Term Archives: Services

Separating Couples


The divorce process marks the end of one part of your life and the beginning of a new one.  Directly confronting and resolving the issues during your divorce process will prepare you for a successful new life.  Neglecting these issues can lead to personal and financial problems in the future that will require more of your time, money and energy to resolve.  Most people find that facing and dealing with problems they encounter early in the divorce results I fewer problems later on.

During your divorce process, the court will expect you to deal with and resolve the division of your community property, the custody and support of your children and whether there will be the payment of spousal support.  At Mary Katherine Boyte, P.C., we take pride in carefully and thoroughly addressing all of these issues and crafting solutions to minimize future problems as you begin your new life.

Property Division

Dividing community property is one of the most important tasks to be accomplished during the divorce/separation process. Once a final decree is entered, courts are without the power to change the property division in the decree.  That means that there is only one chance to divide property in a fair and favorable way
Our attorneys and staff have years of experience dealing with very complex property division issues, including business interests, retirement and pension plans, and real property.  We will work to achieve a property division that allows you to move forward after divorce with the most security possible.

Spousal Support/Maintenance

Divorce can be financially devastating for couples.  Instead of sharing a home and expenses together, couples are placed in a situation where they must maintain separate households while continuing to manage their joint and individual debts and expenses.  In some cases, the court will consider an award of maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”) to assist a spouse who is without the ability to meet those expenses.  There are no mandatory guidelines for the award of spousal maintenance, so the decisions as to whether to award maintenance and, if so, how much and for how long, is left entirely to the judge or the agreement of the parties.  Our attorneys have handled literally hundreds of cases involving questions of maintenance and can bring this experience to work for you.

Domestic Violence/Orders of Protection

Unfortunately, violence and inappropriate behavior often occur in close relationships.  When it does, additional seriously legal problems can arise.  Our attorneys and staff have handled hundreds of cases involving allegations of domestic violence and have obtained and defended many orders of protection.  We have also successfully represented spouses who have been wrongly accused of domestic violence.

Post-Decree Modifications and Enforcement

Sometimes the final decree is not the end.  Things can change after the decree that effect the amount and payment of child support and spousal maintenance.  In most cases, it is not possible to retroactively modify these orders.  You must take action quickly in order to ensure that you are paying or receiving the proper amount of support.
Sometimes, circumstances change after the Decree which make it appropriate to consider a change in the terms of child custody orders or agreements.  Courts do not automatically grant hearings to modify custody orders, so it is necessary to thoroughly and properly prepare your request for a custody hearing so that the Court properly understands the need for a hearing.

You need an attorney familiar with the law and rules who can quickly and effective handle these matters.  Our attorneys and staff have handled hundreds of post-decree modifications and will bring that knowledge and experience to you.

Enforcement of Orders

There are times when parties do not follow their agreements and the orders of the Court.  When that occurs, decisive action is needed to enforce the Court’s orders.  Courts do not monitor or enforce their own orders, but rely upon the parties to bring to the court’s attention a party’s failure to follow the orders.  The law provides numerous avenues for relief when someone is not following court orders.  Our lawyers and staff are familiar with these options and will take decisive action to make everything possible is done to ensure that you receive the benefits the court has awarded to you.


Child Custody

Children’s Issues

Termination of Parental Rights

Unfortunately, there are times when a parent just walks away or where a parent is simply unable to fulfill their duties as a parent. The law provides that the parental rights of such a parent can be terminated by court action. This process is designed to protect a child from actions by a legal parent who may not be able or willing to properly act in the interests of the child. Our attorneys and staff have handled many such actions and will carefully advise you on the appropriate action to take.


It is a wonderful thing when a child without parents or a child with only one parent finds someone to care for them. Our lawyers and staff are experienced in the procedures necessary to complete the adoption process and will bring this experience to your case.

Representation of Children

Arizona law permits children who are the subject of custody or visitation disputes to have their own attorney. Permitting a child to have an attorney of their own give the child a little bit of power in a situation where they are often otherwise powerless. A child’s attorney is responsible to advocate on behalf of the child’s needs, desires and intrests. A child’s attorney can help to ensure that the Court and the parties do not get distracted by the sensitive issues in such litigation, but rather remain focused on the most important aspect of that process, the child. Our attorneys have represented dozens of children in this process and can bring that experience to help your child through this very difficult experience.

Child Custody & Visitation

When parents cannot agree on child custody and visitation matters, those issues immediately become of the greatest concern. Often, a court’s first order does not fully resolve the concerns and custody issues can continue to create problems long after the first order is entered. Achieving workable arrangement for your child’s custody and visitation are vital for your happiness and your child’s growth and success.

Parents should realize that the court’s first orders and the parents’ initial decisions about custody and visitation can often form the basis of permanent arrangements. To protect your children’s interests as well as your rights, effective representation is necessary from the earliest stage of the process. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their child custody and visitation goals and will work to achieve the best possible solution for you and your children.

Our firm represents clients in matters involving:

  • Child custody
  • Visitation and parenting plans
  • Modifications in custody and visitation
  • Child relocation
  • Paternity as it relates to visitation rights


Arizona Law limits the rights of some parents to move their children outside of the State without the permission of the other parent. When these things cannot be agreed, parents can find themselves in court seeking the permission of a judge to move outside the state. These matters are delicate and often involve high stakes, such as educational and employment opportunities. Our attorneys and staff have handled hundreds of situations involving the relocation of parents and can bring this knowledge and experience to your situation.

Grandparent & Non-Parent Rights

Arizona law now recognizes the rights of grandparents, step-parents and other persons who have had close relationships with children to seek rights to visitation and, in some cases even custody, over those children. Success in such cases requires a careful presentation of facts and a keen understanding of the law. Because the burden of proof in these cases is higher than in custody and visitation disputes between parents, these situations are complex and these cases can be difficult. Our attorneys and staff have handled numerous non-parent custody and visitation disputes and are intimately familiar with this area of the law and can bring this experience to your situation.

Divorce in Yuma

Partnership Planning

Premarital Agreements

Marriage is about more than just romance. Marriage is a partnership in which all aspects of a couple’s life become mingled together. Arizona law allows couples to manage this partnership by creating a partnership agreement, called a “pre-martial agreement” up front. Such an agreement allows couples to decide for themselves how they intend to treat their assets, income, and investments during their marriage. People think of a premarital agreement as “planning for a divorce,” but it is so much more. A premarital agreement allows couples to plan their life together and control the impact of the law on their lives. Done properly, a premarital agreement increases the security and openness of a couple’s marriage because they have thought about all of the aspects of their marriage from the beginning. Our attorneys and staff have crafted many such agreements and can provide sound advice and outstanding draftsmanship to create a premarital agreement that is both fair and enforceable.

Post-Marital & Separation Agreements

Even after the marriage has already occurred, couples can enter into agreements to manage their lives going forward. These agreements can cover anything from how they intend to manage a particular asset, to complete agreements for the separation of parties at the end of a marriage. If you are making agreements with your spouse about important issues, it is critically important to get those agreements in writing in a clear and enforceable way. Our attorneys and staff have prepared hundreds of such agreements and can bring that experience to meet your needs.



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