Official monthly newspaper-style publication of the Maricopa County Bar Association
“Divorce in Arizona: The Legal Process,Your Rights, and What to Expect”
What is a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage? How many years must I have been married before I’m eligible to receive a part of my spouse’s retirement fund or pension? Is there any reason not to pay or receive payments directly to or from my spouse once the court has entered a child support order?
Looking for answers to these or similar questions? Then look no further than Divorce in Arizona: The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect by Arizona attorneys Marlene Pontrelli and Robert Schwartz. Pontrelli and Schwartz bring a combined 70 years of family law experience to their book and use it to guide both unrepresented parties and attorneys through what can be a complicated and emotional family law process.
The goal of Divorce in Arizona is to provide a general analysis of common family law problems in a simplified question-and-answer format. The book goes issue-by-issue in an attempt to walk readers through the entirety of the divorce process. Initially, the authors provide the reader with a general overview of the divorce process in Arizona, then move through the divorce process explaining issues such as the difference between fault and no-fault divorce, jurisdiction, and whether there is any advantage to filing a petition before one’s spouse. The book then moves into the meatier issues such as child support, legal decision-making, parenting time, and division of assets and debts.
For a few important topic, Pontrelli and Schwartz go a little deeper than simply providing a general overview. For example, the authors thoroughly explain the issues of legal decision-making and parenting time and the various statutory factors that a party must address with the court. This is a difficult issue to explain to clients, but the authors do a fine job of explaining these concepts. Another example is the authors’ focused discussion on how the division of assets and debts occurs and why.
The book does not just provide legal information; the authors also address the emotional and psychological side of the divorce process. Any family attorney or client will tell you that family law issues are bursting with emotion. The authors attempt to confront this issue head-on with advice as how a reader can avoid allowing the divorce process to overwhelm them or cause unneeded stress. This information is almost as important as the legal information and analysis contained in the rest of the book.
When all is said and done, Divorce in Arizona is a solid resource for both family law litigants and attorneys to rely on as a guide through the entire divorce process. The authors break down complex issues into easily understandable questions and answers. At the same time, the book appropriately details the important factors that all family law litigants need to know.
Max Mahoney is an associate at Berkshire Law Office, PLLC. He is a member of the Maricopa Lawyer Editorial Board.