The Harding Firm Gilbert Family Law


¿Hablan español?

Hablamos español y estamos aquí para ayudarle con sus cuestiones de derechos familiares . Podemos ayudarle a preparar documentos , o también, representarlo en la corte con problemas de divorcio y manutención de tus hijos menores

How long is this going to take?

It depends. There are multiple actors involved – the other party, their attorney, and the judge. There is also a procedure that must be followed. Some judges move quickly through cases, some are very slow. Every case is different, but on average, allow three to nine months or more to resolve your issue. If all parties agree, the time period will be shorter.

Is divorce easy?

The divorce process can be complicated or simple, based in large part on how you and your spouse interact. The more the two of you can agree upon, the easier (and less costly) it will be.

Will Filing Suit Bring My Spouse to His/Her Senses?

Generally not. Some people hope that filing a divorce suit will shock his/her spouse into reality and thereby save the marriage. Although filing for a divorce sometimes saves the marriage, it rarely works out that way. Usually, it causes the other spouse to become more hostile and defensive. Therefore, the divorce should be filed with the realization that you are asking for a divorce and, barring very unusual circumstances, a divorce is what you will receive.

Should I Close Bank Accounts?

Whenever a party takes action without permission from the other party is different from what the parties normally does, you must be prepared to offer a reasonable explanation to the judge for your actions and be able to account for how the money has been handled.
If the suit was filed in a county that uses Standing Orders or you were served with a Temporary Restraining Order, you are probably prohibited from closing accounts. If you are not under such orders, you are free to close the accounts. However, you should consider the possible consequences. Closing an account without notice to your spouse may increase the hostility level and foster mistrust. Further, it may cause checks to bounce and create difficulties with creditors.
If you believe your spouse is likely to spend or hide money from an account, it may be wise to place the funds beyond your spouse’s reach by depositing it in a new account. If you do so, you should leave sufficient funds in the old account to cover any outstanding checks and a reasonable sum for your spouse’s use.

Will a judge or jury decide my case?

If parties are not able to resolve their issues by mutual agreement, questions of child custody, visitation and attorney’s fees can only be determined by the judge, not a jury. This includes division of property, division of debts, alimony, and child support, and other disputed areas. Both spouses may introduce evidence by their own testimony and may also summon other witnesses to the final trial. The decision returned by a judge is written into a court order that is binding upon both parties. At any temporary hearing, only the judge makes the decisions.

What happens to “our” possessions now?

Marital property is generally all property acquired during the marriage, except for that property received by gift from a third party or by inheritance. Each spouse is entitled to an “equitable” (which does not mean equal) share of all marital property acquired during the marriage. There is no set formula or percentage amount used to divide marital property; however, credit may be given to a party who has contributed “separate” or “premarital” property to the marriage. Arizona case law sets forth a formula to determine how the contribution of “separate” property in the marriage is to be handled. Contact us immediately if this is an issue in your situation.

What is a retainer and should I have to pay one?

A retainer is a large fee paid to an attorney up front. Usually, hourly fees are taken out from the retainer as the lawyer works on a case, and the retainer is refreshed when funds run low. Retainers assure clients that they have a lawyer and they assure lawyers that the client can pay for their services. While many lawyers charge retainers, you can probably shop around for one that doesn’t. If you do pay a retainer, make sure your agreement with the lawyer is in writing.

If I win, will the other party have to pay my attorney’s fees?

It depends. The other party might be ordered to pay your attorney’s fees based on their income and the reasonableness of their positions. Keep in mind that you will be required to pay your attorney’s fees up front, and if the court awards you attorney’s fees, the opposing party will be responsible for reimbursing you at a later time period.