Getting Started

Start With a Consultation

Have a family law issue?

Start With a Consultation

We created this page to help people understand their options and figure out the best way forward. Family law is complex, and no two situations are the same. We always recommend a consultation with an attorney above anything else because no matter how much research and reading you do, meeting with an attorney is the only way to get advice specific to your situation. A good attorney can explain the potential outcomes and pitfalls, while helping you create a game plan that will meet your goals.

No matter what stage you are at, whether you are considering divorce, you were just served with papers, or you are in the middle of litigation, we can help. We know that contacting a law firm for a sensitive issue can cause a range of emotions. Rest assured, when you contact us, all your information will be confidential and nothing you provide to us will be shared with anyone without your consent.

What Makes State 48 Law Firm Different?

We care. We work hard. We get results.

One of the most difficult things when selecting an attorney is knowing if they are any good at what they do. Any one can say they’re good, but how do you know?

At State 48 Law Firm, we know that details matter.

  • Family law is all we do.
  • We provide strategic game plans to each client, outlining what we’ll be doing and what we need the client to do.
  • We work as a team to make sure we are taking the right approach for each client.
  • We use proven strategies that work.
  • We are resolution-focused to help save our clients the time, stress, and money.
  • We have handled thousands of hearings and trials and can represent you effectively in court.
  • We are committed to prompt, effective communication. We return phone calls and emails the same day, when possible.
  • We are a client-first firm. We let you set the goals on what you want to accomplish. We are focused on delivering excellent service.
  • We train our lawyers extensively. We have an on-going training program that includes substantial mentoring and monthly education programs on the subtleties and nuances of the law.
  • We handle ourselves professionally. Some attorneys write angry emails or pleadings that often are used against their client at trial.
  • We have a proven track record of success.

from start to finish.

Our Initial Consultation Process

Have Questions? We have answers

Getting Started in Arizona FAQs

Can I stop a divorce once it starts?

Yes, you can stop a divorce at any time during the process if your spouse has not been served or has not filed a Response, and you were the filing party. But if the divorce has “officially” started, meaning, your spouse has been served or filed a Response, the two of you would have to agree to stop the divorce. If you and your spouse decide to stay married, the divorce case can be canceled or “dismissed” by filing a request with the Clerk of Superior Court and signed by both parties.

Do I have to go to Court to get a divorce?

You must go through the Court to get divorced. But, when parties are in agreement, the paperwork can be drafted by an attorney who will file it once it is signed by the parties. In that case, the Court will still open and close a case, but neither party will have to set foot in the Courthouse.

But if you cannot come to an agreement regarding your divorce, a judge will have to make those decisions for you.

Do I need an attorney for my divorce?

You are permitted to represent yourself in a divorce, but you are held to the same standard as an attorney. In other words, there is no excuse for not knowing the law or the rules. For that reason, if you do represent yourself, it may still be worthwhile to meet with an attorney and receive advice.

You may “need” an attorney if the other side has one. The rules and laws are complex, and people who represent themselves against an attorney are at a severe disadvantage. In contrast, if both parties are unrepresented, it is an even playing field; and, in that situation, hiring an attorney could give you an advantage.

Does it matter who files first for divorce?

It does not matter who files first or starts the divorce. One spouse must be the Petitioner and the other spouse must be the Respondent. There is no advantage or disadvantage to either (other than perhaps assignment of the courthouse nearest to the Petitioner).

How do you start a divorce in Arizona?

To start a divorce in Arizona, the first step is to file the Petition for Dissolution with the Superior Court. The Petition is the paperwork that starts that divorce. After you file the Petition, you need to have it legally served to your spouse. Before you file, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney. Divorces are complex, and you should be fully informed before you file something. Otherwise, you risk making a mistake that could hurt your case.

How long do I have to live in Arizona before I can get divorced here?

Arizona state law requires you to have lived in the state for at least 90 days before you can file for a divorce. If children are involved, the children need to live here for at least six consecutive months before a divorce can be filed.

How long does the average Arizona divorce last?

The average Arizona divorce takes between six to nine months. But this is only a rough estimate. It depends on a lot of factors, like length of marriage, if there are children, number of assets and debts to be divided, and the mental health of the parties. If spouses are agreeable, they can get divorced in as little as 60-days. Reasonable negotiations and settlement discussions can drastically reduce the time it takes to get a divorce. But contentious divorces can take a year or more, and highly contentious divorces can take two years or more.

How much does it cost to file for divorce in Maricopa County?

The filing fees charged by Maricopa County for dissolution documents include $349.00 for the Petitioner and $279.00 for the Respondent. The Petitioner is the spouse that files the Petition and begins the divorce. The Respondent is the spouse who files an Answer or Response to the Petition. If no Response is filed, the Respondent’s fee is still owed to the Clerk before allowing the final documents to be submitted and signed (As of January 2023).

If I can’t afford a divorce attorney, will the Court appoint me one?

The Court will not appoint you an attorney if you cannot afford one to represent you in a family law proceeding. The Constitutional right to an attorney applies only to criminal proceedings. For that reason, the government must appoint a free attorney to criminal defendants.

As family court is a civil proceeding, you have the right to hire your own attorney, but you will not be given a free one. If you want an attorney in your family court proceeding, you are going to have to obtain one the old-fashioned way: You’re going to have to pay for it.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

A covenant marriage is an optional type of marriage.  Before marriage, the spouses-to-be must attend certain counseling and meet other requirements. The legal effect of a covenant marriage is that it is harder to divorce.  In a covenant marriage, a legal separation or divorce may be granted only for certain reasons listed in state law. The law regarding covenant marriages can be found in Sections 25-901 through 25-906 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. If you are in a covenant marriage and are considering a divorce, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney experienced with covenant marriages.

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Contact State 48 Law

We offer in-person, video, and phone consultations.

North Scottsdale Office

14500 N Northsight Blvd Ste 313, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

East Valley Office

3133 W Frye Rd, Ste 101, Chandler, AZ 85226