Although your Arizona child custody orders may have been in place for a long time, as children age (especially when they reach the teen years) they sometimes want to try living with the non-custodial parent. This can be an emotional and confusing time for parents, as it may seem like rebellion or rejection, and it can stir up old feelings about the divorce – not to mention reopen the legal process.
Many states allow children to choose which parent they live with, but Arizona is not one of those states. Although the judge may listen to a child’s wishes and take those wishes into account, the decisions will still ultimately be based on what is in the best interest of the child. The judge may interview the child, talk to the parents about their perceptions of what the child wants, and look at how the custody modification would affect the child’s wellbeing and relationship with both parents. Although the child’s desire to live with the other parent may be what started the process, that desire is not the only deciding factor.
If your child wants to live with the non-custodial parent in Arizona, speak with a qualified Phoenix child custody attorney today at 888-929-5292. We look forward to speaking with you about your situation in a completely free and confidential consultation. If you you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, take a look at our book, Arizona Family Law: The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Use our free worksheets to help ease the stress of creating a household inventory.
While divorce rates are on the decline, it is still common. Among those divorces that include children, there is widespread agreement that it is in a child's best interest for parents to effectively co-parent long after the divorce decree is signed. Over the past several years, smartphone apps have assisted families in maintaining healthy and effective communication. Sunday Today's recently looked into the apps and the benefits they provide families.
If you think you and the other parent may benefit from an app, contact our experienced Family Attorney to discuss how you can obtain a court order, ordering the parties to utilize a third party co-parenting app.
Our family law attorneys explain court orders for co-parenting apps.
A Louisiana man staged his own shooting to avoid paying child support.
That means, that instead of marrying in their early 20s, millennials are delaying marriage until their late 20s and early 30s; and when they marry, remain married. To some delaying the prospect of marriage and starting a family equates to a greater focus on developing and growing their career, income, and assets.
Are you this person? Have you worked tirelessly for the past 5-10 years to grow your network, business, and income? Have you accumulated a retirement plan, earned pension credits, or individually purchased a home? Now, are wedding bells in the future?
If so, and you want to protect the assets you’ve amassed and more, you want to strongly consider a prenuptial agreement. Even though divorce rates are declining, couples still file for divorce everyday. In the event that your marriage does not last, you can protect your years of hard work (and even future work) with a prenuptial agreement.
If you’re preparing for an engagement or you and your soon-to-be-spouse have settled on a date, contact our family law attorney at 602-258-1000 to discuss how you can protect your premarital assets in the event of a divorce.
The USA Today published an online article titled “Divorces spike in the summer. Here’s how to prepare for the end, experts say”.
The article reads that the summer season often exacerbates marital issues because families spend more time together as the children are out of school and/or a couple takes an extended vacation. This leads to the spouse that is already contemplating divorce to reflect on whether that spouse truly wants the divorce and how they see it taking shape. I agree.
As a family attorney I see an upticks in filings – whether those filings are for divorce or custody modification – immediately after summer and winter holidays for these same reasons.
But regardless of when you intend on filing for divorce, you want to be prepared by meeting with your attorney and planning your divorce before you file. That means:
- collecting documents,
- reviewing bank accounts,
- pulling credit reports,
- checking retirement balances,
- obtaining personal documents, and
- obtaining titles to real estate and vehicles just to name a few.
Why is this important? Because divorce is a stressful time. The more prepared you and your attorney are before you file, the more prepared you will be to handle the natural stressors of divorce.
If you are contemplating divorce, call our office at (602) 258-1000 to meet with our family law attorney and begin the process of preparing yourself for your divorce. In addition, request a copy of our free book Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide today.
I love to golf in my spare time. By no means am I a good golfer, but that does not stop me from teeing it up. What I love about the game is how the player has to create a strategy for each hole.
First hole: 411 yard par 4. Great. Hit driver 250 yards, second shot a mid to short iron, and hopefully (reminder: I’m not that good) two to three putts and I’m on to the next hole.
Second hole: 175 yard par 3. Mid iron to the green (God willing!) and a putt or two to finish.
By now you’re reading this and asking yourself, “Why the heck is he discussing golf in his family law blog”. Well just as no two golf holes are the same, no two divorces are the same. Similar to playing a successful 18 holes, each divorce demands a thoughtful strategy and balanced approach. Would playing aggressive and hitting a driver for each shot lead to positive results? No, of course not; using a club that I know I can hit 250 yards on a 150 yard hole means I will overshoot my goal (the hole) by 100 yards! The same can be said in a divorce proceeding.
Unfortunately many attorneys want to show their clients they can hit the ball 250 yards when the hole is only 150 yards away. Your attorney represents you and your goals; do you want your representative to miss and overshoot your goals time and time again? No.
A divorce is a serious and life altering event and to obtain the best result for you, it is critical that your attorney has a strategy and plan that benefits you.
If you are considering or in the midst of a divorce and do not have a strategy or goal, you are likely about to (or already have) hit the golf ball 250 yards when you only need 150. Contact our office at (602) 258-1000 and speak with one of our family attorneys immediately.
While people may traditionally hear the word “divorce” and picture an angry and emotional legal battle, the fact is that divorce can also be a fairly civil proceeding.
Couples pursuing a divorce in Phoenix have many important agreements to reach, such as division of assets and alimony awards. Perhaps the most critical agreement that must be settled on is a solid plan for custody, care, and visitation rights of any children that the couple shares.
The Benefits of Phoenix Divorce Mediation
If you and your spouse are both “on the same page” as far as your separation, the standard divorce procedure may not seem like the right fit. It may seem unnecessary to hire an expensive Arizona divorce lawyer to help you negotiate issues that you both agree on. Since these issues must all be made legally binding, however, going it alone is simply not an option.
In this type of situation, one in which you and your spouse are relatively amicable, mediation may be a suitable option. A mediator is a neutral third party that can help both you and your spouse reach common ground on many issues that accompany a divorce, namely in matters of custody.
Unlike a traditional court hearing in which a judge ultimately decides on issues for you, you and your spouse are reaching agreements together in mediation. Both of you must be willing to make small compromises in order to settle on important issues, which results in a mediation agreement that you can both live with.
Hiring an Arizona Divorce Mediation Attorney
While your attorney is not able to be present during the actual mediation, he or she will serve an important role in helping you prepare for your mediation, and put into motion the agreements reached mutually by you and your spouse.
It is important to choose an attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable in the art of divorce mediation in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. The Phoenix family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten will work hard to ensure that you and your family achieve a satisfying resolution to the challenges brought on by divorce. For a free, confidential consultation, contact them today at 888.929.5292.
Once the court establishes child it is not, unfortunately, uncommon for the parent who owes the obligation to either get behind in payments or not remit any payments. If that is your situation, you can file an enforcement action with the Court to force that parent pay.
Child support statutes provide the Court additional tools to make sure that child support are consistently paid to the receiving parent. Those tools are, but not limited to:
- Issuance of judgment(s)
- Potential jail time
- Review Hearings
- Liens on personal and real property
- Liens on motor vehicles
- The suspension of licenses including drivers, professional and recreational licenses
- The interception of both state and federal tax refunds
- Passport denial
- Credit bureau reporting
Which option is best for your specific case depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. Call us today to receive more information and to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a child support matter you should contact our experienced family law attorney calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Far too often a dissolution with children conjures up horror stories of two parents yelling at each other and forcing an elementary school child(ren) to determine “who they love more” or “who is the better parent”. If the two spouses are fit parents, this should never be the case.
What’s Best for Your Child
You want to do what is best for your child, but what exactly will that look like? How will the custody situation be handled? The correct response is by two parents who decide to put their personal issues with the other spouse on the back burner and focus on how their great of a parent their soon-to-be ex spouse is to the child(ren).
If the two parents cannot reach an agreement then they voluntarily leave the decision to the judge. At that time, the judge must consider several statutory factors and it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with those; below are some of the factors to consider:
- What the child wants (depending on his or her age)
- Parent and child relationship
- The mental and physical health of the parents and child
- Child(ren)’s adjustment to the home, school and community
- Each parent’s ability to allow the child(ren) frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent
- Whether there is evidence of child, spousal, domestic violence or drug abuse
This list is only a sample of the many factors that are considered by the court. It is important that you speak with our experienced Family Law attorney for specific advice about your situation. You can also order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide, which has further information about child custody factors.
For advice regarding your situation, contact our experienced family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Arizona law does not require one spouse to prove blame or responsibility against the other in order to obtain a divorce. The only claim either spouse needs to make is that the marriage is irretrievably broken – there is not a chance that you and your spouse desire to continue with the marriage – for what ever reason.
The one exception to this rule is if you and your spouse have a covenant marriage or you wish to annul the marriage. In either of those case you must put forth and prove specific factors pursuant to state statute.
Regardless of how you choose to proceed with dissolving the marriage, you want to make sure you obtain representation that will educate and mentor you through the process. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten our family law attorney teaches each person about their rights under the law so that he or she can make informed decisions. In addition, our attorney will discuss the how those decisions affect your future as you move towards beginning your new life.
Contact us today at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a FREE copy of the book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Every month, I receive phone calls seeking advice on divorce. More and more I listen to a spouse that decided years ago to physically and financially separate from their other spouse without filing for divorce or legal separation. They reason and hope that time away will do the marriage good. I understand this thinking and at a certain level it makes sense. Many of these couples have been married for 10+ years, have children, and truly want to give their marriage a second chance and think a little time away will “reboot” the relationship. Then there are others who find themselves on opposite sides of the country and, for whatever reason, simply never get around to filing for divorce for a number of reasons.
During this time, one or each spouse continues to work, contribute to retirement, accumulate debts and assets, and exist as a single person. But what happens when one files for divorce in Arizona? Does the law treat the spouses as if they’ve lived separate and apart? Not necessarily.
According to Arizona law the court is tasked with dividing all property (assets and debts) from the date of marriage to the date of service of the petition for dissolution. While an artful attorney may argue to a trial court that it is not equitable (fair) to divide the assets at the date of service of the petition when the spouses have lived separate and apart for a certain number of years, the trial court can divide all property based on the assets and debts possessed at the date of service. What does this mean for the spouse that has continued to save towards retirement, accumulate service years towards a pension, or build up a rainy day fund? The other spouse receives half.
Now, if the spouses agree to divide based on the date of separation then they can enter those agreements and the trial court will adopt the same. But when the spouses do not agree, not immediately filing for or setting a deadline to file for dissolution or legal separation can have a serious impact on your present and future personal finances.
Arizona courts calculate child support pursuant to the income shares model. Under this model, both parents’ incomes are used to calculate the amount of child support that one parent will pay to the other. In addition, this support amount is not based directly on actual spending; rather indicate estimates of child costs. As such, the purpose of child support in Arizona is to establish a standard of support for child(ren) consistent with the reasonable needs of child(ren) and the ability of parents to pay.
If you are establishing or modifying a child support order, you may hear the phrase “Child Support Worksheet” used in and outside the courtroom. The Child Support Worksheet is just that, a worksheet that the Court and attorneys will use to establish the basic child support obligation.
What Factors into the Child Support Worksheet?
When determining the basic child support obligation the Court and/or your attorney will ask for the following information:
- Parenting time and time-sharing arrangement;
- Gross income;
- Court ordered spousal maintenance (paid or received);
- Whether there are any additional natural or adopted children and, if so, whether they are subject to a support order;
- Whether either parent carries private health insurance for the child(ren);
- Whether there are any childcare costs;
- Whether there are any extra education (think: mandatory tutoring) costs;
- Whether there are any extraordinary (gifted or handicapped) expenses;
Once all of this information is gathered, verified, and upload into the Child Support Worksheet, a child support obligation is determined. Thereafter, the parties can discuss deviation of the support order up or down depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
If you would like to discuss establishing or modifying child support contact one of our friendly and experienced family attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000 for a completely free consultation. We'd also like you to have a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In Arizona, the parents' child support order will designate which parent claims the child(ren) for the yearly tax dependency exemption. If the child support order allows for the obligor (parent who is paying support) to claim the child(ren) for the upcoming tax year, the obligor must ensure that he or she is current with his or her monthly obligation and all ordered payments on arrears by December 31st. If the obligor is not current on their obligation and any ordered arrear payments, then the other parent has the right to claim the child(ren). In such a scenario, the parties should execute Form 8332 from the IRS clearing the way for the other parent to claim the child(ren).
Tax Filing during a dissolution
Sometimes, the dissolution process is such that the parties are still progressing with settlement negotiation during the tax season or it does not appear resolution will come after the tax filing deadline. In these situations, the parties can discuss whether it is appropriate to file taxes jointly or separately. If you are represented by counsel, you should discuss this with your attorney before deciding. But here are some items to consider when determining how to file:
1) Is there a tax benefit to filing jointly or separately? Are the parties going to receive a larger refund if they file jointly, if so, they might want to consider filing jointly one last time. If you do, make sure there is an agreement as to how the refund is to be divided.
2) If there is a refund, where will it go? If there is a liability, who is to pay? If the parties receive a refund, sometimes it is beneficial to use the refund to reduce community debts. If there is a liability, the parties will want to agree on how to split that debt.
3) Can we work together? Compiling the necessary documents to complete joint taxes requires communications between the parties. If communication is difficult, filing jointly will be difficult.
4) Should a third party complete and file? Regardless if the parties can or cannot communicate, it is often more efficient for a tax professional to complete taxes and maximize the parties' return or limit their exposure. If the parties can agree to a third party professional and who will pay, this may be an efficient option that limits issues of claiming correct amounts.
Please note that Curry, Pearson, & Wooten, PLC is not a tax law firm and the information above should not be considered legal tax advice. If you have a legal tax question, call our office at (602)258-1000 and our experienced Family Law Attorney will happily refer you to a tax professional.
Divorce laws vary considerably from state to state, so how divorce law works in California is not necessarily how it works in Arizona. Although you may have a friend or family member who knows a fantastic lawyer in another state, you could actually find yourself at a steep disadvantage if you don’t hire your attorney locally. There are a few reasons for this:
- Familiarity with Arizona law: As we said, state divorce laws vary dramatically, and no lawyer has the time to be familiar with the specific details in every state. Hiring a local divorce lawyer means hiring someone with an intimate knowledge of Arizona divorce law.
- Meeting in person: You can learn a lot when you meet in person. In a complicated divorce, juggling long-distance phone calls and mailed documents can quickly become a nightmare, no matter how experienced an out-of-state lawyer may seem.
- Familiarity with your specific city or county: Beyond being familiar with Arizona state laws, hiring a local divorce lawyer who works with the judges, case managers, and other attorneys right here in Arizona can make a huge difference. We know all the quirks and unique challenges of the Arizona court system, and thus we can better explain to you what to expect.
If you are considering divorce in Arizona, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to helping you understand your rights and options during a free and confidential consultation.
Are you a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or stepparent and wondering what your rights are in the event that your relationship with a child(ren) is The facts might shock you.
Who is classified as a third party?
A third party is any one of the following:
Does Arizona allow a third party, such as a grandparent, to request visitation?
In short, the answer is yes. As a third party, you can request visitation with a child(ren) if you meet the factors outlined in A.R.S. 25-409.
What must a third party do
Since legal parents have a fundamental right to the care and custody of their child(ren), as a third party, you will be required to prove that awarding visitation to you is in the child(ren)’s best interests.
Third party matters are difficult due to the burden the third party must carry and should not be advanced without the advice of an attorney. If you are considering filing for third party rights, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). One of our Arizona family law attorney can assist you.
Contact us today to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
As family law attorneys, we know it can be frustrating when it’s up to the court to decide the “best interests” of your grandchild(ren). It seems like it should be the most obvious thing in the world. You may be saying, “of course it’s in her best interests! A child needs Grandma and Grandpa!”
These types of determinations are frustrating, but keep in mind that these laws were put in place to keep your grandkids safe and secure during and after a Phoenix divorce. The good news is that, if you have been maintaining a loving and supportive relationship with your grandchild, you’re already halfway there. The court will consider many factors when you pursue grandparent visitation in Phoenix, including:
- Why you want court-ordered visitation
- How your relationship with the child has been in the past
- If it is best for the child to maintain a relationship with grandparents and extended family, especially if one of the parents has passed away
- How much time you are requesting and the impact the non-parental visitation time will have on the child’s daily life
If you would like to pursue grandparent visitation , contact one of our friendly and experienced family attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free consultation to discuss your situation. We’d also like you to have a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In the days immediately following your divorce, everything can feel strange and uncomfortable. Things that you took for granted, such as seeing your child daily, can suddenly take a lot more effort and energy. If you and your ex-spouse have come to an agreement that joint custody and co-parenting is the best scenario for both you and your children, your full plate has become much fuller as you try to navigate the tricky waters of starting a co-parenting relationship.
The 3 Cs of Successful Co-Parenting in New Joint Custody Agreements
Joint custody, when done well, can offer a child the opportunity to have an equal relationship with both parents. However, it also requires both parents to have a civil and productive relationship with each other, which can be challenging.
Immediately following a divorce, it is important that you build a strong foundation on which to build your new co-parenting relationship. Below are some of the most important things to keep at the top of your priorities:
- Consideration. Being considerate of your ex-spouse is one of the most important parts of successful joint custody agreements. While your marriage may have ended, you must maintain a positive relationship with your co-parent for your child’s wellbeing as well as your own. This means that you may have to compromise and be flexible, as well as learn to be civil and kind in front of your child. Remember, your ex may no longer be your spouse, but you are working at building a new relationship as a parent to your child.
- Consistency. Dedicate yourself to upholding the agreements in your joint custody order. If you have made a commitment to attend your child’s extracurricular activities or doctor’s appointments, make sure that you follow through. Do not let your own insecurities (fearing an awkward run-in with your spouse, etc.) stop you from attending events and functions that are important to your child.
- Communication. Communication can often be the most difficult part for newly divorced couples, especially if the marriage did not end amicably. Remember, though, that treating each other with respect and dignity is important even when your child is not present. While it can seem like an impossible task, remember that the feelings of anger or resentment will eventually subside. The best way for parents to communicate is via e-mail; and all e-mails should be future focused – making a request for a future behavior – or information, such as providing information from a doctor's appointment.
While joint custody agreements can be difficult at first, with time and hard work they can result in positive relationships with both your children and your ex-spouse. For help crafting an agreeable custody order, speak with our experienced family law attorney today.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you are probably at least a little concerned about separating assets with your spouse. As you and your spouse may have accumulated many assets over the course of your marriage, including everything from retirement accounts to lawn furniture, this can seem like a daunting task. You can combat that anxiety by getting prepared and organized.
One of the best ways to get started is to review and gather together important documents such as:
- Financial statements and documents from investment accounts
- Recent pay stubs for both you and your spouse
- Tax returns from the past 5 years
- Insurance policies, including car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, etc.
- Retirement plans and employee benefits
- Mortgage information or leases for rentals
- Any documentation regarding previous property settlements, inheritances, or gifts
In addition, begin preparing a list of tangible property that you would like to receive in the division of property.
Compiling and reviewing all of these documents gives you a better idea of the assets you are working with and will help you, your spouse, and your lawyers when it comes time to start dividing property.
If you need help dividing property in a divorce, speak with an experienced family law attorney with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to address your divorce concerns.
We would also like to offer you a completely FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which you can request by giving us a call or using the online contact form on this page.
Since the entry of a child support order, have you changed jobs and reduced income? Lost your job? Added private medical insurance for your child(ren)? or added a new child(ren) to the family? or has a child emancipated?
If so, you may be able to modify your child support payment either through the Standard Modification process or the Simplified Modification process. In the former, you have to show a substantial and continuing change in circumstances and, in the latter you have to show the new support amount is at least 15 percent high or lower than the existing order.
The first step to beginning the modification is:
• Speaking with an experienced Arizona family law attorney;
• Speaking to the court yourself; or
• Speaking with the Division of Child Support Enforcement
Order your free book
Going through a child support payment modification can be tough. Contact us today to order your copy of our free book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
If you are considering modifying your child support payments, contact our experienced Arizona family law attorney at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
As times and society grow and evolve, the law that governs us must also adapt to remain relevant and effective. As the media remains focused primarily on same-sex marriage issues and the legalization of marijuana, another area of law has been quietly evolving since the country began.
Child custody, up until very recently, has always been focused on naming one parent the custodial parent, and granting the other visitation. Long before the twentieth century, fathers were given primary custody. The law only focused on the father’s parenting rights until the mid-nineteenth century, when women’s rights movements and burgeon industry began to turn the tables.
A few decades later, several studies were done that claimed children under a certain age were better off under their mother’s care and custody. This prompted United States courts to eventually adopt what is known as the tender years presumption, which granted maternal custody to young children. This was the legal standard for well over a century, until the tides began to turn in favor of gender-neutral custody decisions based on a child’s best interests—a change that Arizona has embraced wholly.
Shared Custody: Quickly Becoming the “Norm” in Arizona
During North Dakota elections this year, voters were faced with a measure that awarded equal parenting to both parents following a divorce known as the “Parental Rights Initiative.” While the measure did not pass, it did show that the nation was rapidly becoming accustomed to the idea of shared parenting.
In a recent study by the National Parents Organization, it was found that while most states’ custody laws do not easily accommodate the notion of shared parenting, Arizona has led the way in developing post-divorce custody and care that keeps both parents equally involved. One of the methods in which Arizona has blazed new trails is the use of parenting plans, which parents can create together with the help of a mediator or attorney. The plans are more flexible than a traditional court-ordered custody agreement, and allows for change as the child’s needs change over time.
If you are considering divorce and are looking for a custody agreement that fulfills the needs of your child as well as your rights as a parent, the family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help. Simply call our office or fill out our online contact form, and learn how our attorneys can help you create a custom solution for you.
When it comes to marriage annulment, Hollywood seems to portray it as a legal concept exclusive to hasty Las Vegas weddings and drive-through chapels. In reality, annulment is not an uncommon way to end a marriage that, by law, was not valid. Here in Arizona, annulment is more common that you think; keep reading to learn more.
What is an Annulment?
Like divorce, an annulment is a legal way to define your marital status. The primary difference between the two is that divorce ends a valid marriage, while an annulment is a legal affirmation that the marriage in question was invalid and nonbinding.
In order to request an annulment in Arizona, you must file a petition for annulment at an Arizona superior court, and the person you are currently “married” to must file a response. You will both be called to appear in court before a judge, and will have to present testimony that at least one of the following situations existed:
- One of you used force or fraud to get the other party to agree to the marriage
- One or both of you lacked the mental or physical capacity to get married (including intoxication)
- One of you concealed your prior marital status or was married to someone else
- One of you was a minor at the time of the marriage without proper guardian consent
- The couple did not have an official marriage license
- The couple has not had sexual relations
- The couple is related by blood
- One of you misrepresented religious beliefs
While there are a few other situations that the judge may find acceptable, these are the most commonly accepted grounds for annulment.
After the Fact: Does Annulment Have the Same Effect as Divorce?
Because an annulment proves that your marriage was invalid, the effect if very similar to that of a divorce. Establishing custody and parenting rights can be tricky at first, but once paternity is established, the court can determine matters of custody and child support along with your annulment. Unlike a divorce, however, your marriage was never legally valid; this means that the court cannot award alimony. A unique benefit of having your marriage annulled in Arizona is that your shared property with your spouse will be divided.
Call an Experienced Family Law Attorney When Considering Annulment
When you are considering an annulment, having the knowledge and support of a strong legal team can help ensure that you get the results that you want. The Phoenix family law attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help you pursue a successful annulment petition—call us now at 602-258-1000 to learn more.
Perhaps he is your nephew, or she is your granddaughter. Maybe you are not related at all. Regardless of your relationship, you have been there to wipe noses, help with homework, and listen for years. Perhaps the situation started as something temporary and informal, but through either necessity or desire, it is time to make your custody legal. The state calls this in loco parentis, but you have just referred to it as “being there.”
Arizona In Loco Parentis: The Key to Legally Establishing Custody or Visitation Rights
Children being cared for by non-parental guardians is not uncommon, even in a full-time situation. At some point, it may become prudent to establish a legal guardianship or custody, and fortunately the law has grown to accommodate non-traditional custody situations.
In order for someone other than a child’s legal parents to establish a legal guardianship, the court must award sole responsibility of personal decisions regarding the minor’s wellbeing and life. Children over the age of 14 are able to voice their opinion on who they would like to be their guardian, and children under 14 are appointed a guardian by the court. This is a common option for grandparents and stepparents to establish their rights in helping to raise a child. One common caveat that stops a guardianship in its tracks, however, is that the child’s parents must give written consent for the guardianship.
Establishing custody does not require parental permission, but it does involve many more legal hoops to jump through. The court requires that the non-parent prove their in loco parentis standing with the child, meaning that they currently act as the child’s parent and have for some time. The court must also determine whether the child’s wellbeing is at stake is they remain with either of their legal parents. In order for the court to further consider granting non-parental custody, one of the child’s legal parents must have died or been missing for over three months, or the parents must be legally separated, divorced, or have a divorce or annulment pending.
Getting the Legal Help to Make it Happen
In general, Arizona law sees it best to keep a child with his or her parents. This places the burden on you to prove that the child’s wellbeing will be negatively affected by staying with their parents. It can be an uphill battle, and securing experienced legal help can help you ensure that you have a team that will fight tirelessly for your case.
If you are trying to establish non-parental guardianship or custody of a child in Scottsdale, Phoenix, or the surrounding areas, contact the Arizona family law attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case.
Many people still think of a divorce as an aggressive, angry process where spouses are at odds with each other over every last detail of their former union. As modern society has grown to accept divorce as a more commonplace event, however, people are beginning to realize that not every marriage ends in the same manner. Some couples harbor deep anger or regret, while others are able to amicably move forward with separate lives. Because of this, many people are beginning to embrace different methods of legally ending their marriage.
Arizona Divorce Mediation: Will it Work for You and Your Spouse?
Divorce mediation is when a divorcing couple sits down with a neutral, third party mediator to settle the details of their divorce, from division of assets to parenting decisions. It can often be much less expensive and emotionally taxing than a traditional divorce in court, but not every divorce will benefit from mediation.
There are several very important questions that you and your spouse must answer in order to determine if a Phoenix divorce mediation is right for your situation. If you are both able to agree on the answers to these questions, you may want to consider contacting a Phoenix divorce mediation attorney to proceed.
- Is our divorce mutual, permanent, and blame-free? Many divorces are often initiated by one spouse, and the other is simply going along for the ride or even against the idea. If you have both mutually decided to separate, harbor no grudges against each other for the divorce, and have no intentions of reconciling the relationship, a mediation may work well for you.
- Do we still trust each other? Many couples who choose to divorce are doing so because of infidelity or other trust issues. One or both parties may have anger or violence issues, or have experienced some form of substance abuse. These couples would likely not benefit from mediation, where openness and honesty are key to agreeing upon a fair division of assets. If you are fully confident in both your own and your spouse’s ability to speak freely and truthfully about shared finances and property, mediation could be a good solution.
- Do we trust each other’s parenting choices? If you both respect each other’s parenting styles, mediation is an excellent way to reach a mutual agreement on how your children will be raised, rather than leaving the decisions up to lawyers or judges who are not familiar with your family. If you harbor doubt about your spouse’s ability to care for your child or children, you may never be able to reach a successful agreement in mediation.
Finding the Right Phoenix Divorce Mediation Attorney
While many people try to “go it alone” in mediation since your attorneys are not present during the mediation, finding the right divorce mediation attorney can help you both prepare for and carry out the agreements that you and your spouse reach.
The Arizona family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC are experienced in the process of divorce mediation, and will work closely with both you and your spouse to reach a mutually satisfying conclusion to your divorce. While the choice to end a marriage is never easy, there is no reason why you and your spouse should not be able to separate in a way that makes both of you happy.
Call us today at 888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000 for a complimentary consultation with our Phoenix family law attorneys
As a Phoenix family law attorney, I get a lot of questions from clients about how property division in Arizona divorce is handled. Arizona is a community property state when it comes to divorce, meaning that your and your spouse’s property will be divided into two categories: marital, or “community,” property and separate property. Marital property will be divided equitably between you and your spouse, and separate property will generally be excluded from this division unless you have a different agreement in place. So how is marital and separate property determined?
Community Property in Arizona
“Community property” includes both assets and debts that you and your spouse acquired over the course of your marriage. This might include both of your incomes, bank accounts, credit card debts, and family vehicles.
Separate Property in Arizona
Separate property will consist of property you owned before the marriage and kept separate throughout the marriage, and any inheritances or gifts that were received by one spouse. Determining separate property can sometimes be tricky because those assets may be considered commingled if shared or contributed to by your spouse over time.
If you need help separating assets in an Arizona divorce, seek the advice of a professional. Contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to discuss your divorce concerns.
For more information about divorce, child custody, adoption, and more, please also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
If you’re getting divorced in Arizona, one of the biggest considerations you will face is how to go about separating your and your spouse’s assets. As you might expect, this process is a little different for every couple, and we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer as soon as you are able to discuss your individual situation and concerns and make sure that your interests are protected. How assets are divided can be worked out by the divorcing couple or can be ordered by the court, if necessary.
What Should I Know About Separating Assets?
Essentially, when you’re talking about separating assets in an Arizona divorce, you’re talking about two things:
- Separating marital property. Marital property includes bank accounts and investments as well as physical items like cars, furniture, real estate, electronics, etc. Property that was yours before the marriage generally remains yours, and gifts and inheritances that you received over the course of the marriage are generally also excluded when dividing property.
- Separating debt. Along with marital property, you will also separate marital debt. Generally, any debt that built up over the course of the marriage will be divided between you and your spouse. Some couples choose to divide debts and each pay an equal half, and others may choose to take more or less debt in exchange for property.
Depending on your individual situation, you and your spouse may choose a number of ways to go about separating your property and debt. You will need to carefully consider your financial needs, the needs of your spouse, and the needs of your children before you get started. Be aware that there may also be tax consequences involved.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona and have questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of the Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 1-888-929-5292 today. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free and confidential consultation to talk about your legal concerns and answer any questions you may have about your Arizona divorce.
If you’d like more information about how an experienced family law attorney can help you with family law issues such as divorce, child support, child custody, and more, please request your FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you’ve probably run into a lot of questions about how property will be divided between you and your spouse. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we understand this concern and wanted to explain a little bit more about this confusing and important facet of divorce.
How Arizona Does It: Community Property
In community property states like Arizona, any property and debt acquired during the marriage is divided between the spouses, and separate property acquired before the marriage generally remains separate. However, there are some exceptions to this, such as inheritances received during the marriage or assets that have become commingled to the point that ownership cannot be determined. If you have questions about what may or may not be considered separate property in your Arizona divorce, talk to a Phoenix divorce lawyer who can address those specific concerns with you.
How Most Other States Do It: Equitable Distribution
Equitable distribution states will divide both marital and separate assets between both spouses. The term “equitable distribution” can be misleading for some, as it is rarely a clean 50/50 split between spouses. Instead, equitable distribution states attempt to split property and debt between both spouses fairly. However, many different factors are used to determine what is “fair” in a divorce. These factors vary by state and might include fault or infidelity, the value of a spouse’s separate assets, or his or her contribution to the marriage.
Whether you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state like Arizona, it’s important to remember that you can take control of your divorce and attempt to reach a settlement with your spouse before you take it to court. If you’d like to talk about your divorce options, give an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer a call at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your concerns and options in a completely free, no-obligation consultation.
For more information, please also see our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which is available to you completely FREE upon request.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you probably already know that all of your assets will be divided into the categories of separate property or community property. However, although the line between community and separate property seems very clear, it is easy for some assets to fall somewhere in between. When community assets and separate assets blur together, which is common in most marriages, those assets can be said to be “commingled.”
What Happens to Commingled Property in an Arizona Divorce?
If you have property that was yours before the marriage, but which has now become confusingly commingled, you may be able to prove in court that it is still your separate property. You will essentially need to follow those assets back to their source as your sole property. It may also be possible to come to an agreement with your spouse that the asset in question is your separate property.
If you have commingled assets and need help figuring it all out, come talk to us in a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. Our experienced Phoenix divorce lawyers serve clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, and Buckeye. We would be happy to answer your questions about property division, child custody, alimony, or any other issues you have regarding divorce in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.
The Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten are also happy to be able to offer you a completely free copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or use our quick online contact form.
One of the most pressing concerns when you’re getting divorced in Arizona is how property will eventually be divided. Not knowing what to expect is nerve-wracking, and it makes it difficult to plan for what happens after the divorce.
You’ve probably heard that Arizona is a “community property” state when it comes to getting divorced, but you may still be confused. What does “community property” really mean? Essentially, what it means is that everything you and your spouse own, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and physical items, will need to be divided into “community” and “separate” property.
What Is Community Property in Arizona?
Community property is generally anything that you and your spouse have accumulated over the course of your marriage. Both you and your spouse are entitled to half of all community property in the divorce. Examples of community property would include:
A home or other real estate purchased during the marriage
- Cars, trucks, boats, etc.
- Furniture and home décor
- Income earned during the marriage
This also means that you will generally equally share the debt accrued over the course of the marriage, including credit card debt, car payments, and loans.
What Isn’t Community Property in Arizona?
Anything that was owned before the marriage, anything that was received as a gift, and anything obtained through inheritance is generally considered separate property and not divided during the divorce. Some examples of separate property might be:
- The painting you inherited from your grandmother
- A car you received as a birthday gift
- A bank account that only contains income you made before the marriage
If both spouses agree, you can also choose to name some items as separate property, if needed. If you have questions about dividing property in a Phoenix divorce, speak with one of our experienced Phoenix divorce lawyers today.
If you need more information about getting divorced in Arizona, please refer to our book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which is available to you for FREE. Just give the Phoenix divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call at 1-888-929-5292 to request your copy or schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation to talk about your divorce concerns.
One often-overlooked reason clients seek to reduce child support payments in Arizona is a change in Social Security benefits. As family law attorneys in Phoenix, we do see this from time to time, and we think it’s important to know how it may affect your child support payments. Here’s a brief overview:
In Arizona, Social Security benefits, whether disability or retirement benefits, are counted as income when it comes to child support. Your Social Security benefits can even be garnished if you fail to pay child support.
If your child is also receiving Social Security benefits through you, you may be able to reduce the amount of Arizona child support you pay. If you have questions about how this might affect your child support payments, meet with a Phoenix child support lawyer for the specifics. In general, though, it works like this:
- If the child’s portion of the benefits is less than you pay in child support, you will generally need to make up the difference.
- If the child’s portion of the benefits is equal to the amount you pay in child support, you will generally not need to pay any additional child support.
- If the child’s portion of the benefits exceeds how much you would normally pay in child support, your obligations are considered satisfied, but you will not receive a credit and it will not “roll over” to the next month.
If you live in Phoenix and are receiving Social Security benefits, speak with a Phoenix child support lawyer about whether you may qualify for reduced child support payments. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Family law attorneys in Phoenix often deal with parents’ changing circumstances and the need to reduce the amount of child support they pay. We know that life happens, and it’s not unusual for child support orders to evolve with the changing needs of the family. Fortunately, it is possible modify your child support orders in Arizona if you have experienced a significant and ongoing change in your financial situation with regards to the child.
Some reasons you might be seeking a reduction of child support in Arizona include:
- A significant change in career or the loss of a job
- An ongoing medical condition or disability
- Spending more parenting time with the child or taking over custody
- A significant increase in expenses related to the child
- Other major changes in your financial situation
In order to reduce your child support payments, your current child support orders will need to be reviewed. You will generally need to make a case for the “substantial and continuing” change in your situation that has led to asking for the modification. This may be done through the courts or through the Division of Child Support Enforcement, depending on your situation.
If you need help reducing or modifying child support orders in Phoenix, speak with our experienced family law attorneys in Phoenix today. To schedule a completely free consultation to talk about your concerns, simply give the Phoenix child support lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page.
If you’d like to learn more about the legal issues surrounding divorce and child support in Arizona and how our law firm handles these issues, please request your FREE copy of our book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which will guide you through what you need to know.
If you are going through a divorce in Phoenix, you almost certainly have a lot of questions that need to be answered. For many divorcing couples, some of the first questions that come up are about finances and what to expect from alimony (known as “spousal support” in Arizona). While there really is no substitute for speaking with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer about the specifics of your situation, here are some general answers to common questions about alimony in Phoenix, which will give you an idea of what to expect.
- Will spousal support payments be affected if one spouse cheated? No. Arizona is what is called a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that one spouse’s bad behavior has no bearing on the amount of spousal support awarded.
- Are spousal support payments taxable? You will generally have to pay taxes on any spousal support payments received, and you can generally take spousal support paid as a deduction on your taxes. Speak with your tax advisor or check into your local laws for more information on how spousal support payments affect your taxes.
- How long will I have to pay spousal support? It used to be that spousal support was a long-term payment, but that is no longer the case – for the most part. The judge in your case will set a certain time period during which spousal support must be paid. This can vary depending on the circumstances, and this may also be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. Check with your Phoenix divorce attorney if you have questions about modifying spousal support in Phoenix.
It pays to have a caring and experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer on your side during your divorce. If you have questions about child support, spousal support, division of property, or other issues, please speak with one of our helpful Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292, or use the quick online contact form on this page.
We’d also like for you to have a FREE copy of our informative guide Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which we would be happy to send you as a complimentary gift for visiting our website today. Just give us a call or an email to reserve your copy today.
If you have had a change in circumstances, whether you are a custodial parent or a non-custodial parent, you may be able to modify child support orders in Arizona to better fit your new financial situation. There are a few ways to go about this, including through the courts and through the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). How you go about this will depend on the specific details of your case, and you should consult an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer for advice.
In general, you may request a modification to your child support payments if there has been a “substantial and continuing” change in your financial situation. If you are specifically pursuing modification of your child support orders through the DCSE, you may request a review if:
- There has been a change in custody or a significant change in parenting time.
- One of the spouses has suffered a disability.
- It has been more than three years since your child support orders were reviewed.
- One of the parents has been jailed or released from jail.
- There has been a change in expenses related to the child, such as medical costs.
- Either of the parents has experienced a substantial change in income, including losing or changing jobs.
- The child is now emancipated.
- There have been changes in health insurance coverage or a medical support order.
Many people are surprised to find that the services of a Chandler divorce lawyer can come in handy even long after the divorce has been settled. One of the concerns that come up months or years after the divorce is the modification of child support payments. Because a person’s financial situation may naturally evolve and change over time, it does sometimes become necessary to change how much child support is paid.
How is Child Support Decided?
The amount of child support that is paid in Arizona is initially decided at the time of your divorce. This usually takes into account (among other things) the income of both spouses, the amount of parenting time/visitation each spouse has, and how much is generally spent on the children, including costs for medical care and child care.
Why Would I Need to Modify Child Support in Arizona?
Over time, many families find that their circumstances have changed since the divorce, and the child support payments are no longer adequate or appropriate in the new circumstances. In order to modify an existing child support agreement in the state of Arizona, you generally must be able to prove that there has been a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance that makes your old child support agreement unworkable or inappropriate. This may include events such as:
- A change in income – whether an increase or decrease – for either spouse
- The loss of a job or inability to work
- Changes in health insurance coverage
- A disability or medical condition
Both the custodial parent and non-custodial parent have the ability to request a modification of child support in Arizona.
If you need help modifying child support orders in Chandler, speak with an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer today. To schedule a completely free consultation to talk about your concerns, simply give us a call at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page.
Some of the tensest moments in a divorce take place when it comes time to start dividing the property you’ve acquired over the course of the marriage. Heated arguments about who gets the house or the television tend to erupt, and it can leave you feeling angry, confused, and just plan tired.
As a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, I’ve been through this step with a lot of clients. Although going through property division after a divorce in Arizona can be a difficult time, there are ways to work with each other to get a property division that works for both of you. I’ve seen couples approach this in several creative ways:
- Take turns choosing items from a list of all property
- Take turns choosing items up to a certain share of the total value of all property
- Sell most of the community property and divide the money equally
- Have one spouse divide the property into two equitable lists, and allow the other spouse to choose one of the lists
And these are only a few suggestions for how to think about equal and amicable property division. Depending on your situation and your relationship with your spouse, there may be a method that works better for you.
If you have questions or need help with any aspect of your divorce proceedings, speak with a caring and skilled Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. You can also contact us online using the confidential contact form on this page.
A big part of the divorce process is figuring out how to divide up the property you and your spouse have acquired over the course of the marriage. As a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, I can tell you that many clients come to me concerned and confused about how property will be divided after their divorce in Scottsdale – and with good reason.
In Arizona, the law attempts to create a nearly equal division of property between the spouses going through divorce proceedings, but this is not always as simple as it sounds. The term “property” covers all kinds of items, including:
- Financial accounts, such as shared bank or investment accounts
- Cars, trucks, and other vehicles, which are generally divided based on who most frequently drove each vehicle
- Personal property, such as furniture, televisions, computers, etc.
- Retirement accounts and pensions, which may come into play if the spouses do not have nearly equal accounts
- “Real” property, which includes your house or other real estate
- Community businesses, which may be divided in a number of ways depending on what you and your spouse agree upon
Generally, you will be given the chance to decide with your spouse exactly how the property is divided. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, the Court will decide for you, and your assets will be divided as equitably as possible under Arizona law.
As a Phoenix divorce lawyer, I often get questions about alimony, which is called “spousal support” in Arizona. Spousal support or maintenance is the term for the payments you make or receive from your ex-spouse, which is treated separately from child support payments. How and when alimony is awarded can vary from case to case, but there are some general guidelines available to give you an idea of what to expect.
As a general rule, spousal support in Arizona is usually awarded in divorce cases where:
- The age of a spouse and the long duration of the marriage make it difficult for the spouse to support him or herself.
- One spouse paid educational costs that benefited the other spouse during the marriage.
- A spouse lacks the property or employment options to support him or herself.
However, there are other circumstances besides those listed that may warrant a spousal support order, and it will very much depend upon the specifics of your case.
If you are going through a divorce in Phoenix and have questions about spousal support, child support, child custody, or other legal concerns, speak with a skilled Phoenix divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your unique situation.
Divorce in Phoenix is rough on both the parents and the kids. As a Phoenix divorce lawyer, I have seen a lot of clients come to me exhausted, frustrated with co-parenting, and unsure what to do next. Although sometimes it seems impossible, it really is possible to get through this part and still have a great parental relationship. There are steps you can take to make it a little easier on everyone involved.
Although you can’t completely shelter your kids from all of the stress and changes that divorce brings, let’s talk about some easy steps you can take to minimize the effect on them. During and after the divorce, make sure that you are:
- Taking care of yourself
- Being consistent with rules and promised contact
- Encouraging the kids to have contact with the other parent
- Being supportive and patient through major transitions
- Planning for financial changes that may affect your children
If you have experienced a change in financial circumstances since your initial spousal support agreement, you are probably wondering if it’s possible to terminate spousal maintenance in Phoenix. The good news is that, unless you agreed to a non-modifiable spousal support order, it is possible to terminate spousal support if your situation meets certain requirements. Your Phoenix divorce lawyer can explain in more detail how this applies to your specific circumstances.
According to Arizona law, spousal maintenance can generally be terminated if:
- Either spouse dies
- The spouse who receives maintenance remarries
- There has been a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance
What is a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance?
A “substantial and continuing” change in circumstance is a significant change that is expected to last. This may include changes like a loss of income, disability, long-term romantic cohabitation, and other major financial changes. Losing a job without a change in your ability to obtain employment probably would not be considered a continuing change, for example, as it is expected that you could continue to work elsewhere.
If you’re not sure if your change in situation would be considered “substantial and continuing,” speak with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer for clarification. Your attorney can help you build a strong case to prove your change in financial circumstances and help you terminate or modify your spousal maintenance agreement.
One of the most difficult transitions you must make after a divorce in Phoenix is as a parent. Divorced couples with kids find a lot of creative ways to work together as co-parents, and everyone is different. How you handle a relationship as a parent with your ex-spouse depends very much on what kind of relationship you already have. Depending on how the two of you work together, you may need to adjust how you approach parenting plans:
- Aggressive. If you and your ex-spouse are completely unable to communicate with each other and are often working against each other, it is extremely important that you work with your Phoenix child custody lawyer to create a firm parenting plan. This way there is no question about what each parent is allowed to do with the kids and what happens when that is violated.
- Tense. If you have a fairly hostile relationship with your ex, but think you can still manage to focus on the kids, you may want to consult with a Phoenix divorce lawyer to figure out a written, structured arrangement that you can both agree to stick to.
- Friendly. Co-parents who remain friendly, on the other hand, may be able to get by with a loose, mostly unwritten agreement when it comes to the kids. Since both of you are able to communicate, you have the freedom to negotiate many of the details yourself.
- Neutral. If you and your spouse aren’t exactly friends, but can still work together amicably, it may be worth creating an agreement so you both have clear guidelines when it comes to co-parenting. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, our Chandler divorce lawyers recommend that you avoid talking about your divorce case or your ex-spouse on social media sites like Facebook and that you treat any email or text message you send as public communication. With the rise of text messaging and smartphones, it has become more common than ever to see cellphone records and social media communication winding up as evidence in Arizona family law cases. This is especially true in Arizona child custody cases, where evidence of harassment, lies, or poor parenting could seriously affect the outcome of your case.
How Could My Cellphone Records Be Used as Evidence?
You may be surprised how much information about you is stored in your phone and could be used as evidence against you. Some of the most common types of information we see in Chandler divorce cases include:
- Text messages
- Call history and recorded phone conversations
- Internet search history
- GPS history
- Email records
Text messages are by far the most common type of evidence we see from cellphones, and they are often used to prove lies or harassment by an ex-spouse. Social media posts made from smartphones could also be used against you – especially if you fire off a nasty public post about your ex in a moment of anger.
In fact, even recording of phone conversations might be permissible evidence in court, and you should be aware that Arizona law allows any party in a conversation to record it without your permission.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona and need an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer on your side, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation in a completely free, no-obligation consultation. For more information about what a Chandler family law attorney can do for you, please request your complimentary copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
A Glendale divorce can lead to a lot of financial changes for both you and your spouse. Even when children are not involved in your divorce, you may still be ordered to pay spousal support as part of your divorce. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’d like to explain more about spousal support and address some of your questions.
What is Spousal Support?
You may hear spousal support referred to as “maintenance” or “alimony.” These terms are just different words for the money paid out to a spouse during and/or after a divorce. An order for spousal support may be included in your divorce decree, which will include a set amount of money over a set amount of time.
When is Spousal Support Ordered?
Spousal support may be ordered in a Glendale divorce if your spouse decides to seek maintenance. If your spouse is seeking spousal support in Glendale, the request will generally be granted if:
- Your spouse lacks the ability to find employment and support him or herself.
- You were married over a long period of time and your spouse will have trouble finding employment due to his or her age.
- Your spouse has custody of a child that keeps him or her from working outside the home.
- Your spouse helped pay for your education.
- Your spouse otherwise lacks the ability to provide for him or herself.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the many decisions that go into a divorce, or if you have questions about Arizona alimony laws, spousal support, child custody, or other concerns, don’t wait to speak with an expert. You can reach one of our skilled Scottsdale family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your concerns.
If you’d like more information about divorce in Glendale, please also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Whether you are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, getting divorced in Arizona can change a lot of things. Divorce is almost always emotional, and it can be so hard for parents to transition as parents after the divorce. You may have less contact, be living apart, be working more hours, or even just be struggling with your own emotional burdens, and this can wreck relations with your children for years to come. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we’re often faced with parents asking how to do it “right.”
How Can I Be a Great Parent after a Phoenix Divorce?
The unfortunate truth is that there is no single answer to the question. Depending on your situation, your existing relationship with your kids, and your evolving relationship with your now ex-spouse, the answer will probably combine a number of things – and you probably won’t get it “right” overnight. Building strong parental relationships after divorce is a process, and you’ll probably make at least a few mistakes. The most important things to remember, though, are:
- Keep communicating.
- Don’t rant about the other parent if the kids are listening.
- Encourage your child to build a relationship with the other parent.
- Stay involved in your kids’ lives.
- Do what you say you will.
Ultimately, keeping your focus on your kids, being willing to compromise, and approaching the situation with parental love is probably the best way to approach post-divorce parenting.
If you need help with legal issues surrounding divorce or child custody in Phoenix, speak with our skilled Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We are compassionate, experienced Phoenix family law attorneys who can help you plot the best course of action and work toward a solution. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, request your completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
After a Phoenix divorce, many non-custodial parents struggle with how to continue to be an effective parent and forge a strong relationship with their children. This can become even more difficult if you live a few towns – or states – away. If you’re wondering if it’s possible to still be a great parent from a distance, our Phoenix divorce lawyers want you to know that it is possible – but it takes work.
How Can I be an Effective Long-Distance Parent after my Phoenix Divorce?
- Stay involved. Just because you’re further away doesn’t mean you can’t stay involved in your child’s life. Although you may not be able to attend every dance recital or baseball game, make sure that you know what’s going on with activities like these. Ask questions about who’s involved, how your child did, and what your child is interested in. Although it may seem minor, knowing about that homerun she hit and sharing in the excitement will mean a lot to your child.
- Keep talking. If you don’t see each other every day, it can be difficult to keep the conversation going. Make sure you ask open-ended questions and provide a positive environment to make conversation easier. Additionally, try finding a hobby or interest you can share – such as a favorite television series or sport – so that you always have something to talk about when conversation lags.
- Take initiative. Don’t put the pressure on your kids to keep up the relationship with you. Take the initiative to open conversation, schedule time together, make a phone call, or otherwise make an effort to forge a strong relationship.
- Try other ways to stay in contact. Although the face-to-face time you’re able to spend with your kids is precious, don’t forget that there are other ways to stay connected. Use email, instant messaging, the telephone, and even letters through the mail.
Ultimately, it boils down to paying attention and making an effort to keep communicating and caring, even if you can’t be in the same physical space. And, of course, be sure that you and the custodial parent can agree on the rules.
If you have questions about child custody in Glendale or need help with an Arizona divorce, speak with our expert Phoenix divorce attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to hear about your situation in a completely free, no-obligation consultation and talk about how – and if – we can help.
For more information about who we are and what we do, request your completely free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Although social media sites like Facebook have been pinned as a rising cause of divorce by some recent studies, these types of sites are also causing problems at an increasingly high rate during Arizona divorces and child custody battles. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we can attest that many of our divorce, custody, and even adoption cases have been affected by posts and photographs on social media sites.
Why Are Social Media Sites Like Facebook a Problem in Glendale Divorces?
Because social media sites seem so casual and friendly, many people forget that the information posted to social media sites is largely public. During a divorce in Glendale, anything posted to your – or even your friends’ – Facebook could be used as evidence against you. For example, your Facebook or other social media site can be mined for information such as:
- Adultery. Social media sites may be one of the main vehicles for cheaters, but even seemingly innocuous posts or comments may be construed as evidence of a pattern of cheating. Racy comments from an old flame, flirty messages, or photographs that show the two of you together could be built into a convincing argument for the evidence of adultery.
- Finances. One spouse may claim to be broke, but mention on Facebook a large purchase, like a car or expensive electronics, or even be tagged in photographs from an expensive beach vacation.
- Lies. Beyond relationships and finances, a spouse’s Facebook page may inadvertently give evidence of other lies or concerns. Imagine an ex-spouse who claims he has no time to help the kids with an important project, but posts drunken party pictures the next day.
While you may be sharing some of this information and not realize how it could be used against you, there is also a risk of the impulsive rant or angry comment about the divorce or your spouse, which could be used against you eventually in court.
How Concerned Should I Be?
If you don’t think social media sites have a big impact of divorce, think again. Some research has around 80% of lawyers reporting social media evidence being used in the courtroom during divorce proceedings. And, more than that, this evidence taken from sites like Facebook are having real and lasting impact on issues like Arizona child custody and spousal support.
If you have any questions about Glendale divorce, child custody, or any other family law issue, speak with our caring and expert Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free legal consultation. We also encourage you to request your free copy of our important book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
As a non-custodial parent or a parent in joint custody, it’s natural to want to make every second that you spend with your kids really count. In pursuit of that quality time, many fathers are accused of being “Disneyland dads,” who care little for the rules and are more friend than parent. In the aftermath of a Glendale divorce, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line. When you only have limited time with your children, it makes it extremely difficult to say ‘no’ or draw boundaries when you do have time together.
As Glendale family law attorneys, we understand that it’s hard to know where to start as a non-custodial parent. Although you want to be your child’s best friend, you also want to take on your share of the responsibility as a parent. However, “laying down the law” doesn’t mean that you have to give up quality time with your kids. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll find your bond with your children deepening as you take a more active hand in their daily lives.
What Can I Do to Avoid Being a “Disneyland Dad?”
- Keep your promises. Although you’re busy on your “off” days, make sure that you make good on any promises you’ve made to your child. Call when you said you would call. Pick up the movie you promised you’d watch together next time.
- Make rules, and stick to them. Communicate with the custodial parent about the rules, and decide how they will be implemented on your days. Be clear about the rules – and what happens when a rule is broken. Make sure you are consistent in enforcing the rules.
- Communicate. Children crave one-on-one time with their parents, and it’s important that you talk with your kids and take an interest in what they do each day. Keeping the lines of communication open will build trust, and it means that your kids will know that they can always talk to you.
- Attend activities. Even if the activity doesn’t fall on a day when the kids are with you, try to attend baseball games, dance recitals, class plays, etc. that they are involved in. They’ll love seeing you in the audience, and it will show that you want to take an active part in their lives.
- Do homework together. Working together on homework, scout badges, and other assignments means great one-on-one time, and you get a firsthand view of your child’s interests and progress.
If you have questions about child custody in Glendale, or if you need help establishing paternity, speak with one of our highly qualified Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. We also recommend that you request a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Being served with divorce papers in Phoenix can be a confusing and stressful time. No matter what the circumstances leading to the divorce action were, these earliest steps in the process can be some of the most emotionally difficult. Unfortunately, you may be under time restraints or have other complications that can lead to you losing important rights in the divorce – seemingly before it’s even started. Although it may be tempting to avoid dealing with it, it is very important that you:
- Do not ignore it. As Phoenix family lawyers, we know that being served with divorce papers can be an emotionally charged time, and we know that many people don’t even want to look at what has been received. However, if you want to protect your own rights, then it is of utmost importance that you review these documents and find out what you need to do.
- Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix family law attorney. If you’ve been served with divorce papers in Phoenix, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We will not charge you for the initial consultation, but we can help answer your questions and explain your options. You’re under no obligation to hire us when you attend this meeting.
- Check the deadline. You may have a very limited time to respond, so it is important to know how much time you have and what you need to do during that time.
- File a response. If you fail to file a response, then you may lose some important rights, and you may find that many issues involved in the divorce become much more complicated. Failing to file a response could even mean that your spouse will be awarded everything in the petition by default.
If you have any questions – big or small – about divorce in Arizona, speak with one of our friendly and experienced Arizona family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We are always happy to address your concerns and help you make the best decisions regarding divorce, legal separation, child custody, and other family legal issues. If you’d like more information about who we are and how we can help, request your completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
After an Arizona divorce, the time coming up to the holidays or other important occasions can be filled with stress and uncertainty. Whether your divorce is final or still being sorted out, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have some conflicted emotions, some wrecked plans, some hair-tearing frustration, and times when you feel down. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we know it’s not easy to make the transition to your newly single life when everyone else seems to be happily spending time with friends and family, but it won’t always feel this way. One of the best ways to cope after an Arizona divorce is to make a conscious effort to reduce stress:
- Exercise, and eat well.
- Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing.
- Don’t try to drown stress in alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy behaviors.
- Schedule time for yourself.
- Spend time with supportive friends and family.
- Try to get enough sleep.
- Keep a personal journal.
If these tactics don’t sound good, spend a little time thinking about what makes you feel relaxed and in control, and then make a plan to do it. When you are able to relax a little, you’re better able to approach the divorce transition with perspective and an open mind. If you need any help with Arizona parenting time, custody, or divorce questions, speak with one our friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d also like you to look over a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
After an Arizona divorce, dealing with holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions can seem much less joyful. It’s hard to celebrate when you’re in a new apartment, you have shaky relationships with family, or your ex-spouse has the kids for the weekend. It’s easy to sink into depression and try to avoid anything relating to the holiday. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we know how hard it can be to spend that first Thanksgiving alone or drop off a birthday present instead of staying for cake. The good news is that it is normal to feel blue after a big change, and there are things you can do to bring the joy back to your family’s special occasions:
- Talk about what the holidays mean to you. Whether it’s Christmas, the Fourth of July, or another occasion, sit down with your family and talk about what these holidays really mean to you. Potato salad on the beach? Decorating the tree? Shopping with your daughter on Black Friday? Think about what you really need to make it feel special, and then work together to try to provide the most important experiences.
- Do something for someone else. If you know you’ll be alone on a holiday morning, consider volunteering. Visit a local nursing home, help in a soup kitchen, or get involved in other community activities. You might even enjoy the experience enough to make it a new tradition!
- Make something together. Especially if you have children, it can help to get involved in a craft together in celebration. You might work together to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece, ornaments, or a birthday photo frame. You’ll be creating wonderful memories, working together, and you’ll also have a physical reminder of your time together.
- Work out a fair parenting time schedule ahead of time. If there are kids involved, don’t wait until the last minute to figure out parenting time for holidays and birthdays. It’s almost always easier for everyone involved if you know what to expect and can plan for quality time with your kids.
- Get together with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask to join family and friends for the holidays. Even though you may not feel up to it, spending time with others can help you get through the hardest times. If you’re uncomfortable inviting yourself or accepting an invitation, considering inviting your other single friends over for the evening. You might be surprised what a difference it makes to surround yourself with others.
Ultimately, going through a Scottsdale divorce means losing the familiar, and it’s up to you to create new traditions and memories in the transitional period. Remember: you are still a family, and that’s what’s really important. If you need help with divorce, parenting time, or custody in Maricopa County, speak with one of our compassionate and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation to talk about your options. We also recommend you request your free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. We look forward to helping you with your legal needs.
We recently talked about how and why friendships can change when you announce that you are pursuing an Arizona divorce. Of the many things that change with divorce, changing relationships with friends or family can be some of the most surprising and painful to deal with during a time when you’re already learning to adapt to so much. So, what can you do to preserve friendships during your divorce in Scottsdale?
- Make the first move. Your friend may have trouble knowing how to bring the subject up after your Arizona divorce. Make the first move by being the first to talk about it openly.
- Keep in touch. You don’t have to go crazy with it, but sending a quick email or making a phone call can help keep your friendship alive through all the changes.
- Don’t place blame. When you’re talking about the divorce or your friendship, be careful not to place blame. Make sure that you communicate your feelings honestly, but try not to say anything in anger that you might regret later.
- Don’t force a friend to take sides. Many people may be friends with both you and your ex. Don’t pressure that person to take sides in the divorce.
If you need a hand with the legal aspects of divorce, give the friendly Scottsdale family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, request your free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
For many people, going through a divorce means dividing up friends and family, along with the property. It’s a shame that, during a time when so much is uncertain financially and emotionally, your support network of people can seem so slim and difficult to navigate. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’ve seen many of the people we work with face these kinds of changes, and we want you to know that it’s completely normal and part of the transition.
Why Do Friendships Change with an Arizona divorce?
There are many reasons you may see friends fade away or keep their distance during your divorce, including:
- Choosing sides. It’s an unfortunate truth, but many people feel like they have to choose sides during a divorce. Friends and family members often feel that they owe an allegiance to one spouse, either because they’ve known one spouse longer or have family ties. They don’t want to make one spouse angry by supporting the other.
- Not choosing sides. On the other hand, some people don’t want to have to choose sides, so they end up avoiding both you and your spouse entirely or shut you down when you open up about the divorce.
- Divorce is “contagious.” There is a prevalent superstition that divorce is “contagious” or that you can catch divorce like a cold. When your married friends hear you’re going through a divorce, they may keep their distance in order to protect their own relationships at home.
- Divorce is depressing. Let’s face it – divorce is usually depressing. Sadly, you may have friends who disappear because they don’t want to ruin a good mood or hear about anything sad.
- Fear of change. Communal friends can have a hard time when a couple they are close with splits up. They may feel awkward or not know how to act around you now that you are no longer part of the couple unit.
- Not getting involved. Ultimately, some people just don’t want to get involved, step on any toes, or deal with the potential drama – even if your divorce is fairly amicable.
Losing friends during your Scottsdale divorce can be very painful, but you learn a lot about the people around you. You can survive this part, and you will make new connections, reconnect with old friends, and see your existing friendships evolve over time as the dust starts to settle.
If you need a hand with your legal needs during a Scottsdale divorce, call one of our friendly and experienced Scottsdale family lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to answering your questions and learning more about your situation in a completely free legal consultation. If you have questions in the meantime, please request your free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Deciding to adopt a stepchild is a big step, and it can be very rewarding to you and your family. If you’d like to adopt your spouse’s child in Arizona, the good news is that it is usually a much more streamlined process than a non-relative adoption and can be a great deal easier.
To give you an idea of what an Arizona step-parent adoption entails, here are the basic steps:
- Contact a Scottsdale family law attorney. Although not every state actually requires you to hire a lawyer for a step-parent adoption, you will probably find it helpful to speak to a family law attorney who can tell you what is required and help you work out any complications.
- Obtain, complete, and submit all court-required forms. This can be the toughest part, as you will need to make sure you have everything organized and ready. You’ll need to provide a lot of information to the court, and you will need to be sure the other parent consents to the adoption or has otherwise had parental rights terminated. Your Scottsdale family law attorney can handle a great deal of this so that all loose ends are tied up, and everything is ready to go.
- Attend the hearing(s). Depending on your situation and the specifics of the adoption, you will probably have to at least attend the finalization hearing. If you are unsure what is required, or if you need to attend the adoption hearing(s) in your county, speak with your Arizona adoption attorney.
- Finalize the adoption and apply for a birth certificate. After the final hearing, the adoption is finalized, and you will receive a copy of the Order of Adoption. At that point, you can apply for a new birth certificate for the child, which will include the adoptive parent’s name. If the child will take your last name, the name change will also be reflected on the new birth certificate.
The Scottsdale adoption attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten would be happy to speak with you in a completely free consultation about adopting a stepchild. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or fill out the confidential contact form on this page. We’d also like to offer you a copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which you can request over the phone or through our website. We look forward to helping you add to your family.
In a recent article about foster care in Arizona, we talked about the strict requirements involved for a person to even become a foster parent. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we get a lot of questions and concerns about foster parents after a child has been removed from the home in Arizona. We’d like to explain a little more about how a foster parent’s home is checked by the state to assure your child’s safety.
Arizona Foster Parent Home Inspection
The potential foster parent’s home will be physically inspected for basic safety:
- The home is clean and generally safe.
- There are smoke detectors in the bedrooms and an approved fire extinguisher available.
- Medications, toxic cleaning supplies, etc. are safely locked away and out of reach.
- The home has accessible exits.
- Food is stored properly and handled safely.
- Any bodies of water, including pools, are fenced off.
Arizona Foster Parent “Home Study”
In addition to the safety inspection, potential foster parents must go through a “home study” that will take a closer look at the suitability of the social environment and people in the home. This process usually means a series of personal interviews and inspections, and it generally takes about 3 months.
If your children were removed from the home in Arizona, speak with one of our skilled and compassionate Phoenix family law attorneys at 1-888-929-5292 today. In the meantime, take a few minutes to request a free copy of our helpful book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In Arizona, the judge in your case might order probation for you instead of, or in addition to, jail time. Although you are not physically in jail during your probation period, it is important to remember that you are still being held under certain conditions until you are no longer required to be under supervision. While you are allowed some freedom compared to jail time, any violation of the court’s guidelines for your probation can result in very serious penalties and should be carefully avoided. Be sure you know what constitutes a probation violation in Arizona so you can avoid any further penalties.
What Counts as a Probation Violation in Arizona?
What counts as an Arizona probation violation depends on the type of offense and your individual probation contract. However, as Tempe criminal lawyers, we most often deal with probation violations such as:
- You committed another crime during your probation period.
- You used or possessed alcohol and/or illegal drugs while on probation.
- You did not report to your probation officer or the court when scheduled.
- You left the state without prior approval.
- You did not attend or complete any mandatory treatment programs.
- You did not pay your fines.
What Happens if I Violate Probation in Arizona?
What happens after an Arizona probation violation is very dependent on your situation. In some cases you may be given a second chance to stick the terms of your probation; in other cases, you may be required to immediately serve jail time.
Because so much depends on your individual circumstances, it is important that you get in touch with your Tempe criminal lawyer as soon as possible after a potential probation violation. A skilled probation violation lawyer may be able to help you get probation reinstated after a violation occurs in Arizona. An experienced Arizona attorney may also be able to help reduce the punishment that you receive for the violation. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, and take a look at our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
A divorce settlement in Arizona needs to fully address many concerns, and it can also give you the opportunity to decide what happens with smaller or more unusual concerns, as well. When you and your Arizona family law attorney are negotiating a divorce settlement agreement in Arizona, you will be working to come to an agreement on issues such as:
- Dividing property/assets
- Dividing debts
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Figuring out retirement accounts
- Dividing college savings
- Health and life insurance
The settlement agreement can also include decisions on more complex issues, such as what happens with a family business after a divorce. If you have questions about divorce settlement agreements in Arizona, speak with one of our qualified and friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your specific situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, we’d also be happy to send you a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Once you’ve decided on a divorce in Arizona, you may be surprised by how complicated divorce proceedings can be. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we spend a lot of time with our clients explaining each step of the process and your options at each key point. One thing that often comes up is the difference between being able to negotiate a full divorce settlement and having to go to trial.
Divorce Litigation in Arizona
Based on what you’ve seen in television or read about, divorce litigation is what typically comes to mind when you think about divorce. You and your Phoenix family law attorney will prepare your case and go to trial to work out the issues you and your spouse do not agree on. The judge will listen to both parties and make a final decision in your Arizona divorce case.
Negotiating a Divorce Settlement in Arizona
Although going to trial may be what you first think about in relation to divorce, some couples are able to come to a full settlement without going to trial. You will need to come to an agreement on all aspects of your divorce for this to work, including division of property, your parenting plan, spousal support, and any other issues.
Of course, this works best in amicable or low-conflict divorces. And, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will just be unable to come to an agreement with your spouse on what should happen. Even if you plan to negotiate a full divorce settlement, you and your divorce attorney should plan and be prepared to go to trial in a worst-case scenario.
If you have questions about divorce or child support in Arizona, speak with one of our qualified and friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your specific situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, we’d also be happy to send you a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
It’s unfortunate that there’s a need for it, but there’s a lot of information out there about child abuse in Arizona. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what child abuse is and the signs to look for in children. What we don’t hear about as often is child neglect, so we find that many people are confused about what neglect is and how to recognize it. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we get many questions about whether or not the other parent’s actions constitute neglect, and we’d like to try to clarify a little bit.
What is Child Neglect in Arizona?
Child neglect in Arizona can be defined as a lack of supervision, medical care, nutrition, shelter, or clothes that poses harm to a child. However, as Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’ve seen more than a few heated divorce and child custody cases where this definition leaves a lot of gray area. For example, could you lose custody for child neglect if you leave a child at home while you’re at work? Would it be considered neglect if you haven’t done the dishes this week and had fast food for dinner?
If you’re in a similar situation, and the other parent is trying to modify custody or visitation orders due to neglect on these kinds of grounds, you can relax a little. For the most part, the courts know that life gets hectic and sometimes a few things don’t get done. Even though the accusations are hurtful and it’s scary to go into court, it’s usually only when those sorts of issues really pose a risk of harm to the child’s physical health or emotional wellbeing that custody will be affected. Dishes didn’t get done last night? Probably not an issue. Child is showing signs of malnutrition? Definitely an issue. Any request to change custody due to neglect will be very carefully examined by the courts and Child Protective Services (CPS) to make sure that it is in the child’s best interests, and that the child is safe.
Despite that reassurance, any Arizona child custody modification involving neglect is serious and can become very complicated and very emotional. If you need answers and direction, speak with one of our compassionate and skilled Scottsdale child custody lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We also recommend you take a look at our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
It’s not often addressed, but grandparents can suffer after a Scottsdale divorce. Depending on your relationship with the parents, you may be unable to see your grandchildren as often as you like… or at all. If the custodial parent moves away after the divorce, it can be heartbreaking for Grandma and Grandpa, and we know you worry about maintaining a loving relationship with the kids.
Here are a few tips for grandparents to help their grandchildren transition through divorce in Arizona:
- If the kids want to talk, listen. Although you shouldn’t pry too hard into a child’s feelings about the divorce, they will often open up on their own. Many children find it’s easier to talk to a grandparent because they don’t have to “take sides.” Listen carefully, and offer love, positivity, and assurance.
- Make your house a “safe place.” In the turmoil accompanying a divorce, many children are constantly bombarded with stress, anxiety, and the tension between Mom and Dad. Make your house a neutral escape from that stress by focusing on quality time with your grandchildren and not on the divorce.
- Stay neutral. Most children feel distress when their parents fight, and they may have trouble navigating their feelings or feel pressured to take sides. Don’t speak negatively about either parent while the kids are listening, even if you are not speaking directly to the children. Little ears pick up EVERYTHING, and it makes a big difference in how they handle the divorce process.
- Bring concerns to the parents, but be careful. If a child tells you something that concerns you or is showing strange behaviors, let the parents know, but be attentive to how you bring it up. If there has been a lot of conflict in the divorce, it’s likely your concerns could stir up a lot of angry emotions. Be sure you talk about it when the child is elsewhere, and be careful not to make the child feel as though they are “in trouble” for talking about it with you.
Ultimately, the best way to help your grandchildren deal with the divorce is to keep providing the same love, care, and attention you always have. If you need help obtaining grandparent visitation rights after a divorce in Arizona, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale child custody lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure meeting to learn about your rights. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, request your free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Although most US states have enacted no-fault divorce laws at this point in time, there are many people out there who disagree with the idea and believe that no-fault laws are actually harmful. It’s not an easy issue, and both sides have made compelling arguments for and against Arizona no-fault divorce.
The Argument against Arizona No-Fault Divorce
Many people who are against no-fault divorce believe that the law makes it too easy to get divorced and devalues the promises inherent in marriage vows. It does not give the other spouse a choice – or a chance to save the marriage – but that person may still be left with a much lower standard of living, even though he or she did nothing wrong.
The Argument for Arizona No-Fault Divorce
For those who support no-fault laws, there is a belief that these laws reduce the strain on Arizona family courts and shorten the divorce process, which reduces the emotional toll on both children and parents. No-fault laws also make it easier for people to leave abusive marriages, and supporters point out that financial decisions are made based on need and ability rather than fault.
No matter how the laws stand, the Scottsdale divorce attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten will always work hard to provide skilled legal assistance to our clients. Contact a friendly and knowledgeable Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation meeting to discuss your situation.
In order to get a divorce in Scottsdale, it used to be that you had to prove a spouse did something wrong, such as adultery or domestic abuse, to cause the end of the marriage. You had to have grounds for the divorce, in other words. In fact, it used to be that way almost everywhere in the nation. Although the nation’s first no-fault divorce laws were passed in 1953, it was really only in 1970 that the US saw no-fault divorce laws start to take hold. Now, almost every state has enacted no-fault laws regarding divorce.
No-Fault Not for Everyone
The change in Arizona divorce law didn’t sit well with everyone, and many people have pointed to no-fault laws, which made it easier for couples to get divorced, as the cause for the increase in divorce rates. However, no-fault divorce laws did prove helpful in some cases; many survivors of domestic abuse found it easier to remove themselves from abusive marriages through a no-fault divorce.
Does No-Fault Divorce Really Mean No Fault?
The name itself can be somewhat misleading, and Scottsdale divorce attorneys answer a lot of questions about what “no fault” really means. An Arizona no-fault divorce does not necessarily mean that your spouse did nothing wrong, it simply means that the actual cause of the divorce is irrelevant to the court. Essentially, instead of needing to prove to the court that your spouse cheated or otherwise behaved badly, you can claim “irreconcilable differences” in the marriage. You can pursue a no-fault divorce in Scottsdale, even if you believe that your spouse’s wrongdoing was to blame for wrecking your marriage.
The term “no fault” can also be misleading when it comes to other issues in the divorce proceedings. If your spouse was physically or emotionally abusive, abused drugs or alcohol, or mismanaged your finances, that behavior may still be taken into account when deciding custody or the division of property-even though that behavior is not “officially” listed as the cause of your Scottsdale divorce.
The First Step
If you have any questions about Arizona no-fault divorce, or if you are considering getting divorced in Maricopa County, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. When you call, we’ll set you up with a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your specific circumstances and how we can help. If you’re interested, we can also send you a completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Your life has changed since the time of your Scottsdale divorce, and your custody orders are no longer appropriate for where you are. Whether you, as parents, request the change or your now-teenaged child wants to live with the other parent, sometimes you need to reexamine and change custody orders in Arizona.
When Can I Change Custody Orders in Arizona?
In cases of abuse, neglect, or imminent danger, you can file for emergency orders to modify custody at any time. However, if you want to modify custody orders due to a situational change, then you generally must wait at least one year before filing for the modification. In some cases, the court may also require you to go through counseling or mediation before you can change your child custody orders.
How Do I Change My Arizona Custody Agreement?
If you want to modify a custody order, you will need to file with the court and provide proof that the change in custody is in the child’s best interests and that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If both parents agree and the change seems to be in the child’s best interests, this usually goes smoothly. If the other parent opposes the change, or if the reasons for the custody change are flimsy, then the process could be much more complicated. The judge will carefully consider a lot of factors when deciding the “best interests” of the child in the case, including:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The wishes of each parent
- The child’s wishes
- If the change will have a negative impact on the child’s life, whether at home, at school, or socially
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The mental and physical health of the child
Keep in mind that the court is strict if it is felt that you are using the modification request to harass the other parent or if you have coerced the child into requesting the change.
If you’d like to modify child custody orders in Phoenix, contact one of our friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns in a completely free consultation. We’d also like you to have a free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
The courts don’t like to change visitation orders in Arizona once they are in place. There is a belief that modifying parenting time is very stressful for everyone involved, especially the children, and that it creates more conflict than is necessary. However, there are some cases in which visitation is harmful to your children, and you will need to request supervised visitation to protect their well-being. These types of situations would include:
- Substance abuse. You may request supervised visitation if you have reason to believe the non-custodial parent is abusing drugs during parenting time. Alcoholism would also fall into this category.
- Abuse. Whether physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, this is a very serious situation. You should first call the police or Child Protective Services, and then consult with a Phoenix child custody lawyer. The courts take false allegations very seriously, as well, so make sure you have as much proof as possible.
- Endangerment. If the non-custodial parent is putting the kids in dangerous situations in which they could come to harm, you may have reason to request supervised visitation with that parent.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation or changing visitation in Arizona, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help handle any legal concerns regarding child custody and divorce. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Unfortunately, as Phoenix divorce attorneys, we sometimes have to see the worst of people, and that is never truer than when we deal with cases of abuse. Many times, the abuse is the reason the marriage ended, but sometimes the abuse does not become obvious until after the divorce or during parenting time. If you suspect your ex is abusing your kids, someone connected to your ex is abusing your kids, or your kids are otherwise in danger, it can be hard to know what to do.
We know that keeping your kids safe is your number-one priority, so here are the steps to follow if you suspect abuse is happening during visitation:
- Call the police or Child Protective Services. Don’t wait. If you believe your children are in danger, you need to call authorities who are trained to handle these situations and protect your children.
- Call a Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer. Arizona courts are very hesitant to change parenting time after it has been decided and take false allegations of abuse very seriously. You will need to have proof of the abuse or that supervised visitation is otherwise necessary. A Scottsdale family law attorney can explain if you even have a case, help you get everything in order, and handle your legal concerns with skill.
- Get “Emergency Orders.” You can file for temporary orders to change parenting time in Arizona, which are otherwise known as “emergency orders.” This will help to keep your kids safe from the abuser until you are able to come up with a long-term order for changing visitation.
- File to Modify Parenting Time. While the “emergency orders” are in effect, you’ll need to work on permanently changing visitation orders. Your attorney can help explain more about this process and what you will need to have prepared.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation or child custody, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help explain the visitation process and fight for your child custody rights. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In all of the confusion, emotion, and concern surrounding your decision to pursue a Phoenix divorce, you may not yet have given a thought to what your life will really be like post-divorce. Let one of our friendly Phoenix divorce attorneys handle the legal proceedings while you consider taking a few practical steps to protect your financial future:
- Will you need to go back to work or change jobs? Start thinking about what your needs will be, and update your resume now, even if you don’t submit it right away.
- Are you due for your annual physical? It might be a good idea to see your family doctor and dentist while you are still covered by your spouse’s health insurance plan.
- Is your car in good shape? Having reliable transportation is important, especially if you will be commuting to work or transporting the kids to school and activities. Take a few minutes to take stock of your ride now.
- Do you have any joint accounts? Set up an individual account and freeze any joint credit card accounts you share with your spouse. If you use direct deposit for your paycheck, be sure it is no longer being applied to a joint account.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Scottsdale divorce, contact one of our friendly Scottsdale family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. Also, take a look at our FREE book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Although the emphasis in Arizona covenant marriage is more on avoiding divorce, choosing a covenant marriage also means that there are only very limited reasons you can seek legal separation in Scottsdale. Although these reasons are very similar to those allowed for divorce in a covenant marriage, here are the specific circumstances for legal separation:
- Your spouse has “cheated” on you.
- Your spouse has physically, sexually, or emotionally abused you or another relative in the home, or he or she has committed domestic violence.
- You have both been living separately for 2 continuous years, without reconciliation.
- Your spouse has been sentenced to life in prison or has received the death sentence.
- Your spouse abandoned the marriage and has been gone for a year or more.
- Your spouse has abused alcohol or drugs regularly.
Arizona laws are very specific when it comes to covenant marriage, and it’s important to clearly understand your legal options. If you have questions about covenant marriage or divorce in Scottsdale, contact a friendly and skilled Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also want to request a copy of our helpful FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we know that the decision to divorce is often an emotional one. Unfortunately, many people do not take practical considerations, such as post-divorce finances, into account. There are so many questions to deal with initially (Am I ready to divorce? What will happen with my kids? Who gets the house?) that it can be difficult to even think about finances, especially when you are unsure what your post-divorce situation will actually look like.
When you are getting divorced in Scottsdale, keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of women who go through a divorce see a drop of 30% or more in their standard of living. Men, too, can struggle after a divorce. Losing the other spouse’s income, working fewer hours to take care of children, or the extra expenses required to rent and transfer utilities into your name may mean serious financial problems and mountains of debt down the road.
If you are currently going through an Arizona divorce, start planning your finances now, and be aware that:
- You may be eligible for spousal support and/or child support.
- You may need to pay for your own health insurance and/or obtain health insurance for your children.
- You may be able to extend your health insurance coverage from an ex’s plan via COBRA.
- You may not realistically be able to afford to keep the house on your own.
- Any debt you had before the marriage will likely remain yours.
- You could be eligible to collect a portion of your spouse’s Social Security pension.
- You and your children could qualify for survivor benefits if your spouse dies.
There are so many financial changes and questions that come with a divorce, and this is hardly an exhaustive list. So much of this can be up in the air during your divorce proceedings, but it is wise to immediately begin taking steps to stock back emergency cash and plan for your newly-single living expenses.
Feeling overwhelmed? Your Phoenix family law attorneys have the answers to your divorce questions and are ready to address your concerns. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation with one of our friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers. Also, request your FREE copy of our book for families: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In Arizona, couples who are getting married have the option to enter into what’s called a “covenant marriage.” Entering into a covenant marriage means that you will be unable to pursue a divorce or legal separation at a later date except in very specific and limited circumstances. In addition to meeting those requirements, a covenant marriage also means that the other spouse must agree to the divorce or separation.
How Do I Enter a Covenant Marriage?
The covenant marriage process is the same as for any other Arizona marriage, but it comes with a few extra steps. Couples who want to enter a covenant marriage in Arizona must attend premarital counseling and also sign an additional declaration of intent when applying for the marriage license.
For couples who are already married, it is possible to convert the existing marriage to a covenant marriage. You can simply sign a similar declaration, provide information about your marriage ceremony, and pay a small fee.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in a Covenant Marriage?
Outside of both spouses agreeing to the divorce, there are only very limited reasons that a divorce or legal separation can be granted in an Arizona covenant marriage, including:
- Abandonment, usually requiring an absence of 1 year or more
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse/Domestic violence
- Substance abuse that takes place on a regular basis
- Living apart for at least a 2-year period
- Felony death sentence or life imprisonment of a spouse
If you have questions about covenant marriage or divorce in Scottsdale, contact a friendly and skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also want to request a copy of our helpful, FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Most parents of minor children in Arizona will be required to attend a parent education class before any request is granted in their Scottsdale divorce, paternity, separation, or child custody proceedings. There is a common misconception that parent education classes in Arizona teach basic parenting skills, but that’s not accurate. These classes focus specifically on parenting during a divorce or other family restructuring, how it might affect your children, and how to deal with it.
Classes may vary somewhat depending on the county in which you attend, but in general, you can expect to learn more about:
- Helping your child adjust to a Scottsdale divorce
- The emotional effects of divorce or separation on both parents and children
- How parental conflict or domestic violence affects children and how to reduce conflict
- Avoiding major problems and dealing with issues that arise
- Parenting plans
- Arizona family law procedures and available resources
- Behaviors that are harmful and behaviors that are helpful
- Communicating with the other parent and developing co-parenting skills
- Recognizing the signs that your child is having serious problems
- The emotional and financial responsibility of both parents
If you have any questions about Scottsdale child custody or other Arizona divorce questions, contact a friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorney today at 1-888-929-5292.
As Phoenix child custody lawyers, we know how hard supervised visitation can be for both parents and children. The experience may seem very artificial, especially at a time when you want so badly to connect with your kids. However, if supervised visitation has been ordered in your Phoenix child custody case, there are ways to cope. Try making the most of your time together with planned activities, such as:
- Board games. Board games are fun, engaging, and distract from the artificial environment. If there are no board games available at your visitation location, ask if you can bring one from home.
- Craft projects. Try making something together, like a picture frame, a scrap book, or even puppets. You’ll spend quality time together working on the project, and then you have a physical reminder of your positive time together.
- Make a snack together. If you have a kitchen available to you or can bring what you need, preparing a snack together can seem more like “old times.” It’s fun for the kids to be involved in cooking, and the familiar flavors can be comforting.
- Read a book together. Choose a longer book with chapters, and read it out loud together. You and your kids will both be looking forward to the next visit to hear the rest of the story.
Ultimately, supervised visitation can be an opportunity instead of a punishment. If you have any questions related to supervised visitation in Phoenix or child custody, contact one of our friendly and skilled Phoenix child custody attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292.
Since 1996, Arizona law has required parents going through a divorce to attend parent education classes if their child or children are under the age of 18 and not emancipated. Although these classes are sometimes waived by court order, it is very rare, and you should plan on needing to attend. Generally, the court will not grant any request in your Arizona child custody case until you have attended.
Why Do I Have to Attend Parent Education Classes in Arizona?
The parenting class will be required of parents going through Scottsdale divorce, child custody, parenting time, paternity, or separation proceedings. It addresses issues that arise during these kinds of cases and how they can impact your kids. The class also offers tips on dealing with the stress of restructuring a family and recognizing the signs of serious problems in your children.
The idea behind the class is that divorce and separation can be rough on a family, and it can be especially rough on kids whose parents are going through a high-conflict divorce in Arizona. Many studies have shown that parents who attend parent education classes during their divorce are better with working together during the process and are less likely to need to return to court to work out issues related to child custody and parenting time.
How Long Will the Parent Education Class Take?
In general, the class will take a total of 4 to 6 hours, with a minimum length of 2 hours. It will usually be ordered early on in the divorce, and most parents find they are able to schedule a class for evenings or weekends so as not to interfere with work. If you are concerned about taking the class with the other parent, you can arrange to take separate classes. In fact, in most Arizona counties, both parents can only attend the same class together if they get specific approval from the court.
If you have any questions about your Phoenix child custody case, paternity proceedings, or any other issues related to your Arizona divorce, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale family law attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. Also, request a free copy of our book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
If supervised visitation has been ordered in your Phoenix child custody case, it’s probably not an ideal situation for you. You may be worried that your kids are not getting quality time with both parents, and you may be concerned that the additional stress on everyone involved is taking a toll.
Don’t worry too much. Although supervised visitation may not be exactly what you wanted in your Phoenix child custody case, it can be beneficial for you, your former partner, and your children. Also, if it goes well, it could mean change down the road. For now, focus on the following positive aspects of Phoenix supervised visitation:
- Non-custodial parent. When supervised visitation is ordered, it is often because you have been accused of abuse, neglect, or some other harmful activity. Having someone there with you and your kids means that you have a witness in the case of any new accusations.
- Custodial parent. If there has been conflict in the divorce, or if you are intimidated by your former partner, supervised visitation means that you don’t have to deal with him or her, and you know that your kids are safe.
- Kids. Supervised visitation is good for kids because it gives them a chance to build healthy relationships with both parents, and it can shield them from any conflict or fighting that may result when both parents have to interact.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help explain the visitation process and fight for your child custody rights. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Even after your Scottsdale divorce is final, there could still be some conflict regarding child support payments and parenting time. We recently talked about keeping a calendar and organized records regarding visitation after a Scottsdale divorce, and we’d like to follow up on that with help regarding the organization of your child support payments.
Whether you are paying or receiving child support in Arizona, it is important to keep your records straight. Even in low-conflict child support cases, keeping accurate records can save you both time and heartache. We recommend that you invest in an expanding file folder, so you always know where all of your documents are if you need them.
In this file, you should keep:
- Any applicable court case numbers
- Each child’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, and Social Security number
- The name and contact information for your Scottsdale divorce attorney
- A copy of all documents sent by the court
- A copy of all correspondences between you and your ex-spouse regarding child support payments
- A copy of all checks, whether you are paying or receiving, including the amount and the date of the check
You also may be able to request a yearly report of child support payments if you contact your local clerk of the superior court. If you do receive this, be sure to keep it in your file with the rest of your documents.
If you need help with a Scottsdale child custody issue, contact a skilled and experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. For more information, please see our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: What You Must Know.
As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we answer questions about child support payments all the time. If you are going through a Scottsdale divorce with children involved, take a look at this general guide for Arizona child support. And, of course, if you have any questions that aren’t answered here, don’t hesitate to give one of our skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyers a call today at 1-888-929-5292.
How is Scottsdale child support determined?
Once custody has been assigned, the child support payments will be calculated by looking at both the custodial and non-custodial parents’ incomes. This can vary quite a bit, so give a Tempe divorce lawyer a call for a better idea of what you might be paying.
It is important to note, though, that paternity will need to be established with the court if you were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth.
What happens if my ex stops paying child support in Scottsdale?
If your ex stops making child support payments, or if he or she does not make the payments on time, then you will probably need to enlist the help of a Phoenix family law attorney to get things back on track.
If the non-custodial parent stops paying child support, there are a few things that could happen, including:
- Seizure of his or her bank account
- Interception of unemployment or workers’ compensation payments
- Interception of his or her tax refund
- Reports to the credit bureau
- Court action and ordered jail time
- Suspension of certain licenses
If you have an issue regarding non-payment of child support in Scottsdale, we can help. We are experienced and friendly Scottsdale child custody lawyers who can explain your rights and offer honest answers to your child support questions. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation.
You also can learn more about Arizona child support and other Phoenix family law issues by requesting our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
When you decide to go ahead with your Scottsdale divorce, there are a lot of practicalities to take care of, one of which is serving your spouse divorce papers.
Whether you are doing so in person or through a qualified Scottsdale divorce attorney, serving the divorce papers is how you will officially notify your spouse that you have started legal proceedings for your Arizona divorce.
There are a lot of ways to serve papers to your spouse during a Scottsdale divorce, but regardless of how it’s done, you will need to be sure to include these specific documents:
- Family Court Cover Sheet
- Preliminary Injunction
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with or without Children
- Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
- Notice Regarding Creditors
Once you have served papers to your spouse, you also will need to prove to the court that you gave a copy of the documents to your spouse. Generally, you will file this with the clerk of the court. If you’re not sure about the process, let your Maricopa County divorce lawyer handle it for you.
If you have questions about any of the documents needed for your Scottsdale divorce, contact a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to answering your questions about Arizona divorce.
It’s the part of a Scottsdale divorce that few people talk about, but serving divorce papers to your spouse is one of the most emotionally-fueled moments in the divorce process. Even for couples who have agreed to divorce amicably, the moment when your spouse signs those documents is a big milestone.
It’s not always easy to serve papers, and your spouse is not always ready to sign without another fight. You know that the papers have to be signed, but many people have trouble knowing exactly HOW to do so. Many people choose to let their Scottsdale divorce attorney handle getting the documents where they need to be. However, if you don’t feel comfortable enlisting the help of a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer for this part of the process, you can handle it yourself.
Luckily, there are a few routes you can take to serve divorce papers to your spouse:
- In person: You can hand-deliver the documents that need to be signed. Of course, this works best in a low-conflict divorce situation.
- Certified mail: This works great if your spouse signs and returns the certified mail receipt. If he or she does not, then you will need to try another route.
- First-class mail: You can send the documents through first-class mail, but it’s a little trickier. You will need to include an acknowledgement for your spouse to sign and return. Again, if you do not receive this back, you will need to try something else.
- Third party: A third party process server, such as a sheriff, can serve the papers for you and ask your spouse to sign.
- Newspaper: If you have been unable to serve the divorce papers through any other means, you can ask the court to allow you to publish the notice in a newspaper of your choice. Generally, you will need to provide copies of the published notice and a statement of the time period the notice was run.
Ultimately, if you’re having trouble serving papers to your spouse during your Scottsdale divorce or don’t feel as though you’re up to it, let Curry, Pearson & Wooten help. We are friendly Scottsdale divorce lawyers who can handle preparing and serving any documents that you need in your Arizona divorce. If you’d like more information about what we do, we’d be happy to send you a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
People get divorced for a lot of reasons. If you’re going through the process yourself, you may be wondering what went wrong. In most Scottsdale divorce cases, couples cite multiple reasons for ending their marriages, but these reasons can be boiled down to a few common themes.
Here are some of the top reasons for a Scottsdale divorce:
- Communication: People change over time, so it can be difficult to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. You may find that you talk quite a bit about the kids, the budget, or what to have for dinner, but you’ve lost touch with each other as individuals.
- Money: As economic times get hard, it can put a big strain on your relationship. As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we’ve heard this more and more lately. The stress and the struggle to make ends meet drive a lot of couples apart.
- Infidelity: A cheating spouse leads to about 1/3 of all divorces in the US. Although it may be the result of the breakdown of the marriage rather than the cause, infidelity is the final straw for many troubled couples.
- Abuse: It’s unfortunate, but many Scottsdale divorces are the result of domestic abuse, whether physical or emotional. If your spouse is abusing you or your kids, you need to seek help immediately. Once you are safe, contact a Scottsdale family law attorney to learn about your rights.
- Addiction: Whether it is gambling, drugs, or alcohol, a spouse with an addiction can be grounds for an Arizona divorce. As your spouse’s addiction gets stronger, your family’s needs slip further down his or her list of priorities.
No matter reasoning, you’ll find compassion and understanding with our friendly Scottsdale divorce lawyers. We understand that divorce sometimes brings more questions than answers, so we invite you to meet with a Scottsdale family law attorney as soon as possible. Schedule a completely free consultation today by calling 1-888-929-5292. You’re under no obligation, and we think you’ll be relieved to start getting clear, practical answers about your Arizona divorce.
For more information, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
In theory, visitation is easy in Arizona. Everyone makes a plan and sticks to it. However, even for parents who are able to agree amicably on an initial parenting time plan, situations change over time. Making visitation work requires that you work with your former spouse and around your child’s school and extracurricular schedules, taking into account holidays and vacations as well. Sometimes the schedule that sounded good at first doesn’t quite work out the way you’d hoped, or you or your former spouse change jobs or work schedules. While you can talk to a qualified Maricopa County child custody lawyer about making changes to your custody or visitation agreement, you also can make a few simple changes to how you organize visitation:
- Keep a calendar. Mark both parents’ visitation times clearly, using a different color or symbol for each of you.
- Show up on time. If a parent is always late in dropping off the kids, it can aggravate the situation or cause confusion.
- Make any changes in writing. You might consider communicating changes through e-mail and asking your spouse to confirm each change. Keep a file with this correspondence, and add each change to your calendar.
If you are having trouble with visitation in Phoenix or have questions about Arizona parenting time, contact one of our experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE consultation.
Phoenix relative adoptions have their upsides and their downsides. On the one hand, relative adoptions in Arizona tend to be easier and go a little more smoothly. On the other hand, things only really go smoothly if everyone gives consent. When a Phoenix relative adoption is contested or a party refuses to give adoption consent in Arizona, the process can become a nightmare.
Birth Mother Consent
If the birth mother or legal guardian of the child does not give consent, then adoption generally cannot proceed. However, if the courts terminate parental rights, then the birth mother does not have to give consent. This may be the case if it can be proven that the mother abandoned, abused, or neglected the child or is otherwise unfit.
In some cases, the birth father or the child may also need to give consent for the adoption to proceed. However, the birth father is required to give consent only under certain circumstances, or if he has established paternity. Additionally, the birth father’s parental rights can be terminated if he is deemed unfit or has abandoned the child.
If you are unable to get consent from the necessary parties, then the adoption cannot proceed. Once the consent is signed, however, it generally becomes irrevocable.
Doing research on your own is always a great start, but there is no substitute for an experienced Phoenix family law attorney. Every case is different, and we want to help you understand the details and unique challenges of your Arizona adoption case. Give us a call today at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For further information, don’t forget to order a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Modifying parenting time in Maricopa County sometimes becomes necessary if your circumstances or those of your child have changed since your initial parenting plan was made. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Change of jobs
- Change of location
- Child’s wishes
- Child’s age and needs
- Parent’s wishes
- Lack of interaction from a parent
- Abuse or neglect
How can I change my custody or visitation agreement?
Generally, you must wait a year after the last custody order before you are able to change custody or parenting time. In the case of abuse or neglect, or if one parent violates the custody order, you may be able to petition for an “emergency” change of parenting time. An “emergency” change may also be an option if one parent is arrested for a crime involving a child. If you think you have reason to change your visitation or custody agreement before a year has passed, talk to one of our experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers for answers that are more specific to your unique case.
In order to modify visitation or custody, you will need to show a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances” or that a change in parenting time would be in your child’s best interest. For minor changes to the visitation schedule, Arizona law is more forgiving. A small change may not require the year-long wait, and you may not need to prove a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances,” only that the change would be in the child’s best interest.
What’s the first step?
Because custody and parenting time changes are so very dependent on your circumstances, we recommend that you speak with a Phoenix visitation lawyer as soon as possible to get a clearer idea of what you will need. These kinds of changes can be confusing, not to mention highly emotional, and it helps to know the legal process is in good hands while you ease your children through the process and figure out logistics with your former spouse.
Here at Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we understand that a family’s needs change over time, and we want to help you come to an agreement that works best for you and your child. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE legal consultation, or request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Talking to your kids about your looming Scottsdale divorce is an important step, but you can bet that it will be a hard one. It’s impossible to know exactly how your children will react, but be aware that there are a few factors that make a negative reaction more likely:
- High-conflict divorce: Children listen when you say terrible things about your spouse or get into a shouting match. Although anger is normal after a divorce, do everything in your power to keep that negativity away from your kids.
- The child’s age: Younger children have more trouble making sense of divorce and the changes that come along with it. However, young children are also very resilient. It’s actually your teenagers that will have the hardest time, sometimes due to issues with their peer group.
- Lack of contact with a parent: Divorce can make a child feel as though he or she has “lost” a parent. It’s important that both parents take extra time and care to build a relationship with the child.
- The child’s relationship with each parent: Additionally, it’s important that your relationship with the child is positive. Constantly fighting or otherwise having difficulty getting along can strain emotions for everyone involved.
If you have questions about what will happen with your children during an Arizona divorce, call the Scottsdale divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Also, please take a FREE copy of our book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Many couples who have been through it would agree: the hardest part of a Scottsdale divorce is telling the kids. Divorce is an emotionally complex process, especially if tempers flare and you and your partner have trouble getting along. A lot of parents dread telling their kids about their impending divorce, but it’s just another necessary step in the Arizona divorce process. If you’re worried about telling your kids about your Scottsdale divorce, here are some tips for talking with them:
- Be certain: This may go without saying, but don’t have the conversation with your kids until you are certain that you are getting divorced. Children want to know what will happen, and it’s best to start the conversation once you have decided on a plan of action.
- Tell them: It’s tempting to put the conversation off, or avoid it altogether. However, waiting too long can be disastrous, and kids can feel when something is wrong with Mom and Dad. Don’t let it come as a shock; be there for them through the entire process and help them transition.
- No blame: You and your spouse need to work very carefully to restrain feelings of anger or blame when in front of the kids or explaining the divorce. Don’t force your kids to take sides or be used as weapons.
- Timing: Have the discussion when you, your spouse, and your kids all have enough time to talk and ask questions.
After the conversation and throughout the divorce process, it’s so important that you continually assure your children that they are still loved and that you will remain in their lives. Divorce is never easy, but you can take steps to make it easier on the kids.
If you are going through a divorce in Arizona and have questions about your options, schedule a free and confidential consultation with a friendly and compassionate Scottsdale divorce lawyer. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 with any questions. Don’t forget to also take a copy of our FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Once you’ve decided on a divorce in Arizona and you’ve started getting down to researching the process, the “nuts and bolts” and complexities of a divorce can seem overwhelming. What will happen with the kids? What about the house? Do I need a Scottsdale divorce attorney? Is mediation a better idea?
We highly recommend that you at least speak with a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, but we understand how difficult it is to find the right lawyer for you and your case. Here are a few tips for when you start looking through the phonebook:
- Take your time. There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in divorce, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to take a step you’re not ready to take. If possible, make an agreement with your spouse that you’ll keep the lines of communication open and allow reasonable time to respond to any changes.
- Learn more about divorce law. Take a look around our site to get an idea of how Arizona law works and what you can expect during your Scottsdale divorce.
- Make a list. Think about what you want from an attorney. Do you want someone who is more compassionate or more aggressive? Do you have any special circumstances in your case? Write down what you come up with and consult your list when speaking with potential Arizona divorce attorneys.
- Ask your family and friends. One of the best ways to find a great lawyer is by asking family or friends who have already gone through a divorce in Scottsdale. Even hearing about their bad experiences can help you better formulate what you need, and if they had a good experience, then you have a potential lead.
- Interview several Arizona divorce lawyers. When you’ve started to narrow down your search, spend a little time talking with each lawyer. Meeting in person will give you a chance to see if you feel comfortable with the attorney, and give you an idea of what you’re looking for in your specific area.
The Scottsdale divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten offer a completely free and confidential consultation. We believe that every single one of our clients deserves to be treated with great care and respect, and we will use our experience, skills, and knowledge to help you and your family during this difficult time. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today, and also pick up a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
There’s a common misconception that Arizona prenuptial agreements only cover division of property or custody after an Arizona divorce. However, many couples choose to include additional agreements, and those additions can range from the practical to the bizarre. Couples can include just about anything in their marriage contracts, and we mean anything. Take a look at some of these celebrity prenuptial agreements:
- The prenup of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards included a clause that would get Richards $4 million if Sheen cheated on her.
- Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman’s prenup allows Urban to receive $640,000 for each year they remain married, unless he relapses and uses drugs again.
- Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s prenup includes some lavish support options for Kardashian, including $25,000/month in support, $5,000 for shopping, courtside season tickets for the Lakers for her and her family, and a new luxury vehicle on a regular schedule.
- Other celebrity prenups are rumored to have some unusual provisions, such as payments each time a spouse is rude to his wife’s parents or a forfeiture of property if the wife gains weight.
Although you probably aren’t planning on a prenuptial agreement with these kinds of lavish provisions, it is still a good idea to talk to your fiancé about your plans and hopes for the future. Give the friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today to get answers about your Arizona prenup and to receive a free book: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Many couples feel uncomfortable with the idea of an Arizona prenuptial agreement. Thinking about divorce before you’re even married may seem ridiculous, especially at a time when you’re both so in love and getting ready to spend your lives together. However, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that the worst will happen; it simply outlines how you wish to proceed if it does. For so many couples, an existing prenuptial agreement has eased the path significantly after an unexpected death or a sudden divorce. And there’s no better time to decide on certain issues than when you’re both very much in love and have a clear idea of what you want out of the future.
What is a prenuptial agreement in Arizona?
A prenuptial agreement, also called a marriage contract or premarital agreement, is essentially just a chance for you and your fiancé to define and organize what happens after a divorce or death. Your prenup in Arizona can outline financial issues, custody, spousal support, and many other facets of your life together. It is considered a contract in the eyes of the law.
What should I include in an Arizona prenuptial agreement?
When you start putting together your prenuptial agreement, you and your potential spouse will decide on practical matters to help safeguard your marriage and prepare for the occurrence of divorce or death. Such matters include:
- What will happen with any children, including custody and support;
- How debts will be paid;
- Who will receive the home and other properties;
- How alimony/spousal support will be paid;
- What happens with assets and income;
- How inheritance and gifts will be handled;
- Clarification of death benefits and what will be covered in your will;
- How medical insurance, disability, and long term care insurance will be handled;
- Inheritance for children from before the marriage;
- Protection of a preexisting “nest egg” or protection from a preexisting debt.
Although these are the major issues that most couples work out in a prenuptial agreement, you can include just about anything in the marriage contract. For example, some couples decide ahead of time what happens with “custody” of family pets or what will happen during the marriage, such as if one spouse will stay at home, how equality will be defined in the marriage, or what happens in circumstances such as adultery.
While a prenuptial agreement is not the final word in Arizona divorce law, it can go a long way toward resolving disputes in the case of a later divorce.
If you and your spouse-to-be are considering an Arizona prenuptial agreement, contact the friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. Our first consultation is completely free so that you can get answers to your questions and understand your options. We also offer a completely free book to our web visitors: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
The consequences of annulment in Arizona are very different from the consequences of divorce. Because an annulment essentially makes it as though the marriage never existed, you are not afforded the same rights after the legal process as someone who has gone through a divorce in Arizona.
After an annulment, be aware that:
- You will not have marital property rights: Your former spouse does not need your consent to sell or lease any house or property for which you’re not the legal owner.
- You will not have succession rights: If your former spouse dies, you have no claim to the estate.
- You will not receive spousal support: Although child support may be ordered in an annulment, no financial support will be ordered for a former spouse.
- You might not have guardian rights as a father: You will only be given guardian rights if you can prove that you believed the marriage was valid and the child was born within ten months of the annulment.
If you have questions about your rights after an Arizona annulment or divorce, contact a friendly Arizona family lawyer today by calling 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to helping our clients through tough times and answering their question clearly and honestly. If you’d like to know more about what we do, request a copy of our free book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Annulment in Arizona is distinctly different from divorce in Arizona. An annulment declares your marriage null and void, essentially seeming as though it never happened. A nullified marriage, in theory, is not valid in the first place, as it involves a legal impediment of some kind or something a spouse was unaware of before the marriage.
Consider the reasons for annulment in Arizona:
- Mental illness/mentally challenged: If a spouse is mentally ill or mentally challenged, he or she is legally incapable of consent, and the marriage may be annulled.
- Fraud: If one spouse lies in order to entice the other spouse into marriage, it may be annulled.
- Lack of consent: If a spouse is forced into the marriage under threats of violence, it may be annulled.
- Intoxication: If either spouse is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
- Inability to consummate the marriage: If the impotence of one spouse is unknown to the other spouse at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
- Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage: If an underage person is married without court or parental approval, the marriage may be annulled.
- A spouse is already married: A marriage entered into before an earlier marriage has ended may be annulled.
- Incestuous marriage: If a marriage takes place between a child and a parent or certain other family members, it may be annulled.
- Same-sex marriage: Same-sex marriages are not legal in Arizona, and thus they may be annulled.
- Mock marriage: If a marriage takes place with no intention that it last or be binding, it may be annulled.
Each of these reasons is grounds for annulment, as the marriage was technically invalid at the start. After an annulment, the marriage is erased from the record entirely, as though you were never married. This makes annulment very different from divorce, especially regarding the rights of each spouse. If there are children involved, it’s important to note that any offspring from the marriage are still considered legitimate.
If you are considering a divorce or annulment in Arizona, contact a friendly Phoenix divorce lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today. We are experienced Maricopa County family lawyers who understand that each case is unique, and we look forward to building a relationship with you. If you’d like to know more about us and what we do, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix curfew laws define when your minor child may be outside without adult supervision. They are enforced by the police and can result in an Arizona juvenile offense for your teen if not followed.
Although it is commonly believed that the curfew hours are extended during the summer, the curfew laws are exactly the same for your child whether he or she is outdoors unsupervised during the summer or during the school year. Understanding curfew laws is important if you are the parent of a Phoenix teen. Not only do you want to keep your teen safe and out of trouble, but the law also allows you, as the parent, to personally be held responsible for a curfew violation in some cases.
What are the Phoenix curfew hours?
The hours that the Phoenix curfew is in effect vary depending on the age of your child:
- Under the age of 15: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Ages 16 and 17: Midnight to 5 a.m.
What are the exceptions to the curfew?
- Exceptions to the curfew apply if your teen is:
- With a parent or legal guardian;
- With another adult person;
- On an emergency errand;
- Involved in any “reasonable, legitimate, and specific business or activity directed or permitted by his parent” or other adult responsible for the teen;
- An emancipated minor.
It is important to note that an older teen, such as a sibling, cannot count as a valid guardian for a child. Only adults over the age of 21 can “supervise” your teen, according to Phoenix city laws.
What are the penalties for a Phoenix curfew violation?
A teen found in violation of the curfew laws could be charged with a misdemeanor offense in Phoenix. If it is a first offense, however, offenders are usually offered the option of attending a communication course for a fee instead. Any parent can be charged with violating the curfew laws if the judge feels this is appropriate.
Many other cities near Phoenix, such as Scottsdale and Mesa, have similar curfew laws. If you have questions about curfew laws or are the parent of a teen charged with a Phoenix curfew violation, call the Phoenix criminal lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We are Arizona juvenile defense lawyers who are prepared to answer your questions thoroughly and honestly. We also offer a free book that may be helpful for parents: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
In an Arizona divorce, both parents usually are granted at least some aspects of custody, and the noncustodial parent will generally have visitation rights. The courts consider many factors when deciding who gets custody, how visitation is handled, and what is best for your kids. Behind the scenes, these are the factors the courts are considering in your Phoenix child custody case:
- The child’s age and preference;
- The child’s health, both mental and physical;
- The parents’ health, both mental and physical;
- Lifestyle of the parents, including any history of abuse;
- Emotional relationship with the child and ability to parent effectively;
- Ability for the parent to provide necessities, such as food, shelter, and medical care;
- The lifestyle and patterns the child is used to, such as activities, schools, and churches;
- The parent’s ability to communicate effectively with the other parent.
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to Arizona divorce, and it’s important that you understand your rights during the difficult custody and visitation process. Contact a compassionate Phoenix divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292, and also request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We are devoted to helping our clients get the best results.
Supervised visitation is an option in high conflict divorces to ensure that the kids are safe and supervised when in the company of the noncustodial parent. In many cases, supervised visitation is an alternative to no visitation at all, so it is important that everyone understands the rules and works under them.
What is supervised visitation in Arizona?
The noncustodial parent has a right to visitation in Arizona, but that right can be suspended or denied in certain circumstances. Supervised visitation is a visitation limitation that means the noncustodial parent may only see the children when a third party is present to ensure that the children are safe.
What are the reasons for supervised visitation?
In general, visitation is only restricted when the child is in danger or when unrestricted visitation is against the child’s best interest. Typical reasons why supervised visitation may be ordered include:
- Violence, abuse, or physical endangerment
- Emotional harm or abuse
- It’s what the child wants: The child’s age and maturity level will be considered in this case.
- A parent’s mental illness: If the noncustodial suffers from a mental illness, he or she is not automatically restricted, but can be if the illness has the potential to cause harm to the child.
- Substance abuse: This is especially important in cases such as alcoholism where the child is mistreated or otherwise harmed by the noncustodial parent’s substance use.
- Sexual behavior: Although it’s rare for visitation to be restricted due to the noncustodial parent’s relationship behavior, it is possible for the court to restrict overnight visitation if the noncustodial parent is living with an individual and it causes harm to the child in some way.
- Parent is in prison: Incarceration does not automatically deny or limit visitation, but it can be denied if the visitation is harmful to the child.
- Religious beliefs: If the noncustodial parent’s instruction in a religious belief harms the child, then visitation may be limited.
- Abduction threat: If there is a strong probability that the noncustodial parent will kidnap the child, visitation will be limited.
If you are involved in a Phoenix divorce and have questions about visitation, contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney at 1-888-929-5292 today. We know the divorce process is never easy, especially when there are children involved. Request a copy of our free book to help you through this difficult time: Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
The adoption process in Arizona is difficult enough without having to deal with an adoption scam. Adoption scams are heartbreaking for families, but also financially devastating. Many families prepare for an adoption by buying a bigger house, renovating a nursery, or quitting full-time jobs. Adoption scams, for many, cause emotional trauma that lasts long after the financial trauma has been mitigated. The best way to prevent an Arizona adoption scam is to be prepared to spot trouble.
False Promises and Emotional Manipulation
Making the decision to seek adoption is an emotional one for families. Fraudsters are aware of this, and thus look to take advantage of people who are emotionally invested and impatient to find their new family member as soon as possible. This is how adoption agencies get you:
- Promise to find a baby and guarantee placement within a short amount of time;
- Avoid meeting in person;
- Do not offer proof of pregnancy or medical information;
- Claim not to have ever had a negative report or refuse to offer references;
- Claim to successfully place each and every time;
- Charge large fees upfront for the adoption and related services;
- Give you the run around when you ask for documentation;
- Do not return your phone calls;
- Relocate the birth mother;
- Avoid questions about the birth father.
Not Just Adoption Agencies
Unfortunately, fraud is not just an issue with agencies, either. Dealing with the expectant birth parents may leave you vulnerable to adoptions scams, as well. Be on the lookout for a birth mother who:
- Seems to be in a constant state of crisis and high drama;
- Constantly requests money and offers excuses;
- Refuses to sign a medical release;
- Will not talk about the birth father;
- Refuses to talk to your Arizona adoption lawyer or agency;
- Changes the due date or sends medical information, such as ultrasound pictures, without identifying information;
- Avoids face-to-face meetings and refuses to give out contact information;
- Refuses to tell family, friends, and doctors about the adoption.
If you are seeking to adopt in Arizona, it can be dangerous to go it alone. Contact a compassionate Phoenix family law attorney today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to our clients’ needs and explaining all available options as clearly and honestly as possible. If you have more questions about what a Maricopa County adoption lawyer can do for you, request our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Even the best Phoenix divorce attorney can’t help you with the non-legal aspects of a legal separation. Although you remain legally married, you and your spouse will experience many of the same emotional reactions and stresses that face divorcing couples. Concerns about your children, your living situation, and your property can cause tempers to flare. In our experience, we have seen legal separation cases go much more smoothly for those who were able to:
- Stick to the terms of the separation agreement;
- Control feelings of anger;
- Communicate civilly;
- Make children the priority.
What actions should I avoid?
If you’re going through a legal separation, it can be very difficult to control your anger or stifle impulses. During the period you are legally separated from your spouse, try to avoid:
- Engaging in physical intimacy with your spouse;
- Starting a relationship with someone new;
- Talking badly about your spouse, especially to your children;
- Doing hurtful things to your spouse out of anger.
Legal separation gives you and your spouse time to reflect on the marriage and see what divorce might look like. Giving in to anger ultimately works against you, and can even hurt your case later. If you have questions about your Arizona divorce or legal separation, give your Phoenix divorce lawyers a call at 1-888-929-5292 today.
Obtaining a legal separation in Arizona means that, although you remain legally married, you and your spouse will live apart from each other. Many couples choose this option as an alternative to divorce, and, although some remain legally separated for the long term, many do choose to divorce eventually. If you’re not sure if you and your spouse are ready for a divorce, legal separation can provide a sort of “test run” before you decide.
Why Many Arizona Couples Choose Legal Separation
There are a lot of reasons why some couples prefer to undergo a legal separation rather than a divorce. Legal separation allows spouses to live apart, but still protects some of their rights and benefits. Some reasons why couples choose legal separation include:
- Time apart: Sometimes couples aren’t sure if divorce is the answer, and just need some space to think and decide.
- Social Security benefits: Some of these benefits require that a couple remains married for ten years or more.
- Military benefits: In order to take advantage of some military benefits, the marriage must have lasted at least ten years.
- Religious beliefs: Couples may want to remain legally married while living apart due to the fact that their religious beliefs conflict with divorce.
- A “test run”: The separation agreement can be the template for a later divorce settlement.
How Legal Separation in Arizona Works
When you decide to work toward a legal separation in Arizona, many concerns will be addressed and agreed upon, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property
- Division of debts
- Spousal support
Be aware when negotiating the separation agreement that many judges do use this as a template for your later divorce. It is very important to consider the terms of the separation agreement as though they were the terms of a divorce, even if you don’t plan on divorcing right away.
Legal separation and divorce in Arizona can be very confusing and emotionally difficult. If you need help preparing for a Maricopa County divorce or legal separation, give the Arizona divorce attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292.
We talked recently about the idea of community debt in Arizona and how it might affect you after a divorce, but we know that you have other financial concerns, too. When it comes time to negotiate a settlement agreement, keep in mind:
- Your retirement plan may not kick in as soon as you think. Due to changes in Social Security, your benefits may not begin at the age of 64. In fact, you might not receive benefits until you’re 67.
- You may be paying extra for health insurance. It may be necessary for you to obtain health insurance for any children involved, or it may be necessary to pay more in child support to cover those costs. Additionally, if you’re covered by a health plan at work, your spouse may have a right to coverage under that plan for a few years after the marriage.
- Your cost of living may increase after the divorce. Especially if you have children, maintaining your lifestyle can become very difficult if you’ve been depending on a second income from your spouse.Keeping up with your necessary expenses and monthly bills can quickly get you in over your head if you’re not prepared.
How your settlement agreement is negotiated has a huge impact on your financial security after a divorce. Hiring an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer is a tremendous help, and we are devoted to providing clear, honest answers to your difficult questions. Give us a call as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. Also, don’t forget to request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We look forward to speaking with you.
Much like community property, any debts or financial obligations are divided up between the two individuals during a divorce in Arizona. Regardless of which spouse incurred the debts, the courts consider any debt racked up by either spouse during the course of the marriage “community debt.” Dividing property and debt in the divorce can be very complicated and stressful. Although speaking personally with a qualified Arizona divorce lawyer is the best way to understand the intricacies of your divorce case, we’d like to share a little general information about community debt so you have an idea of what to expect.
What is community debt?
As stated above, community debt in Arizona is any financial obligation or debt incurred by either spouse during the marriage. This includes money owed for items only one spouse used, such as a computer used by one spouse for work or perhaps a fishing rod only the husband used. Any debts still owed that stacked up during the marriage belong to BOTH spouses, according to Arizona divorce law. However, under certain circumstances the court may assign the debt to only one party. During divorce proceedings, the debt will be equitably divided so that each spouse is responsible for roughly half.
What are the exceptions?
This is where it gets complicated. There are some exceptions to community debt:
- Debt incurred before the marriage: These debts do not become community debt simply because you married. Instead, these debts generally remain the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them. An example would be old college loan payments from before you were married.
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures: The courts may take large or unusual debts incurred by one party into account when dividing community debt.
- Creditors can ignore the court’s decision: Even though the court may have divided the debts between you and your spouse, your credit card company or other creditors have no legal obligation to follow this decision. For example, if the balance on a credit card was assigned to the husband and he fails to make payments, the credit card company can still pursue the wife and even take legal action against her.
Dividing property and debt is one of the most stressful and complicated parts of the Arizona divorce process. If you have questions about how community property laws affect you, contact an experienced Maricopa County divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. We offer a legal consultation for no charge, and we also want you to have a free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Although new research shows that staying together for the children is not always best, a nasty Arizona custody battle can still affect children negatively if it is handled poorly. As a parent, it can be very difficult to keep yourself together and ease your children through a process that is already painful for you. As Arizona family law attorneys, we want you to be prepared for the challenges that custody proceedings can bring.
Divorce can bring out the worst in parents, and in some cases children experience the following:
- Losing contact with one of the parents;
- Losing participation by one of the parents;
- Overhearing parents speaking badly about each other;
- Interviews with police, lawyers, counselors, etc.;
- Moving to a new neighborhood or school;
- Financial issues creating problems.
While some of these events are out of your control, anticipating the challenges ahead and being prepared can make a big difference for you and your kids. Seeking the advice of an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer can make your Arizona custody battle go more quickly and smoothly. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free consultation so that we can talk about your unique case. We look forward to helping you.
An Arizona divorce is never easy, and it is especially difficult when there are children involved. You want to do what’s best for the kids, but you are completely miserable, fight every day with your spouse, and just want to get away. It is commonly thought that it is always best to avoid a divorce and stay together for the children, but a recent study may have actually proven the opposite.
The study, released last year, followed close to 7,000 families over the course of 15 years.
- The level of marital conflict in each relationship
- The perception of conflict by the children
- The conflict in the children’s later adult relationships
The results were surprising: the children who were raised in high-conflict environments did better in their adult relationships if their parents had divorced. The researchers believe that it is exposure to their parents’ constant conflict, not the divorce itself, which causes a child to have trouble in future relationships.
But what does the research mean for my divorce in Arizona?
Basically, the research implies that staying together “for the children” is probably more harmful in the long run than divorce if you are in a high-conflict marriage. Although kids do go through a “crisis period” for a year or two after the divorce, the study suggests that they bounce back and go on to have healthier adult relationships.
Not every divorce ends peacefully, unfortunately, and continued conflict between parents after the divorce may still affect children negatively. Strangely, the study also showed that, while children of happy couples did have healthy relationships in the long run, they did not have significantly happier adult relationships compared to the children of high-conflict couples.
Of course, one scientific study doesn’t make the process of deciding whether or not to get divorced any easier. If you live in Arizona and you have questions about divorce and custody, schedule a FREE consultation with one of our qualified Phoenix divorce lawyers at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292. We will take your concerns seriously and be honest about what we can do to help. For further information, we also recommend that you read our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
State laws pertaining to adoption by relatives vary. Even the definition of “relative” can be different in different states. For example, Arizona defines a relative as an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child. In contrast, Florida defines a relative as anyone related by blood and within the third degree of relation to the child. Despite these variances, children are adopted by relatives quite often. In fact, around 30 percent of all children adopted from foster care in Arizona are adopted by their relatives.
What do I need to know about relative adoption?
The good news is that most Arizona relative adoptions are treated less formally than adoptions by strangers. The bad news is that these cases can be confusing, and you will still need to go through the legal process. Although the specifics of state laws vary, you should keep in mind that:
- Adoption by a relative is not treated the same as adoption by a stepparent.
- Both biological parents generally must terminate parental rights to enable the relative to adopt the child.
- Counseling is highly recommended due to the potential change or strain in your relationship with the child’s parent or parents, since everyone knows each other.
- The child may have questions about family relationships after the adoption or trouble transitioning, especially in very emotional cases.
As with any adoption, it’s important to remember that the “hard part” of adopting a child doesn’t end when your legal case ends. While your Phoenix adoption attorneys navigate the legal system, it will be up to you to deal with tricky relationships and focus on easing the child into your home.
Doing research on your own is always a great start, but there is no substitute for an experienced Arizona family law attorney. Every case is different, and we want to help you understand the details and unique challenges of your Arizona adoption case. Give us a call today at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For further information, don’t forget to order a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
No couple starts their marriage with the intent of going through an Arizona divorce. Unfortunately, divorces have become all too frequent and are leaving more fathers living apart from their children.
A quick look at the numbers
According to the Pew Research Center, more and more fathers are living apart from their children:
- In 1960, approximately 11% of children did not live with their fathers
- That number rose to 27% in 2010
Does race have anything to do with it?
A Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth found a strong correlation between race/ethnicity and living arrangements between fathers and their children. Nearly:
- 44% of black fathers live apart from their children
- 35% of Hispanic fathers live apart from their children
- 21% of white fathers live apart from their children
At-home fathers are more involved
Research also suggests that fathers who live with their children are more active in their child’s day-to-day lives, helping more with activities such as:
- Meal preparation
There is a lot more information available to you if you are facing a divorce. Contact us today to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a divorce, especially with children involved, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
There are many reasons why a single mother or father would want to prove paternity. However, establishing Arizona paternity can be a difficult task.
Benefits of establishing paternity
First, it’s important to point out some of the benefits of establishing paternity, which include:
- Providing legal, emotional, social and economic ties between the father and the child
- Providing certain legal rights to the child, such as rights to inheritance, medical insurance benefits, life insurance benefits and Social Security benefits
- Providing the child an opportunity to develop a relationship with the father
When paternity is contested
The father may contest paternity. The court can therefore establish paternity, if:
- Both parties agree to a paternity test
- The evidence is presented in court
- The genetic test reflects a 95 percent likelihood of paternity
Will the state of Arizona pay for the test in advance?
The short answer is yes. However, if the man turns out to be the biological father, he will be required to reimburse the state.
For more information about family law issues, you can order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are trying to determine paternity of your child, you should contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
One of the most challenging tasks that must be done when dissolving a marriage is determining how the debts and assets will be divided. It is important that you understand the state law and other factors that will help you reach a reasonable settlement.
There Are a Few Things You Need to Know About Property Settlement After Divorce
When you decide to divorce, your property will need to be divided between you and your spouse. Property isn’t limited to the house you own; other assets, such as bank accounts, retirement savings and even home furnishings, must be included in the property settlement.
You need to keep the following in mind regarding property settlements:
- Arizona is a community property state. What does this mean exactly? According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-211, any property that is acquired by either spouse during marriage is considered community property of both spouses. There are some exceptions though. If the property was “acquired by gift, demise or descent,” it is considered separate property and would belong to the spouse to which the property was given. There are some other exceptions, which should be discussed with an experienced lawyer.
- Marital misconduct isn’t a factor the court considers when dividing property. If you feel like your spouse owes you something or should be punished for marital misconduct, the court will not consider that as a factor when dividing the property. However, the court might look at “excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of” community property.
- Debts must be divided too. When you divorce, your debts will also need to be divided between you and your spouse. It doesn’t matter if your husband or wife incurred the debts, because they are still considered community debts.
You can learn more about property settlement and divorce in our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We are currently offering this informative guide for FREE, so be sure to get a copy.
Get Your Questions Answered
If you have questions about getting divorced in Arizona, contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Taxes probably weren’t the first thing going through your mind when you and your spouse decided to call it quits. The initial worry about what would happen when you filed your taxes most likely didn’t set in until you were well into the divorce process. All of a sudden the thought finally hit you – what will your taxes look like this year?
Time magazine published a very interesting article about this subject titled, “Divorce and Taxes: Five Things You Need to Know.” Below is a summary of some of the key points that will hopefully shed some light on your situation:
- Use the calendar year when determining your marriage status. It doesn’t matter if your divorce became final sometime between the first of the year and tax day, because you might still be viewed as a married couple in terms of your taxes. For example, if your marriage was dissolved on February 3, 2011, you would still be considered married as far as your 2010 taxes are concerned.
- You might be considered “head of household.” You aren’t limited by claiming single or married, as there is a third option – head of household. If you are in the process of getting divorced, you may qualify for this status. The good news is that this option could save you money.
- Your children might not be dependents in the eyes of the IRS. Deciding who gets custody of the children and how often they spend with each parent is no longer a cut and dry issue. There are many unique arrangements made in regards to child custody. For the most part, you are only allowed to claim your children as dependents if you are the custodial parent identified by court order. If you don’t have a court order, generally you would be considered the custodial parent if your children lived with you for most of the year.
- Spousal support makes for a good deduction. Spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, is considered an above-the-line deduction. What does that mean to your tax bill? It means you don’t have to itemize deductions in order to take advantage of the tax savings.
- The house won’t come tax-free. If the house is yours after the divorce and you decide to sell it, you could be slapped with capital gains taxes. A married couple doesn’t have to pay taxes on a gain of up to $500,000 on the sale of their primary residence. However, single people only are exempt up to $250,000.
Of course, you should always consult with an experienced tax professional when it comes to divorce and taxes. An accountant or knowledgeable tax preparer will be able to explain the IRS rules and any resulting tax liabilities you might face.
Get the Help You Need From Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorneys
If you need help with a family law matter, contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Whether you will be the one paying Alimony in Arizona or the one receiving it, there are some things you need to know. Alimony, which is known as spousal maintenance in Arizona, can be defined as an allowance of support paid by one ex-spouse to the other. Spousal maintenance may be paid to the former husband or wife.
Factors to Consider
The court may award spousal maintenance based on any of the following factors:
- The spouse doesn’t have enough property to cover his or her needs.
- The spouse lacks appropriate employment needed to pay living expenses.
- The spouse can’t or shouldn’t work outside of the home because of the age or condition of a child who is in his or her custody.
- The marriage was of a long duration and the spouse is at an age when obtaining appropriate employment may not be a possibility.
- The labor market is prohibiting the spouse from earning money to support him or herself.
Spousal maintenance cannot be used as a way to punish one spouse in the divorce. For example, you will not be awarded alimony simply because your spouse cheated during the marriage. It is designed specifically to provide financial support.
When You Need Help
If you are dealing with a family law issue, such as spousal maintenance, you don’t have to face the situation alone. The Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC have helped residents of Maricopa County, just like you, with spousal maintenance, divorce proceedings, child support and more.
To talk with an experienced lawyer, contact us today by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
We have written numerous articles, frequently asked questions and blog entries regarding some of the most pressing family law issues. Below are some of the most popular topics viewed on our website:
An Arizona divorce can create many challenging issues to confront, such as wondering how you are going to afford to support yourself and/or care for your child(ren). The state of Arizona allows one spouse to seek spousal support or maintenance from the other spouse.
What is spousal support/maintenance?
You may be familiar with the term “alimony,” but Arizona no longer uses that term. Instead, the state refer to it as spousal support or maintenance. It is money to be paid by one spouse to the other in the event that the couple goes through a divorce.
If you are considering seeking spousal support or maintenance, you will need to prove:
- That you lack sufficient property to provide for your reasonable needs
- That you are unable to support yourself through appropriate employment
- That the age and condition of your child(ren) would prevent you from working outside the home
- That your earning ability would prevent you from working in the labor market to adequately support yourself
Order your free book
There are many other factors that the court will consider. Contact us today for more information and to order a copy of our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a divorce, especially with children involved, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
The effects of an Arizona divorce are far-reaching. Not only are the spouses and children impacted by the failed marriage, but often the grandparents as well. Sadly, the amount of time grandparents get to spend with their precious grandchildren is sometimes limited following a painful divorce. The good news is that in Arizona, grandparents have rights that are specifically defined by the law.
What the Law Says About Grandparent Rights
If you are a grandparent, you should be aware that you can pursue a court-ordered visitation with your grandkids. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-409, you may be granted reasonable visitation rights to your grandchild “during the child’s minority on a finding that the visitation rights would be in the best interests of the child.” The other stipulation is that one of the following must apply to your situation:
- It has been at least three months since your grandchild’s parents have been divorced.
- One of the parents has been deceased or missing for at least three months. There are two circumstances in which a parent would be considered missing – either the parent’s location is unknown or law enforcement has declared him or her missing.
- The parents were not married when your grandchild was born.
Our state is unique in that it also gives great-grandparents rights under the law. If you are a great-grandparent wondering about the possibility of obtaining a court-ordered visitation, you should talk with an Arizona family law attorney who can explain what is involved.
There are some factors that are considered by the court when determining if grandparent visitations are in the best interests of the child. These factors are also listed in § 25-409 and include the following:
- Your historical relationship with the child.
- Your motivation in pursuing visitation.
- Why visitation might have been denied.
- The amount of visitation time that you have requested and the possible impact on the child’s customary activities.
- The benefit of continuing an extended family relationship, if one or both of your grandchild’s parents is deceased.
About Our Arizona Family Law Attorneys
Dealing with a family law issue, such as grandparent rights can be overwhelming. There are often a lot of emotions involved and knowing what steps should be taken can be downright confusing. We can help. Our Arizona family lawyers will walk you through the entire process of getting court-ordered visitation and will be available to answer your questions.
Contact the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Making the decision to adopt a child is one that brings both a sense of anticipation and confusion. Adopting a child is a rewarding experience, one that will change the lives of your family members, as well as the adopted child forever. The adoption process can also be challenging for families, as they try to navigate through the steps and procedures involved.
Below are some of the commonly asked questions regarding Arizona adoption, which will hopefully shed some light on the concerns that may have been going through your mind:
- What’s the difference between open adoption and closed adoption? If you ask this question of two different people, you will get two different answers. For the most part, an open adoption can be defined as one in which the birth mother and in some cases, the birth father, have some knowledge of the adoptive parents. In a closed adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents do not meet or even know each other’s names.
- Who can adopt a child? Under the law, only adult residents of Arizona can adopt in our state. Adoptive parents must be certified by the court in the county in which they reside. Individuals or married couples may be able to adopt.
- Who can be adopted? A child, who is under the age of 18, may be adopted, as long as the child’s parents have consented to the adoption. A foreign-born individual aged 21 or under, may also be adopted providing that he or she is not an illegal alien. The child being adopted must be present in Arizona at the time the adoption petition is filed.
- Is the consent of the birth father needed? In some cases, the answer is “yes.” If the birth mother and father are married, consent is needed. Also, the father will need to provide consent if paternity of the child has been established.
- Where do I find an adoption agency? There are many adoption agencies in Arizona and throughout the country. There are both private and public agencies. For more information, you should visit: https://www.azdes.gov/az_adoption/.
- Do I need an Arizona adoption lawyer? Adopting a child is not a simple process and can be overwhelming. An experienced Arizona adoption attorney can assist you with the petition, represent you in court and help you handle the various legal issues that arise.
- What is a post-adoption contact agreement? This agreement generally has to do with the communication between the adopted child, birth parents and adoptive parents. The court will approve an agreement if it feels that it is in the child’s best interests.
If you are considering adoption and have additional questions, contact the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
An Arizona divorce will more than likely impact your kids the most. However, a divorce can be tough on both spouses. In many instances, one parent is left dealing with deep emotions resulting from limited visitation and parenting time.
You may request a parenting time modification
You have the right to make a request for a post-divorce modification concerning parenting time. If granted, the time you get to spend with your kids may increase significantly.
Petitioning for a parenting time modification
In order to have your parenting time modified, you must be able to demonstrate that there has been a significant and continuing change in your circumstances that would warrant a modification in your parenting time such as:
- A lack of exercising parenting time by your ex-spouse
- A request by your minor children
- Your spouse engaging in behavior that would prevent your ability to spend meaningful time with your children
Order Your Free Book
Contact us today if you would like more information on visitation and parenting time modifications and to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are considering a divorce or making a modification to your visitation and parenting time, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
No couple plans on a divorce. Unfortunately, not all covenant marriages survive and can leave a wake of devastating emotions of anger and resentment.
About covenant marriages
In 1998, the Arizona Legislature established the “covenant marriage,” intending to offer an alternative option for people who want to get married.
Requirements for a covenant marriage
In order for couples to enter into a covenant marriage, they must:
- Complete pre-marital counseling
- Sign an agreement stating that they will make an effort to remain married
When one spouse wants to dissolve a covenant marriage
In the event that one of the spouses wants to dissolve the marriage, he or she must claim and prove that the other spouse committed one or more of the following:
- A felony resulting in prison or the death penalty
- Abandonment of the matrimonial domicile for at least a year
- Physically or sexually abused the other spouse, a child, or relative of the spouse seeking the divorce
- Habitual abuse of drugs or alcohol
- When the spouses have lived apart for at least two years
- When both spouses mutually agree to dissolve the marriage
Call us today to learn more and to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a divorce, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
There are many factors that go into calculating child support. You have to take into account the financial resources and needs of the child and custodial parent. The child’s physical and emotional condition must be reviewed, not to mention the standard of living the child would have enjoyed, had the divorce not occurred. As you can see, calculating child support isn’t a simple process.
It is understandable that things might change following a divorce. Your situation at the time child support payments were calculated might not be the same today. You could have had a drop in income or your child’s needs might be different. According to federal and state law, you have the legal right to ask for a modification of the child support order.
Why You May Want to Have Your Child Support Order Reviewed
Some of the common reasons for requesting a review for a child support modification include the following:
- The child now resides with the non-custodial parent
- It has been three years or more since the child support order was last reviewed
- There has been a significant change in income or loss of a job
- Expenses have changed regarding the child’s care
- The child is over the age of 18
- A loss of medical insurance coverage has occurred
- A disability has been determined
If you are wondering if you should look into a modification of your child support order, you should speak with an experienced Arizona family law attorney. A lawyer will be able to review your situation and advise you about the possibility of obtaining a modification, as well as explain the process involved.
We Can Make a Child Support Modification a Little Less Overwhelming
At the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC we understand that any issue relating to your children after a divorce can be challenging. That is why we will be with you throughout the entire process, helping you get through this overwhelming time. Our Phoenix family lawyers are experienced in handling modification of child support orders and may be able to help you.
For more information, contact us by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to raise a child from birth to the age of 17, you are looking at spending close to a quarter of a million dollars. That figure is based on children who were born in 2009. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research also shows that the cost of raising a child only goes up as he or she ages.
This latest research into the amount of money it takes to care for a child only prompts the question – is it possible to cover the cost with one salary? When a couple is divorced, should one spouse try to carry this financial burden alone?
Factors Considered When Calculating Child Support
In Arizona, just like many other states, you may be able to obtain child support from your ex-spouse. The incomes of both parents will be taken into consideration when calculating the amount of support needed to care for the child. According to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines:
“monthly figures are used to calculate the child support obligation. Any adjustments to the child support amount shall be annualized so that each month’s child support obligation is increased or decreased in an equal amount, instead of the obligation for particular months being abated, increased or decreased.”
The court will take many factors into consideration when determining child support, including some of the following:
- The child and custodial parent’s financial resources and needs
- The amount of parenting time
- The child’s medical support plan
- The standard of living the child was accustomed to before the divorce
Obtaining Child Support
Once the court has determined the child support amount, a court order will be issued. This court order outlines the amount of child support that must be paid, the person who is responsible for child support and when the payments will begin. The payments are generally made through the court, unless both parents have reached an agreement to do otherwise. Every month, the payments must be made on time. Failing to do so could result in jail time, liens and other penalties.
How We Can Help
Dealing with a family law issue, such as child support, can be overwhelming and confusing. An experienced Phoenix family law attorney can represent you in court, as you pursue child support. A knowledgeable lawyer will also look out for the best interests of your children.
For answers to your questions, contact one of the experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.