Frequently Asked Questions
Committed to Aggressive Representation and Exceptional Client Services
1. How do I begin a divorce?
Mied Law Group, P.C. schedules initial consultations and once you have retained our firm, we will prepare and file the divorce petition and accompanying documents to begin the divorce process. However, the law does not require that an attorney prepare the documents.
2. What do I do? I was just served with divorce papers?
If you were served in Arizona, you have twenty (20) days to file a response. If you were served out of State, you have thirty (30) day to respond. Mied Law Group, P.C. recommends you seek legal advice before filing any response to ensure your rights are best protected.
3. What are the different types of custody?
The State of Arizona recognizes various types of custody. The most common misunderstood custody term is Joint custody. Joint custody entitles both parties to consult on all issues concerning the children's educational, medical and religious decisions. In a sole custody arrangement, one party makes all the decisions. Shared custody is also joint custody whereby the parties parenting time is almost equal with the child/children.
4. How will my child custody and visitation be determined?
Child custody and visitation are determined either by agreement of the parties, through mediation by a court mediator, by a court appointed evaluator and/or by a judge.
5. What if my spouse and I are unable to agree on a custody designation or a parenting plan?
In this situation, it may be best to seek the assistance of a court-approved custody evaluator to better assess the children's best interests. This individual will meet with the entire family unit and any other important people in the children's lives (known as collaterals) and issue a comprehensive report with recommendations for the court. A similar, less comprehensive, assessment is available through the court known as a Parenting Conference. One last alternative, is to present the circumstances to the court for consideration and ruling.
6. How is child support determined?
Maricopa County and the State of Arizona have instituted guidelines for calculation of child support. The main factors to be considered are: the income of both parents, the terms of the parenting plan, health insurance paid on behalf of the child/children and child care costs. There are other factors that can contribute to the calculation of child support. It is important to note that Arizona Child Support Guidelines can frequently undergo substantial changes. Mied Law Group, P.C. recommends that you consult legal counsel to determine how these guidelines may effect your circumstances.
7. Can I get alimony/spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is based on many factors. The length of the marriage, the difference between the parties' incomes, the ability of the spouse seeking spousal maintenance, the ages of the minor children and many other factors are among the relevant inquiries. The Courts look at all of these factors before determining an award of spousal maintenance. It is recommended that you consult legal counsel with any questions concerning spousal maintenance.
8. How will our property and debts be divided in the divorce?
Arizona is a community property state. All community property is divided equally between the parties. In addition, all debts incurred during a marriage (no matter whose name they are in) are community debts and both parties are liable for the payment of them. Any separate property or debt of a party prior to the marriage is awarded to that party. In many cases, the parties disagree over their community property and sole and separate property and a judge must make a ruling as to who will have the property. Our office works for you as a client to ensure that all property is divided as equitably as possible. There are many complex issues when sole and separate property is commingled with community assets/property. These are best analyzed by legal counsel.
9. How long will my divorce take?
The State of Arizona requires a 60 day period after service of the divorce petition. This is often referred to as a "cooling off" period. This cannot be waived and is the minimum time a divorce action take. Unfortunately, in some cases, divorces can linger on for up to two years or longer if they proceed to trial and if there are many contested matters.
10. What is the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is where both parties have agreed on the resolution of the divorce; including custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance as well as property and debt distribution. However, most divorces are contested. Mied Law Group, P.C. handles both contested and uncontested divorces.
11. Do I have to prove my spouse did something wrong in order to get a divorce?
No. The State of Arizona is a no - fault state. Therefore, all divorces are filed based on irreconcilable differences and no one is at fault for the divorce.