Family Law FAQ

If you are facing the end of your marriage, you are also facing uncertainty about the next phase of your life. Pintel Law Firm PLLC strives to help our clients find an appropriate path forward during the challenges of divorce. These are the answers to the most frequently asked questions you may have as you prepare to meet with a family law attorney.


Do I Need an Attorney?

Nearly 10 years of experience as a family law attorney enables me to anticipate the questions of the court and opposing counsel in your case. I will develop legal strategies that apply to your specific concerns.


How Much Will This Cost?

I will discuss options with you during the initial consultation. Your case may lend itself to limited-scope representation: traditional hourly billing or a flat rate. I will let you know at the time of the phone consultation.


Does Arizona Have a Residency Requirement for Divorce?

You or your spouse must reside in Arizona 90 or more days before filing a Petition for Dissolution. If children are involved, they must reside in Arizona for six months prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution. Otherwise, the court will not enter orders regarding legal decision-making, parenting time, or child support.


How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?

It depends. If you and the other party agree and want to submit a Consent Decree to the court, then you will be allowed to submit the Consent Decree on the 61st day after the Respondent was served.


If you serve the other party and he or she does not respond, you can proceed by default. However, you have to wait a specific number of days depending on whether your spouse is in Arizona or another state.


If you and the other party disagree, the divorce process can take several months depending on the issues involved and whether there is a need for a Motion for Temporary Orders to be filed with the court as well as the Petition for Dissolution.


Can I Change Parenting Time If I Have Sole Legal Decision-Making Authority?

Not unless you have a court order that allows for a change in the parenting plan or if the other parent agrees in writing and you submit a stipulation to the court.


When Can I Change the Parenting Plan?

Typically, you must wait 12 months before filing a motion with the court to change a parenting plan. However, there are exceptions.


At any time after a joint legal decision-making order is entered, a parent may petition the court for modification of the order on the basis of evidence that domestic violence involving a violation of section 13-1201 or 13-1204, spousal abuse, or child abuse occurred since the entry of the joint legal decision-making order.


Six months after a joint legal decision-making order is entered, a parent may petition the court for modification of the order based on the failure of the other parent to comply with the provisions of the order.


Does Shared Legal Decision-Making Entail Equal Parenting Time?

Not necessarily. The court can order or the parties can agree upon various parenting plans and custody schedules regardless of whether the parents share legal decision-making rights.


What Should I Do If I Never Married My Child’s Mother and She Plans to Move Out of State?

It depends whether you filed a petition with the court before she left. Call our office to discuss the avenues available to you.


Can I Ask for a Modified Child Support Payment if My Job Changes?

Any order for child support may be modified or terminated on a showing of changed circumstance that is substantial and continuing. However, the parent remains responsible for arrears that accumulate before the court enters a motion to change the amount. For changes in income of 15% or more, you can request a simplified modification.


What Can I Do If the Other Parent Stops Paying Child Support?

Depending on how long child support goes unpaid, the court can take action to sanction him or her for arrears. The state can levy real estate and other property, issue a warrant for missed court dates, and otherwise penalize a parent for unpaid support. Talk to our office to learn more about how we can assist.


If you want to have a professional with the necessary knowledge, tools, and time to handle your case, then please give me a call so that I can start fixing your situation. Contact Pintel Law Firm PLLC in Phoenix at 480-771-4154 to schedule your free family law consultation.




20860 N. Tatum Blvd, Suite 300, Phoenix, AZ 85050