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Arizona: Family Law Lawyers

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What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?

A family law attorney generally handles matters that involve the family court system, including family-related issues and domestic relationships. Some of the common practice areas Arizona family lawyers handle include:

  • Divorce
  • Marital property division
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Child custody cases
  • Child support
  • Parental rights
  • Alimony or spousal support
  • Domestic violence
  • Restraining orders
  • Estate planning
  • Adoption
  • Guardianship
  • Juvenile dependency
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Child abuse

Family lawyers may work in many capacities, including as a private lawyer in a small family law firm, a family law lawyer in a big firm, for county or state government agencies, in nonprofit organizations, or as a state attorney. Attorneys act as advocates for their clients, which may include representing the interests of a minor child in child abuse or juvenile dependency hearings.

Do Family Law Attorneys Handle Divorce?

A large part of family law practice involves divorce. Divorce can be a difficult process, especially when the couple is in dispute over how to handle the separation. A contested divorce can get complicated when emotions are involved, often involving money problems or infidelity. Divorce is a major life-changing event and it can be difficult to navigate on your own.

In general, a divorce lawyer can only represent one spouse in a divorce. There is a conflict of interest in trying to represent both spouses. When you find a family law attorney, your attorney will act as an advocate for you and advise you in your best interests.

In an uncontested divorce, a family law attorney can help their client prepare the divorce order, with all the issues settled between the couple, including division of property and child custody and visitation. In an uncontested divorce, there is nothing left for the court to decide and the court may issue the final divorce court order after making sure the couple has met all the statutory requirements to legally end the marriage.

In a contested divorce, there may be a dispute over many issues, including property, alimony, and child custody. If the couple cannot settle these issues through negotiations or mediation, it may be left up to the family court judge to decide how to settle the disputes. Contested divorces can take longer and be more expensive for each spouse.

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How do I choose a lawyer?

Many lawyers offer free or low-cost consultations. Finding a lawyer that can align to your needs and goals may impact the outcome of your legal matter. Things to do to help get you started include:

  • Ask for recommendations and referrals from friends, family, and colleagues
  • Research attorneys online through directories and bar association websites
  • Review qualifications and experience
  • Interview prospective lawyers
  • Consider compatibility
  • Read client reviews and references
  • Determine conflicts of interest


Making an informed decision when choosing an attorney requires time to research if a lawyer is a good fit for you. Asking the right questions can help you determine if they have the approach, capabilities, and experience to assist you in your legal matter. Some questions to ask a potential attorney include:

  • What is your experience and expertise in this area of law?
  • Have you handled cases like mine and what were the outcomes?
  • What strategy would you use for this type of case?
  • What are the biggest challenges of my case?
  • What is your fee structure and how do your charge for your services?

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