Most of my Family Law cases are divorce cases. But divorce is just one part of family law. Custody of children, child support, orders of protection, changing custody, modifying child support, and grandparent visitation are some of the various issues involved in family law. In my practice I also include adoption and other juvenile court issues involving children.
When considering divorce one question to ask is whether you think your spouse would be interested in attempting to settle the issues rather than contesting it through the court. If it is possible to settle, the divorce experience can be much shorter, far less expensive and, most of all, much less stressful. If you think this approach might work, you may want to consider the Agreeable Divorce.
In an Agreeable Divorce, you and I meet and determine what you want from the divorce and to which things you think your spouse may agree. With this information, I draft a proposed settlement agreement. You can now take a copy of the proposed settlement agreement to your spouse for discussion. Once this has taken place, you contact me with any agreements made. If there are parts of the proposed agreement your spouse wants to change, I make those changes and the discussions continue until there is full agreement. Once there is full agreement, I prepare the Marital Settlement Agreement which is attached to the Petition and later to the final Decree. This triggers a waiting period, after which the judge signs the Decree and it is filed. This approach appeals to many people who are in basic agreement and can negotiate minor differences with little professional help. It means neither party must go to court and that you are charged a flat fee.
In Arizona, all divorce (including an Agreeable Divorce) is known as dissolution of marriage; no-fault divorce. This means the marriage is broken and the parties agree to dissolve the relationship. The Agreeable Divorce is just one way of approaching the dissolution. I encourage clients to take this approach if the parties are able to communicate with each other and come to agreements. Otherwise the dissolution will be contested and can go on for extended periods of time and cause greater expense for both parties.