Flagstaff, AZ Family Law & Divorce Attorneys | Gonzales & Poirier Law Firm

Flagstaff, Arizona Family Law Attorneys

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Why Do I Need to Hire a Family Law Attorney?

Unhappy Couple Eating Breakfast

Family law covers a broad range of legal topics involving marriage, divorce, and custody of minor children. The division of property, child support, and issues of parenting time are typically the most vital issues addressed in the divorce/marriage dissolution process.

Currently, one in three first marriages end in divorce and two out of three second and successive marriages end in divorce. Divorce, or ending a domestic partnership, are among life’s great challenges. For a parent, the stakes are high. The welfare of one’s children is directly impacted by the decisions and choices that are made during this trying time.

For children, the fact of divorce is painful and traumatic. It is usually experienced like a death. But the process of divorce has some characteristics of a game, where each parent jockeys for the best position. The stakes are high — their lives and their future. Kids take divorces hard and often feel like it was their own fault. They want their parents back together again, and the impact of that not happening — it can cause depression, bad grades, turning to drugs, etc. — makes it almost seem selfish for parents to get divorced.

Is it Normal to Second Guess My Actions When Contemplating Divorce?

Every parent who goes through divorce wonders, “What’s the best way for me to act? What is my best strategy to get the optimal result I think is best? Should I attack, negotiate, mediate, or do nothing? Should I cooperate?” It is not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed by the process and consider giving in or running away.

A knowledgeable, experienced, and caring lawyer offering good advice and sound strategy can make the process less daunting. For example, there is not one best strategy for how parents should treat each other during and after divorce, but strategies and tactics that lead to animosity or hostility are counterproductive. Choosing the best strategy usually depends on focusing clearly on the needs, ages, and circumstances of the children involved. It also depends on the personality and life circumstances of the parents and on the intensity of the conflict that led to the divorce or dissolution in the first place. A good attorney is sensitive to all these issues while making sure his client is treated fairly.

How Can an Attorney Help with My Domestic Violence Situation?

Woman in Abusive Relationship

Matters involving family law circumstances are never easy for any of the parties involved and the worst case scenarios are found in abusive relationships. The U.S. Surgeon General once declared domestic violence to be America’s Number 1 health concern. It is an equal opportunity scourge, affecting men and women of all ethnicities, races, sexual identities, social statuses, and religions. Gay or straight; rich or poor; teen, adult, or elderly; domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It can happen between past or current partners, spouses, or boyfriends and girlfriends.

Although most domestic violence victims are women, men are not immune. In the United States, authorities estimate that approximately 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men will be physically and/or sexually abused by an intimate partner at some point in their adult lives. Domestic violence is not limited to married or cohabitating family members. Dating violence is also recognized as a growing problem and is specifically mentioned in the Violence Against Women Act.

It is wise to consult an attorney before any divorce but especially when there has been physical abuse. The risk of violence increases when the abused partner considers leaving the relationship, because the other partner can feel as if they are losing control. The aftermath of a violent relationship is an incredibly incendiary time and can lead the spurned partner to criminal behavior, including stalking, attempted murder, and even murder.

Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, witnesses to the violence, and even the community at large. But nobody is affected more than children who either witness the violence or become victims themselves. They grow up in fear and run a much higher risk of becoming abusive adults and/or victims themselves.

When Should I Contact an Attorney?

When it is clear a marriage is beyond repair, do not try to navigate divorce alone. Find a qualified attorney to help you through the legal complexities of dividing your assets, determining custody and visitation, and getting reasonable child support to assure their physical and emotional security.

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