Heather Stewart is an accomplished attorney with more than seventeen years of experience with almost all of these exclusively dedicated to the practice of family law. These years have allowed her to fine tune and showcase her exceptional writing skills that reveal her English and literary background and her intent to “win on paper before the judge even sees the client.”
Ms. Stewart is well versed in all areas of family law, including, but not limited to: divorce and separation, division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance, paternity, parenting time, school choice, holiday schedules, relocation, legal decision making, grandparents’ rights and child support and child support arrears. To increase her education and knowledge, Ms. Stewart has attended multiple seminars and extensive training programs including 40 hours of mediation training and 40 hours of education and training dealing with the issues of domestic and sexual violence. She is also proficient in many areas of juvenile law and enjoys adoptions referring to them as one of the “joyful days” in Court.
Her strong devotion to the legal community is noted by her years of pro bono work including earning distinction by receiving a nod as one of the Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys in the State of Arizona (2015) and being a multiple recipient of the East Valley Attorney of the Year for the Family Law Assistance Project including most recently in 2015.
Ms. Stewart believes that the parties feel more in control when they are able to assist in brokering a solution to their family law needs themselves instead of just waiting for the dictates of the Court. Thus, the myriad of family law issues faced by a client should first attempt to be resolved by alternative dispute resolution such as a settlement conferences or mediation. However, there are many times when evidentiary hearings and trials are the only solution and at such time, Ms. Stewart will work tirelessly on your behalf to be well prepared, effective and ultimately successful. It should be stated that Ms. Stewart is well known for her tenacity and loyalty to her clients. She has extensive litigation experience and has even been hired as the “trial attorney” to step in the shoes of another attorney at the time of trial.
Ms. Stewart is a native of Pennsylvania but spent many years in the Deep South including graduating from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of the Arts and attending law school in New Orleans, Louisiana at Loyola University. At Loyola, she was part of a pilot program to teach young children the basic tenets and rights of the law by spending one morning a week in the local public schools. Ms. Stewart has also taught civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution at the college level.
Ms. Stewart previously had her own boutique law firm for many years before joining Bill in his practice. She is a member of the Arizona State Bar’s Family and Juvenile Sections, Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators as well as a member of the prestigious Lorna Lockwood Inn of Court,
In her spare time, Ms. Stewart enjoys volunteering across the Valley including with Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center, the Volunteer Lawyer’s Program and Helen’s Hope Chest a foster care resource center. She enjoys spending time with her family, her two book clubs and her dogs.
In Preparation for your Initial Consultation
Our initial consultation is much more than a “meet and greet”, or a marketing pitch. Rather, it is the intent of our family law attorneys to learn the material facts of your case, to answer your questions, and to provide you with expert feedback regarding your specific questions and goals. It is our intent to provide you with a suggested game plan and options on how best to proceed forward with your case.
Being involved in a family law or divorce case can be very intimidating to people that are not familiar with the court system and the legal process. With that being said, below are some recommended steps and information to help you prepare for your initial consultation:
- Intake form – We ask that this be completed ahead of time in order to use your time with the attorney more efficiently. If it is not already completed through RightSignature, we ask that you arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointment time to ensure time to complete the form.
*If you have a telephonic consultation, you will need to submit at least the last page with signature in order to proceed with your consultation. You can complete this through RightSignature or print, sign and fax or email the form.
- Outline – We have found it very helpful to potential clients to write a time line or outline detailing the relevant facts of your case. If it is a divorce case, this includes a list of assets and debts to the best of your knowledge. Also, feel free to bring copies of tax returns and other financial documents that you feel may be relevant to your case. You may also want to outline questions that you want to ask the attorney in advance. It is our goal to answer all of your questions to the best of our ability during the initial consultation, to identify the additional information and documents that we need to obtain, and to provide you with a recommended game plan on how to proceed forward.
- Legal Documents – If you have them easily accessible, please bring any documents that have already been filed with the court in your case. Such will be helpful to the attorney to review in order to assess the current status of your case.
- Take Notes – We recommend that you take notes during your consultation in regards to the advice given by the attorney.
- Confidentiality – Everything discussed with the attorney, as well as any of our staff is confidential. No one is allowed to discuss confidential information without your permission.
- Fees/Costs – The consultation is not free, unless you ultimately retain the firm on a Full Scope retainer basis. If you retain the firm during your initial consultation, the consultation fee is waived. If you retain the firm later, you will still receive credit (i.e., your fees will be reduced by the amount you paid the firm for the initial consultation). Our consult rates are from $150 to $200/hour depending on the attorney you are scheduled to meet with. The consult rate is prorated, depending upon the amount of time spent with the attorney. Toward the end of the consultation, the attorney will advise you regarding the required deposit should you wish to retain the firm. This is assessed after the attorney learns more about your case.
- Punctuality – It is important to arrive to your scheduled appointment on-time to ensure you have your full allotted time with the attorney. Otherwise, you may be losing some of your scheduled time due to other scheduled appointments. If you are running late, we ask that you please contact the office as soon as possible to let us know.
- Cancellation Policy – We greatly appreciate a courtesy phone call as soon as possible to let us know if you wish to cancel or re-schedule your appointment.
Children – It is best if your minor children do not come to the consultation with you. It is good practice to not speak of certain matters in front of your minor children, especially if they are involved. They do not need to hear any of the confidential information addressed during the consult. However, we are aware sometimes you do not have childcare or other options, and we will accommodate your children. In such event, please bring books, an electronic tablet or other items to keep them busy while you are meeting with the attorney.
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For urgent matters please contact us at (602) 749-8500.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer
Bishop Law Offices, P.C. has five very experienced divorce lawyers, and an experienced and welcoming support staff. Our firm provides divorce and family law services throughout Arizona with three convenient locations for our divorce clients, including Phoenix (off Northern & the 51 Freeway), Tempe (by Ikea off Priest Dr. & Warner Rd.), and Scottsdale Fashion Park.
Only a limited number of divorce law firms in the State of Arizona have Certified Family Law Specialists in their offices. Such is the only certification by the State Bar of Arizona that designates proven specialists in divorce and family law. William Bishop is a Certified Specialist.
Divorce cases can be extremely emotional, and factually and legally complex. The last thing you need is a Phoenix divorce attorney that unnecessarily complicates your divorce case, or throws fuel on the fire without your knowledge or permission. At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., our divorce attorneys put their egos aside and represent you based upon your best interests. You will be involved in all aspects of the proceedings. Our attorneys will ensure that you make all important final decisions regarding your divorce proceedings after being informed of your rights and chances of success. We make sure you understand the “why’s” and “how’s” of your case.
You do not just write a blank check at our firm. Not all divorce cases fit one mold. You should not be charged for services that are not reasonable and necessary for your case. At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., we tailor your representation to your specific needs. Sometimes our clients are involved in a very nasty divorce, and need assertive and diligent representation on an almost daily basis. Others may be in a situation that a reasonable settlement can be reached very quickly in the proceedings. All of our divorce attorneys have been practicing for over ten years (William Bishop and Dan Beeks over 25 years each). Your case is not going to be passed off onto a young and inexperienced associate. Our attorneys pride themselves on being able to take an approach that serves our client’s best interests, whether such means litigation, or a quick and inexpensive settlement.
To learn more about our Firm’s top credentials and our numerous awards and recognitions click here.
Arizona Divorce Process
ARIZONA DIVORCE LAW
It does not matter what city or county in Arizona that you reside as far as the divorce laws that apply to your case. Most of the laws that apply in divorce cases are found in two places – (1) Title 25 of the Arizona Revised Statutes and (2) the Arizon a Rules Of Family Law Procedure. Cases published by the Supreme Court of Arizona and the Arizona Court of Appeals interpret these laws and apply them to many varying factual scenarios that help our attorneys make the appropriate arguments that help persuade the Court to make decisions that are fair and appropriate in your divorce case. New laws and rules are added every year, and changes are made to some of the laws and rules every year. The statutes and rules set forth specific laws and regulations applicable to child custody (legal decision making), parenting time, grandparent and other third party visitation, community property, sole and separate property, spousal maintenance (alimony), and other areas of family law.
At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., we meet as a team regularly to discuss new laws and the application of the law to our clients’ cases in order to obtain the best results possible.
DIVISION OF PROPERTY AND DEBTS IN DIVORCE CASES
Identifying and Locating Assets in Divorce Cases:
Sometimes the division of assets and debts in a divorce case is fairly straight forward. On other occasions, one of the parties may be hiding assets. Not only must all assets be identified, sometimes it is necessary to make sure that the assets are properly valued so that our clients receive their fair share. This includes real estate, personal property, business interests, retirement plans, pensions, and other tangible and intangible assets. Our divorce lawyers take the necessary steps to make sure that all marital assets are identified and properly divided. This often includes issuing subpoenas, taking depositions, and other methods of discovery to obtain necessary information and documents. If the value of property is disputed, we obtain the necessary evidence so that proper values can be applied to ensure that you receive your fair share.
We have much more information about the division of property and debts (including what constitutes community property and sole and separate property) on our website, so click here if you want to learn more.
Waste And Improper Transfers Of Funds And Assets In Divorce Cases.
Sometimes a spouse may improperly transfer or ‘waste’ assets or funds acquired during the marriage. In such cases, the spouse that wasted community assets or funds should be required to reimburse the innocent spouse for such waste. Such wasteful or improper spending may include money spent on an illicit extramarital affair, gambling, drugs and or other improper spending or transfers. If such has taken place for a long period of time, such wasteful spending or transfers may be very substantial. In such cases, we take the necessary measures to receive additional property, extra spousal maintenance or other types of compensation for our clients.
Valuation And Division Of The Family Business in Divorce Cases.
In cases where a business is started during the marriage, a valuation of the business may be necessary. Even if a business was started prior to marriage, the community may have a claim to at least part of the increase in value, funds or other assets held within the company. Our divorce attorneys are very experienced in business valuation cases and other complex property cases. In cases that we represent the spouse that runs the business, we will advocate to make sure that the business is not ‘over-valued’. Business valuations can be subjective, and a good family law attorney can persuade the Court to apply logic and reasonableness in order to avoid excessive valuations.
In cases that we represent the spouse that will not be retaining the business, we take the necessary measures to ensure that all assets within the business are identified, and that a fair valuation is obtained.
We have much more information about business valuations on our website, so click here if you want to learn more.
CHILD CUSTODY / LEGAL DECISION MAKING AND PARENTING TIME
Often the biggest issues in a divorce case regard custody (legal decision making) and parenting time. Factors such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, metal health issues or improper parental behavior may have a big impact on custody and parenting time orders. In other cases, the issues may be more subtle. In some cases, equal parenting time and decision making is appropriate. In other cases, parenting time should be restricted (including supervised parenting time where the child is endangered physically or emotionally by one of the parents).
How parents behave during the divorce proceeding can be crucial to the Court’s final decision regarding parenting time and legal custody. This seems to be lost on many attorneys, who fail to properly advise their clients on how to approach daily issues as the case progresses.
At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., we not only fight to obtain the results that serve the best interests of your children, we provide you with our honest and experienced feedback during your proceedings to make sure that you do not make mistakes that may impact the Court’s decisions.
We have much more information about legal custody and parenting time on our website. Click here if you want to learn more.
In divorce cases involving children, one party is generally ordered to pay at least some child support to the other parent. Considerations include each party’s income, expenses for the child’s health care insurance and uncovered health care expenses, the parties’ respective parenting time and other considerations. Arizona has Child Support Guidelines that are presumed to apply. However, in some cases where the children have a different standard of living in each household, the Court may deviate from the presumed amount (upward or downward).
Will I have To Pay My Spouse’s Attorney Fees, Or Will My Spouse Have To Pay My Attorney Fees?
One of the most overlooked issues during the early stages of the divorce proceedings is the possibility that one spouse will have to pay all or a portion of the other spouse’s attorney fees and costs. This can become very costly if you not only have to pay your own fees, but end up having to pay your ex’s fees as well. Talk about salt in the wound!
A good divorce lawyer will keep this in mind at all times. The two main factors that a Court looks at when awarding attorney fees is the parties’ comparable financial resources (does one spouse make more income or have more property etc.) and whether either spouse took unreasonable positions. Thus, it is important for the lawyer to behave ethically and reasonably while at the same time fighting for your rights. Sometimes people say they want a “junkyard dog” for an attorney. Such an attorney does more harm than good. The Judges often know who these attorneys are and place little credibility on the arguments presented by such attorneys. An attorney who writes scathing and nasty letters to the other side, and makes false accusations without any evidence behind such claims, often sets their own clients up for failure.
At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., we pride ourselves on advocating strongly for our clients and placing them in the best position for success while also keeping in mind the cost of litigation. During the proceedings, we take the appropriate steps and counsel our clients in a manner that increases the possibility to recover all or a portion of their attorney fees, or that limits their exposure to paying the other party’s attorney fees.
Extramarital Affairs – Does An Affair Affect My Divorce?
It is no secret that many marriages are destroyed by extramarital affairs. If extramarital affairs were relevant in divorce cases, we would need many more judges.
Arizona is a no fault state. This means that a spouse is not punished simply for the fact that he or she had an affair.
However, as explained above, a spouse may engage in waste or make improper transfers by spending money on the affair. This may include gifts to the girlfriend or boyfriend, money spent on vacations, hotel rooms or other funds spent. In such cases, the spouse who spent such funds should be ordered to reimburse the innocent spouse for their share of such funds.
Similarly, in child custody and parenting time cases an illicit affair by itself does not mean that a person is not going to be awarded joint legal custody / decision making or maximum parenting time. However, there may be circumstances in which the Court may frown upon a party’s conduct that is relevant to the children’s best interests. For example, the judge may conclude it is poor parental decision making to allow a girlfriend or boyfriend too spend significant time with the children before the children have a chance to heal from the split between their parents.
Do I have to go to Trial?
If you and your spouse agree to all issues regarding your divorce proceedings, Bishop Law Offices, P.C. can draft settlement documents in order to avoid going to trial. Our firm attempts to identify and resolve all of the issues in your case without expensive legal fees associated with a trial so long as the issues can be settled in a manner that is fair to you.
Our website has excellent information regarding alternate dispute resolution and mediation services designed to assist you in settling your case, which you can access by clicking here.
TYPES OF CASES WE REPRESENT
Divorce & Related Cases
At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., we only represent clients in divorce and other family law cases, which means we dedicate our time to just one broad area of law. Our attorneys are more knowledgeable and have more experience than many Phoenix divorce lawyers, because we do not divide our time among several different practice areas.
SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE (ALIMONY)
There are no specific guidelines that Arizona courts must follow in spousal maintenance cases; all judgments are largely discretionary. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to both parties meet with an experienced divorce attorney as early in the process as possible.
Generally divorced couples equally divide between them all community property and debts. There are some exceptions.
LEGAL SEPARATION / ANNULMENT
Legal separation and annulment are 2 alternatives to divorce that can, in some cases help save you a significant amount of time and money. Find out if this is an option for you and the benefits involved.
Have You Considered Mediation?
If you are interested, please call (602) 749-8500 and we’ll explain all the benefits of arbitration and mediation services in divorce cases.
Visit our FAQ section for answers to many more divorce-related questions, or give us a call at (602) 749-8500 to speak with a divorce attorney.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Common Divorce Related Questions
DO I NEED A REASON TO FILE FOR DIVORCE?
Arizona is a “no-fault state.” In other words, you do not need to state any specific reason why you want a divorce, nor does your spouse have to agree to a divorce.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET A DIVORCE?
Once the divorce petition and other documents have been served on the other party, you need only wait 60 days if you and your spouse agree on all issues. This can be done through a “default hearing,” or you can obtain a “consent decree” without ever having to go to court. Even if you and your spouse do not agree to all terms in the beginning, Bishop Law Offices, P.C. has been successful in settling the vast majority of its clients’ cases. Bishop Law Offices, P.C. commits itself to settling your case if the issues can be settled in your best interests.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on all issues, the only other way to obtain a divorce is through a trial. Most trials in divorce cases generally last about four hours. In such event, the judge makes all decisions (there is no jury in divorce cases). How long it takes to get to trial depends upon the complexity of your case and how backed up the court is.
The attorneys at Bishop Law Offices, P.C. are committed to expedite your case and to conclude the proceedings for you as soon as possible so that you can get on with your life.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A DIVORCE?
The total fees and costs in divorce proceedings vary depending upon a number of factors. If you and your spouse agree to most or all terms, the fees and costs should be minimal. It is our belief that no matter how simple the divorce, it is always in your best interests to consult with an attorney. This does not mean that you cannot do your divorce yourself. However, many people who do not consult with attorneys may leave out certain very important provisions that can come back to haunt them later on, and cost them a great deal. A little “preventive medicine” may save you a lot of headaches in the future. Bishop Law Offices, P.C. is committed to providing its clients with quality representation at an affordable cost.
Learn more about our fee structure & payment options.
SHOULD I TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE I FILE FOR DIVORCE AND/OR BEFORE I MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE?
If possible, it is always in your best interests to consult with a family law attorney before you move out of your residence or file for divorce, even if you decide to represent yourself. What happens early on in a case may turn out to be very important.
Each case is different, and many of our clients have special circumstances. Again, some “preventive medicine” may save you a lot of heartache and headaches in the future.
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARALEGAL SERVICE AND AN ATTORNEY?
One does not have to have any special training or certification to call themselves a paralegal in Arizona. Some people who call themselves paralegals have never even worked for a law firm. Although there are schools for paralegals and certifications, one does not need to go to school or obtain any certifications to call themselves a paralegal. Although there are undoubtedly some excellent paralegals, it is difficult to find out who has the experience and training necessary to assist you. Paralegals are precluded by the Supreme Court Rules from providing any legal advice, although some do – often-poor advice, which leads to major problems.
Many people have had very bad experiences with independent paralegal services. Often the forms are not prepared properly, causing unnecessary delays. Paralegals sometimes attempt to represent both sides, which is a conflict of interest, or align themselves with one side. Many people are not protected in the end. The biggest insult is that people sometimes end up paying more for a paralegal than they would have paid for a family law attorney to take care of them properly. Paralegals cannot represent you in court.
Paralegals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the State Bar of Arizona. If your attorney does something wrong, he or she may be subject to discipline. There are strict rules of conduct which govern attorneys. There are no such safeguards with regard to paralegal services.
The Supreme Court of Arizona has adopted certification requirements for “document preparers”. Document preparers cannot by law provide you with legal advice. Bishop Law Offices, P.C. recommends that you consult with a family law attorney first to assess your case and circumstances.
Like many family law firms, Bishop Law Offices, P.C. has paralegals on staff. Our paralegals have been trained by our attorneys and are under the direct supervision of our attorneys. Our use of paralegals generally save our clients fees based on their lower hourly rates. At the same time our attorneys are involved in all aspects of your case.
SHOULD I FILL OUT THE DIVORCE FORMS MYSELF?
In many cases, especially ones that are uncontested, you may be able to represent yourself. The Supreme Court Office of Administration has family law and other forms available online at the Self Service Center. You can obtain forms and packets in person from at the Self Service Center located in the Superior Court facilities in downtown Phoenix or the east-side Superior Court facilities in Mesa. Maricopa County forms are available online at the Maricopa County Superior Court website.
These forms are free of charge or provided for a nominal sum. There is often no reason to hire a paralegal to simply fill out your forms, nor is there any reason to purchase forms at a “forms store.” If you have questions regarding your forms, you can simply schedule a ½ or 1-hour conference with our firm or another family law attorney and make sure you receive proper advice.
As we have stated, we highly recommend that you at least consult with an attorney. A little bit of preventive medicine may save you a lot of money, heartache and headaches. In many cases, Bishop Law Offices, P.C. provides consult services without the necessity of formally retaining the firm and without having to pay a deposit or retainer fee. See Legal Fees for more information.
Scottsdale Family Law Attorneys
In order to provide more convenient divorce and family law services to our clients, we opened our third office at Scottsdale Fashion Square on the Northwest corner of Scottsdale Rd. and Camelback Rd. (7150 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 415, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251). Such location was selected in light of its proximity to our Scottsdale clients, the beautiful ambiance of Old Town Scottsdale, and the abundance of great shopping, restaurants and activities in the area. If you have to visit your family law attorney, you might as well grab a great breakfast or lunch (or happy hour), and shop at the unique and fabulous stores in the area.
Top Rated And Certified Legal Representation
Trust your legal representation to a Scottsdale divorce and family law firm that is top rated.William (Bill) Bishop is certified by the State Bar Of Arizona as Certified Family Law Specialist. Only approximately 65 attorneys in the State of Arizona have been certified as specialists in divorce and family law. Bishop is top rated by Martindale Hubbell, Arizona’s Top Attorneys, Southwest Super Lawyers, and various other organizations and publications. Click here for a detailed list of top honors and distinctions.
Law firm marketing has become very complex (and expensive). Various organizations offer to name essentially any attorney as a “top” attorney for a fee. Most of these listed attorneys are not certified specialists, and have not obtained an “objective” top ranking from judges and other attorneys (such as through Martindale Hubbell or the State Bar of Arizona). At Bishop Law Office, we work hard for our top rankings, are proud of our accomplishments, and strive to provide superior representation to our clients in all areas of divorce and family law.
Scottsdale Divorce Attorneys
Bishop Law Office provides representation in all areas of divorce and family law. Such includes, but is not limited to the following.
- Division of property and debts
- High wealth and complex property issues
- Complex child custody (legal decision making) issues
- Parenting time issues
- Spousal maintenance
- Child support
- Modification of Court Orders
- Child relocation cases
- Grandparent and third party child visitation rights
- Domestic violence and substance abuse issues
- Premarital Agreements
- Postmarital Agreements
Settlement / Mediation
Bishop Law Office attorneys prioritize settlement if such can be accomplished in our client’s best interests. This may involve drafting a settlement agreement and presenting it to the other side. Sometimes, this involves a settlement conference that includes the parties and attorneys. At other times, the parties (with or without attorneys) may proceed to mediation, and work to reach agreements with a neutral mediator.
In some cases, both parties have adequate knowledge about their assets, debts and other issues to be able to proceed to a settlement agreement or mediation immediately. In other cases, it is necessary to obtain documents and additional information to ensure that all assets have been identified, and valuations obtained as necessary, in order to ensure a fair division to our client.
At Bishop Law Office, our attorneys take the necessary steps to ensure that assets are properly valued and identified in order to ensure fair results for our clients.
Scottsdale Divorce and Family Law Mediation Services
William Bishop provides specialized mediation services in divorce and family law cases, and often holds mediation sessions at our Scottsdale law office location. Mr. Bishop has conducted or participated in hundreds of settlement and mediation conferences over the last twenty five years. Mr. Bishop completed the mediation course at Pepperdine University and is on the Court’s roster of qualified mediators. It should be noted that if you use Mr. Bishop as a mediator in your divorce or family law case, the law firm will not be able to also serve as your family law or divorce attorney under the applicable ethical rules.
Scottsdale High Asset / Complex Property Divorce Attorneys
When it comes to business valuation and other high asset cases, not all attorneys are created equal. Many family law attorneys simply do not understand the intricacies involved in business valuations and other complex property divisions. Often attorneys simply defer to a business valuation expert to provide such valuation. However, business valuations, and apportionment issues, are very complex and often involve legal issues that the business valuation accountant does not necessarily understand. By relying upon an attorney or business valuation expert that does not fully understand the legally complex and often subjective elements involved in complex property issues, the client may pay much more than they should have to, or may receive much less than what is fair.
Bishop Law Office provides representation for wealthy clients as well as clients with more limited means. The firm has represented many high profile clients, and cases involving substantial assets and complex property issues. Such cases often involve professional athletes, celebrities, business owners, or other high asset clients. Despite our experience with such high profile and high asset cases, our hourly fees are the same for all of our cases.
William Bishop, the managing partner of the firm, is especially experienced in high asset cases, including business valuations and other complex property issues. Mr. Bishop published a law review article regarding business valuations, and the methods of apportionment of the increased value in a sole and separate business between the business owner and the community Mr. Bishop presents seminars regarding such issues to other attorneys, and devotes much of his practice to such higher asset cases. Click here to learn more about business valuations and other complex property cases.
Scottsdale Child Custody / Parenting Time
Parenting and legal custody / decision making issues often arise in a divorce cases, paternity cases where the parties were not married, and motions filed to modify parenting time and legal decision making (legal custody) orders that were previously entered. Bishop Law Office attorneys have represented clients in parenting time and legal custody cases for many years.
In some cases, both the mother and father are good parents, and parenting time and legal decision making issues are fairly easy to resolve. Even in the straight forward cases, however, it is important to ensure that the Court orders and parenting plans are specific enough to avoid future confusion or disagreements. In other cases, one of the parents may have substantial issues that support a restricted parenting schedule or restricted involvement in legal decision making issues. This may include a situation where one of the parents has mental health / psychological issues, where domestic violence has taken place, or where one or both parents have ongoing substance abuse or alcohol issues.
Sometimes the children are aligned with one parent and estranged from the other parent. In some cases, this is a result of a parent alienating the children against the other parent. In some cases, the children are estranged from one of the parents as a result of such parent’s lifestyle decisions or behaviors. Click here for more specific information regarding parenting and legal decision making / legal custody issues.
You can trust your parenting time and legal decision making / legal custody issues to the attorneys at Bishop Law Office. Call now to make an appointment with one of our very qualified family law attorneys.
Scottsdale Child Support Attorneys
Our Scottsdale clients often face complex issues involving child support depending upon their income levels. Although the State Of Arizona has specific Child Support Guidelines, many complex issues can arise in child support cases. Sometimes one of the parents owns their own business, which often requires a more detailed examination of their true income and benefits. If one of the parents earns substantially more income than the other parent, the Court may deviate from the Child Support Guidelines and order a higher child support amount. It is important to hire an attorney who is very knowledgeable about the intricacies involved with child support issues as it often involves more than just plugging numbers into a child support calculator. Click here for more specific information regarding child support issues and child support calculations.
Scottsdale Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
Spousal maintenance is one of the most litigated areas in divorce cases. Although there are statutory factors regarding eligibility for spousal maintenance, and the amount and duration of spousal maintenance awards, such awards are highly discretionary with the Court. It is especially important to hire an attorney who is very experienced and qualified in presenting the most persuasive case possible – whether you are the client asking for spousal maintenance or the party who is defending such claim. There is much more involved with presenting a persuasive spousal maintenance case or defense than merely reciting the obvious facts.
Modifications of Court Orders
The attorneys for Bishop Law Office are very experienced in filing requests to modify Court orders where the circumstances support such changes.
As a general rule, child support, legal decision making (child custody), and parenting time orders are modifiable so long as there is at least some change in circumstances.
Spousal maintenance orders are modifiable so long as there has been a substantial and continuing change of circumstances, and so long as the parties did not agree to include language in their decree stating that the spousal maintenance order is “non-modifiable”.
Property divisions set forth in Court orders are generally not modifiable. However, such orders can often be challenged if the other party acted fraudulently, did not disclose all assets, or otherwise acted in a dishonest manner when the agreements were reached. Click here for more information regarding modifying court orders.
Challenging Court Orders And Appeals
Judges are not “computers”, and frankly sometimes they make mistakes. If this happens to you, it is very important to seek qualified legal counsel immediately. There are strict time limitations that apply if you desire to challenge a trial court’s rulings.
At Bishop Law Office, we often represent clients who wish to appeal or otherwise challenge a Court order. Call now to schedule a time to review your Court order with one of our qualified and experienced family law attorneys.
Scottsdale Attorneys – Premarital Agreements / Post-marital Agreements
More and more people are entering into premarital agreements prior to marriage, or post-marital agreements after they are married. These are also sometimes referred to as Prenuptial Agreements or Antinuptial Agreements. William Bishop of Bishop Law Office has represented many clients over the years regarding their premarital and post-marital agreement needs. Like other areas, not all attorneys who represent clients regarding premarital and post-marital agreements are created equal. Much more is involved than merely filling in the client names into forms. Each client has individual needs and circumstances that need to be addressed. Sometimes negotiations take place. This can be a highly delicate thing to do when marriage is right around the corner. Both parties need to take great care to make sure that their individual needs and circumstances are addressed because what may seem like a simple agreement may have a significant impact on your life if your marriage does not work out in the end.
Free Consultations? How Do The Attorney Fees Work?
Frankly, most top divorce and family law firms do not offer free consultations. We receive many referrals, and the demand for our representation is fortunately consistently high. If we provided free consultations, the lines would be long and we would not have time to work on our cases.
As a compromise, we offer a discount consultation fee of $150.00 for the first hour ($200 for attorney Bishop). In addition, if you retain the firm (full representation), we waive the consultation fee or reimburse it if you retain us after the initial consultation. In such event, yes you do get a free consultation.
How many times have you heard somebody say that they have no idea what their attorney is doing on their case? We often receive feedback from our clients that they learn more during our consultations with them than they received from their prior attorney who represented them for months. We obtain as many critical facts as we can during your consultation, and throughout your representation, and provide you concrete ideas and a game plan regarding how we intend to handle your case. We work with you closely to ensure that all important decisions are made with your full knowledge and consent.
We have several options available for clients that need various levels of representation. We provide “pay as you go” services for clients that only need limited assistance. In such event, no retainer or deposit is required. We provide “consultation services” for those who need ongoing assistance, but do not require full representation. We provide “limited scope” representation when the services provided are only for certain specific issues. Each of these options generally requires a much smaller deposit. We of course provide full representation services to our clients that need our assistance in all aspects of their divorce or family law case.
Call Or Email Us Today To Schedule Your Consultation At Our Scottsdale Divorce And Family Law Office
For time sensitive matters, we can usually schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys the same day or next day. If it is difficult for you to schedule your consultation during regular hours, Bishop Law Office attorneys can meet with you during the weekend.
Call us or send an email today to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced and highly qualified family law attorneys today.