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Tempe Divorce Lawyer and Certified Mediator

Handling Traditional and Same-Sex Divorce with Empathy and Understanding

Arizona divorce laws are complex. To protect your rights and assets, you need to hire a confident and capable attorney like Adriana Blanchette of Blanchette Law PLLC. As a certified mediator, Adriana’s passion lies in helping people solve difficult problems using respectful and productive methods. divorce lawyer tempe Call (602) 881-1748 or use the online contact form to schedule your free consultation with Adriana.

Mediation and Collaborative Divorce: Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Divorce

Divorce doesn’t have to be a bitter, painful experience. With the help of a neutral third-party mediator, divorcing spouses can reach an agreement and work through related issues while treating each other with civility and respect. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two of the best options, and they’re both confidential and less expensive than going to court.
In a collaborative divorce, either one or both spouses can have their own attorney, but both sides work together to reach an agreement on all issues of the divorce. A collaborative divorce is most easily achieved with an attorney who is a certified mediator and promotes a collaborative process when litigation can be avoided. 
In a mediated divorce, a certified mediator is hired to act as a neutral person to help the parties reach an agreement–the mediator doesn’t represent or advise either spouse. Either party may retain an attorney to advise them throughout mediation and to review the proposed final agreement.
In both a collaborative or mediated divorce, it’s important to hire an experienced certified mediator like Adriana Blanchette who has received and implemented additional training specifically geared toward effective negotiation strategies.

Important Information About Arizona Divorces

When someone consults with a divorce lawyer, the first three things they usually ask are the requirements for filing, how long it takes to finalize the divorce, and different issues they might need to work out during the divorce proceeding.

1. Requirements to File for a Divorce in Arizona

  • You and your spouse must be legally married
  • Either you or your spouse must have been an Arizona resident for at least 90 days before filing the Petition for Dissolution or Marriage

2. How Long it Takes for the Divorce to Finalize

After the petition has been properly served, every divorce in Arizona will take at least 60 days because the only document that can be filed within 60 days after the petition is filed is the response to the petition. divorce lawyer tempe signing After this 60-day waiting period has expired, the time it takes to complete your divorce depends on the facts of your case such as the relationship between you and your spouse and whether children are involved. The time it takes to complete your divorce truly depends on how cooperative each party is throughout the financial disclosures and settlement negotiations.

3. Potential Issues to Work Out in the Divorce

A divorce in Arizona encompasses a multitude of issues such as:
  • The determination of the characterization of assets and debts as community property, separate property, or a combination of the two
  • An equitable division of the community estate
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance or support
There are a few more crucial things to know about divorce in Arizona:

4. Arizona is a Community Property State 

Community property means that the spouses share equally in all assets and debts purchased,  acquired, or paid for during the marriage, regardless of who used the property, who paid for the property, or whose name is on the title to the property. Determining if an asset or debt is truly community property, separate property, or a combination of the two can be complicated and can make a big difference in the overall distribution of assets and debts. Don’t be taken advantage of – hire Blanchette Law PLLC to protect your assets and your financial future.  

5. Divorces can be Contested or Uncontested

A divorce can be contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is where the parties are unable to reach an agreement on at least one issue of the divorce. An uncontested divorce is when a settlement agreement is reached between the parties and is incorporated into the final agreement that is ordered by the judge. A divorce can still be uncontested if attorneys are utilized by one or both parties in a collaborative divorce or if you attend mediation, so long as a written agreement was achieved. An uncontested divorce generally saves you money and allows you to remain in control of your case.

6. The Petition Must be Properly Served

To avoid any delays in your divorce, the petition and all necessary accompanying documents must be properly served on your spouse. The petition must be served on your spouse by someone over the age of 18 by personal service through a process server or the sheriff, or it can be served by mail with additional documentation–you cannot serve the petition  Blanchette Law PLLC has a network of process servers who are able to successfully serve the petition in some of the most difficult situations when someone is avoiding service.

Fundamental Right to Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce

Adriana Blanchette understands that equality was a long hard battle for the LGBT community. In Arizona, same-sex couples enjoy the same benefits of marriage as other couples. In the same fashion, when same-sex couples cannot resolve their issues, they have the same right to divorce as other married people. tempe same sex divorce lawyer Couples who are residents of Arizona might divorce in the state even if they got married in a different state. A same-sex couple’s divorce prceeds through the court process like a heterosexual couple’s divorce. However, same-sex couples may have unique issues heterosexual couples may not face.

Spousal Support in Same-Sex Divorce

Suppose a couple was in a committed relationship for decades before getting married. In that case, the Arizona spousal maintenance laws may look only at the actual years of marriage rather than considering the period of cohabitation when determining whether the court should order spousal maintenance. Anyone in a same-sex marriage who wants to get divorced should meet with Adriana Blanchette, an experienced divorce lawyer in Tempe. Adriana keeps current with the laws that affect LGBT marriage, parental rights, and divorce. Call Blanchette Law PLLC at (602) 881-1748 to discuss your case.

Proactive and Protective Measures to Take in a Divorce

Protecting yourself and your family, including ensuring that you have all important information saved for your records, is important, especially if a divorce becomes contested. Here’s a brief list of things to do upon separation and the filing of a divorce. More in depth protective measures that are specific to your case can be discussed during your free consultation.
  1. Gather all important information for each family member, including social security numbers, date of birth, copies of birth certificates, passports, and wills. 
  2. Change all passwords for your email and social media accounts, including the security questions and recovery email information.
  3. Unlink your email accounts and cloud storage (such as iCloud and iMessages) from all devices that you don’t have possession of.
  4. Obtain all information regarding the assets and debts so you can check that they’re being paid and properly handled.
  5. Prepare an inventory of your personal property obtained during the marriage of notable value or those items which you think will be disputed.
  6. Prepare an inventory of items you owned before the marriage, those gifted to you, those you inherited, those you purchased with inherited funds, and any contributions you made toward property with inherited or otherwise separate property funds. Collect documentation to prove your claims that those items are separate property.
  7. Refrain from engaging in any activity that may be used against you to make you look bad (sending threatening messages, engaging in dangerous or illegal activities, etc.)
  8. Be wary of social media. Don’t make derogatory posts or comments about your spouse, and don’t post any photos or make any comments that might be used against you in court–even if your profile is private.
  9. Keep a journal of your children’s activities, including which spouse takes them to and from school, health appointments, after-school activities, etc. The journal will be helpful when discussing separate households and how you and your spouse will handle your children’s activities and appointments.
  10. Keep conversations with your spouse cordial and polite–write everything as if the judge will read it, because they might.

Mrs. Blanchette Serves Families with Patience and Compassion.

Divorce is challenging for any couple. At Blanchette Law PLLC, we take the time to get to know you before taking on your divorce or custody case. Adriana will listen to your story compassionately to determine your history. She’ll help you understand your legal options while considering your needs, and she’ll address your concerns patiently through every step.  Adriana Blanchette is ready to assist you in navigating the Arizona divorce and custody legal process with patience and compassion. Call us at (602) 881-1748  for a free consultation.

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