The internet is a powerful tool, but it can often be misleading. For example, with all the information on divorces and divorce proceeding, a person may feel that they are able to handle a divorce without a lawyer. However, divorces are usually more complicated than just filling out a few forms. In most cases, a “do it yourself” divorce is not the right way to go. Lawyers have access to a variety of information and tools that private citizens do not, so it is always best to consult a lawyer when deciding to file for divorce in Arizona.
In Arizona, there are a few different issues that make divorce different from other states. First, it is a community property state. This means that anything that is accumulated during the marriage is considered community property. In other words, the court will determine whether the property is community owned or property belonging to one spouse. Because all items acquired during marriage are considered community property, gaining sole property of an item can be difficult. The burden of proof is on the spouse claiming the item is their sole property, without a lawyer the chances of finding sufficient evidence to prove the item is yours may prove to be impossible.
Community property includes an array of items. It can be retirement plans, investments, student loan debt, real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, credit card debt, and car payments. The courts will try to split it up based on “equitable division”. This may not necessarily mean a 50/50 split, just something that is as fair as possible. A lawyer can help you decide what things you want and what things you do not want. Then, they will be able to work with your spouse’s lawyer to come up with a deal. Trying to do asset division on your own can get very messy. If you and your partner have accrued a lot of debt together, then the process can get even messier. Although the court will try to be as fair as possible, you could still come out with a lot of items you did not want if you are trying to handle the divorce on your own. Working with a lawyer just simplifies the process.
Another issue that makes do it yourself divorces difficult is the issue of child custody. Custody can be a challenging topic for many parents seeking a divorce. In addition, there are a lot of issues that arise when planning out joint custody. An experienced lawyer is better equipped to understand all the issues arising out of a custody agreement. They will be able to help you plan out a course of action for birthdays, special events, holidays, and other important events. Above all, the judge is looking for what is in the best interest of the child. A great lawyer will help you present the best case possible.
A do it yourself divorce in Arizona seems like the perfect way to save money. However, unless your spouse and you have made decisions about all of your property, debt, and custody arrangements, the do it yourself method is probably not for you. Invest in a good Family Law Lawyer in Arizona and there will be a lot fewer headaches for you.
The Attorneys of the Cantor Law Group are well respected and highly skilled in all Family Law matters. Contact our office for a free confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, call us now at (602) 254-8880.
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