Family Law in Arizona

Family Law and Domestic Relations Issues in Maricopa County

How do the Arizona Family Law Court system work?

Family law courts are courts of equity. This means that the judges are asked to make decisions based on fairness. Arizona family law courts are governed by Arizona statutes (in Section 25, Marriage and Domestic Relations), by the Family Law Rules of Procedure and by the case law that has interpreted these statutes and rules. (Case law is what a court of appeals or the Arizona Supreme Court has determined is the actual meaning of the rules or statutes).

Sometimes, you will read a statute and think you know exactly what it means, but a court has decided another interpretation. Luckily, most cases and most divorces are not that complicated, and the parties do not need an in-depth legal analysis. If you find your case in a grey area and you do not know the answer, that is the time to consider consulting with an experienced attorney. If your question is straightforward, remember that hourly consultations are much cheaper than advance (retainer) fees.

Because family law courts are courts of equity, there are no juries. Although you may find a jury box in your family law courtroom, the judge alone will make all decisions in your case if there are disputed issues that must be litigated (brought to trial). However, there are ways to handle your entire divorce without ever having to set foot into a courtroom. You and your spouse can make all the decisions instead of a judge. That brings up our next point.

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Arizona Domestic Relations Laws and Family Law Rules and Procedures

Arizona Revised Statues, commonly abbreviated as A.R.S. Simply put, these are the Arizona Laws. Every Arizona law is contained in these statutes. They govern everything, including Domestic Relations. The Laws are broken down into Titles, Chapters and Articles. The family law chapters are located under Title 25 – Marital and Domestic Relations. You can view all of these chapters online at: http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=25

In order to be successful in your family law matter you need to understand what the law says. It’s no use arguing something that isn’t in the law. But legal jargon can make this virtually impossible. It’s like trying to read a novel in a foreign language. And for most people, learning all of this law is useless. That’s why there are attorneys. We know the law and we can help interpret it for you. If you have any questions about how these laws affect you and your family law matter, give us a call and we will help you in any way we can.

Rules Family Law Procedure are the Superior Court rules outline how A.R.S. Title 25 laws are enforced and they layout the court’s processes and procedures.  So basically, anything that happens in Arizona Courts related to Family Law must follow these rules. (They must also follow the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure and the Arizona Rules of Evidence when/where applicable). There are 22 Rules that dictate how everything is done. You can view these Rules online at: https://govt.westlaw.com/azrules/Browse/Home/Arizona/ArizonaCourtRules/ArizonaStatutesCourtRules?guid=N1AA10FA0715611DAA16E8D4AC7636430&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

Knowing these Rules is critical to successfully managing your family law matter. The Rules dictate everything from filing procedures to deadlines. If there are errors in your documents the court won’t accept them. If you miss a deadline, you could lose the issue automatically. That’s why having a law firm on your side is so important. Don’t learn the hard way. Give us a call and we will help you manage your legal issue correctly.

Maricopa County Superior Courts

602-506-3360

18380 N. 40th St., Phoenix 85032

http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/ne_court.asp

602-506-3360

14264 W. Tierra Buena Ln., Surprise 85374

http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/northwest_loc.asp

602-506-3204

101/201 W. Jefferson, Phoenix 85003-2205

http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov

602-506-3360

222 E. Javelina Ave., Mesa 85210-6201

http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/se_court.asp

A.R.S. Title 25 - Marital and Domestic Relations Chapters

  • Marriage
  • Husband and Wife, Property Contract Rights
  • Dissolution of Marriage
  • Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time
  • Family Support Duties
  • Maternity and Paternity Proceedings
  • Covenant Marriage
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
  • Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
  • Legitimacy of Children
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an attorney for my family law matter?

No. Arizona law allows you to do this yourself. You are considered pro se or pro per; you must follow all the same rules as parties with attorneys. You may have to go into a courtroom, but you are held to the standard of an attorney. But, even if you do this yourself, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review your work and give you some legal advice.

Where can I get more information about the Maricopa County Superior Court?

The court has useful information online at: http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/

Is it possible to represent myself in court?

Yes, as it is not a requirement that you have an attorney to represent you in court proceedings. However, the same rules and procedures apply whether you have an attorney or not, which means all papers must be correctly completed and filed on time.

Where is the court?

The Maricopa County Superior Courthouses are listed above with their address and contact information.

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