Peoria Divorce Lawyer

Melissa Kleminski Bower

Peoria Divorce Attorney

Attorney at Law Magazine’s Peoria Divorce Local Legal Authority.

Melissa Kleminski Bower

Peoria Divorce Attorney

Peoria Divorce Lawyer

Attorney at Law Magazine’s Peoria Divorce Local Legal Authority.

About
Melissa Kleminski Bower

Attorney Melissa Kleminski Bower has been representing clients in divorce, family law, and military divorce with Stewart Law Group since 2011.  

Bower obtained her BA in Research Communication from UA and JD from University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. She clerked as a law student for the Hon. T.A. Gilmore, Larimer County, CO, and as a young lawyer for the Hon. K.L. Suter, Family Div., Burlington County, NJ. She followed this with five years as Family Law Team Leader for a Phoenix law firm where her cases also included foster care adoption and probate.  

The balance of counseling and law, intrinsic in these matters, holds the greatest appeal for Bower. She strongly believes in keeping her clients fully informed and prepared for all court proceedings so they know what to expect and can make good decisions for their children and financial futures. Pragmatic and focused, she is a skilled negotiator. Her confidence and professionalism shine during settlement and resolution management conferences.  

A genuinely caring person with a good sense of humor, unwavering in her dedication to each individual case, Bower has earned the respect of clients and peers alike. She is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, Arizona Women Lawyers Association, American Bar Association and ABA Family Law Section.

Awards and recognitions include "10 Best Attorney" and "10 Best Female Attorney" (American Institute of Family Law Attorneys), "Top 100 National Advocate" (The National Advocates), and "Top Attorney" rated 10.0 (Avvo).

Attorney's Latest Articles

About Peoria Divorce Law

When most consumers think about attorneys, their mind automatically jumps to personal injury, criminal and divorce attorneys. For most people, these are the lawyers they may need to seek out at some point in their daily life. Currently, in the United States, 39% of all marriages end in divorce. With the end of a marriage, comes the time to employ the use of a divorce attorney to navigate through the division of property, the determination of parenting time and the legal obstacles to permanently dissolve a marriage.

The practice of divorce law is a specialty of the family law sector. While family law can deal with many other areas that touch a “family” including elder law and adoption, the niche of divorce law centers around the dissolution of a marriage and the legal complexities that can arise prior to and after the dissolution of a marriage.

Pre-Marriage Consultation

Most people assume you would only engage a Peoria divorce attorney when a marriage is about to end. In fact, most divorce practitioners would advice couples to engage their services before the vows. Couples that enter into prenuptial agreements with the advice of a divorce attorney prior to signing their marriage certificate are able to better exit the marriage if life leads to that scenario.

Divorce attorneys, at this stage, are able to sit down with the couple and discuss how they would like to handle finances throughout their marriage and how they would want to divide those assets if their marriage were to end. Similarly, the couple would be able to consider how they’d like to handle the division of parenting time between any current or future children.

Taking the time with the help of an attorney prior to getting married, will allow a married couple to make sound decisions while in a positive mental place.

The Divorce Process

The process of divorce is quite complex and can follow various different routes depending on the desires and needs of the separating spouses and their families. Below are some of the more common trends in divorce as well as some of the considerations you may need to research when looking to employ the services of a Peoria divorce attorney.

Collaborative Divorce & Mediation

In recent years, to avoid the costly impact of divorce, many couples are turning to mediations and/or new processes like collaborative divorce where they are able to avoid family court and instead reach an agreement on the division of their assets and parenting time with their children. Many divorce lawyers and family court judges are advocates of collaborative divorce and mediation processes for such a big decision that will impact the lives of the individuals as well as their families for years to come.

In addition to be more cost-effective and typically resulting in a more equitable outcome, the clients will avoid the longevity of a case before a judge and the potential appeals and/or minimize modifications.

Child Custody or Parenting Time

Child custody is an outdated term. Now, most will refer to this as “parenting time.” Previously, when divorces were awarded physical custody was almost exclusively awarded to the mother with visitation assigned to the father (the every other weekend and/or Wednesdays were common schedules). Currently, the standard is to apply 50% parenting time to both parents unless a different scenario is better for the well-being of the child. For most judges and mediators, the child’s well-being is the main goal in assessing how the family should be severed.

Additionally, today’s family is no longer the standard “nuclear” family of years passed. As the meaning of family has evolved so divorce law has had to adapt to the new members and their important role in the child’s upbringing. Considerations are now given to grandparents and in some cases stepparents.

In addition to the division of time between divorcing spouses, the consideration of child support will also be discussed. If one parent will be taking the burden of physical custody, the other parent may be asked to provide financial support to that parent to ensure equal responsibility between the two.

Division of Assets

In addition to the discussion of parenting time, one of the largest obstacles to a divorce is the division of assets from the marriage. This can be quite an exhaustive list and the “categorization” of assets as an individual asset or community property is quite technical. The help of a divorce lawyer and sometimes an accountant or other financial professional will be necessary to assess all the financial and physical assets of the marriage such as real estate, retirement accounts, savings accounts, vehicles, personal items (valuable and sentimental), business interests, inheritances, and more.

Typically the more financially endowed a couple, the more complex this process will become.

Additionally, for those contentious divorces, the process of the division of assets can become challenging for the individuals. Divorce attorneys will sometimes recommend that the individuals speak to someone about their mental health during this process to make the division of property smoother.

Alimony or Spousal Maintenance

Previously this was referred to exclusively as alimony. Today, the term in fashion is spousal maintenance. Most states have specific guidelines when it comes to the amount and duration of spousal maintenance. In the past, when women were primarily homemakers, spousal maintenance was almost exclusively provided to the wife to ensure that her standard of living was not unduly affected by the separation. Now, with men and women more equally represented in the workplace as well as the passage of gay marriage in the United States, this trend has shifted.

It is still done, however, for the spouse with the higher income to compensate the spouse with the lesser income to some degree. In some cases, this is a spousal maintenance award. In other cases, the spouse with the lesser income is given preference in the division of physical or financial assets.

This is one area that is frequently addressed in modifications.

Modifications

Just as a couple could decide to negotiate a prenuptial agreement before entering into matrimony, an individual can submit a modification if the agreements of the divorce are no longer acceptable. There are several occasions that may require an individual to submit a modification, including a change in the custody arrangement, a relocation, a new marriage, etc.

In this case, a divorce attorney will again be engaged if the parties are unable to come to an agreement on their own, and a formal modification of the divorce degree will be requested.

A Glimpse into Marriage and Divorce in the United States

Currently, the divorce rate in the United States is actually dropping. Many hypothesize that the drop-off is not actually due to lowering divorce rates but the trend in younger generations – millennials and GenX – to marry later in adulthood. As they are delaying marriage until 30 (men) and 28 (women) – three years older than in 2003 – we can assume that the divorces will similarly be delayed.

Even in these scenarios where a couple chooses to cohabitate rather than marry, divorce attorneys can eventually be pulled into the scene should a couple decide to part ways after mixing finances and/or bringing children into the world.

Divorce is an intricate process with a lot of moving pieces. Individuals considering divorce are encouraged to seek the advice and representation of a Peoria divorce attorney to ensure that they can navigate the divorce process and emerge on the other side with an equitable agreement.

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What clients in Peoria are saying about
Melissa Kleminski Bower

Stewart Law Group
4.5
Based on 22 reviews
I was referred to Melissa Kleminski-Bower by a dear friend and have had to retain her twice for child custody/parenting time. She's a very experienced attorney with impressive skills and knowledge taking both of my cases to victory. She's very quick to respond, detailed and her advice is always solid even if it's hard to hear. She's able to explain guidance in ways a non-expert can understand. My case was very complicated with massive amounts of evidence presented and she helped me the whole way and nailed it all in Trial. She even got me awarded attorney fees. I'm forever grateful for her work and know she's there if I should ever need her again. If you need a fighter in family law Melissa is your gal 100%!
Danelle Chapman
Danelle Chapman
16:26 12 Mar 21
No bs, tell it like it is, Lawyer...
Davy Anderson
Davy Anderson
21:17 01 Jul 20
We were given a complimentary review of our case and even were given free advice. The cost to hire the attorneys was unfortunately more than we could afford at the moment but without a doubt they will be my first call if and when we have to obtain a lawyer.
Charles Deschenes
Charles Deschenes
22:59 03 Sep 19
Melissa was great to work with. Either Melissa or her paralegal kept in contact with me making communication quick and easy. All documentation is performed electronically so I received all correspondence from Melissa, the courts, and opposing counsel in a timely manner, not waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I am very satisfied with the service provided by Melissa, her paralegal, the client coordinators, and the entire office staff.
Scott “Clips”
Scott “Clips”
18:26 25 Jan 19
If you are in need of a Family Attorney who is kind, knowledgeable, but tough as well then you need look no further. I don't know what I would have done without Melissa Bower and her team. She explains the process simply and always gives you the truth. I would recommend her highly to anyone .
cassie Larson
cassie Larson
19:43 29 Nov 18
Though when you seek an attorney it is not for a pleasant situation, Melissa Bower made the process smooth. Melissa and her staff were there for me every step of the way to finalization and in the most informative and professional manner.Her suggestions and guidence provided clarity in the decisions I needed to make per my issue. Though the situation was painful, Melissa made the process painless. I highly recommend Melissa and Stewart Law Group! Definitely 5 Stars
Jim Lynch (Runner Jim Lynch)
Jim Lynch (Runner Jim Lynch)
20:48 28 Sep 18

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Melissa Kleminski Bower

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14050 N 83rd Ave Ste 290, Peoria, AZ 85381

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