Whether you are involved in a Divorce or Legal Separation, we are your team. We Represent Clients Throughout Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Surprise, and the Greater Phoenix Metro area.
Each divorce or legal separation case is unique. An experienced lawyer takes a personalized approach to every case, and develops an individualized game plan tailored to each client’s needs and goals. At Sheldon & Stoutner, we structure a plan for you based on your financial goals and, if children are involved, a plan that will ensure your children’s best interest. We understand that divorce is very personal to the individuals experiencing it. Our Arizona attorneys know that every situation is different and there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to your family law dispute. Let the Scottsdale attorneys at Sheldon & Stoutner find a customized solution to your family law case. We have the experience necessary to handle a broad range of family law matters including complex issues concerning businesses, stock options, multiple properties, and high net worth estates.
Personalized Advocacy From Start to Finish
Our Phoenix divorce and legal separation attorneys can help you understand every aspect of the divorce or legal separation process. From answering questions about how long the process takes and helping you take quick and effective action, to gathering necessary documents and arguing the case in Court. Our legal team is on your side. If necessary, we can assist in obtaining temporary orders, particularly those for temporary child support or temporary spousal maintenance (alimony) which are orders in place while the case is pending. During the case, we focus on obtaining an outcome based on your goals, and work to make the process as smooth as possible.
Divorce versus Legal Separation
In Arizona, a divorce or legal separation will result in essentially the same thing: the division of community assets/debts, and a parenting plan (if children are involved). However, under the Arizona legal separation statute, A.R.S.§25-313, the parties remain married and are not free to marry others. Often spouses will choose legal separation instead of a divorce because of religious reasons or the possibility of reconciliation.
When Children are Involved
The Scottsdale attorneys at Sheldon & Stoutner will help you make the decisions that are right for your family. Child custody (now called legal decision-making) and visitation (parenting time) are often some of the most difficult and contentious components of a divorce or separation. This already emotionally charged matter can become more complicated by a wide variety of circumstances and family dynamics, ranging from domestic violence, substance abuse and behavioral/health issues to relocation.
In Arizona, courts determine child custody (legal decision-making) and parenting time (visitation) according to the “best interests of the child” which is defined by a number of statutory factors described in A.R.S. §25-403. These factors include but are not limited to: the child’s relationship with his/her parents and other significant individuals in the child’s life, the parents’ fitness, the child’s environment, the child’s preference, and whether there exists a substance abuse problem or a history of domestic violence.
When settlement is no longer an option, it’s important to have a strong divorce lawyer on your side to make sure that the judge understands what your child’s best interests really are and advocate for your children’s best interests.
Police and Firefighters
At Sheldon & Stoutner, we are proud to provide divorce and family law services to the police, sheriffs, and firefighters who serve Arizona citizens. Our Scottsdale attorneys are trained in addressing the issues that arise in family law cases involving police and firefighters. These issues include the division of retirement benefits and deferred compensation, as well as disability income and sick time. And, when children are involved, we can help in formulating a parenting plan which maximizes time for a police or firefighter parent given their unusual work schedules.
At Sheldon & Stoutner, we represent clients stationed on Arizona bases or around the globe, and we have the experience necessary to resolve complex military divorce issues especially when one or both spouses are deployed or forced to move regularly. Our Phoenix divorce attorneys are aware of the numerous state and federal laws applying to military members, including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). We’re driven to create solutions for clients facing military divorces, child custody and visitation issues related to deployment, and division of military retirement.
Since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to everyone. The Scottsdale attorneys of Sheldon & Stoutner know nothing is more important to you than your family, no matter how you define it. At Sheldon & Stoutner we are pleased to serve same-sex families, and are committed to meeting the family law needs of the LGBTQAI community. As such, we stay up to date on the relevant issues related to this challenging area of law, and are experienced in the family law issues that effect the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.