Tips from Chandler family law attorney

How Long it Takes to Get a Divorce? Chandler, Arizona

No matter what people say otherwise, divorce is tough and a challenge. It is difficult to let go of someone you’ve loved the most and spent some good times together. It takes a lot from you emotionally, physically, and financially. If it involves children, it becomes further complicated as they are the worst victims. It is essential to keep them involved in your decisions as it affects their lives too. Apart from what you are dealing with at home emotionally, financially, and physically, it is a lot more to comprehend than that.

It is easy to get lost in the twists and turns of this seemingly endless divorce process. We understand you are already overwhelmed with everything and will likely be swayed by your emotions. This is the time to make things easier on yourself and know where you are heading. It is always good to see where you are going, as it can reduce some of the stress during such difficult times in your life. Ultimately, making a decision that benefits you and your children should be the goal. Some people would like to move fast in a divorce and get done with it, whereas others would take one step at a time and go slow about it.

It depends on the state you live in if you want to know how much time it takes to get a divorce. Not all states have a cooling-off period; it is a waiting period that must pass before your divorce finalizes. Suppose you and your spouse agree upon every part of the divorce – including custody, property division, living arrangements, and more; you are more likely to move quickly in your divorce process. However, if you and your spouse are not on the same page, it may even take several years to finalize the divorce.

Moreover, it comes down to how complex your situation is. If you’ve not been married for long and have lesser negotiable assets, your divorce may not be complicated if negotiated on most of the parts. However, if the marriage lasted for a long time with assets, it could take a long time to find a middle ground. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to understand why things happen as they do.

So, if you are planning to divorce your spouse and need help navigating the process, our experienced legal attorneys can help smoothen the process. Schedule a consultation with Shaffer Family Law at (480) 470-3030 today.   

Co-parenting Conflicts: Here’s What You Can Do in Chandler, Arizona

Parting ways is never easy, but a wiser decision than sticking around in an unhappy marriage. It comes with many responsibilities, and you must deal with them mindfully. If you have children, their safety and well-being become a priority. What is in the best interest of your child becomes of utmost importance. During a divorce, it is highly likely to have disagreements on many things; in some cases, it is common in every matter. With children, the responsibilities grow, and it is good to co-parent for your child’s best interest. However, you may end up with disagreements over many things, but if you create an understanding, it will benefit everyone in the long run.

Co-parenting time

The first bone of contention is time; it is important to understand that spending a good amount of time with kids, just like before the divorce or separation, is reasonable. Both parents should spend ample time with kids and remember that school or children away for activities do not count as time with parents. It is time to plan accordingly, so there are no disagreements at the first step. Research suggests that a child with a relationship with both parents is likelier to be happy than a child with a relationship with a single parent.

Child support

Child support amounts are based on each parent’s monthly income. It is the first responsibility of both parents, including gender-neutral parents, to pay for the support of their children. Even if both parents jointly share custody of the child, parents will still accept child support as it depends on the case and state laws that decide on child support. It is vital to abide by and be on the same page as your ex.

Bring child between

It is wrong if your spouse is using kids to raise concerns about an issue. It is important to deal with the issues directly rather than involving kids. Meet with your ex at a place where you can discuss the issue at length without involving kids. 


It is common if one parent is more lenient about the child not actively pursuing homework or other activities while the other may not be. It is likely that the parent would want to improve their child’s habits and discipline them but are struggling as the child continues to behave in the same way as with their other parent.


Sometimes some parents are particular about everything in their child’s life. When the child visits the ex’s place, they would want to know everything and if the child was cared for well and did not do things they should not be doing.

If you need help, our experienced attorneys can guide you in the best possible way. Schedule a consultation with Shaffer Family Law at (480) 470-3030 today.

How to Care for Yourself After Divorce? Chandler, Arizona

Divorce is hard. You may be dealing with a lot physically, emotionally, and financially. It is an exhausting process that can overwhelm you while doing even the simplest tasks. It is not easy, and you may be stressed over many things that may or may not require your immediate attention. You can look for ways to help you strengthen yourself, move on from the divorce, and try to live your life on your terms. Start taking care of yourself and live your best life.

Take downtime – It is essential to take some time out too. Be it soaking in the bathtub or being away from the phone. Just take some time and re-evaluate the life-changing events in your life. It could be simply sitting down with absolutely nothing and reassessing the life-changing event. Also, think about areas that require change. It may be starting afresh with a new job in a different state. 

Family – You can reach out to your loved ones and tell them you need their support. They can be your vast support system and be there for all the ups and downs in your life. Honestly, you may feel lonely as separating from a loved one can be complicated and take a toll on you! Divorce is never easy; detaching from a loved one can break you completely.

Create a schedule – It is vital to create a schedule and give ample time to the essential things in your life. Prepare a list of things you need to work on and pursue a hobby or activity. Do what you enjoy; you need to start afresh. Some people enjoy doing their work, so you may indulge yourself in work but do not become a workaholic with no life outside your work.

Meditate – You might be overwhelmed with everything around you, and meditation can help improve your focus. It enables you to be mindful of your surroundings. It can be a quick stress reliever, reverse your body’s stress response, and relax. It works on physical and emotional stress and calms your body and mind.

Participate in activity – Stressful times can pull you down, turning your life upside down. It is essential to move on and do what you like. You may learn something new through a class, such as art, dance, music, or a language. You may join a book or film club, visit local museums, do gardening, volunteer at a school, library, hospital, or animal shelter, or visit community and senior centers and participate in their activities.

Schedule an appointment with Shaffer Family Law at (480) 470-3030 in case you need any help.

Should You Move Out of The Family Home After Divorce? Chandler, Arizona

Divorces are tough and physically and emotionally challenging. Either spouse would likely be unwilling to live in the same space. But who should be leaving the house if both have their names on the real estate agreement? It is a tricky thing and a huge mess. Who gets to stay? It can get a bit messy! Each state has its laws; for instance, if you plan to divorce in Arizona, the property gets divided among both unless the house belonged to one of the spouses before the marriage. However, several questions arise, like whether you have to move out and will moving out cause one spouse to lose their rights. Are there chances of you losing your child custody if you move out?

Move Out or Not

When someone divorces their spouse, they may want to stay away from them. If you decide to divorce and continue living in the house without sharing the bedroom, it can become difficult to prove that you both are leading separate lives. Some states may allow cohabitating while others do not. If you move out, you must look for alternate housing. It is great if you’ve had strong relationships with your parents and friends who are willing to support you financially and emotionally. It is essential to build a great support system that you can depend upon, as they can be of enormous help in times of need. It becomes further complicated if you have a family with child(ren). If the family stays in the same house, they can also consider sending their child(ren) to grandparents. However, if you decide to move out, it is better to clarify your intentions.

Make Your Intentions Clear

Moving out of the family home doesn’t mean you lose the rights of the house or the legal decision-making of the child(ren). But you shouldn’t take any chances and write everything down on paper. You might have to create an inventory of all the personal property, such as furniture and appliances, and take photographs. Even if you or your spouse do not agree to the terms, write all the details, and both need to sign it. Even if you do not have an attorney now, you might want to seek some legal advice on the agreement.

Child’s Legal Decision Making

The children suffer the most in a divorce, and keeping them involved is important. The court considers several factors to create the type of legal decision-making and visitation arrangement that best serves a child’s emotional and physical needs. Some of the factors include:

  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • Each parent’s ability to provide stability
  • Child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s history of child abuse or domestic violence
  • Child’s adjustment to home and community

The court doesn’t favor one parent over the other but considers all the above factors based on the child’s best interests and overall well-being. The court has the discretion to make legal decision-making equal or allow one parent to make all decisions affecting the child. For instance, the court may allow the mother to make health-related decisions, while the father might have the right to make educational decisions. If the court orders equal decision-making, both parents meet and agree on them; however, if parents can’t, the court decides.

Our legal attorneys can help you navigate the process if you want a divorce. Schedule a consultation with Shaffer Family Law at (480) 470-3030 today.

Is Getting a Divorce in Your Genes? Chandler Arizona

If you think, what could be the most challenging thing about divorce? Whether separating from your spouse or if you have family and kids. Every individual is wired differently, but one thing that remains most common in a divorce is that children become the worst victims of the separation. We understand divorces are difficult, painful, and scary in every stage of life for everyone. Parting ways with someone you’ve loved the most is never easy, and nobody wants to go through that painful phase in their lives. Simply making the decision can violate your values and leave you in two minds. Even if the divorce is amicable, it always hurts.

Meanwhile, several studies suggest that children whose parents are divorced are more likely to divorce than the ones who live in two-parent families. Interesting, so is the divorce genetic? Does it mean all children with divorced parents will end with divorce? Will it mean divorced parents have a history of divorces in their families? According to the research, it is so, but it also doesn’t tell whether a failed relationship is destined if you have the divorce gene. Some studies include people who witnessed their parents married and divorced multiple times. They believe that adults have been willing to commit for life but failed to live up to it. Such examples reflect on their environment and are likely responsible for shaping their perceptions from their life lessons. This grows them averse to commitment or getting married and having kids.

One of the reasons that divorce could be genetic is because when children see their parents fight and mend their differences, they think nothing is fatal that can destroy their parents’ marriage. However, if children see their parents fail to reconcile their issues, they are less likely to learn any message and know that a fight can destroy everything in a relationship. Women are likely to raise their children after a divorce, which means the father has lesser time to interact with their child. This results in the absence of a parent from their child’s life, making children awry about commitments and looking for ways to fill that void in their life. The other reason could be that divorce has become more common and less scandalous than ever. There was a time when previous generations chose to live with issues in their relationships; however, things are different today. So, it is likely that children who grew up in troubled families are more likely afraid of ending in dysfunctional relationships.

If you are planning to divorce your spouse or know someone who is, Shaffer Family Law can help you navigate the process. So, schedule an appointment at (480) 470-3030 today. 

Division of Assets and Debts: We Can Uncomplicate It for You, Chandler Arizona

If you live in Arizona and plan to divorce your spouse, remember it is a community property state meaning all assets and debts jointly acquired during the marriage will be equally distributed among both spouses regardless of their incomes. Each spouse receives half of these assets, including money, real estate, retirement plans, furniture, automobiles, and possessions. For instance, if you live in an owned house, it will be divided equally. If one of the spouses continues to live, they pay their spouse. Other assets or debts include:

  • Investment assets
  • Family-owned businesses and corporations
  • Professional practice interests, inventory, and investments
  • High-value homes such as vacation homes and investment real estate
  • IRS tax debt
  • Credit card debt

A divorce with the division of assets and debts can be complicated; it is always better to make a mutual decision and try to work it out. Be it going for pre-nuptials or post-nuptials. If you don’t work it out, the state law can decide how it will work in your case.

Apart from community property, there is something called separate property, which refers to the property belonging to one spouse and will not be divided among the other spouse in a divorce. It includes a spouse’s assets/debts before marriage, such as a house, business, pension fund, inheritance, education loan, or personal injury award. However, supposedly the inheritance money is added to the couple’s joint account, then it becomes community property.

Shaffer Family Law is committed and ensures you receive an equitable distribution of all assets and debts. We work with accountants, actuaries, and professional appraisers to properly value marital assets, then work for a fair proposal and evaluate the other party’s proposal. Our knowledge, skill, experience, and ability to work on settlement agreements and meet your needs are part of our legal services. Our attorneys can ensure that the property division is fair by identifying all relevant factors and identifying and assigning ownership and correct valuations to all assets and liabilities. Remember, sometimes there are tricky cases in which spouses often try and hide their assets to avoid division during the divorce. We are skilled at unearthing property and other holdings with the help of financial professionals, including forensic accountants, to trace assets outside the country. 

If you are getting divorced and need help navigating the process, schedule a consultation at (480) 470-3030 today.  

Couples are More Likely to Divorce in These Months Chandler, Arizona

Divorce is not an easy road; it usually takes time to determine whether one wants a divorce or not. Every relationship has struggles and problems; how you deal with them is the real deal. There are always ups and downs associated with every relationship, but it depends on both how they want it to be. Sometimes, it is better to part ways than be in an unhealthy relationship. It is physically and emotionally challenging and can take a lot from you. If you have children, then it gets further complicated. Couples don’t wait for a season to divorce; it depends if they are at the crossroads in their relationship. However, studies have shown a pattern behind the divorce move.

A new year and the holiday season are usually fresh start points. Be it fitness resolution or mending relationships, people think of it as a fresh start. They make new year resolutions to mend ways with their spouse by communicating their issues in every possible way. Be more respectful and show understanding as to where they are coming from. They try to make it work their way. Everyone looks forward to holidays, and nobody wants to be a spoiler in the family. They want to spend quality time together, resolve differences and leave contentious things behind for new beginnings. If the family has children, they always look forward to having a good time together. Children are always excited about the winter or summer holidays and want to enjoy the most.

According to the University of Washington’s research, people file for divorce most in March and August. Why is that? As mentioned above, the new year or holidays are a big no, and people do not want to be called heartless for ruining everyone’s Christmas or holidays. They think taking kids on camp trips or having family and friends come over for BBQs, pool parties, and Christmas can improve things for everyone. This, too, shall pass. They think of it as an opportunity to rekindle their love for each other, and when they’re unable to reconcile, they move to the next step. Couples need to sort their finances as it may take some time, but they may file during August as they do not want to meddle with the school year. They may decide to file for divorce after summer vacations as they do not want to interfere with the starting school year and may hurry up with the procedure.

If you want to divorce your spouse, we can help you navigate the process. Please schedule a consultation with our experienced attorneys at (480) 470-3030 today.

Tips for Divorced Parents if Your Child is Back to School Chandler Arizona

Summer is almost over! It is time to return to school, and we understand you will likely feel the rush. It is common to be stressed ahead of the school year for parents and children. However, what’s even more stressful is if the parents have decided to part ways this summer. It can take a whole different toll on the family altogether. Divorce is never easy. It is hard to express how painful divorce is when it happens to you. It is emotionally and physically challenging as parting ways with someone you’ve loved the most is difficult. It affects you and your partner, and if you have children, they become the worst victim. Children can have extreme or mixed feelings about their parent’s divorce. Some children completely shut down without expressing themselves and look for ways to deal with the situation, such as drugs. While some struggle, and it reflects in their behavior or attitude. It is tough to see parents separating and what the future may look like.

To ensure your children’s best interests are considered, you must inform them about your decisions. It is best not to share every detail, but they have the right to know what’s happening. To make things smooth for your child, it is best to be on the same page with your ex-spouse. Some suggestions for divorced parents are to start the school year without hiccups.

  • Inform the school – As parents, if you’ve decided to part ways, inform the school authorities. Nobody is asking to share every detail with the school but talking about separation will make things easier for your child at school too. Schools can add both the parents to mailing lists, such as newsletters, school updates, field trips, etc. This helps both parents to be equally part of their child’s school routine and curriculum and will not have to struggle for information at the last minute. Both can request the school teacher to attend parent-teacher meetings so they are up to date with their child’s school progress.
  • Use a shared online calendar – It is good to keep a reminder of your child’s school field trips or visit with their parent. Moreover, all the school-related activities can be tracked, such as exams, report cards, and information that parents should know.
  • House rules – It is suggested to follow similar regulations such as screen time, homework, or bedtime and should be discussed among both parents before implementing any rules. It is not a good idea for one parent to have such house rules while the other parent loosens up. For child’s best interest, they should be disciplined in both houses and not given an idea to differentiate between their parents.
  • Supply list – Both parents must take up the responsibility for individual tasks, so there’s no overlap. It is best to split the lists; the child should go with each parent and get the items. In such a case, it avoids extra items or missing out on things in such cases.

If you need help navigating through the divorce process, schedule a consultation with Shaffer Family Law at (480) 470-3030 today.

Ways to Support Your Friend Going Through a Divorce, Chandler Arizona

Divorce is difficult no matter at what stage you decide to part ways. It is not easy to lose someone you loved and had a good time with. Divorce is a long road from emotional and financial aspects. It’s not just your marital status; your entire life turns around. If you have children, they will likely suffer as seeing their parents part ways. Parents must ensure their child’s safety and best interests during a divorce. As both parents decide to move on, it becomes essential to think through how the child would react and how their life would be. If parents do not assess the situation thoroughly, the whole process can become complicated. Divorce is tough, period!

There are many things that a friend can do during such difficult times.

Listen to Them

Sometimes people need someone to listen to them no matter what. Don’t worry; they do not need answers or advice, but maybe they want to hear that they are not alone.

Help Them in Moving

Moving is a strenuous and exhausting process. With children, your responsibilities and tasks increase. Packing stuff can make you emotional, and comfort and support can help ease the process.

Invite Them Over, even if They Say No

It can be difficult for people to be left alone suddenly. Hang out with mutual friends or try to make plans with them, even if they disagree. Some people will not have the energy to socialize or need to, but you can step in and encourage them to go out.

Don’t Talk Ill About Their Ex

Remember to stay calm and composed no matter how much you want to talk trash about your friend’s ex. Avoid any ill talks as one day your friend might talk negatively about their ex, and the next day it can be the opposite. Listen to them and validate your friend’s emotions rather than emphasizing your opinions.

Help Them Out

You can take them to the doctor if they are sick. If your friend needs someone to take care of their child as they have some urgent appointment, you can step in. Dog sitting or other things, you can always step in to help if they find it difficult to manage expenses or trust someone until they figure it out.

Stop By for a Meal

Surprise them by bringing food over for dinner or maybe just a pizza to talk over things.

Don’t Push Them for Details

Everyone functions differently and has their way of dealing with grief; some people are open about it while others are not. Do not encourage or bug them whenever they are unwilling to talk.

If your friend is going through a divorce and needs legal consultation, you can reach out to Shaffer Family Law and schedule an appointment at (480) 470-3030.

What is Child Abuse & Neglect? Chandler Arizona

Child abuse doesn’t only refer to extreme behavior by the parents. Any activity or behavior threatening a child’s physical and emotional well-being is considered abuse. It includes verbal abuse as emotional trauma, while bruises, cuts, and scratches are physical abuse. Any abuse can lead to emotional trauma, and the impact can be everlasting on the child. It can deter a child’s self-confidence, future relations, and ability to function at home or school.

Child abuse can lead to trust issues. If the child is abused, they will find it hard to trust anyone; if parents break their child’s trust, then whom should the child trust. It becomes difficult to trust anybody in future relationships. If the child is belittled, imagine how difficult it can be to overcome such feelings. They might even think they are worthless and may neglect their education and end up with low-paying jobs. It becomes challenging for abused children to express themselves and may keep everything with them. It may act out in other forms and even develop anxiety or depression. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb those feelings.

There are different forms of abuse physical, sexual, emotional, and child neglect.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse means hitting, bruising, kicking, or causing bodily harm to the child.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is complicated as it has many layers of guilt and shame. It is not always about physical contact but the environment you are exposed to. Children are too afraid to come forward as they think nobody would believe them. 

Emotional Abuse

Words can hurt a lot, and constant negative comments, belittling, shaming, comparing the child to others, and calling them worthless are hurtful. Ignoring the child, threats, no physical contact like hugs, kisses, etc., and even exposing the child to violence against others can severely damage the child’s mental health and social development.

Child Neglect

It is about not being able to provide proper food, clothing, shelter, health insurance, and other necessities. Sometimes it is not conspicuous, any illness like depression or anxiety, and if you are not involved and part of your child’s life, you neglect them.

Child abuse and neglect can happen in any family, but certain situations make a greater risk.

  • Domestic violence – If the parent is abused and tries to protect the child, it can still damage the child’s mental health or social development.
  • Lack of parenting skills – Some caregivers never learned the necessary skills for good parenting. For instance, teen parents might have unrealistic expectations about how much care babies and small children need; parents who have been victims of child abuse may only know how to raise their children similarly.
  • Substance abuse – Parents who are drunk or high may be unable to take care of their children, leading to physical abuse.
  • Stress or lack of support – Parenting is a stressful job if you’re raising children without the support of family or friends. So, children with special needs, disabilities, or problematic behaviors are also challenging and require support.
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