The most common issues in family law involve divorce, alimony or spousal support, child support and child custody. Dealing with domestic relations can be really stressful, painful and frustrating. While oftentimes, spouses or parents can reach a certain agreement through a mediator or legal counsel outside of the family court, consulting with a family lawyer in legal matters would be ideal especially when you cannot find common ground and would want to take the issue in court. In this way, the parties may prevent emotions from running rampant and potentially making brash decisions that may ruin lives.
Divorce law in Arizona
Many states including Arizona offer no-fault divorces which means that divorce cases may be applied due to simple irreconcilable differences that result in the dissolution of marriage incapable of repair. However, Arizona family law divorce only allows married couples to undergo a divorce process under limited situations. Abandonment, adultery, cruelty, habitual alcohol, drug abuse or an agreement between the spouses to terminate their marriage are some of the grounds allowed. Due to Arizona allowing no-fault divorces, more than 95% of divorces are a result of an agreement between the married couples. Divorce proceedings can be quite tricky so consulting a family law attorney for legal help may be greatly beneficial to you.
Divorce proceedings can be either contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is when the spouses have agreed on the major issues of their divorce by sending to the judge their agreement and once the judge approves of such terms, the divorce case will have a final judgment. A contested divorce, on the other hand, occurs when spouses do not find common ground and take the matters to court to settle their problems. These can take a longer and more expensive process.
Prior to filing for divorce, at least one spouse must be residing in Arizona for a minimum of 90 days. As Arizona is a community property state, the division of property acquired during the marriage is split equally (50/50). Incomes, family home and personal property owned during the term of marriage are included as marital property. Community obligations and debts are also equally split among the spouses if they do not come to an agreement though most of the time, the family court orders one spouse to provide alimony to the other taking into consideration the financial capabilities of each spouse.
Child Custody in Arizona
In custody cases where the spouses have minor children upon divorce, child custody is a very important issue. It does not require that the parents are married, domestic partnership or cohabitation is enough. There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody takes place when one parent spends most parenting time with the child. Legal custody, on the other hand, is when a parent is the one bestowed with parental rights by making important decisions for the child. In Arizona, child custody is determined based on the “best interest of the child” taking into consideration the history, capability, and behavior of the parents. In some cases where both parents are incapable of taking care of the child, the grandparents may be given grandparents’ rights. The judge may even ask the minor child on which parent he wants to be with, though it usually happens when the child is 15 years old or older.
Parents are allowed to decide their own child custody agreement involving visitation rights, guardianship, shared custody, and other related matters by submitting a parenting plan to the courtroom before the judge may issue a custody order. It may be subject to changes based on the circumstances of the parents.
Child Support in Arizona
Child support is the regular payment of one parent to another. In the state of Arizona, the general rule is that every parent is obligated to support their child until the child becomes of age. In some cases, child support guidelines will be followed and continued further if the child has special needs or has not graduated from high school. The amount of payment may also change depending on the circumstances of the parents and their earning capacity. Usually, the non-custodian parent shoulders child support because the custodial parent is the one who covers the expenses for the support of the child.
Child support payments are determined in a legal process by several factors: the financial situation of the parents if one parent has a high net worth, standard of living of the child before the divorce court order, and domestic relations or parenting time of the parents to the children.
Are you looking for legal assistance on an impending divorce, child custody, child support matters? Look no further. Our Zolman Law attorneys with in-depth experience in family law, are more than capable of helping you out.
While applying for cases involving family law issues such as divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, adoption, modifications, paternity and many more can be done alone through meditation or other legal assistance, getting professional help will greatly benefit you since there is so much at stake when dealing with legal family matters. Our experienced family law attorneys here in Zolman law offer our legal services to make sure that your unique situation will be cared for with the most attention, tailored for your specific needs to make the best outcome for you. Call us now for a free consultation.