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Scottsdale Divorce Attorney

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The end of a marriage is a difficult time. At the Law Office of Karen Schoenau, we understand this. Our experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney will be there to support you throughout the marriage dissolution process. We act as forceful advocates to protect your interests with our thorough knowledge of divorce law in Arizona, the use of strategic negotiation and courtroom action.

Why Choose Us

  • Our attorney, Karen A. Schoenau, has over 20 years of experience representing Arizona residents in family law cases with an emphasis on complex child custody claims.
  • Our law firm will provide you with the resources and knowledge you need to bring your divorce case to a successful resolution.
  • We understand how difficult the divorce process can be. Our firm will provide you with dedicated, compassionate legal representation throughout your case.

Dedicated to Handling Divorce and All Related Issues in Scottsdale, Arizona

Our family law attorney has extensive experience handling legal separations and complex divorces in Scottsdale, as well as all of the issues that surround the end of a marriage, including:

If you don’t see the family law issue you are dealing with on the list above, rest assured, the Scottsdale divorce attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau will be able to review your case and provide an honest assessment. When the time comes to deal with a family law issue, let our divorce attorney represent you in the Arizona court system.

Whether you are planning for divorce or have already filed for divorce, it is important that you consult with an attorney. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means that things like adultery, abandonment and misconduct have no bearing on how the court determines issues. The only time any kind of fault may come into play is if there are allegations that directly affect the best interests of the children.

For answers to frequently asked questions about divorce in Arizona, click here. You can also call the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau to have your questions answered or to schedule a consultation with our Scottsdale divorce attorney. Do not let your spouse, former spouse, or the other parent of your child tell you how to live your life. You have rights that need to be protected in all aspects of family law. At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, we will ensure that you are properly represented when dealing with any type of family law issue in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or anywhere else in Arizona.

How to File for Divorce in Scottsdale

To file for divorce in Arizona, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. You will then initiate the divorce process by filing a dissolution petition in Arizona court. This petition outlines your intention to file for divorce and the specific remedies you are seeking, such as child custody arrangements, parenting time and visitation schedules, and the division of your marital property. You will then need to serve your spouse with the petition through a process server or sheriff.

Your spouse will need to file a response to the petition within 20 days after being served. He or she can choose to agree to your terms or file documents with opposing requests. If he or she does not file a response, the court will enter a default judgement and grant all of the requests from the dissolution petition.

Once you file these documents, you and your spouse will begin to resolve the terms of your divorce through mediation or trial in family court. Prior to the finalization of your divorce in Scottsdale, the judge overseeing your case may establish temporary orders for child custody, child support, alimony, and other issues during the course of your divorce. You and your spouse can also choose to reach your own agreements on these temporary orders without the intervention of a judge.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the court will issue a final divorce decree. This document finalizes the dissolution of your marriage. If your divorce resolves in trial and you disagree with the terms, you can choose to appeal your decision to a higher court. The Scottsdale divorce attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help you file an appeal if you are unhappy with the terms of the divorce decree issued by a lower court. The appeals process is lengthy and can be daunting, but the help of an experienced family law attorney can relieve the stress associated with filing an appeal.

petition for divorce paperwork and pen

How Long Does Divorce Take in Arizona?

There are some divorce cases that can be rectified in as few as 60 days in Arizona. However, most divorces will take anywhere from two to four months to resolve. It is possible that your divorce might take more than four months to resolve, especially if the case goes to trial, or if you and your spouse are having difficulty agreeing on every single aspect of the divorce. An Arizona divorce attorney from the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help you move the process along at a decent pace, keeping you focused on the task in front of you at all times.

What is the Temporary Order Hearing?

When you file for divorce in Arizona, you might have to attend a temporary order hearing if you and your spouse cannot make decisions regarding the following issues:

  • Child support
  • Child custody for children under the age of 18
  • Which spouse will live in the marital home
  • Spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony

The family law court will discuss these issues during a temporary order hearing, but you will only have to appear in court if you cannot make decisions on your own. Should you and your spouse come to an agreement on these issues, the court will usually accept the terms without requesting an appearance.

These family law issues are important and need to be decided immediately when the divorce process begins. If an agreement cannot be reached on these issues, your attorney can file a request for a temporary order hearing with the court.

Making decisions on these issues shows the court that you both worked in good faith with each other. The decisions made might also wind up becoming part of the final divorce decree once the process is finalized. Doing so can help keep the status quo intact, which could lead the court to make a decision that keeps these items once the decree is issued. Let a Scottsdale divorce attorney from the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau represent you during a divorce filing today.

We Handle All Types of Scottsdale Divorce Cases

Just as every marriage is unique, so is the end of every marriage. At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, our legal team can handle every type of situation, from uncontested divorces to divorce reached by agreement. We are also skilled in handling the special issues that arise in the context of military divorce and in physician divorces. If you prefer to avoid the time and expense of traditional litigation, we can help guide you through the divorce mediation process. In every case, you can rely on our more than two decades of experience to help protect your interests.

Most Common Divorce Issues to Understand

Divorce is complicated, and there are several issues that must be examined and agreed on before a final divorce decree can be issued. Here, we want to look at some of the most common areas of contention when it comes to the divorce and separation process in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Division of Property

Property division can be challenging, and different states handle the division of property and debts in various ways. Arizona is a “community property” state concerning the division of assets and debt, which means that all property acquired during the course of the marriage will belong to both spouses equally. When defining property, this means a range of assets, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The marital home
  • All secondary or vacation houses
  • Any investment properties
  • Money in all bank accounts (whether joint or separate)
  • Any retirement plans
  • Brokerage or other investment accounts
  • Vehicles, motorcycles, boats, and RVs
  • Any collectibles, artwork, or jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Cryptocurrencies or other digital assets

Also taken into account when it comes to the division of assets and any debts acquired during the course of the marriage. These two will be divided equally in most circumstances. This includes personal loans taken out, mortgages, car notes, credit card debts, any tax debt, student loans, etc.

Parenting Time and Child Custody

Child custody and parenting time can be contentious if there are children under the age of 18 in the household. It is crucial for the family court system to take the best interests of the child into account. They must properly determine both physical and legal custody.

  • Physical custody. This refers to which parent a child will reside with.
  • Legal custody. This refers to which parent will have a right to make decisions about the welfare of the child, including decisions related to schooling, religious upbringing, healthcare, sports, etc.

For both physical and legal custody, parents can have sole custody, or they can share custody (joint custody), and sole or joint custody does not have to be the same for both of the types of custody listed above. For example, one parent could have sole physical custody while both share physical custody or vice versa.

Child Support

Even though child support may be contentious, the system in Arizona is fairly objective when it comes to this process. There are very specific guidelines used using the Income Shares Model that lays out each parent’s financial responsibility for their child or children. This model will calculate how much one parent will need to pay to the other parent. Yes, there may need to be some adjustments after basic child support payments are calculated, and that will need to be agreed upon by the family court judge.

Alimony Payments

The law in Arizona does allow for spousal maintenance payments, which is commonly referred to as alimony. Under ARS section 25-319, we see that judges have the right to make a decision about whether or not one spouse should pay alimony to another, but there are several factors that will be taken into account. This includes the duration of the marriage, the age of the spouses, each spouse’s standard of living during the marriage, the financial resources of both spouses, and more. A judge will also examine how long it should take for the receiving spouse to get the education or training necessary to gain employment, or for longer marriages, permanent alimony may be requested.

Settling a Divorce Through Mediation

Some Scottsdale divorce cases end in trial, with a judge overseeing the division of property, child custody arrangements, alimony payments, and other important decisions. While it is necessary for some cases to go to court, this process can be expensive, stressful, and lengthy. Instead of a trial, you and your spouse can choose to settle your divorce during mediation.

During mediation, you and your spouse will attempt to come to an agreement on the terms of your divorce, with a trained third-party mediator overseeing the process. You may need to enter multiple mediation sessions before your case is resolved. At the conclusion of the process, you and your spouse will create the legal documents necessary to finalize the dissolution of your marriage.

Our Scottsdale divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can guide you through the divorce mediation process, providing you with the support you need during your divorce proceedings. Our law firm will work closely with you to develop a strategy for your divorce from the beginning, helping you achieve your best possible outcome as quickly and with the lowest cost possible.

Call for a Consultation With a Divorce Lawyer Today in Scottsdale, AZ

From asset division to child custody, we can guide you through the marriage dissolution process and handle all related issues. Contact our Scottsdale divorce attorney online or call (480) 209-1918 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our Scottsdale family law attorneys will guide you through the legal process as quickly and as efficiently as possible.


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