Author Archive

How Basketball Brought My Wife and Me Together

Posted on: March 12th, 2018 by Kevin Jensen

One evening back in the ’90s, I was sitting around watching the Chicago Bulls on TV with a few of my buddies at BYU. Like pretty much every other sports fan at the time, I idolized Michael Jordan and loved watching the Bulls wipe the floor with whichever poor team found themselves on the other end of the court. It was a great game, but for some reason, one of the guys suggested we get up off the couch and head to the BYU basketball game that was going on that night. I’ve obviously always been a big BYU fan, but that year they were totally lousy and really phoning it in on the hardwood. Though I don’t know why, I agreed with my friend, and we piled into the car and made our way to the Marriott Center.

Little did I know that my decision to skip watching the Bulls for once would result in a chance meeting with Kristi, my future wife and the most important person in my life. With Valentine’s day this month, I’ve been reenacting on the circumstances that enabled me to end up with such an incredible person for 21 years and counting.

I don’t remember much from the BYU game that night, but as we were leaving the arena, we bumped into a previous neighbor of mine,
a woman who’d lived next to me in my old apartment. We got to chatting, and she introduced me to her roommate, Kristi. She had returned from her mission in Hong Kong only a couple months prior, so we stood outside talking for a few minutes about that. We immediately hit it off. She was incredibly cute, and I should’ve — and wanted to — ask her out right then and there, but being the shy dummy I was back then, I couldn’t muster the guts. I didn’t even ask for her number.

I spent the entire next week desperately trying to get in contact with her to correct my mistake. I knew my old neighbor worked at the local Arby’s, so every night, I kept coming back to the Arby’s hoping to catch her. When I finally did, I told her that I was eager to take her roommate out and asked if she could give her my number. She said, “Oh, that’s great! Her birthday’s coming up. She’ll be so happy!”

So, our first date was on her birthday, hanging out at the bowling alley with a couple friends, getting dinner, and then watching a movie back at my friend’s place.

I’d realized years later how crazy it was that we’d bumped into each other that night. You see, Kristi isn’t really into basketball; in fact, I think that was probably one of two games she’s attended in her entire life. Honestly, it feels like fate intervened to bring us together. At the time, I was 26, which is old to be unmarried in BYU terms. Kristi always says that it took me so long because I was looking for her.

At any rate, I couldn’t be happier that I waited until she came along. Though our personalities are opposite (I’m the more laid-back jokester and she’s the more serious get-things-done type), our demeanors complement each other perfectly. She’s the most beautiful, levelheaded, reliable, and kind woman I’ve ever met, and, of course, she’s a truly amazing mother to all of our kids. I can’t imagine my life without her.

March 2018 Newsletter

Posted on: March 9th, 2018 by Kevin Jensen



When You Get the Worst News of Your Life

Working as a family and divorce lawyer, I see a variety of clients going through intensely difficult situations. For a few of them, it seems as if life as they know it is over. I sympathize with these clients deeply. I know it’s not easy for a loved one to leave your life or for a family to deal with a massive split … CONTINUE READING


Where Do My Child’s Wishes Fit Into Our Case?

I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “At what age does my child get to decide which parent they want to live with?” I would probably be writing this from a beach somewhere in Hawaii. The truth is, unlike some other states, Arizona doesn’t have a specific age where a child simply gets to choose which guardian they want … CONTINUE READING


The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers

Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick–me–up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical–themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world … CONTINUE READING

© 2018 The Newsletter Pro. All rights reserved.


How to Select the Right Family Law Attorney

Posted on: February 25th, 2018 by Kevin Jensen


I admit one of the things I dislike most in life is shopping.  I’m just not really all that patient and as a result, I have been prone to make rash decisions in the past just to get the whole shopping experience over with.  Sometimes it has worked out great and other times… not so much.  Despite my aversion to shopping, I have learned there are some purchases that require taking time and doing it right.  For example, I would never make an important decision like buying a house or a car without test driving the car or walking through the house.  I do research on the neighborhood or look at car reviews… you know, “kick the tires” and ask a lot of questions.  I want to make sure that if I am going to make such a large financial commitment I will be as happy as I can be with my purchase.  Why would it be any different when hiring a family law attorney to handle your important family law or divorce matter?

Similar to purchasing a vehicle or a house;  you should “kick the tires” when hiring an attorney to handle your divorce or other family law matter.  Making sure you have the right attorney to represent you can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.  I believe there are a few important things you should do when hiring a lawyer to handle your case.

First, the experience is vital.  I do not think this necessarily means the number of years in practice.  We have younger lawyers in our law office that are far more competent at handling family law matters than attorneys who have been practicing for decades.  Experience in handling family law matters should be the first thing you should look for.  Lawyers are not necessarily limited to the type of law they practice.  When I first started my law practice I handled many types of cases.  It was not that I wanted to necessarily practice in numerous areas of law; I was more concerned with feeding my family.  But I soon realized that I was stretched too thin and needed to be more focused in one area to provide the type of service and expertise I wanted to provide for my clients.

The law and rules that apply to family law cases are much different than those in bankruptcy or accident cases or other types of law.  Beware of attorneys that say they practice family law, but also practice numerous other types of law.  You would never have an orthopedic surgeon perform your heart surgery and you should not have a tax lawyer handle your divorce case.

Do not be afraid to ask the lawyer you are interviewing about his or her legal experience.  Ask if he or she handles other types of cases.  Look at reviews on his or her website.  I think reviews are one of the best ways to find a good, competent lawyer.  When I am thinking of buying a car, one of the first things I do is look at car reviews or ask people who have owned the type of car I am looking at what they think about it.  We live in a world where you can get lots of information about just about everything at the touch of a button; divorce lawyers are no different.

Second, bedside manner counts.  Have you ever had a doctor or a dentist that you just did not connect with?  What a complete turn off!  Most of us do not want to work with a doctor who seems uncaring or does not listen or take time to answer questions.  It is important to understand that your divorce case is a team effort that will require you to work well with your attorney.  You need to make sure that you feel good about that person you are hiring and can work with him or her.  Does the lawyer you are consulting with take time to educate you and answer your questions?  I believe strongly in educating my clients or potential clients.  The more my clients know about the law and the legal process the better able I am to serve them.  Does your lawyer seem to genuinely care about you and your case?   I consulted with a man the other day who is going through a really tough post-divorce custody modification case.  He told me he had met with several attorneys and I was the only one that took the time to answer his questions and seemed to really care.  Those are the best compliments I receive as an attorney.  I want my clients to know that we are in this together and that I have their back. I think one of the most underrated aspects of hiring a family law attorney is whether or not you connect with that attorney on a personal level.

Third, cost matters.  Full disclosure… every Arizona divorce attorney practicing law is in the business to make money.  Attorneys, like doctors or other professionals, are expensive. Most of us have spent a lot of money obtaining our education and many have significant student loans.  But that does not justify exorbitant fees to handle your case. A simple divorce case with no children and minimal assets should not cost thousands and thousands of dollars.  On the other hand, a case involving a long marriage with lots of assets and children is going to be more expensive.  A good family law attorney is going to be upfront about the cost of your case.  We try hard in my firm to be as cost-effective as possible in every case.  On the other hand, we are being paid to do a job and we don’t want to cut corners.  I tell every potential client I meet with the cost of their case will depend much more on the parties and their willingness to be reasonable than anything we do.  But, I am also disappointed when I meet with someone who has met with another divorce lawyer who has quoted four or five thousand dollars for a simple uncontested case. Ask questions about the cost and make sure your attorney is upfront about his hourly rate and other things that he may charge for (such as photocopies, etc.).  I do believe you get what you pay for but don’t overpay.

Hiring an Arizona family law attorney will be one of the most important investments you make.  The outcome of your case will most likely have ramifications for years to come.  I never get offended when a potential client tells me he or she will be meeting with other attorneys.  Just as it is important to test drive a car before buying; I always think it is a good idea to shop around and kick the tires before hiring your family law attorney.

If you or a loved one is having thoughts about a family law related issue we invite you to visit our office in Mesa Arizona. We love finding solutions to complicated issues.

Jensen Family Law – Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
3740 E Southern Ave #210, Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 999-2321


Febuary 2018 Newsletter

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by Kevin Jensen



How Basketball Brought My Wife and Me Together

One evening back in the ’90s, I was sitting around watching the Chicago Bulls on TV with a few of my buddies at BYU. Like pretty much every other sports fan at the time, I idolized Michael Jordan and loved watching the Bulls wipe the floor with whichever … CONTINUE READING


Shake Off the Post–Divorce Valentine’s Blues

February is here, and for our clients going through or recovering from a messy divorce, there’s an emotional gauntlet right on the horizon: Valentine’s Day. But in the midst of constant Hallmark reminders of lost love, bad chocolate, and worse weather, it’s possible to carve out a space for yourself during the … CONTINUE READING


Presidents Day or Washington’s Birthday

On the third Monday in February, the entire nation celebrates Presidents Day … sort of. While the holiday is known colloquially as Presidents Day, its official federal name is still Washington’s Birthday. If that wasn’t confusing enough, different states officially know it as “Presidents Day,” “Lincoln/Washington/Presidents Day,” … CONTINUE READING

© 2018 The Newsletter Pro. All rights reserved.


What are the Requirements for a Divorce in Arizona

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by Kevin Jensen

What are the Requirements for a Divorce in Arizona?

I often tell my new clients that one of the unfortunate aspects of being a practicing family law attorney in Arizona is that I get to meet a lot of really wonderful people in some of the worst and darkest times of their lives. After all, people do not generally get married with the idea they will later divorce. For most of us, our wedding day ranks up there with the greatest days of our lives. It is the day we commit to the person we love to honor and cherish them forever. Unfortunately, for many people, the happily ever after fairy tale does not have the happy ending hoped for on their wedding day. Love and hope are often replaced with anger and uncertainty. Many people find themselves afraid of the future and not knowing what to expect when their marriage becomes unraveled.

And so it is with this setting that so many people come to my office seeking advice about divorce. Many people are seeking reassurance and an understanding of what to expect while dealing with the inevitable pain that divorce brings. For others, the divorce cannot come soon enough. Some choose to pursue the divorce and others have no choice because their spouse is seeking the divorce. Regardless of the individual circumstances, the question I am always asked is “how do I get a divorce in Arizona? Or, “where do I begin to get a divorce?”

To start with, it is important to understand that before an Arizona family court can grant a divorce, the court must be sure that it has the authority, or jurisdiction to grant a divorce. Thus, under Arizona law, there are a few jurisdictional requirements that must be met before the Court can ultimately grant a divorce. The very first step, however, is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is your ticket into family court and advises the court as to your position on the vital issues in the divorce case such as division of property and debts, child-related issues such as legal decision-making, parenting time and child support and your position on spousal maintenance or alimony.
The Petition for Dissolution also includes a jurisdictional statement that informs the court that you qualify for a divorce in Arizona. These jurisdictional requirements (or legal requirements) for a divorce in Arizona can be found in A.R.S. §25-311 and include the following:

a. At least one party (husband or wife), at the time the divorce was filed, was domiciled in the State of Arizona or was stationed in the State of Arizona while a member of the armed services, for at least 90 days prior to the date the Petition for Dissolution was filed.
This means that at least one party to the divorce has to have lived in the State of Arizona for at least 90 days prior to the date the Petition for Dissolution is filed. It is not uncommon for potential clients to call me from other states and ask if they can file for divorce in Arizona. The answer is yes if your spouse that you are seeking a divorce from has been living in Arizona for at least the past 90 days. Another common scenario I often see is a party who has recently moved to Arizona. If you move to Arizona and your spouse does not already live here, you cannot file for divorce in Arizona until you have lived here at least 90 days.

b.The party filing the Petition for Dissolution must affirm that the conciliation provisions of A.R.S. §25-381.09 either do not apply or have been met.

The State of Arizona supports marriage and discourages divorce. The State deems it good for society and for the State for couples who get married to stay married if at all possible. As such, the State offers services for couples who are contemplating divorce to try to save their marriage and avoid divorce altogether. These are not mandatory services. Many people who come to my office seeking a divorce have already tried private counseling to try to save their marriage. Conciliation Services is simply another option to try to save your marriage. For purposes of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; the person filing the Petition must state in the Petition that he or she either has participated in Conciliation Services or that he or she does not think such services will help save the marriage.

c.The party filing the Petition must avow to the Court that he or she believes the marriage is irretrievably broken, or if it is a covenant marriage that the requirements of A.R.S. §25-903 have been met.

Arizona is a no-fault state. This means that Arizona family courts do not care what your reason is for seeking a divorce. A party seeking a divorce in Arizona must simply state that he or she feels the marriage is irretrievably broken (permanently broken) and cannot be saved. That’s it. The provision of a covenant marriage does not apply to the vast majority of people. A large majority of married couples in Arizona do not have a covenant marriage. Covenant marriages will be addressed in more detail in a later blog.
In addition to the above jurisdictional requirements, the Petition must also contain the following information:

a.The birth date, occupation, social security number if a duty of support exists or may exist, and an address for each party and the length of domicile in the State of Arizona for each party;

b.The date and place of marriage and whether the marriage is a covenant marriage;

c.The names, birth dates, social security numbers, and addresses of all living children, natural or adopted, common to the parties and whether the wife is pregnant;

d.The details of any agreements between the parties as to child support, custody and parenting time of the children and maintenance of the spouse (alimony);

e.The relief sought. This simply means that the party filing the divorce must tell the court how he or she wants the court to rule on the issues that exist in the case.

A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona must be verified. That is to say that the person filing the Petition must state that he or she has read the Petition for Dissolution and that everything stated in the Petition is true and accurate to the best of that person’s knowledge. The verification (signature of the party) is typically notarized, thus, the Petition is filed under oath by the party filing the Petition.

The Petition for Dissolution is really the first step in an Arizona divorce lawyer. It must be complete and thorough enough for the Court to review it and be assured that all jurisdictional and other legal requirements have been met as outlined above. It also must be clear and thorough enough that the other party can read it and know what you are asking the Court to do, even if he or she does not agree with your position on the issues.

Divorce is not pleasant and the truth is that the legal aspects of divorce can be difficult and confusing and only add further to your stress. Every case is different in terms of the issues and complexity of the case. What is not different is the starting point. It can be vital to your case to properly prepare and plead your divorce case. Divorce is stressful enough. I always recommend at least consulting with an attorney before filing for divorce to make sure you understand all of the issues that will need to be addressed and to assure that your divorce pleadings (legal paperwork) is prepared and filed correctly with the Court.

Contact one of our office locations below.

Jensen Law – Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
3740 E Southern Ave #210, Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 999-2321

Jensen Law – Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
4365 E Pecos Rd # 130, Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 900-2302

The Law Offices of Kevin Jensen
3740 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 632-7373


Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by Kevin Jensen


Over the years as an Arizona family law attorney, I have consulted with hundreds and hundreds of people about divorce. In nearly every divorce consult I do I explain that in the typical Arizona divorce there are usually three or four primary issues the family court must address, one of which is the actual dissolution of the marriage. This part of the consult almost always leads to the person I am consulting with to share the reason he or she is seeking a divorce from their spouse. It probably goes without saying that I have heard just about every reason you can imagine why a person would seek a divorce. The most common reasons for divorce are not hard to imagine: infidelity, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, financial stress, involvement in pornography or just simply growing apart. This is certainly not an exhaustive list.

The issues listed above would understandably test the marriage vows of most of us. These types of issues have a profound impact on marriages and all family members. In many cases, the impact can be devastating emotionally, physically and financially. For this reason, most people are surprised when I tell them that the family court judge will not really care about why they want to get divorced. A typical response to this statement might be: “how can that be?” “Why doesn’t the court care that my spouse has been lying and cheating and having an affair?” These are all good and fair questions. In some cases the potential client may even believe that because their spouse has been unfaithful or using drugs they may even be entitled to more from the divorce than he or she might otherwise be entitled; almost like damages for their pain and suffering. I think these feelings are natural and understandable. But, the truth remains that in Arizona, the reason for the divorce does not matter for purposes of the family court judge granted a divorce in Gilbert AZ.

The simple explanation is that Arizona is a “no-fault” divorce state. A “no-fault” divorce is a divorce where the party seeking the dissolution of the marriage does not need to show any wrongdoing by either party in order for the court to grant the divorce. In Arizona, a family court can grant a divorce so long as one party states that his or her marriage is irretrievably broken and so long as that party meets the other jurisdictional requirements for divorce in Arizona, which I have discussed in more detail here. The fact that your spouse is abusing drugs or has been unfaithful does not increase your ability to get a divorce in Arizona. That is not to say that those issues do not have any impact at all in the divorce proceedings; it is just not necessary that you demonstrate to the court that your spouse has engaged in these activities in order for the court to grant you your divorce.

So if the reason for divorce does not matter, it begs the question: in what circumstances would drug abuse, infidelity or other issues have any bearing in your divorce case? These issues are not to be ignored. They can certainly have a tremendous impact on other aspects of your case. For example, the fact that your spouse may be a drug addict will likely have a significant impact on how much parenting time or legal decision-making authority he or she will get with the minor children. The fact that a spouse spent community funds on an affair could have an impact on the family court’s decision regarding the division of community property. Spending community funds on an affair might be considered waste and may entitle the non-cheating spouse to more money when it comes time to divide the remaining community assets.

So, just because “no-fault” eliminates the need to demonstrate wrongdoing to get a divorce; it does not necessarily mean a spouse who has made bad choices that have resulted in the decision to get a divorce has zero consequences. Be open and honest with your attorney so he or she can properly evaluate what impact those bad decisions may have on your case and don’t be too concerned when your attorney tells you that the judge may not necessarily care why you are getting a divorce.

Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Kevin Jensen

An Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer deals with an area of law that is not only complex on both a state and federal level but is also constantly changing.  The appellate courts are always hearing criminal appeals out of lower courts, and as such are always interpreting the law in different ways based on new issues and new facts presented to them by the lawyers.   The laws vary from state to state, and although the underlying principals may be the same, the legislatures for each state creates its own definitions and punishments for criminal offenses.

The vast majority of crimes are local or state crimes, as opposed to federal offenses. In Arizona and other states that have significant areas of land set aside for Tribal Reservations, there is an additional court for certain crimes that occur on tribal land.  Those courts follow yet another set of rules that are often quite different from the rules and definitions laid out by the legislature.  The reason there is a separate tribal court is that by definition the Tribal Communities are sovereign nations and as such, do not necessarily have to follow all the rules by which non-tribal courts are bound.

Because of all the nuances of criminal law, including the constantly changing laws, the differences between jurisdiction, and the varying penalties associated with different crimes, it is very difficult if not impossible for the average person to have an adequate understanding of criminal law or even the criminal justice process to represent himself in court.  Many a person who has tried to do so has failed and unfortunately suffered the consequences of his ignorance.

Just because a person is not an attorney does not mean that the court will be more lenient.  In fact, a person choosing to represent himself in court is held to the exact same standards that a criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing for years is held to, and a failure to understand the law will not constitute an adequate defense to avoid being found guilty.  The long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, even a minor one, can be extremely detrimental, and it truly takes a competent criminal defense attorney to investigate all your options and ensure that your rights are protected. This is why it is of the utmost importance to have a Mesa criminal defense lawyer that is knowledgeable about the criminal defense argue on your behalf.

For More criminal defense questions:

The Hogle Law Firm
1013 S. Stapley Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 999-5334

What is the Preliminary Injunction in my Arizona Divorce Case?

Posted on: February 17th, 2014 by Kevin Jensen

One of the more common concerns I encounter as a Divorce attorney in Arizona is with new or prospective divorce clients is a real fear that their soon to be ex-spouse will dispose of community assets before the court has a chance to divide the property. Arizona is a community property state. In general, this means that any asset that you and your spouse accumulate during the marriage (i.e., house, retirement account, savings account, etc.) is considered community property and each spouse is entitled to a 1/2 interest in the property. In some cases, particularly those involving long marriages, the community assets can be substantial and it may take quite some time to determine how the assets should be equitably divided. In the meantime, what if anything can be done to prevent one spouse from selling or taking community assets before your divorce case can be resolved either by settlement or by the family law court?


When you or your Mesa divorce attorney file your Arizona divorce case, the Clerk of the Court is required to issue a preliminary injunction that prohibits both parties from taking certain actions while the divorce is still pending. An injunction is a court order. This means that if either party does anything forbidden by the Preliminary Injunction, he or she is violating a court order and may be subject to sanctions from the family law judge. One of the primary purposes behind issuing this automatic preliminary injunction is to prevent either spouse from disposing of community assets until either the parties agree in writing how to divide or dispose of an asset, or the court issues an order regarding the disposition of the asset.


The Preliminary Injunction, which can be found in A.R.S. 25-315(A)becomes effective as soon as it is issued by the Clerk of the Court and is served on the non-filing spouse. The injunction includes specific orders applicable to both parties including the following:

1. You may not hide earnings or community property from your spouse;

2. You may not take out a loan on any community property;

3. You may not sell the community property or give it away to someone UNLESS you have the written permission of your spouse or written permission from the court. The law allows for situations in which you may need to transfer joint or community property as part of the everyday running of a business, or if the sale of community property is necessary to meet the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, or clothing, or court fees and attorney fees associated with this action. If this applies, you should see a lawyer for help, AND

4. You may not harass or bother your spouse or children, AND

5. You may not physically abuse or threaten your spouse or the children, AND

6. You may not take the minor children, common to your marriage, of the State of Arizona for many reasons, without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order, before you the minor out of the State.

7. You may not remove, or cause to be removed, the other party or the minor children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance. Both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.


If either spouse violates the Preliminary Injunction he or she may be found in contempt of a court order. In my family law practice, this comes up most often when one spouse unilaterally decides he or she wants to sell some piece of property or tries to hide money. Keep in mind, that if both parties agree in writing to do something with a community asset (for example, if both parties agree to split the proceeds in a savings account so each has some money to live on while the divorce is pending) it is not a violation of the Preliminary Injunction. Likewise, if one party wants to do something with an asset and cannot get the other party to agree, he or she is free to file a motion with the family court judge requesting that the court order that the asset is divided or sold or whatever the party is seeking. After the other spouse files his or her response to the request, the family court judge will decide to either allow the party to sell or divide the asset or to wait until the case is decided at trial.

Where most people get in trouble when it comes to the Preliminary Injunctions is when they something with a community asset without the permission of the other spouse or without a court order. When a party unilaterally disposes of a community asset, he or she may be in direct violation of the Preliminary Injunction. A couple of years ago I had a case where the parties had a substantial 401K through the husband’s employer. The 401K was a community asset that needed to be divided equally. The soon-to-be ex-husband unilaterally decided he was going to use the 401K funds for his own purposes, including my client’s half of the funds. When we found out about the husband’s actions, we filed a Motion for Contempt with the family court judge. After hearing the evidence, the family court judge found that the husband violated the preliminary injunction and, as a sanction for violating the Preliminary Injunction, ordered that he pay my client’s attorney fees. The judge also entered a judgment against the husband for my client’s (the divorce attorney) half of the funds.

Make no mistake; Arizona family law court judges take the preliminary injunction very seriously. The idea behind the injunction is to force the parties to play fair and to prevent one party from disposing of community assets for his or her own purposes. You will note that the injunction also applies to conduct involving minor children. A violation of any of the restrictions enumerated in the Preliminary Injunction can be expensive and can result in significant sanctions from the family law judge.

If you find yourself involved in an Arizona divorce, make sure you DUI attorney mesa az before doing anything with any community assets or taking actions involving minor children (such as taking them out of state, etc.). It is never a good idea to take things into your own hands without the written permission from either your spouse or the family law court. Failure to follow the orders contained in the Preliminary Injunction can be costly and damage your credibility with the family law judge.

Does the Economy Influence Arizona Divorce Rates?

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by Kevin Jensen

There are many reasons couples decide to get divorced. Over the years as a practicing as a family law attorney in Mesa AZ, I have heard just about every explanation there is for seeking a divorce. One fairly common reason couples often cite for seeking a divorce is a financial strain. There can be no dispute that we live in financially stressful times. One can hardly turn on the news these days without hearing a story about the economy and the impact it is having on some aspect of our daily lives. But, does the state of the economy also influence the decision of whether or not to get divorced?

I recently came across an interesting article discussing a recent study that the impact the economy has on divorce rates. The study, which was recently published in Population Research and Policy Review hypothesizes that the divorce rates of couples in the United States actually decreased during the recession from 2009 through 2011. However, as the economy recovers, the divorce rate among couples in the United States has increased. This seems somewhat counterintuitive. Why would couples stick together and tough in out when things are most financially stressful (i.e. during a recession), but when some of those financial strains disappear decide to go their separate ways?

Philip N. Cohen, the University of Maryland sociologist who conducted the research provides some insight. Mr. Cohen found that while there is no doubt that economic difficulty can lead to divorce; during a recession, when couples are often stretched to their financial limits, Arizona divorce attorney can cost prohibitive. Divorcing leads to changes in costs in the housing (instead of combining incomes to pay for one house, each spouse becomes responsible, to a certain extent for his or her own housing). Divorce also often leads to legal fees, the need for daycare and other costs associated with having separate homes. Thus, according to Mr. Cohen, a recession can create barriers that make divorce cost prohibitive and also creates issues that may take precedence over marital troubles.

On the other hand, when the economy improves, divorce rates may rise as seen by the increase of hiring divorce attorneys in Scottsdale AZ. For some, the improvement in their financial situation provides them the freedom and perhaps security necessary to split up. In other words, according to the study, some people put off getting divorced until they can afford it.

Cohen is clear that the precise reasons behind the rise and fall of divorce rates due to economic conditions is still somewhat murky. This is by no means an exact science. People decide to end their “happily ever after” for many reasons. Financial strain is but one of many considerations many couples may consider when deciding to split up. In a world where so much of day-to-day life is dictated by financial conditions; add divorce to the list of life experiences that may be influenced by the current state of the economy.

Why Do I Need A Lawyer for My Uncontested Divorce?

Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by Kevin Jensen

I frequently provide a thirty-minute consultation to individuals who are contemplating getting a divorce in Mesa AZ. Many of my consultations involve individuals who believe their spouse will agree on everything and that the divorce will be uncontested. Most people who think their case will be uncontested usually ask the question “do I even need a lawyer for this divorce?”

In most cases, the answer is yes! You are probably thinking “what do you expect a lawyer to say!” However, most divorce cases are not as simple as they might seem on the surface. There are some divorces that probably don’t need a Scottsdale Arizona Divorce lawyer. These are usually cases where the parties have been married for a short amount of time, do not have any minor children together and have accumulated few, if any assets or debts. In that particular circumstance, because there is so little to divide or argue about the couple can probably get a divorce without an attorney’s assistance. These types of cases are frankly few and far between.

A more typical scenario is a case where the parties have been married five years or more, have one or more minor children and have purchased a house and/or have some substantial debts or assets that need to be divided. These types of cases include a number of potentially complicated legal issues that require a family lawyer’s expertise to properly navigate. Regardless of whether your divorce is contested divorce in Arizona or an uncontested divorce in Arizona, you should always have a criminal defense attorney mesa az when dealing when your case involves the typical scenario described above and especially when the case involves minor children.

An uncontested divorce is one where you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all of the issues in the case and you submit a Consent Decree (settlement agreement) to the judge to sign. This is the preferable way to resolve any divorce case. An uncontested divorce can be finalized in a matter of a couple of months and both parties get to have a say in the outcome of the divorce instead of letting a judge decide for them. However, even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree on every issue in your case you should still involve a lawyer for a few reasons.

First, an experienced family lawyer can point out legal issues you may not have even considered. One of the primary reasons you settle your case is to avoid having to ever go to court. An experienced family law attorney in Mesa AZ will help point out typical issues that arise in many divorce cases so you can come up with a long-term plan to avoid disputes down the road. This is especially important in any case involving children.

Second, At a minimum, you will need a lawyer to make sure your settlement is documented correctly. There are free forms that are provided by the court that many people use when they do not use a lawyer. These are simplified forms that do not include many of the issues that experienced family law attorneys address when drafting settlement documents. The common result of drafting your own settlement is future return visits to court to address issues that were not properly addressed at the time of the divorce. I have had many cases where parties have hired me after the divorce to help address issues that could have been resolved when the parties were initially divorced and that probably would have been addressed had they hired a lawyer.

Finally, even if you think you can settle your case without the assistance of a lawyer, it may be well worth your while and expense to at least have an experienced family law attorney review your settlement before you submit it to the court. There are some people who try to take advantage of their spouses in divorces. I have had some very sad cases where one spouse has convinced the other to do a quick settlement just to “get it over with” or “so we don’t drag this out.” While that may sound like a good idea, oftentimes there may be an ulterior motive. I have had cases where some spouses signed away their rights to compensation for businesses, or retirement accounts or spousal maintenance. In other words, they agree to a very one-sided settlement. In most cases, once a settlement is reached and the judge signs off on the settlement, it is too late. Some people think that the family court judge will look out for them. That may be true when it comes to issues involving minor children, but rarely any other types of issues. Most judges will sign off on any agreement that is put in front of them. The majority of family court judges will take the very reasonable position that the parties know best and will not upset an agreement they have reached on their own. A family law attorney can point out pitfalls in your agreement. At a minimum, you will at least be educated and understand what you may be signing away. You may even decide to hire the Mesa Divorce lawyer to represent you for the rest of the case to assure you are not being taken advantage of.

There is an old saying that says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, spending a little money now may save you a lot of money later on. In an uncontested divorce case, spending a little money at the time of the divorce to make sure it is done correctly and documented correctly may allow you to get your divorce much more quickly and, more importantly, may save you thousands of dollars in future litigation.

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