<![CDATA[Arizona courts updated child custody laws in January 2013 and now awards “legal decision-making” which applies to the legal responsibility and decision-making for minor children. These legal decision-making rights includes those around education, healthcare, religion, personal care and more.
In Arizona, it also includes legal custody, however works to encourage more parental cooperation in order to provide fair co-parenting time that is most beneficial to the children. The Court will take into consideration parental behavior including drug/alcohol abuse and actions during the proceedings. Parenting Time is the court approved schedule that states when each parent has the child(ren).
Mediation is an option for parents in Arizona who need help creating a parenting plan that includes parenting time schedules including communication, meeting locations, decision-making, and more in line with the child(ren)’s best interest. Temporary Orders may be put in place in order to set the guidelines in place prior to the formal divorce proceedings.
A lawyer can support with hostile or otherwise disagreeable situations, such as coercion, deception, and/or abuse situations by either spouse.
Child Support Matters
Joint and Sole legal decision-making determinations don’t mean there will be equal time or no contact, so it is important to understand the determinations and how they effect you, your former spouse, and your child(ren). Child support in Arizona can be determined based on:
- The standard of living experienced by each spouse during the course of marriage
- Financial contributions made by each spouse through the marriage
- The ability to maintain an acceptable standard of living while paying child support
- The required care of children and its effect on the parent(s)
The Arizona Supreme Court child support guideline formulas determine the amount awarded, and this amount can be modified if certain conditions are met.
What to Expect in a Divorce Involving Minor Children
Divorces have several steps, and depending on your specific case and needs, not all the steps will be required. However, the overall process includes:
File for Legal Separation.
When there is hope or desire for the marriage to continue, but property, financial matters, and even child custody need to be resolved until a determination as to whether or not to pursue divorce is considered, a legal separation can be filed. Some people choose this option, while others instead skip it and file for a dissolution of marriage.
File for Divorce (Petition for Dissolution of Marriage).
This is filed by one party and delivered to the other in order for divorce proceedings to begin.
Temporary Orders are automatically issued when children are involved in a divorce hearing to determine legal decision-making and parenting time expectations.
Legal Decision-Making (Child Custody).
Legal decision-making is determined in the best interest of the child(ren) which both parents agree to. Parenting Time and a Parenting Plan are determined.
Both parties present information to support their cases with or without assistance from a divorce lawyer.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony/ Spouse Support).
Decided by the Judge, spousal maintenance is designed to support a similar lifestyle for the awarded spouse to that of their married one.
Both property and debt acquired during marriage is considered equally shared and therefore equally divided.
Child support is determined based on standard calculations by the court.
Consent Decree/ Marital Settlement Agreement.
Once all proceedings are complete, a final Degree will be issued and the divorce is finalized.
Every divorce is complicated and emotionally difficult which is why using a divorce attorney is important. The skills of a highly-trained and committed Phoenix divorce lawyer will properly inform you of your rights during a time you may not be clear-headed. Simon Law Group can provide support for child custody, fair parenting time and more. We are here 24 hours to assist you with a free and confidential consultation. And, if needed, you can be assured of an aggressive, yet fair, divorce proceeding when working with us. Call 480-745-2450 today.]]>