Family law issues in Arizona can involve intense emotions and conflict. If you are dealing with these types of issues, you should get help from a qualified legal representative to help you with your case.
At De Novo Law, Stephanie Villalobos, LP, provides knowledgeable representation to her clients who are contending with a variety of different types of family law matters. She is the first licensed legal paraprofessional in Arizona.
Like an Arizona family law attorney, Ms. Villalobos can handle most aspects of family law cases, including the preparation and filing of documents, appearing in court, and negotiating to secure fair settlements for her clients. Arizona legal paraprofessional Stephanie Villalobos handles the following types of legal matters:
- Divorce with and without children
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Grandparents’ rights
- Same-sex family law
Working with a licensed Arizona legal paraprofessional like Stephanie Villalobos can help you to get an affordable divorce. She provides more than paralegal services and is licensed to represent her clients in court without being supervised by an attorney. Each of her practice areas are described below.
Divorce (With and Without Children)
If you want to get an affordable divorce from your spouse and do not share any minor children with him or her, the process might be more straightforward. However, getting divorced without children will still require you to determine how to divide the property and debts that you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage.
If there is a significant disparity in your income, you might also need to deal with spousal maintenance as a part of your divorce.
If you are able to agree on all issues, you and your spouse can file a petition for an uncontested divorce. This process can be relatively quick and can result in a more affordable divorce process.
During an uncontested divorce, Stephanie Villalobos can offer legal services to draft and file all of the necessary paperwork for you. However, if you and your spouse do not agree on all of the issues, you might have to litigate any outstanding issues in a contested proceeding.
Divorce cases involving spouses who share minor children can be more complicated. In this type of situation, you will need to figure out child custody and child support issues in addition to dividing your property and debts and handling any spousal maintenance issues. You will need to figure out a parenting plan that will work well for both you and your children, determine how decision-making authority will be divided, and determine how much child support will need to be paid. You will also have to file additional documents with the family court and meet other requirements that are unnecessary in a case that doesn’t involve children.
At De Novo Law, Arizona legal paraprofessional Stephanie Villalobos has the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through the entire divorce process to help you obtain an affordable divorce while protecting your interests.
She can help by providing legal services, including drafting and filing all required legal documents. She can also work to negotiate a complete settlement agreement on your behalf. If you are unable to resolve one or more legal issues, she is prepared to litigate on your behalf in court.
Child Custody Establishment and Modification
In Arizona, child custody refers to much more than determining with whom a child will live. Judges consider multiple factors to decide how to allocate parenting time and decision-making authority between parents.
Child custody in Arizona is called legal decision-making authority. It refers to who will have the ability to make an essential decision for their children’s education, religion, and medical needs. The authority to make decisions for a child can be shared by both parents or granted to one parent alone.
Parenting time is when a child will be in the care of each parent. It can be shared equally or divided so that a child might spend more time with one of his or her parents while having regular visits with his or her other parent.
Child custody and parenting time are decided by courts according to the child’s best interests instead of what might be in the parents’ best interests.
Arizona legal paraprofessional Stephanie Villalobos can help you understand the best interests of the child standard and the factors courts must consider when making child custody decisions. She can also negotiate with your child’s other parent to try to secure a parenting agreement that will protect your child and your interests.
Arizona Child Support Calculations, Establishment and Modification
If you have a minor child and are separated or divorced from the other parent, both you and your child’s other parent are expected to financially contribute to raising your child. Arizona has established child support guidelines to help to figure out which parent will pay child support and how much should be ordered.
Several factors are considered when calculating child support, including your income, your ex’s income, how many children you share, how much time the child spends with each of you, whether one of you provides health insurance for your child, how much childcare costs you might have, and whether your child has any extraordinary expenses.
At De Novo Law, Stephanie Villalobos can provide services to draft and file a petition to open a child support case and calculate how much you should receive. If you are the parent who will be expected to pay, she can help you understand what to expect.
Spousal Maintenance, also known as Alimony or Spousal Support
If you and your spouse have a significant disparity in your incomes, spousal maintenance, or spousal support, might be an issue in your divorce. Either of you can request spousal maintenance during your divorce case. However, once your divorce is finalized, you cannot come back later to ask the court to issue a spousal maintenance order.
Spousal maintenance is not automatically ordered. Instead, the court can issue spousal maintenance orders after considering several factors, including the length of your marriage, whether you or your spouse is at an age that makes employment more complicated, the disparity in your incomes, and whether one spouse needs additional training or education to start a career and support himself or herself independently.
There are 13 statutory factors the courts consider when deciding whether to order spousal maintenance and how long it will have to be paid. Judges have significant discretion in determining the amount of spousal maintenance and its duration. If the court orders you or your spouse to make spousal support payments, the payments must continue as ordered for the specified duration.
If spousal support payments are not made, the payor spouse can be held in contempt of court and face sanctions.
If you think that you should receive spousal maintenance or might be ordered to pay it, you should speak with Stephanie Villalobos at De Novo law. She can help you to understand whether it might be ordered and work to negotiate an agreement to protect your interests.
Grandparents’ Rights for Grandchildren
Depending on the situation, you might want to try to get custody of your grandchildren or establish visitation rights with them. If your grandchild’s parents can no longer care for your grandchild, or you are being prevented from seeing your grandchild by his or her parent, you should speak to Stephanie Villalobos at De Novo Law.
Ms. Villalobos can help you to gather necessary evidence and file court documents to establish your rights as a grandparent, including custody or visitation.
Establishing Paternity – Arizona Father’s Rights
If you and your child’s other parent are not married, the state will not automatically presume the man to be the child’s father. Instead, you must establish the father’s paternity. Unmarried men who want to get custody and visitation rights over their children must also establish paternity before they can pursue them. Similarly, unmarried mothers will have to establish paternity to seek child support.
Paternity can be established in a couple of ways. Both you and your child’s other parent can sign an acknowledgment of paternity. If the other parent refuses to sign an acknowledgment, you can file a petition with the court to establish paternity.
After a petition to establish paternity is filed in court, the judge might order the man and the child to submit to DNA testing. If the father’s paternity is established, the court will issue an order to pay child support. The father will then be able to file petitions in court to establish his parental rights with the help of Stephanie Villalobos, LP.
Arizona Same-Sex Family Law
If you are involved in a same-sex relationship or marriage, you might face novel issues surrounding child custody, property division, and child support if you choose to end your relationship or marriage. Many same-sex couples in Arizona accumulated substantial assets during their relationships before they were allowed to marry, which can present problems during the property division portion of divorces.
Same-sex couples who never married might also have accumulated assets during their long relationships and have trouble dividing them.
Child custody and support can also be issues when same-sex relationships end. When a child is only biologically related to one parent, the other parent might have to contend with a complicated process to try to secure visitation rights.
At De Novo Law, Stephanie Villalobos understands the types of issues same-sex couples face when they get divorced or end their relationships. She can help you to navigate through the process and try to secure an agreement that will protect your interests.
How Does a Legal Paraprofessional Differ from an Attorney?
Licensed legal paraprofessionals are licensed through the Arizona Supreme Court and are non-lawyers who have substantial legal experience. People who are certified as LPs are permitted to provide specific legal services in the area of law for which they have been endorsed.
They are not paralegals but are instead a step between paralegals and an Arizona family law attorney. Before becoming licensed as an LP, Ms. Villalobos worked for more than 30 years under the supervision of family law attorneys.
Like an attorney, licensed paraprofessionals are authorized to prepare and file legal documents, appear in court on behalf of their clients, and handle many different types of family law cases without needing to be supervised by attorneys.
Choosing a licensed legal paraprofessional is a more affordable way to obtain legal representation to address multiple types of family law issues.
Contact De Novo Law to Speak with a Legal Paraprofessional Today
Stephanie Villalobos is the founder of De Novo Law and is the first licensed paraprofessional in the state of Arizona. She has more than 30 years of experience working in family law and is equipped to provide skilled and knowledgeable representation to her clients.
If you have one of the previously listed family law issues, you should contact our firm today to schedule an appointment.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held. The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.
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