If you are going through a divorce in Arizona, you likely wonder what your, as well as your partner’s rights are. In Arizona, co-parenting is the priority – the courts don’t favor one parent or the other, unless there is an issue of child endangerment on either or both sides.
Fair parenting time and custody, child support and spousal support (alimony), could all be concerns you have that will need to be addressed before, during and after the divorce. Working with a divorce attorney early will help set you up for the most success.
Understanding Parenting Time and Decision Making
Parenting time and decision making are the court recognized agreements parents make to have share responsibility of their child(ren). Decision-making is one or both parent’s ability and right to make decisions on behalf of the child including medical, educational and care. Parenting time includes schedules the parents will have time with the kids both on a day-to-day basis, but also for special events and holidays. Children having access to both parents is seen as a huge asset. In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures has found:
“…increased parental access and visitation not only improve parent-child relationships and outcomes for children, but also have been demonstrated to result in improved child support collections, which creates a double win for children—a more engaged parent and improved financial security.” Source: NCSL: Child Support and Parenting Time Orders
Of course, access to a parent who is unsafe due to drug or alcohol dependence, abuse or domestic violence, or other safety concerns, should not have access to children and this should be addressed with your lawyer. It is incredibly important to be honest about you and your child’s safety.
Receiving or Paying Child Support
Child support isn’t objective, but rather uses a standard calculation to determine what a parent will owe the other for caring for their child. Monthly gross income of each parent is compared with child expenses and how much parenting time each parent has. Child support is designed to cover child care, medical care, and day to day care of the child is shared.
Child support modifications can be made in some cases, such as when there is a large change to either parent’s income, ability to work, or health insurance change.
Getting or Paying Spousal Support
Unlike child support that uses a specific calculation, spousal support will be awarded based on information provided by both parties and can not be modified once awarded. Duration of marriage, each partner’s income and finances, each partner’s ability to find gainful employment and housing, and if there is a premarital agreement in place with a directive, will help the court make a determination.
If you are considering getting a divorce in Arizona and want to make sure you are safe and your rights are honored, contact Simon Law Group. With over 20 years in family law, we will make sure your divorce is successful from the start. Give us a call for a free consultation today at 480-745-2450.