Common Causes of Divorce

Understanding the Unexpected: Common Causes of Divorce and How to Anticipate Challenges in Marriage

There are many benefits to getting married and staying married. For example, wedded couples are less likely to be depressed, distressed, or suffer from substance abuse. Of course, no one enters a marriage thinking that they will ever get divorced, yet divorce rates remain high in this country.

One way you can anticipate challenges – or maybe even improve your chances of staying married – is to understand the causes of divorce. Learn more about the most common reasons cited for divorce from the skilled family law attorneys behind Draft My Legal Docs.

Lack of Family Support

The first several years of marriage are often the hardest. This is often when children enter the picture, and rearing newborns and toddlers can add to the stress of marriage. Many young married couples struggle to navigate those challenges, especially when they lack family support.

Family support can come in many forms. For example, having a parent come to watch the children can provide important relief for working parents. In addition, observing successful marriages in the family can be key; doing so can help young couples remember that courtship and dating do not have to end once they get married. Both circumstances can keep the romance in the relationship strong.

Without support from family –whether it be financial support, advice, childcare, or even a positive example – couples are more likely to get divorced.

Extramarital Affairs

An extramarital affair can quickly sever trust between two spouses. Before states adopted no-fault divorce laws, affairs and infidelity were among the few reasons someone could file for divorce. Given the role of marriage in child rearing, it is no surprise that an extramarital affair remains a leading reason cited for divorce in this country.

However, in many cases, by the time an affair happens, there is often already trouble in the relationship. Affairs may occur because one partner believes they are not getting the attention, respect, and intimacy that they would like at home.

A lack of compatibility

Lack of Compatibility

A lack of compatibility could mean one of many things. Compatibility is generally thought to mean the ability to work together and get along in a range of areas. Often, people who say they are compatible with their spouse share similar personality characteristics with them. Compatibility also refers to the ability to have a disagreement and work through those differences without escalating the situation.

Sometimes, it is only after tying the knot that one or both spouses realize that they are not fundamentally compatible as a couple.

Lack of Intimacy

Although a lack of intimacy is often a symptom of other underlying issues in a marriage, missing this crucial component of a marriage can lead to divorce. All it takes is one partner to withdraw from acts of physical intimacy. The other partner may grow resentful or seek intimacy outside of the marriage. With open communication and possibly therapy, couples may be able to work through this problem without it ruining their marriage.

Too Much Conflict

In a healthy marriage, occasional arguments are not uncommon. They are often considered a normal part of any relationship. However, when conflicts escalate to the point where they occur on a daily basis, the constant stress and strain of verbal or physical altercations can gradually erode the foundation of the marriage. Frequent conflicts may signal underlying issues, such as unresolved anger or communication problems.

One or both partners may come to the realization that the ongoing tension and discord are unsustainable. In some cases, underlying anger issues or other unresolved conflicts may become more apparent, leading one or both spouses to recognize that living apart may be preferable to the daily turmoil within the marriage. This realization can ultimately prompt the decision to pursue divorce.

Financial Stress

Money can’t solve all life’s problems, but it can make marriage more sustainable. The opposite is true as well, as financial stress can lead to arguments at home. In addition, when the household breadwinner is unable to provide for their family comfortably, they may turn those feelings of shame into more dangerous habits like drinking or verbal abuse.

Financial Stress

Financial stress makes planning for a brighter future more difficult, if not impossible. With no hope for improvement, many couples decide that divorce is the best option. Sometimes, those decisions are made in hopes of a better economic future.

Lack of Commitment

Marriage is regarded as one of the most significant commitments an individual can make in their lifetime. It is a journey filled with highs and lows, and few would claim that maintaining a marriage is easy. Most couples recognize that a successful marriage requires ongoing effort and dedication.

Each challenge that arises within a marriage presents an opportunity for growth and strengthening the marital bond. Couples who actively work on their relationship, communicate openly, and navigate obstacles together often emerge with a deeper connection and greater resilience.

Unfortunately, when one or both spouses lack the commitment or willingness to invest in the marriage, the relationship can deteriorate. Conflicts may go unresolved, trust may diminish, and emotional distance may grow. As the marital foundation weakens, the relationship may reach a point where continuing the marriage becomes untenable.

Parenting Differences

Once children come along, differences in parenting can cause division in the relationship. This could involve disagreements on discipline, education, values, or even fundamental parenting styles.

The resulting tension and lack of agreement on crucial parenting decisions can lead to communication breakdowns, resentment, and feelings of being unsupported. These conflicts may erode the marital bond and contribute to marital dissatisfaction, potentially leading to divorce.

Marrying Too Young

As we age, our values and expectations evolve. Someone who may have seemed like a lifelong partner at age 22 may be incompatible ten years later. Some spouses are able to grow together even as they grow in their own unique ways. Other married couples are less able to sustain their relationships as they grow as individuals.

Opposing Values or Morals

Most couples are aware of where they stand in their relationship with their partner when they get married. Still, seemingly minor differences over religion, politics, and other areas can become serious problems during marriage. In some cases, one or both spouses may evolve in their religious and moral views and beliefs.

Even when these differences did not seem like a serious problem at first, opposing values or differences in morality can gradually erode the bond that keeps a marriage together.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can be the root cause of a divorce, or it can lead to behaviors that ultimately make a marriage untenable. For instance, substance abuse can lead to financial stress, health issues, disengagement with one’s partner, and even abuse or neglect. Still other issues precipitated by substance abuse may include infidelity, parenting differences, and more.

Domestic Violence

Physical violence is unacceptable in any situation. Sadly, it can be a common occurrence that brings about the end of a marriage. The abuser may ultimately end up facing criminal charges for domestic violence. Spousal abuse can go on for years or longer before one partner is mentally and financially prepared to leave.

Keep in mind that domestic abuse need not be physical to negatively impact marriage and both partners. Emotional abuse can be extremely taxing on both physical and mental health. Furthermore, domestic abuse can also cause divorce when it occurs between a parent and a child. Remember, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is available 24/7.

Pursuing Different Lifestyles

There are any number of reasons that someone may pursue a different lifestyle later in life. When those changes prove too drastic, the marriage can fall apart. Someone may realize they have hidden some part of themselves for too long. Or they may resent having to live a certain way just for the sake of their marriage.

Pursuing Different Lifestyles

Top Reasons People Marry

Understanding the causes of divorce is important for keeping a marriage healthy. It is also important to understand the reasons people marry in the first place.

When these main motivators disappear, marital strain can also occur:

  • Financial Security – There are many financial advantages to marriage. Tax savings, tax credits, lower overall costs, bundled services, and collective buying power are just a few of the benefits that can motivate someone to get married.
  • Companionship – Humans are social creatures who generally do not like being alone. Many people seek marriage as a way to have a companion to spend time with and socialize with.
  • Family – You do not have to be married to start a family, but getting married makes raising a family much more enjoyable and manageable. Many people enjoy the idea of a traditional marriage where both parents live together and raise children.
  • Emotional Security – Marriage can provide the reassurance and security you need so that the relationship is viable in the long term.
  • Medical Insurance – For someone with a serious illness or condition, medical insurance via a spouse’s plan can literally be a lifesaver.
  • Societal Pressures – The pressure to marry generally falls heavier on women than men, but both genders notice increased pressure as their peers find spouses and they don’t. Whether the pressure originates from church, family, or popular culture, getting married is an expected step for adults living in the United States.

Leading Causes of Divorce FAQs:

If you are considering divorcing your spouse or are in the process of going through a divorce, you are probably wondering how many people are going through the same process and why it occurred.

What Percentage of Marriages End in Divorce?

It is difficult to determine how many marriages end in divorce, especially because many divorces occur in second or third marriages. However, according to the CDC, around 22% of marriages end within the first five years. That number includes marriages that end in separation, divorce, or death. The percentage jumps to 58% over 20 years.

What Is the Top Cause of Divorce?

According to research, nearly three-quarters of participants listed a lack of commitment as the reason for their divorce. When one or both spouses are unwilling to work through difficult challenges, the marriage can crumble. A lack of commitment in the marriage can be a symptom of larger problems, such as incompatibility and other issues.

Why Do Most People Get Divorced?

Most people get divorced because they realize that their marriage is no longer tenable. This could be because they are fundamentally unhappy with their marriage, facing daily abuse by their spouse, or realize that they are simply not good life partners. Something sudden and upsetting, like an affair or drug abuse, can also upend a marriage. All of these reasons may contribute to a perceived lack of commitment.

Why Do People Get Divorced After 10 Years?

People who are able to stay married for ten or more years are often more likely to remain married. This is because many of the upfront challenges of marriage (balancing careers, child-rearing, learning to compromise) have subsided. Still, later adulthood can pose new challenges to marriage. One spouse may resent giving up their career or ambitions and find that their mid-life crisis leaves them questioning their marriage.

At What Age Is Someone Most Likely to Get Divorced?

The most common age at which someone is likely to get divorced for the first time is around 41 – just over 42 for men and just over 40 for women. This demonstrates a marked increase, as the most common age to get divorced was closer to 30 in the 1970s. The rise may be attributed to the rise in divorces after 50.

Learn More About How Draft My Legal Docs Can Help You in Court

Draft My Legal Docs combines the cost savings of DIY templates with the many benefits of working with a lawyer. You won’t have to pay high fees for our services, but you can trust that an attorney will draft and review every document created.

Divorce Documents

Online document generators may seem to offer similar services on the surface, but their templates are not case-specific; they may not even have the most current templates available. The family court system is continually adopting new guidelines, laws, and changes to the family code that can only be monitored by a skilled attorney. Draft My Legal Docs is operated by licensed attorneys who stay current with new laws as they change and evolve.

We are here to help you navigate the family court system confidently. By working with Draft My Legal Docs, you can benefit from expertly drafted documents reviewed by professional lawyers. To learn more about how Draft My Legal Docs can serve you, schedule a consultation today.




  1. Divorce Statistics: How Many Marriages End in Divorce? (2016, May 17). Psych Central.
  2. NSFG – Listing D – Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth. (2019, November 6).
  3. ‌Scott, S. B., Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., Allen, E. S., & Markman, H. J. (2013). Reasons for divorce and recollections of premarital intervention: Implications for improving relationship education. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 2(2), 131–145.
  4. ‌Gandhi, B. (2023, September 6). These are the top causes of divorce, according to a dating coach.
  5. In What Year of Marriage is Divorce Most Common. (2020, November 26). Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice.
  6. Median Age at First Divorce, 2020. (n.d.). Bowling Green State University.
The Benefits and Risks of DIY Legal Drafting Services

Empower Yourself: The Benefits and Risks of DIY Legal Drafting Services

DIY projects can be a great option for small home repairs or sprucing up your home’s interior. Some online-based services are now taking that approach to allow customers to fill in the blanks on legal forms and other court documents. While it may be tempting to try and save some money by foregoing the input of a professional attorney, going the do-it-yourself route for legal paperwork may not always be a good idea.

Online do-it-yourself services for legal documents have proliferated in recent years, promising a cheaper alternative to professional legal services. However, the rise in popularity of these services has notable downsides.

The Appeal of DIY Legal Drafting Services

On the surface, the cost-savings benefits of forgoing professional legal help are appealing. Attorneys charge $200 to $500 an hour to draft and file important court documents.

Drafting your own will, for example, may seem like a simple and straightforward process. Using an online template could theoretically save you several hundred dollars or more. Plus, you won’t have to spend time finding a lawyer and setting up meetings. As you can see, DIY services offer an appealing alternative to some of the most costly legal services.

Online DIY services have also streamlined the time it takes to complete legal documents. This is possible because these generic templates are largely completed already; users simply fill in missing information as the website guides users through the process. Theoretically, the final documents serve the same purpose as any document written by an attorney or paralegal, and the templates are easy to update whenever you need to.

Limitations of DIY Legal Services

Online DIY services

Anyone who needs to draft a legal document should weigh the benefits and costs of using a DIY service. Unfortunately, there are many limitations when it comes to pre-drafted templates.

Old or Out-of-Date Templates

For example, online templates may be out of date. With the passage of new laws and statutes, the format and language of legal documents must also change. Legal professionals keep up to date on these changes, but a DIY website may not.

Risk for Error

In addition, templates carry a substantial risk for user error. The instructions provided with the template may appear clear, but any misunderstanding of the instructions could lead to faulty information input that could void the document. Worse, you won’t be able to ask questions for clarification, as online forms do not auto-review your input for accuracy. Once you click print or submit, you may be unintentionally sending an inaccurate legal document.

These mistakes may not be noticed until it is too late. If you prepared a will, this could mean that your wishes are not fully honored after your death. The probate courts would then step in to divide your estate and pay beneficiaries. Errors can invalidate certain legal documents, meaning that your DIY efforts could end up being a waste of time.

Lack of Flexibility

Preset templates do not allow for flexibility. You will not have room to customize your legal form in most cases.

Missed Deadlines

Without any legal guidance, you could miss an important filing deadline. This could mean that your spouse or former spouse gains an upper hand in court. Even if you file on time, you may accidentally file the wrong type of form because DIY services do not review your case. This is one reason why having some connection with an attorney is critical.

In any court setting, filing errors are not exceptions, and there often are no do-overs. The documents you file will likely be the source of evidence that you can use in court, and any deviation from those filings could weaken your case. This is why family law attorneys are so meticulous when drafting, revising, and proofreading court documents. In the practice of law, every word is important.

Benefits of Working With a Legal Professional

Benefits of Working With a Legal Professional

Attorneys and their trained paralegals know the law, have updated resources to research it, and have practical knowledge of how the law is applied.

Legal professionals have additional skills that DIY platforms cannot replace.

  • Strategic Communication – Lawyers understand what to say and not say in conversations with the other party. This also applies to written documents that another party could read.
  • Risk Assessment – Lawyers are skilled at identifying what should be included in a contract. This can help with risk assessment by preventing future misunderstandings that could leave their client liable for their actions.
  • Objectivity – Legal documents should be written without bias or emotional language. Anyone who does not have experience with this type of language could inadvertently include emotionally charged language that weakens the effectiveness of the document.
  • Legal Qualifications – A boilerplate document may appear simple, but those forms do not change the fact that the practice of law is complex and constantly evolving. Legal professionals are trained in the type of language used in contracts, and topics like indemnity, confidentiality, arbitration, and force majeure do not simply become less complex because a template makes them appear to be.
  • Limitations of AI – If you are relying on AI to do your legal research as you fill out your DIY document, you could be adding inaccurate or out-of-date information. AI relies on the internet for information, and AI does not have the ability to independently assess the accuracy of its data.
  • Counsel – An attorney does more than defend clients’ rights; lawyers provide counsel by giving advice and answering questions.
    Although you, as the client, ultimately have the final say on legal matters, having access to a trusted legal advisor is one of the most important services that a lawyer or law firm provides.

If you do not incorporate professional legal assistance at some point in your document drafting, you are missing out on these important qualities that only a legal professional can deliver. One way to blend the cost-savings of DIY with the practical benefits of professional legal assistance is through a hybrid approach.

The Hybrid Approach: DIY with Professional Guidance

Skilled Arizona attorneys

The best legal drafting services provide professional drafting and guidance from lawyers. These companies combine the benefits of a skilled attorney with the convenience and price point of a DIY service. You’ll receive professionally drafted documents crafted with your unique case in mind without the need to spend thousands of dollars.

Documents drafted by Draft My Legal Docs are created by skilled Arizona attorneys who will help you draft, prepare, and file your legal documents. Our online service offers more than 50 legal document options, and our staff can help you navigate your family court case with ease. The benefits are personalized legal service at an affordable rate provided by legal professionals who care about your case.

The hybrid approach combines the cost-savings of DIY with the confidence that comes from working with a team of legal professionals who understand Arizona’s family law process. You will likely require multiple document filings for your family court case. Draft My Legal Docs works to make sure that every document you file is detailed and accurate. Our thorough review will ensure that the document conforms to state statutes and laws.

Areas of family law that are covered through Draft My Legal Docs’ services include:

  • Annulment
  • Same-sex divorce
  • Legal separation
  • Order enforcement
  • Property and debt division
  • Child custody
  • Child support enforcement
  • Postnuptial agreements
  • Prenuptial agreements

Should I Just Hire an Attorney?

Hiring an attorney to represent you in court offers many benefits, but not everyone can afford an attorney throughout the court process. Some divorce and child custody cases require multiple hearings that can go on for months if not years. Even when a parent can afford an attorney early on, having dedicated legal counsel can become unaffordable months into the court process.

Draft My Legal Docs has a team of attorneys who will guide you through the court process, but they are not bound to represent you in court. This legal service allows customers to have many of the benefits of legal assistance without the high cost of paying an attorney $300 to $500 an hour to show to court.

Even when there is no active litigation, having an attorney review documents can help you catch mistakes that may cause complications or delays later on. Many Arizona parents have chosen this hybrid approach to navigate the family court process.

Which Option Is Right For Me?

If you are going through a divorce, child custody battle, or another family court case, you have the option of using DIY drafting services that do not provide attorney reviews and guidance. These services have the benefit of being affordable and relatively easy to use.

Unfortunately, an online template cannot guide you through the court process. DIY legal document drafting programs do not always keep their templates up to date, meaning you could be using an outdated form that could cause legal problems. When it comes to family court cases, one error can have disastrous ramifications for your personal life. You could lose important financial assets or access to your children.

Another option is to hire an attorney to handle your legal affairs for you. However, this option is simply not affordable for many people. Attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour for full representation. With this option, you may also experience additional time in court.

Meanwhile, services like Draft My Legal Docs provide clients with access to legal guidance at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. Along with the cost savings, there is peace of mind that comes from knowing that an Arizona attorney who understands the state’s family court laws will review every document to ensure that it is admissible in court and serves your needs and goals.

Learn More About How Draft My Legal Docs Can Help You in Court

Review every document to ensure that it is admissible in court

If you rely on DIY websites to provide blank templates for your legal filings, you are taking a significant risk that may not be worth the benefits. While those online services offer convenience, you will not have access to an actual attorney when you need answers to basic questions.

Draft My Legal Docs offers a hybrid option that combines the cost savings of DIY templates with the benefits of hiring attorneys. You won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for Draft My Legal Docs, but you will be able to trust that an attorney will review your documents and provide recommendations on which forms you may need to fill out for future court hearings. With so much on the line, those extra services can help you navigate the family court system with confidence.

To learn more about how Draft My Legal Docs can serve you, schedule a consultation today.


  1. Average Attorney Fees by State [Updated September 2022]. (n.d.).
Contested Divorce Filing in Arizona

Filing for a Contested Divorce in Arizona

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally overwhelming and time-consuming process. It can also prove to be equally as financially straining if the spouses cannot come to an agreeable resolution and are required to take their case to trial or extensive mediation. However, for some married couples, divorce is still the best path forward for both parties involved. Nobody gets married expecting it to end this way, but the reality is that divorce is quite common.

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, then it is crucial that you understand how the legal process works, how to properly file for divorce, and the various legal paperwork involved to proceed with your dissolution of marriage.

What Is a Contested Divorce?

In Arizona, a contested divorce is a type of divorce where the spouses involved are not able to come to an agreement on the terms for settling one or more of the financial or parenting-related issues that are critical to formulate the divorce decree. Some terms that are commonly disagreed upon are alimony payments, child support, parenting time, division of marital property, division of marital debt, and similar important elements associated with the dissolution of a marriage. The failure to reach an agreement on just one of these important issues can mean a contested divorce.

When spouses are unable to reach an agreement, then the case may be sent to trial, where the issues at hand will be decided by a family court judge. Because of the need to go to trial, these contested divorces are often far more expensive and can take substantially longer than uncontested divorces, where both spouses are able to reach a complete agreement regarding the terms of the end of the marriage. An alternative is mediation, which can help the couple avoid litigation but still takes time for a settlement to be reached.

Establishing Grounds to Filing for Divorce in Arizona

If you intend to file for divorce in the state of Arizona, you must be able to specify and establish the grounds on which you wish to dissolve your marriage. What this means is that you need to provide official legal justification as to why your marriage is irrevocably broken and should, therefore, be dissolved.

Arizona is a no-fault state, like many others in the US, which means that only one of the involved spouses needs to establish grounds for divorce in order for the court to grant them a divorce. These grounds can be as simple as irreconcilable differences, since neither spouse must prove that wrongdoing by the other necessitated the divorce. However, if you and your spouse have previously entered into a covenant marriage, then different rules will apply to you should either of you wish to file for a divorce.

A covenant marriage is essentially a premarital arrangement where both of the marrying spouses agree that their marriage will last for the rest of their lives. This agreement includes pre-marital counseling prior to their wedding, as well as marital counseling and other necessary steps when they are considering a potential divorce. There are only three states in the US that currently recognize covenant marriages, which are Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana. However, a covenant marriage can still provide legal grounds for divorce, but only in a limited number of scenarios.

Here are the scenarios in which a covenant marriage can legally file for divorce in Arizona:

  • A spouse has committed adultery
  • A spouse has committed a felony or is imprisoned
  • A spouse is habitually abusing alcohol or illegal substances
  • A spouse has committed physical, emotional, or sexual abuse against the other spouse or a child
  • Both spouses have lived separately continuously for at least one year from the time of abandonment or legal separation
  • Both spouses have lived separately continuously for at least two years total without reconciliation
  • Both spouses agree that their marriage has irreconcilable differences and wish for it to end

Once you and your to-be spouse agree to enter into a covenant marriage, the marriage becomes legally official at the time of your wedding. You cannot simply change your mind on that decision at the time of your divorce proceedings and must proceed with a covenant divorce.

Filing For a Contested Divorce in Arizona

Filing for a Contested Divorce

In order to properly begin the legal process of divorce in Arizona, you must first file to dissolve your marriage in the county in which you or your spouse currently live.

Depending on the overall circumstances of your marriage, the legal documents that are required to be included with your divorce filing paperwork include the following:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage With or Without Children
  • Payment Information Program Order and Notice
  • Affidavit of Minor Children
  • Notice Regarding Creditors
  • Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
  • Summons
  • Preliminary Injunction
  • Family Court Cover Sheet
  • Sensitive Data Sheet

This is an essential first step in the divorce process and must be done properly before wishing to proceed any further. To do so, you must submit all required paperwork directly to the county’s Clerk of the Court, which typically includes a filing fee unless doing so would bring you financial hardship. In that case, you can request a fee waiver.

To ensure that your divorce filing and accompanying paperwork is filed accurately, completely, and in a timely manner, it’s highly recommended that you seek legal assistance. At Draft My Legal Docs, LLC, all your essential legal documents are drafted and reviewed by licensed attorneys. Your documents are customized to fit your unique case and available at a fraction of the price of hiring an attorney directly, oftentimes within 72 hours.

For more information about beginning the divorce filing process, check out our divorce guide.

Serving Divorce Paperwork in Arizona

Once your legal divorce paperwork has been properly filed with the county’s Clerk of the Court, your spouse must be provided with notice and informed that you have officially filed for dissolution of your marriage.

Here are some of the common ways that you can legally serve your spouse with divorce paperwork in Arizona:

  • Acceptance of Service – This is typically the most common approach, in which your spouse simply signs the paperwork in the presence of a notary to officially acknowledge that they have received and accepted the divorce paperwork.
  • Service by Mail – You can also send the divorce paperwork by mail to your spouse, but you must receive a signature from them with confirmation that they have received and accepted the papers.
  • Service by Process Server or Sheriff – If your spouse is not willing to sign the divorce papers in the presence of a notary or by mail, then you have the option to pay a professional process server or a registered sheriff to serve the papers to your spouse and ensure that they are received.
  • Service by Publication – This method is usually used as a last resort when your spouse has been unresponsive or unwilling to receive or accept the divorce paperwork, or you are unable to locate them. In this case, you can provide official notification by publishing the divorce papers via public means, such as a newspaper.

Once your spouse has responded to being served the divorce papers accordingly, the divorce proceedings will now be able to move forward. Your spouse will typically have a time period of 20 days to respond to or sign the divorce papers after having received them (30 days if they currently reside out of the state). If they fail to respond within that period of time, then your divorce may be granted by the court by default, which means that you could achieve a divorce on your terms.

Draft My Legal Docs, LLC can help serve your divorce documents to your spouse in compliance with Arizona law, as well as draft and review any other family law paperwork that you need in order to start or modify your divorce paperwork.

Legal Proceedings in Arizona Contested Divorce Cases

When spouses are unable to agree upon the terms of their divorce, whether during negotiation, mediation, or some other method, the contested divorce will then be brought to trial. During this litigation stage, both sides will present their various testimonies and evidence in court before a family court judge in order for an official legal ruling to be made.

Based on the presented evidence and specific circumstances of your case, the family court judge will make final decisions on all unresolved issues of the contested divorce.

Some of the common issues include the following:

  • Alimony or Spousal Support
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Support
  • Division of Marital Property and other Marital Assets
  • Division of Marital Debt

During the presentation of evidence and testimonies in court, the legal representation of either party will often use the following elements in order to strengthen their case:

  • Financial records of either spouse to provide transparency of income and verification of marital assets
  • Character witnesses testifying on a spouse’s character and overall credibility
  • Mental health experts, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, to testify on either spouse’s mental stability
  • Arguments of alleged misconduct, such as infidelities or substance abuse, during the course of the marriage

Divorce cases are known to be a lengthy, complex, and emotional process, especially given the argumentative nature of contested divorces.
Draft My Legal Docs provides 24/7 support, and our licensed attorneys are able to draft and review most documents within 72 hours. This can provide divorcing spouses with peace of mind that their legal paperwork can be handled in an efficient manner.

Contested Divorce FAQs

FAQs for a contested divorce

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in AZ?
In Arizona, a contested divorce can typically be anywhere from six months to two years in length, depending on how long it takes to resolve the particular disputes between the two parties. On average, most contested divorces in Arizona end up taking between about eight to twelve months. This time frame generally begins with the initial filing for divorce.
How Much Does a Contested Divorce Cost in Arizona?
On average, a contested divorce costs between about $15,000-$20,000 in Arizona but can ultimately range anywhere from $5,000-$30,000 depending on the various complexities of the divorce. By contrast, an uncontested divorce is typically much cheaper by avoiding trial and is usually closer to $5,000 in cost, while a divorce mediator generally costs around $7,500, depending on the complexities of the divorce and the rates for attorney and court fees. You can avoid much of this expense by hiring a legal document drafting service to complete your documentation for you.
What Is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Arizona?
A contested divorce is defined as a divorce when the two spousal parties cannot come to agreeable terms in the dissolution of marriage without the help of an attorney. An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses reach a complete settlement agreement regarding the terms of the dissolution of marriage. Uncontested divorces are generally preferred because they require far less time and money by settling outside of the courts and not going to trial.
Can You Fight a Divorce in Arizona?
Yes, you are able to fight a divorce decision in Arizona by appealing a divorce judgment. Either spouse involved is able to appeal a divorce judgment; however, the appeal can only be concerned with the way that a judge applied the law in their family court ruling or mistakes during the trial. Appeals are not based on whether or not the outcome was favorable to the appealing spouse.

A Document Drafting Service Can Be an Affordable Solution

Document Drafting Service is an affordable solution

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult ordeal for anyone to navigate. Naturally, it is already an extremely personal and emotional process, and the official paperwork and various legal proceedings can add an inconvenient and rather unnecessarily time-consuming workload to your already full plate. Balancing these personal, legal, and financial responsibilities while maintaining your current professional duties can feel quite burdensome for any person, especially if children are involved.

Draft My Legal Docs is here to help you draft and review all the legal documents you need at each stage of the divorce process, whether you’re looking to file for divorce or modify already existing documents. Open 24/7, we offer customizable and affordable solutions that focus on efficiency while providing you with the peace of mind that all of your necessary legal documents are drafted and reviewed by licensed attorneys. Divorce is hard enough; so let us help make the paperwork easy for you.

Filing for Sole Custody in Arizona

How To File for Sole Custody in Arizona

Divorce can be stressful, but there are several related matters that must be addressed in a professional manner to ensure its success for all parties involved. If you have children, the children’s needs should come first, and the legal system will prioritize these over anything else. In particular, one divorce-related matter Arizona family court must contend with is child custody.

While most Arizona parents share parenting time and decision-making rights, in some instances, one parent may seek sole custody of their child. This mainly applies to cases where the other parent has a history of domestic violence, neglect, or another similar issue. If you want to file for sole custody in Arizona, you’ll need to follow a few specific steps and ensure you submit correctly completed documents in a timely manner.

It is imperative you complete custody-related documents accurately, as failure to do so could lengthen the legal process or prevent you from obtaining the sole custody you are pursuing. While you might consider hiring a family law attorney to represent you in your case, Draft My Legal Docs can draft custody paperwork and help you complete this quickly, accurately, and at a much lower cost. To help, we have put together a step-by-step guide to filing for sole custody.

Understanding Sole Custody

Parents who want to file for sole parenting time and decision-making rights must learn how to file for full custody in Arizona, which is considered the same thing. While other states refer to these aspects of custody as physical and legal custody, Arizona designates parenting time and decision-making rights.

In Arizona, there are no circumstances where one parent is favored over the other. Most of the time, the court prefers that both parents should parent and make decisions for their children, meaning both parents share responsibility for their children. However, this could be problematic for some divorced couples, especially if one parent is not capable of upholding such a responsibility. For this reason, some people never consider how to file for joint custody in Arizona, as they feel full custody is more appropriate.

Depending on your situation, sole custody may be appropriate. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has a criminal past, abuses drugs or alcohol, or has a pattern of domestic violence, the court may grant you both sole parenting time and decision-making rights. However, it will be necessary to prove to the court that you deserve sole custody. Once you’ve presented your case, the court can decide what the best interests of the child are and make their decision to support those interests.

How To File for Full Custody in Arizona

How To File for Sole Custody in AZ

Not every step of our following guide will apply to you, depending on your scenario. However, we’d like to outline the process for filing for sole parenting time and decision-making rights so you can be prepared when the time comes.

Complete and file the Required Paperwork

The beginning of this process can be tedious, but it’s a necessary step to take. You must complete various required documents and file them so the court can begin evaluating your case.

These forms are contained in a packet known as a Petition to Establish Legal Decision-Making, Parenting Time and Child Support and include:

  • Sensitive Data Cover Sheet with Children
  • Summons to Respond or Appear in Court.
  • Petitions to Establish Paternity, Request Child Support, Evaluate Child Custody, and more
  • Notice of Appearance
The Sensitive Data Cover Sheet contains sensitive information such as social security numbers, birth dates, and more. The court will keep this information safe and it cannot be shared with other parties. You may not need to submit a cover sheet depending on your county of residence. A notice of appearance may only be required if you have a lawyer representing you from the start of the case. All petitions are essential to the successful completion of your filing.

You are also required to submit a fee to file this paperwork, currently around $200. This depends on the county you file in.

Serve Your Papers

You must notify the other parent about your sole custody case by officially serving them copies of your filed paperwork. One of the best ways to do this is by using certified mail with restricted delivery and a return receipt. This costs somewhere between ten and fifteen dollars, depending on how many documents are involved.

If the other party does not sign for the certified mail within 25 days, you’ll likely need to hire a process server to help. A process server will officially serve the documents to the other party and typically costs between $75 and $100, depending on what work has to be done to find the person. If you cannot serve your papers after attempting every possible solution, you can try asking your court for alternate methods, including service by publication, county sheriff, and more.

This process can sometimes be frustrating, especially if the other parent is uncooperative. No matter your situation, we can help you draft your documents and find the most effective way of serving your documents.

Attend Parenting Classes

Parenting Classes in Arizona

Every Arizona parent who files for sole custody is responsible for attending parenting classes as required by the state. Once the respondent has been served the documents, you must take a certified parenting course within 45 days. This costs $50, and you can either schedule your course online or by calling Family Court Conciliation Services.

Wait for a Response

After you’ve served the other parent their documents, they have 20 days to respond if they are in-state or 30 days if out-of-state. This does not include the day that the other party was served, but it does include holidays and weekends. However, if the last day of this period falls on a weekend or holiday, their last day is considered the next business day.

Request a Default Judgment

It can be distressing when the other party doesn’t respond in a timely manner or at all. Fortunately, there are regulations in place that keep your case moving despite a failure to respond.

If the other party doesn’t respond at all after being served, you can file for a default judgment. This process requires another form we can draft for you. The form requests that the court begin their default proceedings as the other party has failed to respond. The other party will then receive a ten-day grace period, which is their last chance to respond without facing penalties. If they still refuse to respond, you can file a final request for default judgment alongside a default decree.

As long as the sole custody arrangement you initially asked for is reasonable, the judge is likely to grant it by default. However, the judge won’t immediately sign off on your petition, as there is a 90-day waiting period.

Wait to Submit a Consent Decree

If you and the respondent agree on the child custody arrangements after filing your initial paperwork, you must then wait to file a consent decree that you’ll both sign. You’ll have to wait 60 days after the date you serve the papers, as well as the time it takes for the judge to sign the decree. Even if both parties agree to sole custody, you may still have to attend a court hearing over the matter, but this is up to the judge. While the law technically states that you must go to a court hearing if there are children involved, judges may not ask you to do this.

Attend Cour

If the other party responds to the petition and either agrees or requests an alternative solution, the case will be referred to the assigned judge’s division. The judge’s assistant then organizes a preliminary hearing, also called a Resolution Management Conference. This meeting allows a judge to hear from both sides regarding the petition’s terms. If any agreements have been made, the judge will ask you to elaborate before finalizing a decree. If there are still terms to be addressed, you may be referred to the Conciliation Court, where a mediator is brought in to help sort out custody matters.

If mediation is ineffective or a full agreement isn’t created, the court will set a hearing date for you to attend. It is not recommended that you attend on your own, as a lawyer can help you navigate this tricky process. You’ll also need to provide evidence supporting your claim that you should have sole custody.

You’ll need evidence to demonstrate:

  • Your child’s needs and best interests
  • Documentation of any abusive behavior, neglect, or substance abuse, including photos, videos, police reports, and more
  • Documentation of any violence or criminal behavior

Why Use Draft My Legal Docs?

As you can see, the process for filing for full custody in Arizona requires several carefully drafted legal documents. Each petition should be free of errors and submitted on time and in full. If documentation is inadequate, poorly completed, or late, your case will take longer to complete. Like anything involving the Arizona legal system, it’s risky to navigate this process on your own.

Draft My Legal Docs is a legal document preparation service operated by skilled Arizona family attorneys. Because every case is unique, attention to thorough detail is crucial, especially when it comes to matters such as divorce and child custody. Our family law services can help you complete all the documents you need for your case. Or, we can determine which documents you need after you fill out our questionnaire.

File For Sole Custody in Arizona

Filing for Sole Custody in AZ

The legal system in Arizona can be complex, especially when it comes to family court cases involving children. Matters of custody affect all aspects of a child’s life, including where they live, attend school, their religious upbringing, their healthcare, their physical and mental health, and even their safety. If you believe that having sole custody of your children is imperative to fulfilling their best interests, filing for sole parenting time and decision-making rights is a critical step.

Begin by filing the required documents with the help of Draft My Legal Docs. You’ll ensure that each document is filed in full, on-time, and in accordance with Arizona regulations. then you’ll need to file the right documents with the right information. Visit our divorce and child custody document section for more information, or contact us directly with any questions or concerns you may have.

Legal Separation vs Divorce

Legal Separation Versus Divorce in Arizona

While the vast majority of couples begin marriage with the intent that it will last forever, this is often not the case. When events, disagreements, or personal differences bring about the end of a marriage, the couple must decide whether to divorce or legally separate. Neither decision is an easy one to make, and couples may be uncertain which one is ideal for their situation.

If you’re uncertain whether divorce or separation is a better fit for you, Draft My Legal Docs can help. Learn more about the legal implications, requirements, and characteristics of the two.

Understanding Legal Separation

Legal separation is a legal process that allows a married couple to officially separate in the eyes of the court without filing for divorce. The couple is still considered married, and they can either reconcile or opt for divorce down the line. Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that couples must agree to; therefore, they must finalize a legal separation with a separation agreement.

Separation agreements outline all of the relevant terms of the separation, similar to what is outlined in a divorce decree.

These agreements usually cover:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Division of marital property
The legal system in Arizona is highly detailed and must be approached with care. It is crucial to draft separation agreement paperwork correctly, or you risk making the legal process longer and more difficult. It is recommended that you pursue high-quality services to draft your legal documents so you can streamline the process and ensure all your paperwork is accurate.

It is important to remember that when you obtain a legal separation, your marriage is neither fully dissolved nor does it exist on the same grounds it did during the regular course of the marriage. Neither spouse may remarry unless you proceed with a divorce.

Legal Separation FAQ

Legal Separation FAQs

These are some common questions people have surrounding legal separation.

How Long Does It Take to Legally Separate?
If you and your partner have agreed to everything discussed in the separation agreement, it can take 60 days after the petition has been filed to become legally separated. However, it could take longer than 60 days to have your status changed if your case goes through litigation.

Litigation occurs if there are still legal issues to resolve, and you would need to hire an attorney to represent you in court. There, they would argue for your case to try to resolve the matters, which can take extra time. Also, if you do not file your paperwork early or if something is inaccurate, this could extend the time it takes to become separated.

Why Do People Separate but Not Divorce?
Some couples believe ending their marriage is the only way to move forward and live healthier, more fulfilling lives. However, divorce is not the only option, and many of these couples opt instead to separate. Couples may not want to go through a divorce for a wide range of reasons, all of which you should consider before making a decision.

Religious Concerns

Some religious groups forbid divorce, no matter your circumstances. If your religion does not allow you to divorce, you may be allowed to pursue legal separation instead.

Health Insurance/Tax Reasons

You may have access to health insurance benefits while your partner does not, or vice versa. If your partner has medical issues and relies on your insurance, you may agree to separation so they can maintain their benefits. This is in stark contrast to divorce, which requires both spouses to seek their own health coverage. Similarly, separated couples may continue to file taxes and make medical or legal decisions together, while divorced couples do not.

Property Considerations

In a divorce, the property is distributed between the two individuals according to Arizona’s community property laws. During a legal separation, your assets and debts will be kept separate, and a full division of property may not need to take place. Any property you obtain from the date of the separation moving forward will remain separate property. \

Testing the Waters

While legal separation is a legal process in and of itself, it is less expensive than divorce. More importantly, it can be reversed. Many couples choose to use a legal separation as a trial run to decide whether they truly want to pursue divorce.

Do I Have to Support My Spouse If We Are Separated?
In some cases, you may be required to financially support your spouse if you are separated, though this isn’t always the case. If your spouse relies on you financially and cannot support themselves, you may be required to pay spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony. There are other factors, such as how long you’ve been married, that could influence how much you’ll be required to help your partner. It is crucial you have the right paperwork to prove your case if you require alimony, and our team can assist you in this process.
What Are the Disadvantages of Legal Separation?
While legal separation could be seen as more advantageous than divorce, this process does not come without some drawbacks. Couples who intend to separate should consider these disadvantages of separation before agreeing to file.

If you’ve met someone else while separated and wish to remarry, you cannot do this unless you are divorced. Legally, you and your spouse are still married, which could be frustrating if one spouse wants to marry someone else. If you wish to remarry, you must go through the divorce process.

Extra Costs

If you do decide to divorce after being legally separated, this could be more expensive compared to divorce without separation. Because you’ll essentially be going through two legal proceedings versus one, costs can begin to rise. Also, the decision could impact your emotional and mental health, as these are challenging and time-consuming processes to complete.

Is It Better to Stay Separated or Divorce?
Every couple has their own circumstances and goals, so not every couple will benefit from a separation. However, some couples may feel staying separated could be the more beneficial option.

If there is potential for reconciliation and neither spouse has the desire to remarry, staying separated may be your most optimal choice. You and your spouse may have discussed in the past that you both want time away from each other but may be able to resolve your issues in the future. This can take time, and the process isn’t easy. In fact, many couples attend therapy to work out their issues and determine how to move forward.

Sometimes, you may not feel emotionally ready to divorce. In this case, it is crucial you don’t push yourself toward divorce if you aren’t ready for it. Separation may help couples deal with their emotions and figure out what they want in their lives.

Understanding Divorce

Unlike separation, a divorce legally dissolves the marriage, which means either spouse can remarry once the divorce becomes final. Some couples opt to dissolve their marriage entirely as there is no chance to reconcile or resolve certain issues. Couples may have been separated for a full year and have made the difficult choice to divorce after failing to resolve any lingering disputes or problems.

Divorce can be complex for both spouses involved, and the situation can have a significant impact on your children as well. While the process is never easy, learning more about divorce may make the aspects simpler.

Divorce FAQ

Divorce FAQs

It is crucial to understand divorce and legal separation before making your decision.

Is Divorce Right for Me?
Some couples feel the benefits of legal separation are enough to eliminate the need to file for divorce. However, your circumstances may be different, and divorce may feel like the only way forward. There are a few reasons couples may choose divorce over legal separation, and we’ve outlined a few below.

No Way to Reconcile

Some couples cannot resolve their issues by any means. If legally separating and taking time away from each other isn’t effective, or the couple doesn’t believe this would help, they may file for divorce instead.

Different Financial Concerns

As previously mentioned, some couples who believe they can reconcile in the future may separate so one partner can still receive certain financial benefits. For example, if someone receives health insurance through their work, their partner can stay on their health insurance if they don’t have adequate coverage.

Conversely, if a couple can support themselves individually, they may not consider separation when they believe they’ll only divorce later on. If you cannot repair your marriage and finances aren’t a concern, divorce may be your best option. There are strategies you can use to prevent your divorce from wrecking your finances.

You Can Remarry

If you choose legal separation, you cannot remarry, as you’ll still be considered married to your partner. However, if you wish to remarry, you must be legally divorced. Divorce fully dissolves your marriage, and both partners may remarry if they wish.

Can I Reverse a Divorce?
While a legal separation can be ended with a simple court motion, a divorce is permanent. If you complete a divorce and wish you had remained married, it is important to know that divorce decrees are extremely difficult to appeal. In most cases, you’ll need to remarry.
Does Child Support Change With Divorce?
While Arizona may not have required you to pay child support if you remained in the same household, divorce and living in separate households will make a reevaluation necessary. During divorce, the court will use the state-approved calculator to determine which party is entitled to child support and how much. The final decision will be made before the divorce decree is issued.

What We Can Do For You

Legal separation may be your best option if you and your partner need time away from each other yet don’t want to miss out on key benefits. You may be able to rekindle your relationship and move forward without ever needing to go through the divorce process. Alternatively, you may decide to move forward with divorce to permanently end your marriage.

Regardless of whether you’ve chosen legal separation or divorce, you need accurate and high-quality legal documents at every stage of the process. Draft My Legal Docs can create documents for pre-nuptial agreements, mediation, annulment, and more. Our skilled attorneys have the experience and credentials necessary to assist you with your divorce or separation. If you wish to go through your process in a do-it-yourself manner, we can provide you with the right documents and help you fill them out accurately.

Contact Draft My Legal Docs Today

Contact Draft My Legal Docs Today

The team at Draft My Legal Docs is ready to help our clients submit error-free paperwork for divorce, legal separation, and many other Arizona Family Court proceedings. Our licensed attorneys have years of experience helping couples who are going through a divorce or legal separation navigate the family court system. We can help you draft any legal document within a 72-hour timeframe.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

man and woman signing a prenuptial agreement

Top Reasons People Get Prenups

If you’re like most people planning a wedding, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is divorce. Unfortunately, many people avoid thinking about prenuptial agreements because they don’t want their special day shrouded in thoughts of how things might end. However, prenups are an important part of marriage planning for many reasons.

So, it becomes extremely important to answer the question, “Why would anyone want a prenup?”

In fact, it’s becoming more common for those who are entering a high-asset marriage to consider a prenup because they want to know that their assets will be protected in the event that their marriage ends. However, prenuptial agreements are for more than just the rich. A prenup can be for anyone who wants to protect their future.

What Is a Prenup?

A prenup, or a prenuptial agreement, is a legal agreement made between two parties before they get married. Its primary purpose is to protect any assets they may be bringing into the marriage and to help streamline the division of assets and other decisions made if the marriage ends. However, a prenup can protect more than just assets – marital agreements can serve many other purposes as well.

What Is the Main Purpose of a Prenup?

As mentioned, the primary purpose of a prenup is to help both spouses protect their assets if the marriage ends. That’s why, when drafting a prenuptial agreement, each party must list any assets they have before the marriage takes place. With a complete list of assets, the couple can then outline exactly how the assets should be handled or disbursed should the marriage end.

Assets typically include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Cash
  • Valuable property, such as jewelry, cars, or art
  • Retirement accounts
  • Real estate
  • Investments

What Are the Most Common Reasons Why People Get Prenups?

A man looking for a prenup website

There are many reasons couples obtain prenups or other types of marital agreements. Prenups can not only outline how assets should be handled in the event of a divorce, but they may also include other terms. For example, they may include a lifestyle clause that would take into account infidelity or custody agreements for children and pets.

It’s important to recognize that many people, not just wealthy individuals or people seeking second or third marriages, can benefit from prenuptial agreements. Here are some of the most common reasons couples get a prenup.

To Protect Their Current Assets

Possibly, the most common reason for a prenup is to protect any assets you have before the marriage. This is especially useful for people who are wealthy or have amassed a number of personal assets before the marriage. The prenup may specify which assets must remain personal assets or exactly how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce. A prenup can prevent one spouse from losing important assets in divorce and also keep couples from spending extensive time fighting over property in court.

To Protect Any Future Assets

While people anticipating marriage are typically concerned about protecting what they currently have, a prenup can allow you to protect any future assets as well. Consider the cautionary tale of Jeff Bezos, who famously did not have a prenup in place that protected his future assets and lost half of his wealth in his divorce. A prenup can ensure all future assets are divided how you and your spouse see fit at the time of your marriage, which can be especially helpful for younger couples.

To Protect Income

Protecting future income is extremely important and can be viewed separately from assets like a home, a vehicle, or other property. Income can include hourly wages, salary, raises, bonuses, commissions, and even income earned from rental properties. Having a prenup in place can help you protect your wages should a divorce occur.

To Address Wealth Differences

Not all parties enter marriage on equal footing with one another. So, while prenups are often established to protect the wealthier party from losing assets in a divorce, they can also help to protect the lower wage earner. For example, you can include a lump wealth equalization payment in a prenuptial agreement or even address spousal support. However, keep in mind that prenups must be considered reasonably fair to both parties for them to be valid in the eyes of the court.

To Address Spousal Support

While you cannot use a prenup to pre-determine an amount for spousal support (otherwise known as spousal maintenance), you can address the possibility of spousal support in a prenup. This could mean waiving spousal support or stating whether or not each party could be entitled to spousal support before eventually allowing a judge to make the final payment decision. It can also allow you to place a limit on how long a spouse is obligated to pay spousal support. Whether you anticipate being the spouse paying support or the spouse receiving it, addressing spousal support can be a very important component of a prenup.

To Determine Financial Obligations

As a prenuptial agreement must take place before the marriage officially starts, it is especially useful for defining what financial obligations each party should have during the marriage. This can be useful if one party member earns significantly more than the other or if one party will have other obligations. A prenup can also define how financial decisions should be made if a couple experiences a dispute. Establishing these terms in writing before a marriage can prevent issues during the marriage.

To Safeguard Against Debt

In Arizona, debts accrued during the marriage are divided roughly equally during a divorce. Being left with debt can be a serious issue, especially if you had very little part in accruing it. Protecting yourself from your partner’s debt or protecting your partner from your own debt is a reason many people create a prenuptial agreement. It can define who is responsible for any debt brought into the marriage as well as debt acquired during the marriage.

To Protect a Business

Anyone who owns a business knows how important it is to protect it financially. Unfortunately, without a prenup, a business is often considered a marital asset and could be subject to division. With a prenup, you can protect your current business from division, as well as any future businesses that may be established after your marriage.

To Protect Gifts and Inheritances

Protecting Gifts and Inheritances with Prenup

Whether you have already or expect to one day receive a large gift from a family member or close friend, protecting these gifts can be a good reason to create a prenup. Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse are typically considered personal property, but those given to a couple can exist on shaky legal grounds. A prenup can ensure that these gifts or inheritances are divided or assigned according to your wishes should a divorce occur.

To Protect Your Heirs’ Inheritances

While inheritances are typically considered personal property during asset division, a prenup can help you define how you want to distribute your assets in the event of your death. Until you have an estate plan in place to outline who should inherit your assets, a prenup can help.

For example, when a parent brings children into a second or third marriage, there may be a question regarding who should inherit portions of the estate after that parent’s death. Without a prenuptial agreement or estate plan in place, there’s no guarantee that your assets will be shared with your children according to your wishes – instead, the court will assign assets to your next of kin as determined by the probate process. You can clearly define which of your heirs should receive assets and prevent probate court from making that decision according to Arizona law.

To Determine Placement of Pets

For many individuals, determining who should receive any pets at the time of divorce is an extremely important decision. Unfortunately, many people use pets as a bargaining chip in the same way they use children. Arizona considers pets either community or individual property depending on whether they were acquired during the marriage. That means you’ll want to draft a prenup to predetermine how you’ll place your pets after a divorce.

To Protect Your Social Image

In the digital age, your public persona is important, and an ex-spouse can easily post damaging information about you in a moment of anger. A prenup can help you protect your public image in the event of a divorce by establishing a penalty for posting humiliating images or words.

To Set General Expectations

As much as you may hope that you can communicate well as you face marriage, marriage involves many decisions that must be made by two people who are relatively new to handling the legal aspects of their relationship together. A prenup can help you outline the way you want to approach many major decisions that arise or at least ensure you begin thinking about how you want to handle decision-making during your marriage. If a divorce should occur, you will already be prepared to make important decisions using the guidelines you have set in place via the prenup.

To Make Divorce Proceedings Easier

Divorce can be a difficult and contentious situation for anyone. It can bring up very difficult feelings, and parties often risk making less than ideal choices in an effort to come to a quick resolution. With a prenup, parties can make all the difficult decisions early on so that the divorce process can continue smoothly. While no one wants to consider divorce before they get married, being prepared can help protect both parties’ interests and reduce stress levels.

To Ensure a Less Expensive, Quicker Divorce Process

With a prenup in place, expensive lawyers and extensive fighting will be less necessary. The prenup is a binding agreement between the parties and will generally be upheld by the courts as long as the prenup is valid. When there is no prenuptial agreement, you must often pay an expensive lawyer and spend a great deal of time and money litigating your divorce in court. With a prenup, you can mitigate these issues.

How to Get a Prenup

If you have decided to create a prenup, you may choose to hire a lawyer. This is a great option for many people, especially if there are significant assets in place. However, an attorney may not be the best option for everyone, especially if you already have a solid concept of your assets and exactly what you’d like to do with them before you get married.

Instead, consider a document drafting service like Draft My Legal Docs. Our qualified and experienced family law attorneys can draft a variety of family law documents, including a prenuptial agreement, allowing you to utilize the prowess of a skilled attorney in a manner that fits your budget. Our prenuptial agreements are drafted after a personal consultation with you and your future spouse to ensure they fit your situation, meet your needs, and will be considered valid in an Arizona court.

Draft Your Prenup Today

A man and woman signing a prenuptial agreement document

If you are anticipating marriage and any of the above categories are a concern to you, now is the time to get your prenup underway. Keep in mind: a prenuptial agreement isn’t the taboo topic it once was, and it doesn’t have to mean that you and your partner are assuming your relationship will end in divorce. In fact, a prenup can actually free you from the most difficult decisions you and your spouse can face later, strengthening your marriage and protecting you both. It can help set expectations now, so difficult conversations don’t have to lead to relationship-ending arguments later.

The qualified attorneys at Draft My Legal Docs are here to help you draft a personalized prenuptial agreement so that you and your partner can enjoy your marriage without the looming concerns of what could happen if your marriage should end.

Let us help take the guesswork out of your marriage from beginning to end; trust Draft My Legal Docs with your prenuptial agreement today.

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