Divorce, alimony, child custody, and child support are all difficult family law issues. Dealing with issues that pertain to family members can be emotionally painful and very stressful. To prevent emotions from getting out of control and to avoid making mistakes that could ruin your life, the most important thing you can do is hire an experienced family law attorney. These lawyers specialize in divorce, custody, and other family law issues, helping to reach mutually agreeable outcomes. Contacting an Arizona family law attorney is as easy as getting a hold of one of our experts today!
Family law is complex and the emotional aspect to these cases makes these areas more difficult to navigate. Family lawyer’s help clients understand legal guidelines and know their rights. They prevent clients from overlooking important aspects of their case that can have long-term consequences. Whether going through a divorce or trying to determine child custody, clients benefit from legal assistance and expert legal guidance.
Arizona Divorce Help and Advice
Arizona law recognizes no-fault divorce, which does not require a reason other than the marriage being irretrievably broken. Arizona family law rules only allow a married couple to divorce on limited grounds. Abandonment, adultery, habitual alcohol or drug abuse, and agreement between the couple to dissolve the marriage are included. This is why the vast majority (over 95% of Arizona divorces) are no-fault divorces.
Prior to filing for divorce in Arizona, at least one of the spouses must reside in the State of Arizona for at least 90 days. After formally serving a divorce petition on the other spouse, a 60-day waiting period is imposed before a final judgment for divorce will be granted by an Arizona Family Law court. This means that it could take at least five months for an Arizona couple to become divorced in some instances, even if the parties decide to move things along smoothly.
Arizona is one of nine community property states in the entire country. Community property states call for an equal (50/50) division of property acquired during a marriage. Property acquired prior to marriage or following separation is considered separate and not subject to division. Income, physical property such as a home, and personal possessions are all considered property.
When a divorcing couple cannot agree how to divide property, they turn the issue over to the court system, which also will divide community obligations and debts equally. Several situations may cause an Arizona court to issue a maintenance order, which requires one spouse to pay alimony to the other. A court considers multiple factors, including the financial resources of each spouse and the standard of living during the marriage, when determining the amount of maintenance. Maintenance is one of the many issues dealing with property division that can make even a simple divorce tricky.
Arizona Child Custody Help
Most states, including Arizona, have based child custody decisions on what is known as “the best interests of the child” standard. Arizona child custody courts decide both physical and legal custody, and may award sole or joint custody to one or both of the parents. Physical custody determines where the child will reside and legal custody dictates who is entitled to make decisions regarding education, religion, and medical care, and other major things in the child life.
Courts review the history and behaviors of each parent, consider which parent primarily takes care of the child, and assess the level of school, home, and community adjustment. They also consider which parent will permit the child to remain in contact with the other parent on a continuing basis. A judge may even ask a child of a particular age what his or her preference is in terms of physical custody, but this is normally extremely rare unless the child is 15 years of age or older.
The goal of every child custody attorney is to eventually draft an arrangement that enables the child to grow up happy, healthy, and loved. A judge may need to investigate many areas of the parental lifestyle and ask quite a few questions to determine what parenting arrangement will achieve this outcome. A parent who is fighting for custody will benefit from legal expertise during this process.
Parents are permitted to make child custody arrangements but must submit a parenting plan before a judge will issue a joint custody order. Therefore, even parents who do not take their custody cases to court benefit from legal assistance. If circumstances of one or both parents change significantly, the adults can request modification of the custody order. An Arizona child custody attorney can help a parent prepare a custody modification request.
Arizona Child Support Help
Child support is a regular financial payment made by one parent to another. It is usually paid by the noncustodial parent because it is intended to cover a portion of childrearing costs incurred by the custodial parent. Arizona has specific statutory guidelines regarding the amount of child support that a parent may be required to pay.
Multiple factors determine child support amounts. The financial situation of each parent, amount of time the child spends with each parent, and the standard of living the child experienced before the parents divorced are considered. Arizona child support professionals can explain factors affecting child support and help parents understand how much support to expect.
In Arizona, child support payments continue until the child turns 18, with a few exceptions. A child support order may be modified if one parent experiences a substantial lifestyle change such as a change in income or an increase in child health insurance or daycare costs. An order regarding child support may also be changed after it has been in place for three years. The petitioning parent must prepare a case for the court to hear, a task made easier with help an Arizona child support expert.
Arizona Father’s Rights Help
Fathers are sometimes confused regarding their rights to child custody and support. For example, a father may believe that paternity is established when his name is placed on the birth certificate of his child. If the man is married to the mother of the child, he is presumed to be the father under Arizona law. Unmarried fathers, however, must work through the legal system to establish paternity in Arizona and simply signing a birth certificate is not enough.
Arizona family law attorneys help fathers navigate this confusing process beginning with petitioning to establish paternity. Arizona allows parents to consent to an order of paternity, which eliminates the need for a DNA or blood test. This order is difficult to overturn even if it is subsequently determined that the male is not the biological father – therefore is it important that, before signing anything admitting to paternity, it is best to consult with a father’s rights expert and decide if having a DNA test is the right path or not.
Paternity must be legally recognized for a father to receive parenting time or obtain a child support order. With the right legal guidance, the complexity of establishing paternity is reduced. The Arizona attorney can then prepare a case presenting the father as the better caregiver. A father’s rights lawyer can also help a non-custodial father by ensuring that his child support obligation is within the range designated by Arizona law.
What Do I Do Now?
The answer is simple – get the proper help before jumping into an Arizona family law case alone. Arizona family law advice is easy to obtain and without speaking with a seasoned professional, you risk losing out on your piece of the pie, child custody, or many other aspects of your family law case. Don’t let your life fall apart just because you are involved in one of these many types of family law cases – get the help and advice that you deserve and speak with an Arizona family law attorney today!