Thinking about getting a divorce in Phoenix? It is a life-changing decision and the choices you make during this process will affect not only you and your spouse but also your children and finances. With so much at stake, you need to approach this transition with a well-thought-out plan and the right resources at your disposal.
To that end, attorney Cosmas Onyia explores with you some important things you need to consider to prepare yourself and mark the beginning of a new chapter.
#1 Financial Assessment
Divorce can have significant financial implications for both parties involved. Taking the time to assess your financial situation and plan accordingly can help ensure a smoother transition and protect your financial well-being. Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Gather Financial Documents
- Create an Inventory of Assets and Debts
- Assess Your Income and Expenses
- Consider Your Financial Goals
- Review Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements
- Consult with Tax Professionals
- Protect Your Credit
- Update Your Financial Plan or Budget
#2 Child Custody and Parenting Plans
Child custody and parenting plans are major considerations when filing for divorce in Phoenix, as they directly impact the well-being of your children and the dynamics of co-parenting. Arizona prioritizes the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Here are some key points to consider:
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody: Understand the distinction between legal decision making and parenting time. Legal decision making refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Parenting time pertains to where the child lives.
Parenting Plan: The court will require you to submit a parenting plan that outlines how you and your spouse intend to co-parent after divorce. Start considering the child’s living arrangements, visitation schedules, and decision-making responsibilities, which will become a part of the parenting plan.
Consistency and Stability: Courts in Arizona will aim to provide the child with a stable and consistent environment. Demonstrating your commitment to maintaining a stable home and routines can be beneficial.
#3 Legal Representation
Legal representation is perhaps the most important consideration before filing for divorce in Phoenix. Having an experienced family law attorney on your side can help protect your rights, navigate the legal system, and ensure a smoother divorce process. Here are a few important qualities to look for in a Phoenix divorce lawyer:
- Experience Matters: Look for an attorney with substantial experience in family law, specifically divorce cases.
- Professional Credentials: Check the attorney’s credentials and ensure they are qualified and licensed to provide representation in divorce cases.
- Local Knowledge: Choose an attorney familiar with Phoenix and its local family court system.
- Initial Consultation: Schedule an initial consultation with a dedicated divorce attorney to assess their communication style, approach, and compatibility with your needs.
- Transparent Communication: Ensure the attorney communicates clearly, explains legal terms, and keeps you informed about your case’s progress.
- Track Record: Ask about the attorney’s track record in settling cases amicably and, if necessary, their success in litigation.
#4 Support System
Building and maintaining a strong support system is a key consideration before filing for divorce in Phoenix. Here are several aspects to consider:
Emotional Support: Divorce can be emotionally taxing. Reach out to friends and family members who can provide a listening ear, empathy, and emotional support as you navigate the process.
Therapeutic Support: Consider seeking the help of a therapist, counselor, or support group to help you cope with the emotional toll of divorce. Therapeutic support can provide you with valuable tools to manage stress and emotional challenges.
Financial Support: Assess your financial situation and consider how you will manage the costs associated with divorce, including attorney fees, court fees, and potential changes in your financial circumstances after divorce.
#5 Potential Impact on Work and Career
Between court dates and meetings with your attorney, you are likely to need time off work which can add up to days or weeks, depending on how complex your case is. Talk to your HR department about your situation; they can guide you through the process of taking extended leave, if necessary, and help you understand any company-specific policies that might apply to your situation.
Ready for Change? Talk to the Top Divorce Attorney in Arizona
If it feels like you are standing at the edge and peering into the abyss, you are not alone. In a career spanning more than 25 years, attorney Cosmas Onyia has helped countless individuals in and around Maricopa County achieve satisfactory settlements for divorce and family law matters. If you are seeking a lawyer in Phoenix to help with divorce issues, give us a call at 602-265-5200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.