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Divorce & Family Law

Divorce & Family Law

The break up of a family causes stress, fear and an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. Our attorneys understand the toll divorce and family law disputes take on parents and their children. We are committed to helping our clients rebuild their lives and restructure their families.

For more than two decades, the lawyers at Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC have represented clients and their families as they face one of the most challenging times of their lives. We are not a high volume law firm. We keep our caseload low in order to give every client the compassionate support they need during this difficult time.

Protecting your children 
While divorce is difficult for adults, it can be even more stressful on children. We help protect your custodial rights and make sure you have the financial resources to care for your children.

We review your rights and child custody options, as well as your child support and visitation rights and obligations.

Our experienced lawyers advocate for our clients in a broad range of family law services including:
  • Divorce
  • Modification of child custody
  • Child support
  • Property division
  • Post-divorce
  • Modification
  • Fathers’ rights
  • Visitation & visitation modification
  • Complex property division
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Paternity
  • Relocation (moving out of state)
  • Grandparents’ rights

At every stage of the process, you can trust that our sound, compassionate guidance is focused on protecting your rights and your children’s future.

At every stage of the process, you can trust that our sound, compassionate guidance is focused on protecting your rights and your children’s future.

A common concern during divorce is financial security. Arizona is a community property state, meaning that all property acquired during the marriage through the labor and effort of the parties is considered to be marital property. At the time of divorce, your assets – including property, earnings and retirement accounts and stocks – will be divided. Our firm will ensure you are treated fairly during the division of property. We are experienced in litigating the nature of property and complex property issues, including asset valuation of family-owned businesses.

The lawyers at the Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC will protect your financial interests – and your family. While divorce is difficult for adults, it is often even more stressful on children. We will help protect your custodial and visitation rights and make sure you have the financial resources to care for your children.

When can I file for a divorce in Arizona?

You or your spouse must have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before you can file for a divorce.

What reasons must I give in order to get a divorce?

Arizona is a no-fault state, which means that neither spouse needs to give a reason for the divorce. Only one party needs to assert that he or she believes the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Is mediation a viable option?

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (mediator) facilitates a voluntary negotiation process between the parties or litigants. The mediator assists the parties in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement, but does not make any decisions regarding the settlement. Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator has no authority to render a decision or force either party to accept a settlement. The parties retain ownership and control of their issues and of the responsibility for resolving them.

Benefits of mediation:
The ultimate decision is left to the parties.
There is unlimited creativity surrounding the agreements.
Mediation is significantly less expensive than litigation.
The animosity that generally arises during the litigation process can be minimized or avoided altogether.

What steps are in the divorce process?

  1. One spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and ancillary documents.
  2. After the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, copies of all of the papers must be served on your spouse unless service is waived in writing and filed with the court. Your spouse has 20 days (if served in Arizona) or 30 days (if served outside of Arizona) to respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  3. If your spouse fails to file a Response within those 20 days, the other spouse can apply for a default. After a request for default is filed, your spouse only has 10 days to file a Response or risk the divorce being granted on all of the terms of the petitioning spouse.
  4. If no Response is filed, at the end of the “cooling off” period of 60 days after the Respondent is served with the divorce papers, the Petitioner may obtain a Default Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
  5. If a Response is filed but both parties reach an agreement as to all issues, they can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage that sets forth all of their agreements for the judge to sign.

What if my spouse does not agree to a divorce?

If your spouse does not want the divorce, he or she may request that the parties attend a conciliation meeting with the court. The divorce will be put on hold for up to 60 days while that meeting takes place. If the meeting does not result in the parties agreeing to postpone the divorce, the divorce will go forward.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

After the spouse is served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a 60-day “cooling off” period must pass before the divorce may be finalized. It is not possible to be divorced any sooner even if both parties agree. If the parties do not agree on the terms of the divorce, a trial will be set. Depending on the county, these proceedings could take as long as six to nine months before a divorce would become final.

What is covered in a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage?

A Decree of Dissolution of Marriage will:

  1. Terminate the marriage.
  2. Determine custody, parenting time and support of the minor children, if any.
  3. Determine spousal maintenance (alimony), if any.
  4. Divide property acquired during the marriage, and affirm property owned prior to the marriage (if any) to the party who owned it.
  5. Assign responsibility for debts incurred during the marriage, and affirm debts owned prior to marriage (if any) to the party who owed them.
  6. Determine responsibility for attorney fees and costs, if any.
  7. Restore the last name of a requesting spouse (optional).

How will property be divided?

Arizona is a community property state, meaning that all property acquired during the marriage through the labor and effort of the parties is considered to be marital property.

Gifts or inheritance given specifically to one spouse are an exception and are not considered marital property for purposes of property division.

Will I pay or receive child support?

A child support determination will take into account child custody, visitation and parenting time, as well as the income and obligations of each parent. Even if you have joint or shared custody, if it is in the child’s best interests, one parent may be obligated to pay child support to the other.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s Child Support and Family Law website offers many valuable resources including a Child Support Calculator, Child Support Guidelines, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, forms, instructions and useful links.

Can a child support obligation be modified?

If there has been a significant change in circumstances that affect your ability to pay child support, or if you are seeking an increase in support to address your child’s needs, you can calculate potential adjustments using the Child Support Calculator available on the Arizona Supreme Court Child Support and Family Law website. (Be advised that the calculator only provides an estimate and should not be considered legal advice.) The court may increase or decrease child support payments based on the needs of either party as long as the child’s best interests are still protected.

Will I receive or pay spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance was formerly called alimony in Arizona. Our state takes a rehabilitative approach to this issue meaning it is intended to provide a bridge to financial independence. A husband or wife must prove that spousal maintenance is necessary in order for them to meet their monetary obligations.

An experienced family law attorney will aggressively assert your right to financial support, or defend you against unreasonable demands for spousal maintenance. In some cases the attorney will hire a vocational rehabilitation expert or “Certified Divorce Planner” to analyze your situation and determine how long it should take for the receiving party to achieve financial independence.

We recommend that you contact an attorney if you are seeking to modify a spousal maintenance agreement.

Can spousal maintenance be permanent?

Spousal maintenance is most often temporary; however, in certain situations permanent maintenance may be awarded. For example, if one party is disabled or if one party has been out of the workforce for a lengthy time during the marriage and is unable to acquire the skills necessary to be self-supporting.

What if my spouse has committed domestic violence or may become violent?

If your spouse has committed domestic violence or may become violent during the dissolution proceedings, you may apply for an Order of Protection. The forms for an Order of Protection are available for free at any Superior Court, Justice of the Peace Court or City Court. You will see a judicial officer on the same day that you fill out the Petition for Order of Protection. There is no charge to apply for an Order of Protection.

Always call 911 in an emergency.

Does Arizona have a mandatory parent education program?

If the parties have a minor child or children together, both parties must attend a court mandated education program about the impact of divorce on children. Both parents must attend, even if there is no disagreement regarding custody and parenting time. If one party does not attend, he or she may not be able to obtain custody and/or parenting time with the child(ren). The parties may not attend the same class at the same time.

Useful Links:

Divorce and Family Law Self-service Legal Forms for Superior Court Pima County
View the full Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (A.R.F.L.P.)
Civil Law Self-service Legal Forms for Superior Court Pima County
Arizona Child Support Guidelines and Calculator
Guide by Arizona State University on Arizona family law, primarily focused on divorce and parenting issues.