Posts Tagged ‘petition for dissolution of marriage’

Divorce is for Adults

Posted on: June 6th, 2017 by Scott Law

Marriage……People meet, fall in love, get married, have children and often grow together from young adults into full-fledged grown-ups.  Whether the marriage is short or spans several decades, divorce is not something that anyone enters into a marriage anticipating.  When a marriage reaches a point where divorce is inevitable, emotions run high and mistakes are commonly made.  Divorce is for adults, and it is important to remember that adults make mistakes too and it is okay.  Some common mistakes attorneys see and hope parties can avoid are:


Bad Behavior on Social Media and Text


Your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media posts can be seen by your friends, family and oftentimes by others you are not even aware of.  So, before you post pictures of you and your friends out partying, remember that that the pictures could easily be screenshotted and provided as evidence in your case.  Any statements made on social media about the other party, your children, or anything relevant to your case can also be used.  If you want the court to take you seriously, to view you as a mature parent with good judgment, don’t post it.  If you do not want the court to know about it, don’t post it.  


Charge it!


I remember an episode from the Flintstones cartoon where Betty and Wilma go on a shopping spree racking up a huge credit card bill.  “Charge it!”  The two women were yelling.  This is definitely behavior to avoid.  Sometimes people think that they can create a huge debt just before the divorce is filed and cause the other party to have to pay.  What they don’t know is that the court can look at this behavior and the other party can allege waste and spending in contemplation of divorce.  It is highly possible that you will be stuck with all of those bills.  What is worse is that you are likely going to need the credit cards for divorce-related expenses like legal fees, moving expenses, and rent.  Be smart about your finances and utilize your accounts in a mature, adult way.  




Mistakes are inevitable.  Adults are human and sometimes we do things we later wish we had not.  The problem arises when a party makes a mistake more than once.  A party who bad-mouths the other party over text will likely be admonished by their attorney.  They apologize and the matter is dealt with.  A party that fails to follow the advice of the attorney and continues to bad-mouth the other party over text, should not expect the same level of acceptance from their attorney or the court.  As an adult, when making a mistake, one should follow three simple rules:

  1. Own your mistake.
  2. Learn from your mistake.
  3. Move past your mistake.  

As an attorney, there is no better evidence in court than a party who is constantly repeating the same bad behavior.  A person who refuses to learn from their mistake shows instability and immaturity to the Court.  Remember, going through a divorce does not give you a free pass for making dumb mistakes.  The fact that you are going through a divorce gives you even more reason to be careful and on your best behavior.  Be the bigger person and go through your divorce as an adult.  

Parenting Time and the Holiday Season

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 by Scott Law

Scott Law Offices is focused on family.  The holiday season is all about family.  Holidays can bring a certain amount of stress for many people.  When two people share child custody in Arizona, that holiday stress is often magnified.  Avoiding child custody and parenting time issues during the holidays can reduce stress for all involved.  By doing so, the children can enjoy a great holiday experience with both parents.  Here are some things to consider:

Check Your Paperwork

Your court orders for child custody and parenting time are binding.  Oftentimes there are specific orders regarding holiday parenting time set forth in your parenting time orders.  Stick to this schedule unless and until the orders are formally changed.  Most parenting time arrangements can be modified so long as the parties have a mutual agreement in writing.  Before making any modification to the parenting time schedule, be sure to follow the procedures for modifications set forth in your court orders.


Be sure to check your custody orders for limitations on travel.  It is often the case that advanced notice must be given to the other parent prior to traveling out of State with the children.  Sometimes permission must be obtained from the other parent to allow the children to travel out of State.  Plan ahead and give sufficient time for any necessary discussions related to travel.  Also, you may want to consider allowing some form of video chatting between the children and the other parent while you are travelling.  This may ease any stress that the children and the other parent may feel from being away from each other during the holidays.

Trade Time

If you find that you need to keep the children for extra time over the holidays or hope to have the children on a day that is not designated to you in your custody orders, consider trading time.  You could offer the other parent extra days at any time during the year or possibly offer them a holiday that would normally fall during your parenting time.  Flexibility is important in any co-parenting situation.

Be Nice

Though it may be difficult, try to be nice.  A little bit of compassion and tolerance can go a long way.  This can alleviate stress not only for you and the other parent, but for your children.  Communication is often the key to avoiding difficult holiday disputes.  Having effective communication and playing nicely with the other parent will set a good example for your children and may help them to have a happy holiday.

If you have questions about your parenting time schedule or child custody orders do not wait until last-minute.  Avoid the stress of last-minute holiday disputes by addressing potential holiday parenting time issues well in advance of the holidays and court closures.  Contact a Scott Law Offices custody attorney for your free consultation.

I Was Served With a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Now What?

Posted on: August 13th, 2012 by Scott Law

It is never an easy thing to face the reality that your marriage is over.  When one party (the “Petitioner”) initiates court proceedings by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and serves their spouse (the “Respondent”) with the pleadings, the Respondent is often left with the question: Now What?  Here are some simple tips to follow when served with divorce papers:

  1. Keep track of the date you were served.  The court imposes a deadline the Respondent served with a petition for dissolution of marriage to file their response to the petition.  Failure to file a response within the court’s deadline can cause the court to issue orders without any input from the Respondent.
  2. Determine whether you will hire a family law attorney.  It is important to determine early in the proceedings whether you will hire an attorney to assist you through the divorce proceedings.  If you choose to have legal counsel, the attorney will likely want to draft their own response to the Petitioner’s petition for dissolution of marriage.  The earlier the attorney is brought into the case, the more familiar they will be with the facts of your case and the goals you have set.
  3. Consider your finances. Take a look at any joint bank accounts and keep a close eye on the funds that are removed from the account.  Keep accurate records of your spending out of any joint accounts.  You may also want to consider working with your spouse to divide the remaining funds in the joint accounts so that those accounts can be closed.
  4. Read any Injunctions that are put in place by the court in your divorce case.  Once the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed the court will normally issue an injunction.  An injunction prevents certain actions with regard to the marital property, insurance and any minor children.  An injunction is a court order and it is important that all court orders are followed by the parties.
  5. Consider sitting down with your spouse.  Oftentimes the parties are able to sit down early on in a case to discuss how each of them would like to resolve the case.  While many cases are contested and the parties are unable to reach any agreements, some divorcing couples are able to take control of their divorce case and work out agreeable terms that their attorneys can then memorialize in a final decree.  Parties should also consider whether a form of mediation would be helpful in their case.
  6. Do not forget the kids.  While learning that your spouse wants a divorce is painful, the affect that this decision has on the children of the marriage should be a primary concern of the parents.  Divorce can be devastating for the kids.  While the parents often consider what they could have done differently in the marriage to make it work, the children often do the same.  It is so important that children of a divorce are appropriately informed and that they have an outlet to express their emotions.  Counseling can be helpful and should be considered early on in the divorce case.

If you are served, do your best to stay organized, make sure that you calendar all court dates and deadlines and contact an attorney early to ensure that your rights are protected.