The Importance of Specialized Family Law Representation in Arizona

In the expansive legal landscape of Arizona, where nearly 19,000 attorneys are eligible to practice, only a select few stand out as Certified Family Law Specialists. As of early 2024, just 64 attorneys have achieved this prestigious designation from the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. This means that only three out of every 1,000 lawyers in the state possess board certification in family law, underscoring the critical need for specialized family law representation. Cantor Law Group, which includes two Board-Certified Family Law Specialists and one Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, exemplifies the high level of expertise required to navigate complex family law cases, such as divorce and child custody matters in Chandler.

The Complexities of Divorce in Chandler, AZ

Divorce cases in Chandler, Arizona, can range from straightforward alimony disputes to intricate cases involving business ownership and significant assets. Such complexities necessitate the expertise of experienced Chandler divorce lawyer like those at Cantor Law Group. Their deep understanding of Chandler divorce law ensures that clients receive customized legal representation, particularly in sensitive areas such as domestic violence, visitation rights, and divorce mediation.

The Premier Chandler Divorce Team

Choosing the right family law firm for a divorce case requires careful evaluation of the firm’s experience and leadership. Cantor Law Group, established over two decades ago, specializes in divorce, child custody, and juvenile family law matters in Arizona. The firm’s founder, David Cantor, is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, while Nicholas Boca and Travis Owen, both Board-Certified Family Law Specialists, bring a wealth of expertise to their clients’ cases.

Experience and Proven Results

Cantor Law Group has a robust track record of managing a diverse array of cases, from routine situations to high-stakes cases involving professional athletes and individuals with substantial assets. Their attorneys have been appointed to various legal boards across Arizona and frequently speak at Continuing Legal Education seminars, underscoring their expertise and success in the field.

Navigating the Divorce Process in Chandler

Understanding the key aspects of divorce governed by Title 25 of the Arizona Revised Statutes is crucial. These aspects include child custody, property division, child support, and spousal support (alimony). Addressing these critical issues during the legal dissolution of a marriage provides clarity and direction during a challenging time.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Legal separation and divorce are distinct processes. Legal separation does not end the marriage but addresses issues like child custody, spousal maintenance, and property division, similar to a divorce. It can be preferred for reasons such as religious beliefs, health insurance concerns, or personal considerations. Unlike divorce, legal separation does not have a 90-day residency requirement.

Covenant Marriage and Divorce

Covenant marriage in Arizona imposes additional requirements, making the divorce process more stringent compared to traditional marriages. Couples opting for covenant marriage must meet specific conditions for both marriage and divorce.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Divorce can be either contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all terms, leading to a consent decree. Conversely, a contested divorce arises when there are disagreements on any issue, necessitating legal intervention and potentially a trial.

Collaborative Divorce and Annulment

Collaborative divorce is a newer approach in Chandler, involving a cooperative process distinct from traditional divorce. An annulment, on the other hand, legally declares that a marriage never existed.

Preparing for Divorce

Preparing for divorce involves several critical steps:

  1. Contacting an experienced attorney, like those at Cantor Law Group.
  2. Privatizing social media and changing online account passwords.
  3. Gathering all financial documents.
  4. Listing all assets and debts, including personal property.
  5. Maintaining mental and physical health.

Certain actions should be avoided:

  1. Vacating the home before the divorce is final without consulting a lawyer.
  2. Concealing money or assets.
  3. Expecting the lawyer to handle everything.
  4. Stopping payments on the spouse’s health and car insurance.
  5. Starting a new romantic relationship before the divorce is finalized.

Initiating a Divorce in Arizona

A divorce in Arizona begins with filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. This document outlines necessary facts and informs the court of the petitioner’s requests regarding child custody, property division, and support. Several pleadings, such as notice of appearance, family court cover sheet, sensitive data sheet, summons, and notice of right to convert health insurance, must accompany the petition.

Service of Divorce Petition

Once filed, the divorce petition and initial pleadings must be served to the spouse, either by a process server or via certified mail. Cantor Law Group ensures proper service, especially in complicated situations like spouses living out of state or actively avoiding service.

Response and Legal Deadlines

The served spouse has 20 calendar days to respond if within Arizona and 30 days if outside the state. Adhering to these deadlines is crucial, and Cantor Law Group’s lawyers are well-versed in managing these requirements to protect their clients’ rights.

Community Property and Cooling-Off Period

Arizona follows community property principles, meaning each spouse has equal ownership of property acquired during the marriage. These principles cease when a divorce petition is filed and served. Additionally, Arizona law mandates a 60-day cooling-off period before a divorce decree can be issued, allowing for the resolution of all outstanding issues.

Default Judgment and Preliminary Injunction

If no response is filed, a default judgment can be requested, granting the petitioner’s requests without the other spouse’s input. A preliminary injunction is issued to prevent certain actions, such as transferring property or removing children from Arizona, ensuring both parties adhere to fair practices during the divorce process.

Discovery and Disclosure

During a Chandler divorce, discovery and disclosure stages involve exchanging critical financial and personal information. This ensures transparency and informed decisions on asset division, child custody, and support arrangements. Cantor Law Group’s attorneys use various tools, including interrogatories, depositions, subpoenas, and requests for production or admissions, to gather necessary information.

High-Net-Worth and Hidden Assets

High-net-worth cases require specialized knowledge and may involve business valuations, executive compensation plans, and forensic accounting. Cantor Law Group is adept at tracing assets and addressing issues of hidden assets and marital waste, ensuring a fair division of property.

Resolution Management Conference (RMC)

An RMC is an organizational hearing with the judge to outline settlement positions and discuss contested issues. Temporary orders can also be issued during the divorce process, addressing interim needs like asset division, child custody, and support arrangements.

Conclusion

Navigating a divorce in Chandler, Arizona, requires specialized legal expertise given the complexities of family law. Cantor Law Group, with its board-certified specialists and extensive experience, provides the necessary guidance and representation to ensure clients’ rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process. Whether dealing with straightforward or high-stakes cases, their comprehensive approach and dedication to client success make them a top choice for family law representation in Arizona.

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