The Better Divorce Part 2
Do you want a Better Divorce? Part 1 covered what a Better Divorce is and Part 2 explains what the process looks like and possible issues.
To get started, we will first provide you with an attorney-client agreement. The agreement outlines your costs and who is involved. For a Better Divorce, we ask that both parties sign the agreement. This allows us to guide you both as equals. Also, you are provided with protections as our firm cannot represent one of you against the other. We act as a neutral facilitator or mediator.
This is a document that you and your spouse complete together. If you are amicable, but not sit-down-at-the-table-together amicable, we can arrange for each of you to present your positions separately. Then we see where we have areas of agreement. If any areas of disagreement remain, we help you educate yourself on the existing laws and provide possible solutions. It is on you and your spouse to determine what is best for you and make the agreements. Once we know what you want, we get to work putting everything in writing.
The paperwork for a Better Divorce includes 3 stages. The Petition that starts the action. The service, which provides notice to the other person. The Decree, which is the final written agreements. Sometimes we get lucky and can sign everything at one meeting. We can provide virtual meetings and electronic notarizations. This means you could get all of this done and never leave the comfort of your home.
Once the Decree is done, we have to wait for the reconciliation period to complete. In Arizona, parties must wait 60 days after the date of service to file the Decree. Most of our clients have their documents and agreements finalized before this 60-day deadline. In that case, we calendar the date and submit near the 61st day. Then the Court has up to 60 days to sign the Decree, but usually takes 2-3 weeks. Once the Decree is signed, your divorce is done.
In situations where divorces go to trial, parties often wait about a year for finalization. With some cooperation and flexibility, our Better Divorces are done in about 90 days.
There are times when a Better Divorce is not possible. In that event, we see if there are any areas of agreement. If so, we can help detail those agreements and possibly start the case along its process. Then each of the parties are encouraged to hire legal counsel for the litigation portion.
Brittany Labadie is the Managing Partner at Lewis Labadie. She has been working with Lewis Labadie since it opened. Her current focus is with adoption cases, including juvenile adoptions, adult adoptions, foster care adoptions, same-sex adoption, surrogacy adoptions, and when necessary termination of parental rights. She works throughout the State of Arizona.