Category: Divorce Law

Are You Prepared to Initiate a Divorce?

You’ve been fighting with your spouse for years, there is no intimacy left in your marriage, and you want out. Many feelings of indecision, doubt, fear, and frustration flood your mind regularly and you just want it to end. Divorce seems like the only choice you have. While it is true that many people who feel this way do choose to end their marriage, it is important that you ask yourself how ready you are for the inevitable changes that come along with divorce. Taking the necessary time to prepare yourself for divorce will save you from future emotional and financial battles later on.

You must be willing to separate your life from that of your spouse in every way: emotionally, physically, spiritually, practically, and financially. To determine if you are legitimately prepared for this change, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Do you still have feelings for your spouse? These strong feelings may mask themselves as anger, hate, or passionate rage that you interpret to mean you no longer care for your partner. However, this may actually mean that you do care deeply for the individual you share your life with and you may not be fully prepared to let that person go.
  2. Are you just threatening divorce to try to get your way? The more you threaten your partner with divorce, the less impact your threats will have. If you are truly ready for divorce, you will feel comfortable saying, “There is nothing more I can give to this relationship. I am at peace with closing this chapter of my life.”
  3. Are you harboring ulterior motives for divorce? Do you secretly hope a divorce will cause your spouse to change for the better, treat you better, or make them realize what they are losing? These ulterior motives indicate that you are still very attached to the idea of this person as a major fixture in your life.
  4. Are you making this decision as an emotional reaction or based on an awareness of your true feelings about your relationship? People who get divorced out of anger usually stay angry for a long time after the divorce is over and done with. Moving on will prove difficult if you merely blame your partner for everything falling apart. Take responsibility for your decision to end the relationship because you feel it is no longer what is best for either party.
  5. Have you resolved your internal conflict about the divorce? It is normal to be torn about your decision at first as you weigh the pros and cons of this life-changing decision. Many people feel sure of their decision while simultaneously feeling guilty. It is imperative to acknowledge the contradictory emotions you have, come to terms with your feelings, and reach a determined conclusion before you decide to file for divorce.
  6. Can you adapt to the inevitable changes? If you are opposed to major changes in your finances, lifestyle, or traditions, the relationship you have with your children, or are unwilling to accept the possibility of venturing into the unknown, you are not ready for divorce. These may be things you work through as you go through the divorce process, but the divorce process will go much smoother if you learn to become comfortable with change before you instigate it.
  7. Can you make mature decisions regarding the future of your ex-spouse and children? Are you seeking vengeance against a spouse that wronged you or are you willing to compromise on important logistical matters? Are you placing your own selfish desires above the good of your family?

If you can comfortably answer these questions, you are more prepared for divorce than most people who file for divorce in society today. The more comfortable you are with change, compromise, and letting go, the easier it will be for a collaborative divorce to take place. To set up an initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney who will help you mediate your divorce proceedings, call Brad Crider at Crider Law today.

The Initial Consultation

With the many complex components that factor into a divorce, it is important to have an attorney on your side that is dedicated to your case and has ample experience in areas specific to your needs. Divorce can be a scary, emotionally trying, and completely foreign experience, so it’s important to have some questions ready for your attorney when you arrive for your initial consultation. Seeking answers to some of these questions will give you the confidence you need to choose an attorney who can get you the best results.


  • Find out how many cases your attorney has successfully handled through mediation and how many have been settled in court. Every case will be different depending on the personalities and the needs of the individuals involved, but it is important to know that your attorney can settle divorce effectively in both the courtroom and the mediation room.
  • What is your attorney’s specialty? Discuss specific concerns you have regarding your individual case and find out what level of experience your attorney has in dealing with these issues. Some examples include negotiating unusual child support, complex financial assets, and business valuation. Arizona family law attorney Brad Crider is an expert in dealing with financial and business dealings in divorce.
  • Before you meet with an attorney, you should think about whether you’d like to pursue a more amiable collaborative divorce, use third party mediation, or go to court. Be realistic in deciding which methods will work best for your case. If you and your spouse have a hostile relationship for example, avoid spending the extra money, time, and frustration to pursue a collaborative divorce. Be sure there is not a conflict of interest between your attorney, your spouse, or your spouse’s attorney.


  • Ask about any other parties that will be involved in your case. If another attorney will be working on your case jointly or independently, find out his/her credentials and level of experience.
  • Discuss the means of communication (phone, email, etc.) that work best for both of you. Find out how often, what days, and what time of day you should expect to meet. Make sure your attorney will be able to give your case the attention it deserves.
  • How involved will you be in the case? Will your attorney notify you of or ask your opinion about any and/or all developments or setbacks?


  • Make sure you know up front how much you will be expected to pay and budget accordingly. From the attorney’s answers to previous questions, evaluate if what they can offer you is worth a slightly higher retainer fee or hourly rate.
  • Discuss the billing procedures and draw up a detailed fee agreement for all parties to sign.

Contact Crider Law to set up your initial consultation today. Brad Crider understands that your case is unique and he will work with you and for you to ensure the best possible results. He tailors his approach to meet the needs of each client and always has your best interest in mind.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

In the state of Arizona, obtaining a legal separation is very similar to obtaining a legal divorce. However, it is important to understand the difference to determine which course of action will best suit your individual circumstance. There are cases when legal separation may make more sense for the family dynamic and other times when divorce is the best choice. Working with an experienced Arizona divorce attorney like Brad Crider will help you understand the difficult decisions you must make during your transition to separation or divorce.

A legal separation from one’s spouse has just as many implications on family matters as a divorce. The couple must decide how assets, debts, and finances will be divided, how to care for and support children, and whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. The main reason couples choose legal separation over divorce is a belief that future reconciliation is possible. Some choose separation due to a religious aversion to divorce. Some choose separation over divorce as a means of providing continual health insurance benefits to a spouse or partner in need. Others opt for legal separation because their spouse’s financial debts are too much of a liability, yet they wish to remain married.

Regardless of the reason behind the decision, petitioning for a legal separation must be a joint decision. Proof must be provided that both parties wish to live “separate and apart”. If both parties do not petition amiably, a petition for the dissolution of the marriage, or divorce, will proceed. Arizona is a “no fault” state, so all that is needed to petition for the final dissolution of the marriage is one party stating that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.

Two petitions are available in the state of Arizona for those wishing to become legally separated: “Petition for legal separation with children” and “Petition for legal separation without children”. The courts will determine the custody rights of each parent with the best interest of the children in mind. Additionally, one or both spouses must have lived in the state of Arizona or have been stationed here on military duty for a minimum of 90 days to petition the courts for separation or divorce. When two partners are legally separated, but the marriage has not been completely dissolved, both spouses are held accountable for their responsibilities to each other and cannot remarry. If after an extended period of time as legally separated partners, one spouse chooses to petition for divorce, the courts will generally maintain the same custody, alimony, and asset division agreements to make the official dissolution of the marriage easier.

If you or your loved one is considering a legal separation or divorce, be sure to consult Brad Crider, an experienced Arizona family law attorney, to determine the best course of action for you and your family. Call Crider Law today to set up an initial consultation.

Discussing Divorce with Children

Once the decision to divorce has been made, the daunting task of how to tell your children remains. Children will respond differently to the news depending on their age and the relationship they have with both parents. While you should not anticipate a particular response from them, you should spend some time preparing to have this important conversation with your children.

Set the Stage

Research shows that children of divorce usually have a very vivid memory of the moment they were told their parents were getting a divorce, even decades after the occurrence. This research alone shows how significant that moment will be in your child’s life. It is important that you prepare yourself for this conversation, as it can be an emotional discussion for the parent as well as the child.

It is often helpful if both parents are present for the conversation so that your children see the separation as a mutual decision made by parents who want what’s best for them. Even if the decision to divorce was painfully one-sided, setting the precedent for a unified parental team, even after separation, will help a child cope.

Honesty & Age-Appropriate Explanations

The way you approach the subject of divorce depends greatly on your children’s age, maturity level, and temperament, but the most important message to convey is that it is not their fault. The details you choose to share with your children will vary depending on the circumstances and their level of understanding. However, honesty is a critical component of every discussion you have with them. That doesn’t mean you have to explain extramarital infidelity or complicated legal matters. Instead, you can tell your children that you and your spouse no longer agree on important things and find separation the best solution.

Their Concerns

Most children will immediately wonder how this change will affect their daily lives. You can anticipate some of the questions they may have by initially explaining what changes you and your spouse have worked out to facilitate the transition. Taking the initiative to explain what will occur also lets your children know that it is not a matter for discussion, but a change that everyone will have to adapt to.

Listen & Validate

Children may express a range of emotions in response to the news, ranging from sadness or anger to relief or shock. Reassure your children that if they ever have questions, you are there to answer them. Acknowledge that the transition may be difficult. If you notice their behavior start to change, try to help them find words to describe their complicated emotions. Say things like, “You seem sad. Do you feel sad because you miss your mother?” Practice reflective listening and do your best to validate your children’s emotions as legitimate and reasonable.

Find Your Own Support System

Especially if you have older children, the temptation may arise to turn to your kids for emotional support through this difficult time. They may be offering genuine help, but they also need to learn how to cope in their own way. If you need emotional support, turn to your close friends or professional counselors rather than your children. Do your best to keep legal, private, or complicated personal matters between you and your spouse.

Despite the emotional difficulty of divorce, it is important that you stay mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy so that you can provide and care for your children in the ways they need. Keep routines consistent even when you are tired and stressed. Children will need as much consistency and regularity as possible, now more than ever.

The most important thing you can do is show your children unconditional love through your words and actions. Children cannot be spoiled by too much affection and their need to feel loved is an important part of their development. While your divorce will have a significant impact on you, your spouse, and your children equally, do your best to help your children adjust to these changes. If your children still have difficulty adapting some time after the divorce is final, you may consider revising your child custody agreement to best meet their needs.


Women Who Pay Child Support

Each state in the U.S. has a different method of determining how much child support must be paid and which parent must pay it. While both parents are responsible for the care and provision of their children, the percentage of financial contribution is disbursed between parents. The Arizona Child Support Guideline uses factors such as the number of children, the ages of the children, legal decision-making rights and parenting time (custody privileges) of both parents, the income of both parents, and any spousal maintenance due to determine the child support obligation of each parent.

Child support is one of the most important and complex aspects of a divorce settlement. Calculating the amount of child support each parent is responsible for is therefore prioritized before spousal maintenance or other future financial obligations. The total child support obligation is determined by calculating the joint income of both parents and factoring in the number of children that must be provided for. Higher incomes and more children will contribute to a larger overall child support obligation. If parents each have equal parenting time and equivalent incomes, their financial responsibilities would be equal and it is likely neither parent would have to pay child support to the other parent. However, this scenario is often unlikely.

Historically, men have held higher incomes and as a result, there is the long-standing belief that men will be required to pay women child support in the event of a divorce or parental separation. This is not always the case. Women are increasingly becoming the primary provider of household income, or a substantial contributor, as women’s rights in the workplace are improved. Even when women do make less money than their ex-husbands, they may still be ordered to pay child support if they are the noncustodial parent or a judge rules that their contribution must be greater than the father’s. Court orders on child support obligations often vary widely, depending on the judge and what he/she believes justifies a deviancy from the written general guideline. This is why it is especially important to have a knowledgeable family lawyer on your side in a child support and custody case. Brad Crider of Crider Law will defend your right to child support in a court of law and help you contest unfair court rulings.

To find out if you will owe child support to your ex-spouse or to set up an initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney in the Mesa, Arizona area, contact Crider Law today.