Author: dickinsonwms

What to Expect at the Initial Divorce Consultation

The following excerpt is from Divorce in Arizona (Addicus Publishing 2015) by Marlene Pontrelli and Robert Schwartz. Choosing the right attorney for your divorce is an important decision. Your attorney should be a trusted professional with whom you feel comfortable sharing information openly. He or she should be a person you can trust and someone who will be a zealous advocate for your interests. However, he or she also needs to be someone who will advise you of the pros and cons so you can make informed choices. However, making an appointment to discuss what is often very personal information can be difficult. Here is what you can expect at the initial consultation. Sometimes attorneys will ask you to complete a questionnaire prior to the meeting. If they do not have you complete a questionnaire ahead of time, the first few minutes of the consultation will be used to obtain background information. With few exceptions, attorneys are required to keep confidential all information you provide. The nature of the advice you get from an attorney in an initial consultation will depend upon whether you are still deciding whether you want a divorce, whether you are planning for a possible divorce in the future, or whether you are ready to file for divorce right away. During the meeting, you will have an opportunity to provide the following information to the...

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How to Avoid Frustration over the “Disneyland Parent’s” Behavior

Feelings of guilt, competition, or remorse sometimes lead a parent to be tempted to spend parenting time in trips to the toy store and special activities. Other times these feelings can result in an absence of discipline in an effort to become the favored parent or to make the time “special.” Naturally, when you see the other parent exhibiting these behaviors, it can cause some frustration. Shift your focus from the other parent’s behavior to your own, and do your best to be an outstanding parent during this time. This includes keeping a routine for your child for family meals, bedtimes, chores, and homework. Encourage family activities, as well as individual time with each child, when it’s possible. During the time when a child’s life is changing, providing a consistent and stable routine in your home can ease his or her anxiety and provide comfort.  If you are sharing parenting time in different homes, consider how you refer to the other parent’s home.  It should not be you are going to dad’s house or mom’s house.  That makes the child feel as if neither house is their house.  Instead refer to it by the city if you reside in different cities, or by street name (i.e. the Central Avenue house and the Broadway Blvd. house).  That makes the child feel like they have two homes versus no home that...

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My Spouse Has Refused To Give Me A Divorce, What Can I Do?

By Robert L. Schwartz and Marlene A. Pontrelli (Excerpts from Divorce in Arizona)  You may have been thinking about filing for divorce, but your spouse has told you that they will never “give” you a divorce.  They may even have left the state thinking that will prevent you from filing for dissolution of the marriage. The good news is that Arizona does not require that your spouse agree to a divorce. If your spouse threatens to not “give” you a divorce, know that in Arizona this is likely to be an idle threat without any basis in the law.  Under Arizona law, to obtain a divorce you must be able to prove that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This is a legal term meaning that one sees no possibility of reconciliation between you or your spouse. In short, it is not necessary to have your spouse agree to the divorce or to allege the specific difficulties that arose during the marriage to obtain a divorce in Arizona, just that at least one party can state that the marriage is irretrievably broken.   In addition, you may file for divorce in Arizona, even if your spouse leaves the state. Provided you have met the residency requirements for living in Arizona for 90 days, you can file for divorce here even if your spouse lives in another state.  Discuss with your attorney the...

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5 Things You Need to Know in Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

By Robert Schwartz and Marlene Pontrelli Choosing a lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make with respect to your divorce. The person you choose needs to be someone you feel comfortable confiding in since you will sometimes be providing very personal information that you have not previously shared with even your closest friends and relatives.  He or she should be a person you can trust and someone who will be a zealous advocate for your interests.  However, he or she also needs to be someone who will advise you of the pros and cons so you can make informed choices.  Here are five things to consider in choosing a lawyer that is right for your divorce. The experience of the attorney. Find an attorney that handles divorces as a regular part of his or her law practice. Take your time in choosing a lawyer that is right for your case. If you need to obtain names of potential lawyers in the area of family law, many state bar associations, including the State Bar of Arizona, maintain a list of attorneys who have been certified as specialists in family law. Consider setting a time for an initial consultation. Even if you are not ready to file for divorce, you may find it helpful to call and schedule an appointment with a lawyer to obtain basic information...

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The DW Family Law Blog Blog is published by Dickinson Wright PLLC to inform the public of important developments within the firm and practice areas. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in this blog.