Filing for divorce can feel like taking a leap into the unknown and hoping you land on your feet. Fortunately, you can make the leap much less scary by understanding the process and ensuring you have everything you need to succeed. Here are a few tips for filing for divorce in Arizona.
- Gather paperwork. In Arizona, you don’t have to prove fault unless you are dissolving a covenant marriage, but even so, you’ll need to gather plenty of paperwork. You will need records of property and debts, as well as financial statements as part of the divorce procedure. If you are still in the marital home, now is a good time to start gathering that information in preparation for filing. You won’t need this documentation when filing for divorce, but once you’ve filed, your spouse may make it difficult to get the information you need.
- Get your finances in order. Before filing for divorce, you should also start the process of dividing your finances from your spouse’s. You can do this while you start gathering financial statements in preparation for the divorce proceedings. Open your own accounts, for example, and pay off or close shared credit cards and accounts so that your spouse can’t run up debt in your name out of spite once you file.
- Maintain your relationship with your child. Before and after filing for divorce, it’s important to do your best to maintain your relationship with your children. In particular, don’t do anything the courts might view as abandonment, as that could cause them to award your spouse sole custody. In Arizona, parents are usually granted shared parental rights, but there are factors that can lead them to award sole custody in the best interests of the child. If you appear to have abandoned your family, you may create a more difficult case for yourself.
- Get help. Just because you’re going through a divorce doesn’t mean you’re alone in this. It’s important to seek out a family law attorney who can help you navigate the entire process, from the initial filing to custody battles and beyond. Having an experienced professional as your guide will make it more likely that you’ll land on your feet after taking that first step.
Try not to think of filing for divorce as the end of something, or as a scary leap into the unknown. For many people, filing for divorce is actually a process of closing one door on a difficult chapter of their life, and opening another door to a fresh start. Contact Simon Law Group, PLLC, today, and we’ll help get you the closure you need to move on.