Schmidt McElwee & Gordon PLLC

Your Family Law Team

Answers To Commonly Asked Family Law Questions

When it comes to issues relating to your family, it can be emotional and draining. Having an attorney who understands the law can make all the difference. Schmidt McElwee & Gordon, PLLC, has over 50 years of combined experience helping clients. We aim to find tailored solutions based on your specific needs. After reading through the list of frequently asked questions below, call our office at 602-230-1118 to schedule a consultation. You can also fill out our online contact form.

What is the difference between divorce and legal separation?

While they are similar, there is one main difference. A divorce dissolves the marital relationship. Completing a legal separation does not. After a divorce, you are allowed to legally remarry. After a legal separation, you cannot as you are still married to the person you have separated from. During both a divorce and a legal separation, you address issues such as child custody arrangements, property division, spousal maintenance and child support responsibilities. People who choose legal separation may do so for religious reasons, financial or health insurance reasons or due to the potential for reconciliation.

Do I need a lawyer when filing for a divorce in Arizona?

While it is possible to represent yourself during a dissolution of marriage, it is typically not in your best interest. Having an experienced family law attorney, particularly in complex matters, is advisable.

How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?

In Arizona, no divorce decree can be entered until 60 days after the service of a Petition. Generally most cases require more time and the duration depends on the complexity of the case, issues involved, the court’s calendar and other factors.

How does a court determine child support?

Typically child support is determined in accordance with Arizona’s child support guidelines. Without limitation a court must consider incomes of the parties, cost of health insurance, the parenting time schedule and other needs of the children. In certain circumstances a court may deviate from the guidelines if warranted based on the facts of the case.