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Looking for a Tempe Divorce Attorney? Since 1995, McMurdie Law & Mediation, a Tempe, AZ Family Law practice, has provided expert conflict resolution, mediation, collaborative representation, full representation and limited scope representation for your family law cases.


Divorce is often a complex, lengthy process that can be challenging for even the most levelheaded people.  Many folks opt to do it on their own with the help of the Maricopa County Self Help website that provides forms and process instructions, however even then it can be fraught with filing problems and missing required documents. Most divorcing couples will need to consult a lawyer or mediator to help them settle the thorny, conflicted aspects of their case.  When you are deciding how to proceed with your divorce, it is best to learn of the type of representation and the type of process that would be best for you.

Here are a few facts about different kinds of legal representation available to you.

tempe az divorce attorney limited scope representationLimited Scope Representation

Arizona allows lawyers to provide limited scope representation and limited legal support to your Dissolution of Marriage case.  Limited scope representation means that an attorney will help you with a portion of your case and charge you only for that part of the job, or prepare documents, settlement offers, and/or help you prepare your evidence and presentation for court.

Limited scope representation may also be referred to as limited appearance representation, unbundled services or unbundled legal services, discrete task, or discrete legal, representation.

Limited scope representation offers these benefits:

  • potential cost savings by involving your lawyer only when you need him or her
  • an experienced law expert to help resolve confusing or difficult problems and navigate through potential pitfalls you might miss
  • you remain in charge of your divorce case and your attorney provides guidance on case specifics and court processes, or helps settle certain terms with the other party or their attorney
  • your lawyer may communicate on your behalf to the opposing attorney or party if the appropriate notice of appearance is filed in court

You’ll find additional information here about the Limited Scope Representation offered by McMurdie Law and Mediation. Maricopa County Court website also has excellent information on the subject of limited scope representation. View here: https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Resources/Types-of-Legal-Representation/Limited-Scope-Representation

tempe divorce attorney full-service representationFull Service or Full-Scope Representation

Full service, or full-scope, representation means that your attorney handles all the legal aspects of your divorce. Using this traditional method of legal assistance, you typically pay an hourly rate to the attorney or law firm representing you.

Fixed rate representation is a type of retainer or payment structure, in which the client pays one price for full legal representation in a single matter.

Regardless of payment structure, having a lawyer represent you for the duration of a case allows your lawyer to:

  • ensure the correct forms and documents are filed on time and manage the court timelines
  • prepare your case by building and compiling necessary evidence to present
  • navigate court processes and represent your interests and positions in court
  • promote and negotiate settlements on your behalf
  • represent you at all meetings and court hearings
  • minimize your involvement by taking care of all the necessary paperwork

Consulting Attorney

In some cases, a full-scope attorney is not needed, and a consulting attorney may be a better option. Limited-scope attorneys and consulting attorneys are sometimes confused, but they play different roles. Consulting attorneys do not appear in court on their clients’ behalf, and typically work behind the scenes with their clients to aid in divorce proceedings. They may complete and compile paperwork, offer insights during mediation, and handle legal research for their clients.

tempe divorce attorney collaborative divorceCollaborative Practice/Divorce

An alternative to traditional representation, Collaborative Practice is a newer divorce model for people to be “fully-resourced” to resolve family legal disputes and stay out of court. With the help of hand-chosen collaborative professionals, you will meet with your team to resolve all the issues in your family case. Your team will consist of two attorneys who are collaboratively trained and certified with mediation and collaborative experience, your hand-chosen communication coach who will facilitate the meetings and your hand-chosen financial expert who form your own team to settle your case – outside of court.

At the very beginning of your case at the first full team meeting, all Parties and Professionals on the team sign a Participation Agreement that states that if they are not successful in reaching agreement on all issues, the Professionals cannot later represent the Parties in court, and thus everyone is committed to reach a settlement. Learn more about Collaborative Practice as an alternative to traditional divorce representation.

Regardless of the type of representation you choose, an experienced lawyer is a valuable resource as you navigate the difficulties of divorce.  Note that Mediation was not discussed in this blog, however McMurdie Law and Mediation has a strong emphasis on mediation where the attorney wears only the hat as mediator to reach terms of agreements between the parties. When choosing a Tempe divorce attorney, consider McMurdie Law and Mediation where our primary focus is to help develop resolutions that are healthy and beneficial to all parties. Call McMurdie Law & Mediation at 480-777-5500 today to schedule a consultation.