Family Law

Mesa Family Lawyer

3 Decades of Experience and 5,000+ Family Cases Handled

The Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. has been representing Arizona families for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Attorney Phil Hineman has handled more than 5,000 family law cases, from divorce to child custody to appeals issues. Attorney Hineman is an accomplished and experienced Mesa family lawyer with a BV Distinguished rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and you can trust him to provide you the compassionate and responsive legal advocacy you need. He will develop a results-driven strategy for your case and do his best to safeguard your and your child’s best interests.

Dissolution of Marriage in Mesa

To qualify for divorce in Mesa, at least one of the spouses must have resided in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing. Afterward, the filing spouse (“petitioner”) may file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Mesa county and serve all the divorce paperwork on their spouse (“respondent”). The respondent has 20 days from the date of service to file a response if they are in Arizona or 30 days if they are outside the state.

Spouses who are amicable and still on cooperative terms may negotiate a settlement agreement on their own without the influence of the court If they both agree to all the terms of the divorce, such as how property will be divided and who will get custody of the children. Note that Arizona is a community property state, which means any property held in common between spouses will typically be divided 50/50 by the court if the spouses cannot settle their own agreement, and any property owned prior to the marriage, as well as gifts and inheritances received during the marriage by only one spouse, are considered separate property not subject to division (as long as they haven't been comingled with the marital property). Be aware that a court may put a lien on these assets in cases of child or spousal support payments.

After drafting up a settlement agreement, the spouses can submit it to the court for final approval. If spouses cannot reach an agreement on their own, though, they can pursue alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation before turning to litigation. It is advisable to consult a lawyer regarding this process, as an experienced family attorney can help spouses effectively prepare for negotiation and ensure their needs and goals are being met.

Negotiating Child Custody and Support in Mesa

Parents in Mesa can have two types of custody – legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (parenting time), both of which can be awarded jointly between parents or solely to one parent. When determining a child custody arrangement, a Mesa, Arizona judge will base their decision on the child’s best interests:

  • the past, present, and potential future relationship between each parent and the child;
  • each child’s relationship with their parents, siblings, and anyone else who may affect the child’s best interest;
  • the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
  • the child and parents’ mental and physical health;
  • which parent is more likely to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • whether either parent has committed domestic violence or child abuse;
  • whether either parent has intentionally misled the court to gain an advantage in the litigation or made a false report about child abuse or neglect;
  • the child’s wishes, if they are of suitable age and maturity; and
  • any other relevant factors.

Regarding the child support arrangement, Arizona follows the Income Shares Model for calculating the amount of support.

Either parent may be ordered to pay child support, and the court will evaluate the following to make a determination.

  • the child’s financial resources and needs;
  • the custodial parent’s financial resources and needs;
  • the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  • the child’s physical and emotional condition, and their educational needs;
  • the noncustodial parent’s financial resources and needs;
  • the child’s medical support plan;
  • excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property;
  • the duration of parenting time and related expenses.

An experienced family lawyer can provide more individualized guidance and advice regarding your custody and/or child support options, depending on your situation.

Questions? Let the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. Help.

If you are dealing with a family law issue in Mesa, Arizona, speak with an experienced family lawyer for professional guidance in your situation. From filing for divorce to negotiating child custody, the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. can help you. The firm has handled over 5,000 family law cases for Arizona clients, and Attorney Phil Hineman will do his best to develop a results-oriented strategy safeguarding your rights. Whether you are a spouse or a parent (or both), Attorney Hineman can help champion your and your child’s best interests.

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. online or at (928) 224-3230 to learn more.

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