Family Law

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Family Law

Canterbury Law Group’s lawyers handle all types of Phoenix and Scottsdale Family Law matters including divorce, child custody, paternity, prenuptial agreements, spousal maintenance, decree enforcement, child relocation, father’s rights, and mother’s rights, and grandparents’ rights.

Family law is a complex legal area requiring measured and detailed strategy and execution, and the courtroom is ultimately where many significant and life changing decisions are made. Our dedicated Scottsdale divorce lawyers will ensure thorough preparation for every public hearing appearance all the way through trial. Your divorce lawyer, like you, will know the facts, the law and position you to achieve the highest degree of success the law allows.

 

Scottsdale Divorce Attorneys

 

Divorce

Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them. Delay may result in limiting your options.Every situation is unique and our attorneys are well equipped to provide you with the tools to make the best decision that suits your particular situation.

 

Father’s rights

Our attorneys are experienced in helping fathers get fair and equitable treatment by the courts in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Arizona. Indeed, recent changes to Arizona law mandate that the court treat both mothers and fathers equally in the eyes of the law. If a man fears that his wife may leave and take the children, it is his obligation to ensure he takes steps needed to protect his role as the father. That may mean consulting an attorney before his wife has the opportunity to file for a divorce. The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group in Scottsdale have significant expertise in father’s rights issues and can capably guide you.

 

Child Custody

An integral component of any divorce with children is a court enforceable joint parenting plan. Typically when parents cannot mutually agree on a child-rearing plan, the court will often establish a plan that both parents must follow concerning the children’s health and welfare. Arizona law requires that the best interest of the child be the lead consideration above any other.Moreover, Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona divorce court judges are commanded by statute to maximize the amount of parenting time for each parent.

 

This usually suggests an equal 50/50 parenting time protocol absent parental fitness issues (e.g. drug, alcohol, criminal history, domestic violence) being proven by the other parent. If your spouse is threatening to take 100% custody from you, absent your parental fitness being called into question, our attorneys will stop your spouse in his or her tracks and advocate fiercely to procure the 50% parenting time to which you maybe lawfully entitled.

 

Paternity

When a couple has children without being married, they should still legally establish who the lawful father of the child is, as well as determine what rights and obligations exist toward the child. In other cases, circumstances may change and divorced parents move on with their lives, sometimes seeking adoption or termination of parental rights. Every case is different and paternity rights law is flush with nuance and technicalities.

 
If you have a child out of wedlock, and even if you are still getting along with the other parent, you should seriously consider filing a Paternity Action to procure legally binding court orders regarding your child’s paternity, legal decision making, parenting time (custody) and child support obligations. This child is going to be in your respective lives for 18 years or more, and you should advance through the child’s life with validated, and enforceable court orders in-hand, in the event that the relationship with the other parent ever fails, or is starting to fail.

 

Grandparents

Courts recognize the importance of maintaining a child’s bond with extended family members. Once a grandparents’ rights petition is filed, the court will consider several specific statutory factors to determine whether a court-ordered grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the child. The court then must balance the parents’ right to raise their child how they see fit with a grandparents’ request for visitation. For this reason, grandparent visitation may be limited. Therefore, it is critical for grandparents to retain an attorney early in the process to protect their rights prior to formally commencing legal proceedings.

 

Prenuptial agreements

 

Prenuptial agreement are private contracts between marrying adults who choose to have their future divorce (should one occur) treated differently than what the law would normally otherwise provide.  Prenuptial agreements can be smart financial planning tools for all marriages but are especially common in second and third marriages, for business owners and/or when one partner has a large inheritance (received or expected in the future).

 

The goal of a prenup is to reduce the potential future conflict and unnecessary financial burden in the unfortunate event of divorce. Even when mutually signed with lawyers on both sides, there are no guarantees with a prenuptial agreement.  They can be thrown out by a judge if found to be fundamentally unfair or obtained by fraud or deceit.  However, by defining what will happen with asset division and spousal support before the marriage, couples have the opportunity to consider the financial and legal ramifications of marriage before walking down the aisle. Prenuptial agreements can also protect one spouse from the other spouse’s existing or future debt, detail asset allocations to children from prior marriages upon either spouse’s death, etc.

 

The courts will also enforce and honor postnuptial agreements, which can materially impact the parties’ rights. Postnuptial agreements, like their prenuptial brethren, can allocate and carve out each spouse’s rights and property in any way that is mutually agreeable to the two spouses even after they have married.

 

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is where one spouse pays the other spouse monthly support payments for a defined term of months or years after the divorce becomes final. Broadly speaking, the longer the marriage, the longer the spousal maintenance term can be, if the recipient spouse does in fact qualify for spousal maintenance.

 

There are significant tactical decisions one must consider in seeking to obtain or defend claims for spousal maintenance. The law does not guarantee an award of spousal maintenance regardless of length of marriage. Every case is unique and will warrant specialized examination prior to commencing action. Our firm will seek to mitigate or maximize those amounts depending on the posture of your case.

 

Decree enforcement

A divorce Decree handed down by a state court judge is a court order and is subject to rigorous and continued enforcement. Court orders should never be taken lightly. Our law firm prides itself on its no-nonsense approach to returning to a court of law and asking that the judge fully enforce his or her orders as originally determined by the judge during the prior proceedings. Parties disobeying court orders may be held liable for the other party’s attorney’s fees and costs. In some cases, incarceration of the other party can be achieved for failure to abide by the order of the court.

 

Relocation

Out of state relocation by parents and children has become a common issue in family law and is taken extremely seriously as it often has a profound impact on all involved. As a result, Arizona has very detailed law which outlines specific requirements and guidelines for cases involving a parent who wishes to relocate the child or to prevent child relocation out of state.

Our attorneys in Scottsdale can assist with the complicated procedures and litigation surrounding relocation and, if necessary, provide creative insight for a long-distance Parenting Plan that will maximize a non-moving parent’s contact and involvement with the child. In the alternative, if you are seeking to object to the child’s cross-state relocation, we have numerous strategies and arguments to maximize your chances for a positive result.