Why choose a family lawyer in Chandler, AZ?
Do I need a Family Lawyer for my divorce? Do I need a Family Lawyer for my custody dispute?
Those are three of the more common questions a family lawyer Chandler, AZ residents trust from the Citadel Law Firm, PLLC receives from clients, and as usual, the most common answer we give is: it depends. In a perfect world you and your spouse or ex would be able to amicably resolve all of your issues together without needing the help of an experienced family law. Unfortunately, life isn’t always perfect.
First and foremost, hiring a lawyer can be beneficial if you are going through a divorce, and you and your spouse have any assets (home, vehicles, retirement accounts, etc.) that need to be divided. While Arizona is a community property state, meaning that property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be equal to the parties, there are different rules and laws which may be applicable in your situation causing some items to be separate property rather than community property. We can help you navigate the murky waters of community property laws.
Secondly, a family lawyer Chandler, AZ families depends on can help you if you’re going through a custody dispute. In Arizona, the legislature has split custody into two sections, legal decision making and parenting time. We can help explain to you the difference between custody and legal decision making and parenting time. Moreover, a Family Law Lawyer can help you when unexpected issues arise concerning your children.
Any family lawyer will tell you that once you push through the bigger issues of legal decision making and parenting time, there will inevitably be smaller issues that require attention. A Family Lawyer Chandler, AZ residents trust will be able to help you with any issue of any size.
Finally, a great family lawyer will tell you the truth. The biggest struggle most people have when deciding to divorce or going through divorce is uncertainty. What will happen to the house? How will the kids get to school? What are we going to do about our retirement accounts? As the questions and the uncertainty compiles, the stress can be overwhelming. While it may be nice to placate emotions, a family lawyer Chandler, AZ divorcing spouses trust, will tell you the truth and set you straight when you need to hear difficult advice.
Filing for Divorce: Who Should File First?
During the recent Super Bowl, a coin toss determined that the San Francisco 49ers would begin the game with control of the ball. Across many sports, there are various pros and cons to being the first team in possession of the ball. Even something as simple as a coin toss suddenly becomes a strategy. Oddly enough, divorce proceedings can begin in a similar light. While there are less obvious “winners” and “losers,” there are financial advantages to being the first to file for divorce.
You probably recall the notion of “team captains” found during elementary school games of kickball. One of the captains would always select first, giving them a slight upper hand when they ended up with the class’s best player. Being the first to file for divorce grants you the advantage of choosing the top divorce team. You will need a top-notch attorney that can help you get the best possible outcome from the divorce. You should also speak with some therapists and financial analysts, along with a family lawyer Chandler, AZ families rely on.
In most cases, divorces are decided in the city where both spouses reside. However, this isn’t always the case. If you and your spouse split time between your homes in New York City and Los Angeles, the first person filing for divorce gets to choose the jurisdiction for the divorce proceeding. This decision factors in more than just location — many states have different laws regarding financial support, custody and division of assets.
Presenting Your Case
The first to file will be the first person to present their case in court. Keep in mind – this can have advantages and disadvantages. While you might want to start the court proceedings with your emotional woe (and, in turn, avoid the “rejected spouse” label), your spouse could be using that time to readjust strategies based on what you’re saying. In these situations, strategy is key. Always have a great attorney at your side so the two of you can craft these opening statements.
Filing for divorce first has so many emotional advantages. After all, you are taking the steps to free yourself from a harmful relationship or situation. You are empowering yourself by granting yourself the right to be happy and open your mind to new possibilities. Throughout the divorce process, there will be so many situations that are out of your control. But for this pinnacle first step — you are in complete control. And that brings so much strength.
Just because the San Francisco 49ers won the coin toss, doesn’t mean they won the Super Bowl. And just because your spouse beat you in the “filing race,” doesn’t mean you’re at a huge disadvantage. There are benefits on both sides, and you should discuss both options with a family lawyer Chandler, AZ residents trust.
What Problems May I Encounter During Divorce?
Every divorce is bound to have issues that need to be resolved, particularly if there are minor children that the spouse’s had together. Initially, these issues may seem impossible to reach a middle ground over. However, with help from a family lawyer Chandler, AZ clients depend on, we may be able to get your spouse to settle more easily than you had thought. At the Citadel Law Firm, PLLC we are ready to assist with these common problems that our clients may encounter during divorce:
Custody of Children
Your child’s stability, wellness, and happiness is likely a priority for you and your spouse during this time. Despite probably having the best of intentions, you and your spouse may not be able to agree on a parenting time schedule at first. In fact, custody of children is one of the most difficult issues that must be worked out in a divorce settlement. And unfortunately, we have seen how one parent may try to pin the children against the other parent, especially if the divorce is highly contentious. We can help alleviate tensions if they start to build to the breaking point.
Division of Debts and Assets
Debts and assets are categorized as either nonmarital or marital. Debts and assets acquired prior to the marriage are deemed nonmarital. Marital debts and assets are most often divided equally between each spouse. We suggest tracing back an asset that you had before the marriage, to prove that it is yours. You may need these documents to fight against your spouse from taking property, such as your home, vehicle, boat, or other belongings.
Alimony, or otherwise called spousal maintenance, is intended to support one spouse financially (the less-earning spouse usually) as they get onto his or her feet after divorce. The paying spouse may have to send payments to the other for things like living expenses, necessary career training, utilities, groceries, etc. Whether you are the paying or recipient spouse, a family lawyer Chandler, AZ residents trust can help negotiate an agreement that meets your needs while moving on from the divorce.
There are three components of child support: medical support, childcare support, and basic support. The amounts for these three categories may be decided based on state guidelines, while taking into consideration the income and parenting arrangement for each spouse. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on child support through mediation, then you may have to attend court to settle the matter instead. We can get you prepared for the negotiations or court hearing to come, if needed.
There are so many reasons why having a family lawyer can be advantageous during a divorce or custody dispute. It is our job to make the process as smooth as possible for you. Call the Citadel Law Firm, PLLC today at (480)565-8020 to schedule a free consultation with a family lawyer Chandler, AZ families can depend on during difficult times.