Divorce & Social Security
July 23, 2018
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2019 New Family Law Rules

Shop Local

When you’re shopping around for legal document assistance, while cost is an important factor, you also want to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for. Unfortunately, many online legal forms are not current. There is simply no way that some national company that provides legal assistance in many areas of law in every state can keep current with every law, in every area of law in every state, and in every county. Because the laws, particularly in divorce and family law, are very specific to where you are filing. And are constantly changing. So not only is it unlikely that online forms are going to be correct and/or current, but even many legal document preparers and attorneys aren’t necessarily current with the latest rules and/or trends. And those trends are very important. As you can have a state law, but then the judges in each county can have their own way of interpreting them. Thus why we recommend that when you want help with your divorce, that you look not to a national firm and not even to someone in your state, but to someone located specifically in the county where you are filing.  And in addition to finding someone local, that you look at what sort of recent legal education they have received.

Shop for Experience

Both attorneys and legal document preparers are required to attend a certain number of continuing legal education seminars each year. As the assumption is if you get so many credits, you probably are current with the law. But that’s not necessarily the case. As not everyone attends the seminars they should, picking the easier or cheaper ones. Or once they’re met their yearly requirement, they don’t bother to attend any more seminars. But you want someone who not only gets the required number of credits, but keeps current with the law. Even it means getting excess credits.

The rules regarding divorce and family law changed substantially on January 1, 2019.  But the rules weren’t published until recently. And most of the seminars explaining the rules were not held until the end of 2018. Divorce Packet Processing was the only legal document preparation firm with representatives attending any of those seminars. So we know, likely better than most – even many attorneys – what the new rules are and how the judges in Pima County will address them.

Not even the Court provided forms have been updated! (And may not be for awhile)

As of 5/30/2019 the court forms have NOT been updated to reflect the new rules. (And worse, the links to many required forms aren’t just outdated, they simply no longer exist.) While at a December 2018 seminar we were told it would likely be awhile until the court has the new forms, the new rules are in effect now. And effect very important things including but not limited to those served by Acceptance of Service (where your spouse agrees to cooperate rather than being served), those served by publication (put in the newspaper because you don’t know where your spouse is), and those where you don’t want to appear in court (this option being allowed in most every divorce now, said previously allowed only in divorces without children and even then was limited).

Bottom Line

You really want to make sure that when you go to do your divorce you have the most current information.  And we have that. Many don’t. We are in Pima County and we know the rules and procedures HERE. And we’ve obtained the new rules, reviewed them carefully, discussed them with many, and have attended the most recent seminars. So we know what the rules are NOW and believe we have the most current information as to how the court will be addressing them.  (And even if you have the court forms or have gone somewhere else, feel free to call us and we can tell you if and how the new rules may effect your divorce.)