Areas of Practice
Divorce & Family Law
Family Law is an area of the law that deals with family-related matters and domestic relations, including: marriage, prenuptial agreements, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoption, surrogacy, child abuse, child abduction, domestic abuse, grandparent’s rights, and divorce.
In Premarital Agreements (Prenups), the property and financial rights of each spouse are established before marriage to govern in the event of a separation or divorce.
Alimony & Spousal maintenance are divorce or legal separation. The State of Arizona does not have a uniform method for determining eligibility, amount of maintenance or the length of time spousal maintenance will be paid. Spousal maintenance remains one of the most highly contested and litigated issues in a divorce or legal separation proceeding; therefore, the courts use statutes and case law to determine eligibility and the amount of an award.
Child Custody is one of the primary concerns of a parent in a divorce or paternity action. The legal term “child custody” is often misunderstood and confused with parenting time. Parenting time or visitation is the amount of time a parent is entitled to spend with his/her child or children during and after a divorce, legal separation or paternity proceeding. How a Court determines this varies in each case based upon each particular set of circumstances.
Our attorneys understand that divorce is a very difficult time and there are many challenges and changes in your future. If you are thinking about filing for divorce or if you have been served with divorce papers, understanding Arizona Community Property law is crucial, as is having a strong, compassionate and experienced legal team fighting for you or you and your children. Unlike divorce, Legal Separation permits a married couple to divide their property, establish provisions for support, and still remain legally married.
Family Court Appeals is a legal proceeding before a higher Court to review a factual or legal error that may have occurred in the lower Court. The process to make an appeal is specialized starting with preserving your right to make an appeal followed by various procedures and deadlines.
Modification of Court Orders may be necessary after a divorce, legal separation, or paternity action, since circumstances change. A parent may need to modify a decree because of changes in employment and income or changes to a Parenting Plan. The Court Order you initially obtained may no longer suit your needs or you may have Court Orders that are not being followed and which need to be enforced.
Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment are meant to protect you against acts of domestic violence, assault, or harassment.
A Paternity Action may be filed by an unmarried, pregnant woman or the alleged Father, in order to legally establish the status of paternity. In the paternity action, the Court may order child support as well as parenting time. The mere fact that the Father is on the birth certificate is only a presumption of paternity and is not legally conclusive.
Our goal is to bring better balance to family issues. By the time an issue comes to an attorney, there usually is a uneven balance of power. Because most family matters involve real estate or business issues as well, our diverse practice base and areas of expertise give the most responsive representation through one firm, cutting your costs and improving your chances. Our practice can assist your family in these areas:
- Dissolution of marriage
- Post-divorce custody and visitation rights
- Guardianships and conservatorships
- Premarital and post-marital agreements
- Property transfers
- Personal debt adjustment, including bankruptcy (where we act as a debt relief agency)
Richard D. Lyons has extensive experience in the area of family law, including divorce, cases with complex asset valuation and debt allocation, contested child custody and parenting time, minor child relocation and interstate custody, preparation of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and all other family court matters. Because of his experience in both family and civil courtrooms, Richard if often asked to litigate contested guardianship, conservatorship, trust, and probate matters.
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