Phoenix Divorce Lawyer

Scott David Stewart

Phoenix Divorce Attorney

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

Scott David Stewart

Phoenix Divorce Attorney

Phoenix Divorce Lawyer

About
Scott David Stewart

In 2004, divorce and family law attorney Scott David Stewart founded Stewart Law Group. Early in his legal career, Stewart was Deputy County Attorney in the Major Crimes Division of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. As felony prosecutor, he developed the strategies for success now implemented in his law practice. Stewart Law Group has a BBB A+ rating.

Stewart's BA from NAU is in Speech Communication (1996). He earned his JD at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2001), also completing the law school's signature litigation and ADR certificate program. 

Certified as a mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution, as a law student he mediated high-conflict landlord-tenant disputes in Chicago’s Cook County Circuit Court. He was also a student-member of the law school’s criminal defense clinic and assisted in proving a death-row inmate’s innocence. The clinical professor and participating law students were profiled on the nationally syndicated Extra-AE TV-program and numerous local news stations. 

A member of the State Bar of Arizona since 2001, Stewart's other professional affiliations include membership in the East Valley Bar Association, Maricopa County Bar Association, and ABA (Family Law Section).

Experienced in all aspects of mediation and ADR, Stewart is also a persuasive negotiator and forceful litigator for his clients. He has an AV Preeminent® attorney-rating from Martindale-Hubbell® (recipient of the AV Rated award, AV Preeminent Rated award, and AV Peer Review Rating awards). Consistently a ""Top Attorney"" with an Avvo 10-of-10 rating, he received multiple Registrar of Preeminent Attorneys awards and President’s Award by the State Bar of Arizona. 

Stewart has authored numerous handbooks to help parents and spouses learn about Arizona divorce, child custody, father's rights, military divorce, and more. He also takes time to mentor other attorneys, teaching business techniques and how to strike a balance between work and home-life, especially when raising a family.

Attorney's Latest Articles

About Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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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How We Select A
Local Legal Authority

Contributor to Magazine

The attorney must contribute valuable articles about their practice area to share with our readers in the Legal Advice section.

Maintain a 4+ Consumer Rating

The attorney must maintain a Google review rating of 4 or more stars.

Practice Law for 5+ Years

The attorney must have been licensed to practice law for at least five years and must have maintained an active practice.

What clients in Phoenix are saying about
Scott David Stewart

Stewart Law Group
4.7
Based on 58 reviews
Attorney Colin S. Bell at Stewart Law Group, demonstrated proficiency as a defense counselor; he explained every detail of my case in a way I could fully understand the situation and I was able to stay calm in very stressful moments due to his advice.Colin kept me informed on everything relevant to my case; his professionalism, knowledge & experience, were evident in court.Mr. Bell was successful providing an excellent defense representation in my legal matter. I would highly recommend Attorney Colin S. Bell, to anyone who needs legal advice or defense representation in court!!
Eduardo Fuentes
Eduardo Fuentes
17:46 07 Jun 21
Thank you Stewart Law Group specifically, Brian Winter. Brian made a very difficult and emotional situation as tolerable as possible. We appreciate his knowledge, support and candor when needed. We always felt like we had someone in our corner and for those that have to deal with any highly emotional ordeal, that is worth it’s wait in gold.Thank you Brian and Stewart Law Group!J & M Herrera
Michelle Herrera
Michelle Herrera
01:21 16 Mar 21
This is the first time I felt like I was not “Undergunned” Jennifer Mihalovich was very knowledgeable, and straight to the point not wasting my time or money. Jenny and her team were very responsive and I highly recommend Jenny and want to say Thank you all for the Help.
sam russler
sam russler
23:11 21 Sep 20
If you are ever in need of a lawyer that will be by yourself and check on how you're doing Christa is definitely the one you want. Christa guided me and made sure my children and mine own interest were always first.
Johnny Barba
Johnny Barba
22:17 31 Aug 20
We had the best experience with Christa Banfield. She was empathetic to our case and took the time to get to know us. She has experience and advises her clients that is in the best interest of a child. I highly recommend her services. What a pleasant experience and am so appreciative to have Christa on our side.
Brandi Byers
Brandi Byers
18:27 17 Aug 20
I highly recommend Stewart Law Group Colin Bell. He was helping my son under 18-year-old to get through a very emotional family legal matter. Colin Bell met me and my son with extreme professionalism and kindness. He was incredibly knowledgeable and empathetic in giving my son counsel as well as being clear and timely. My son and me were able to get in to see him promptly. It is very clear that he is a lawyer who loves what he does! He has integrity, incredibly intelligent, and he really cares about helping people, which is exactly why his such a great lawyer. He does all of this seemingly with such ease and I am so impressed by him expertise and compassion.Thanks Colin Bell!
Jen “Jen Jonas” Jonas
Jen “Jen Jonas” Jonas
04:35 07 Apr 20

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Scott David Stewart

Contact Phoenix
Divorce Attorney

Phoenix Divorce Lawyer

Scott David Stewart

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law Graduate

Certified Mediator

President’s Award by the State Bar of Arizona

AV Peer Review Rating Awards

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(602) 638-3529

Address

777 E Thomas Rd #210, Phoenix, Arizona 85014

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