states, Arizona courts are more likely to give men equal or shared parenting time. 

However, this changes if one partner creates an unsafe environment for the child, including being charged with violence, domestic violence, or a drug crime. The court’s job is to determine which living situation is most suitable for the child and will rule in favor of the child’s best interest.

Will A Divorce Hurt My Credit Score?

While a divorce won’t directly affect your credit score, the fallout can. If you close joint accounts, you are lowering your available credit, resulting in your credit score possibly dropping. Additionally, your credit rating will be affected if you or your spouse misses payments on any joint accounts. Even if a judge determines that your spouse is responsible for the debt in a joint account, you are both still responsible in the eyes of the creditors. Therefore, if your spouse misses payments on an account with both of your names on it, your credit score will be affected. 

To protect your credit score during a divorce, you should freeze shared credit cards to ensure that more debt is not accrued. You can also open new accounts in your name, without your spouse, to keep your money separate. 

How Long Do Arizona Residents Need to Wait After a Divorce to Get Remarried? 

There is no waiting period after a divorce for a new marriage to be entered into in Arizona. When a divorce is decreed final by the Arizona court, the marriage is legally terminated, and each former spouse may enter into a new marriage wherever they wish. However, if you are receiving alimony, remarrying will likely end most, if not all, spousal maintenance from your divorce. 

The Best Family Law and Divorce Attorney in Arizona’s East Valley

Going through divorce proceedings is a challenging and stressful time, but Bryson Law can help. We will advocate for you to get the best settlement possible and work with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth and equitable divorce. Set yourself up for the best possible outcome, and contact Bryson Law today. Call (480) 813-0444 or email us to schedule a consultation at our Mesa office to get all of your divorce and family law-related questions answered.