Getting Started

Getting Started with Divorce, Child Custody and Family Law Legal Matters in Arizona

Before you choose legal representation, you need to know your options.

The best way to figure out what options are available is to consult with an attorney. You may think it’s too soon in the process to involve a lawyer, but the beginning of any matter is critical.  We can help you figure out what you need to know, what to prepare for and how to move forward.

When most people need legal help with a family law issue, like a divorce, custody issue, or some other legal matter; they think there are only two choices: hire an attorney to handle everything for you or to try to do it all yourself. Fortunately, these are not your only two options.

We recognize that some people do not need or cannot afford to have a lawyer handle every aspect of their case. So, we offer several representation options, including limited scope and flat fee representation. We also offer legal document preparation services and hourly legal consultations with an attorney.

Understandably many clients come to us stressed, tired and emotional. After meeting with one of our attorneys, the most common reaction is relief. Trying to figure out the nuances of family law on your own is daunting. Lawyers go to school for three years, pass the bar exam, then have to learn all of the Arizona Family Law Rules and Procedures…You have more important things to do than learning how to be a lawyer.

Family law is what we do. We understand the law, the rules and the family law procedures. We know we can help you through this difficult process. So do yourself a favor and give us call us to schedule your consultation today. The peace of mind you will receive is reason enough.

Put on your jeans, come in for a cup of coffee and tell us your story. We will explain what you need to know and how we can help.

Contact Us Today

Not sure what to do next? Start here.

Call (480) 219-2433 – If you don’t know where to start, call us. We understand that figuring out where to start and who to trust is often the most difficult aspect of any family law issue. There is so much information available online it is difficult to decide what to do first. But we are here to help.

When choosing a lawyer or a law firm to help you, it is important to make sure that they are experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy. You need a law firm that will listen to your needs and work with you to find a successful resolution. If you have any questions, give us a call at (480) 219-2433 and we will be happy to help you in anyway we can.

Consult with an Attorney – Our website is here provide you with reliable and accurate information about family law in Arizona. But no website can give you the personalized legal advice you need. In order to get specific legal advice and answers to your questions, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.

Our initial consultations are $200 for one hour with an attorney. You may think that is expensive. But Arizona family law rules and procedures can be confusing. Mistakes made early in a case can create problems that are difficult, time consuming and expensive to fix. Learn what you need to know, your options and how to get the the process started the right way.

Make a Game Plan – We love game plans. We think it’s important to know what to do next and how to move toward a resolution. Not everyone feels the same way we do about game plans. But imagine a football coach without a playbook or a contractor without a blueprint. How successful do you think they would be? Not very.

We think that having a plan of action is critical to a successful outcome. After consulting with one of our attorneys, you will know your options and you will be ready to create an effective plan that meets your legal and financial needs. We will help you develop a game plan enabling you to move forward in the right direction.

We always joke that “What makes us different, makes us the Best.” But many a true word is spoken in jest. We know we can help you. Here’s what sets us apart from most law firms.

  • We practice family law exclusively
  • Offer personalized service and a specialized strategy for you
  • Always attempt to resolve issues first and avoid costly litigation
  • We offer unbundled legal services.
  • Work with our clients to limit the costs.
  • We answer our phone and call our clients back.
  • Wrote the book on divorce in Arizona, The Divorce Coach.
  • We have successfully helped thousands of mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents.

We recognize that family law matters can be stressful and they are often expensive. With this in mind, we try to resolve issues and avoid court whenever possible. This keeps costs down and helps our clients move forward positively.

But sometimes going to court is inevitable and when it’s needed, our experienced trial attorneys are ready. We have handled hundreds of trials and always resolutely advocated for our clients’ best interests.

Learn About Your Issue – We know that there is an overwhelming amount of information available out there. The information in this website has been compiled over many years of family law practice. Educating yourself about the issues will benefit tremendously throughout this process. So browse our website, read our articles, and watch our videos to learn about your family law issue.

Our website is filled with great resources to help you get started.  Use the navigation menu at the top of each page to find your issue or select an option from our Learn More section at the bottom of each page. We also have information on a wide range of issues under our Family Law Resources Page including articles, blogs, videos, e-books, FAQs and more.

Choosing the Right Option for You

Most attorneys only offer their clients one option; pay them a big retainer in order to hire them. We are different. We take the time to learn about you and your needs and we customize our representation in order to meet your goals. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique and what’s right for you may not be right for someone else. That’s why we offer a variety of customization options to meet your financial and legal needs. When making your decision, only you can decide what is most important to you. Consider the following:

  • How complex is your issue?
  • Are there children involved?
  • How quickly do you need help?
  • Can you cooperate and compromise with opposing party?
  • What’s at stake?
  • What is your financial situation?
  • What is most important to you?

Different lawyers have different attitudes. Some lawyers like to argue and litigate every issue. They may fit the ideal of a “TV Lawyer”, but in reality they will only make your situation more stressful and more expensive. We like to help people resolve issues efficiently and effectively, while reducing stress and costs. When looking for an attorney, remember:

  • Family Law Only. Many attorneys will accept any client who walks in their door regardless of the issue. But you don’t need just any lawyer, you need a lawyer who focuses on family law elusively.
  • Experience.  There is no substitute for an experienced family law attorney.
  • Trust.  Your lawyer will be working with you on many sensitive issues and you need to feel that you are a priority and that your lawyer and their firm has your best interests in mind at all times.

Still not sure what you need...

If you still aren’t sure what you need or which representation is right for you, give us a call. We are here to help. We will explain all of your options and help you figure out what you need to do next.

If you don’t think that our legal representation options are right for you, don’t worry. We also offer consultations, document preparation services and mediation.  We understand that not everyone needs full legal representation for their family law matter. Everyone’s situation is different and will work with you to provide you with the services you need. Schedule a consultation with us and we will help you figure out what option is right for you. We won’t try to up-sell you or force you into an option that you don’t need or that you can’t afford. Come in for a consult and together we will figure out what’s best for you.

Representation Options for Your Divorce, Child Custody or Family Law Issue

DO-IT YOURSELF

Act as you own lawyer and represent yourself. Draft, file and serve the dissolution documents on your own. Represent yourself in court for all of your hearings, settlement conferences, meditations and trials. Manage your case from start to finish.

RETAIN AN ATTORNEY

If negotiation and compromise are not possible or if there are a lot of assets at stake, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you. We offer hourly or flat fee representation for your entire matter. We will be your Attorneys of Record, draft all documents, handle all communication, settlements, negotiations and we will attend all court hearings.

MEDIATION

Mediation is the simple way to resolve your issue. Stay out of court, avoid long drawn out litigation and hire us to conduct your mediation. We will act as a third party neutral mediator to help you settle your issues. As a mediator, we will help you and the other party make agreements and finalize the settlement in as little as one day.

LIMITED SCOPE

Anytime during your matter that you need legal representation, such as a court hearing, a trial or a mediation, we can help. You can hire us for any court appearance, settlement conference or mediation. We can provide representation on a limited scope flat fee basis. If you have a hearing or a trial and don’t want to risk going it alone, call us and we will be there to help you through.

DOCUMENT PREPARATION

Hire us to draft your all of your legal documents on a flat fee basis. We know family law and the legal rules and procedures. Save time. Save money. Save your sanity. Let us take care of drafting your documents and filing them with the court. We will make sure your documents get done right the first time.

ON-GOING CONSULTATIONS

Consult with one of our attorneys as needed. We can help you at any stage of your matter. We will give you specific legal advice on your issues, advise you of your best options, and help you develop a game plan.

CONSULT/DOC PREP COMBO

The Best of both worlds, combine flat fee document preparation and hourly consultations to manage your matter. We can advise you and help you throughout the process. Get the help of an attorney and pay-as-you go for what you need when you need it.

STILL NOT SURE...

If you still aren’t sure what you need or which representation is right for you, give us a call. We are here to help. We will explain all of your options and help you figure out what you need to do next. Don’t wait any longer, get the answers you need, call now.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Started

Why do I need a consultation?

Individuals often come to us after trying to manage their case on their own or after experiencing a court disaster. Don’t let that happen to you because some mistakes can be very difficult and very expensive to fix. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you can handle your legal issues all on your own. There are plenty of websites that offer do-it-yourself forms and they try to make legal matters seem simple. Unfortunately, family law can be complex and not knowing all of the Arizona Family Law Rules and Procedures can have detrimental consequences. Even if you want to handle your matter on your own, consult with an attorney first and be confident that you understand the process and the law.

How much does it cost to get started?

$200. The first step is a consultation. At the initial consultation we will learn the facts of your case and figure out your ideal outcome. From there we can decide on a plan of action that meets your needs and create a game plan tailored specifically for you.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

That is entirely up to you. But, what you don’t know can hurt you. When you represent yourself you are held to the same standard as an attorney. The courts aren’t lenient with the rules. If something is filed incorrectly or deadlines are missed you’ll get no sympathy from the judge, just a quick lesson on the penalties for not meeting the standards of the legal system. Only you can decide what is the best option for you.

Do I have to hire an attorney?

No. You can represent yourself and draft all the required documents on your own. All of the required forms are available on the Maricopa County Court’s website. We do not recommend doing it all alone, unless you have some familiarity with the legal process. But there are resources available, like The Divorce Coach book that can guide you through the process.

How much will all of this cost?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the exact cost of a particular case. Without consulting with you, we do not have enough information about your particular case to know what needs to be done.

There are many factors that affect the total cost. The cost depends on the parties’ and their attorneys’ willingness to be reasonable. Regrettably, in family law, sometimes reason, compromise and civility are in short supply. As a result, cases can quickly become complex and costly. We try to avoid lengthy litigation at all costs, but we will always work on your behalf for the best possible outcome.

Do you offer free consultations?

Unfortunately we do not offer free consultations. Because information discussed during a consultation is sensitive by nature, any legal advice we provide must adhere to the Arizona Family Law Rules and Procedures. As such, in order to protect your privacy and our ethical obligations to you, we charge a fee for our time and expertise.

How long will this process take?

It depends. We know that isn’t the answer you want to hear, but it’s the truth. By law, the absolute soonest you can be divorced is 90 days from when the Petition for Divorce is filed and served to the opposing party. Other matters may take less time or they make take more time. In our experience the average divorce process from start to finish lasts about 8 months. But, the less adversarial the two parties are, the quicker your matter will be completed.

Are there faster ways to get this done?

Yes. Mediation is one of the fastest, most cost effective ways to get divorced. Mediation can resolve all of the issues in as little as one day. Mediation also costs about 5-6 times less than traditional divorce. Go to our Mediation Page to learn more.

Are you ready for a consultation? GET CONSULTATION