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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Carefully consider the factors at issue with child support

Child support can become a contentious issue in any divorce case in Arizona because it involves two things that are hugely important to everyone: their kids and their money. Child custody and support are oftentimes intertwined as problematic issues before the court, which is why it is important to understand the factors that will come into play when these problems need to be decided by a judge.

Some of the most common child custody orders will designate one parent as the "custodial" parent and the other parent as the "non-custodial" parent. In these types of arrangements, the non-custodial parent is then ordered to pay child support.

Why should fathers in Arizona establish paternity?

These days, many children are born to parents who are not married. This is a vastly different societal change than what was seen 50 years ago. There is not much of a stigma to being born "out of wedlock" anymore, and, with good reason - children don't choose their parents, or the relationship status of their parents. But, legal issues can potentially be a bit more complex when it comes to children who are born to unmarried parents.

Why should fathers in Arizona establish paternity? You may think that the fact that you are in a committed relationship with the mother of the child is enough, but sometimes relationships change. Whereas, the father of a child who is born to a married couple has presumed legal status as the father of the child in question, that isn't the case for unwed fathers. Establishing paternity can lock in your legal rights when it comes to parental rights.

Avoid financial mistakes in a high-asset divorce

When Arizona residents are in the process of getting a divorce, they don't want to make any financial missteps that could prove to be extremely costly down the line. Yes, the family law courts seek to provide fairness in their rulings, but there are times when the parties themselves may be making mistakes that the court doesn't need to correct or doesn't have the information to correct.

According to a recent article, there are a number of financial mistakes that divorcing couples need to avoid. The most important one has to do with the family home. Should you keep it, or should your soon-to-be ex-spouse keep it? Should either of you keep it? For most married couples who live together in a house, there are two incomes that are coming in to help with mortgage payments and upkeep of the home. Those costs may be too great of a burden for newly single people.

First step in getting a divorce? Actually filing for one

The thought of getting divorced can understandably be confusing and stressful. After all, during a divorce, you and your spouse are essentially untangling your lives both emotionally and financially. The more strongly your lives intertwine, and the longer they are intertwined, the more difficult the process can be.

In many cases, those interested in getting a divorce simply have no idea where to start, which makes the process that much more overwhelming. Understanding the first steps involved in filing for divorce can help you to feel more in control of this type of family law proceeding from the start.

Factors considered in a child custody dispute

For many people in Arizona who are going through a divorce, the issue of child custody can be the most nerve-racking. Every parent wants what is best for their child, and, in a divorce, each parent likely thinks that they are the best one to take care of the child and make important decisions - not their soon-to-be ex-spouse. So, when it comes to child custody disputes in Arizona, it is important to know what factors the court will take into consideration when making an ultimate decision on the issue.

First, as is the case throughout the country, it is important to remember that the overriding standard that the courts will look to when making a child custody decision is "the best interest of the child." But, there are many factors for the court to consider when determining what is best for the child. Courts will typically start with one crucial factor: Is the child old enough to meaningfully express a preference in the situation? If so, the child's preference may be given quite a bit of weight.

Property division includes debt division

When a couple in Arizona is going through a divorce, it can be very easy for either soon-to-be ex-spouse to focus on one particular issue, such as child custody or alimony. It is pretty much common knowledge that property will be divided between the couple in the divorce, so some people pay less attention to this topic. However, our readers would be doing so to their own detriment. Why? Well, it's because property division includes not only splitting up assets, but debt as well.

Many people can be forgiven if they go into the divorce process only thinking about what assets they are going to come out with: carefully built retirement accounts, valuable artwork, the family home or vehicles. But, overlooking the impact of splitting up the family debt in a divorce can be a big mistake. While it is common for a couple to come into a relationship with separate debt and then accumulate more during the marriage, that doesn't mean that you should assume that the debt burdens will be split up the way you think they will be.

What are the basics of child support in Arizona?

When couples in Arizona are going through a divorce, child support can be one of the issues that causes the most concern. The reason is clear: child support can be a significant financial obligation for the non-custodial parent, and it can be a significant source of funds for the parent whom the child will be living with.

So, what are the basics of child support in Arizona? Well, for starters, it is important for our readers to understand why child support is ordered to begin with. In the eyes of the state, child support is essential so that children in Arizona can have their needs met, from all perspectives, such as food, shelter, clothing, education and entertainment. The state also seeks to ensure that child support orders are maintained, and that parents who are ordered to pay child support do so consistently.

The impact of divorce on retirement plans

For many Arizona couples who are going through a divorce, particularly a high-asset divorce, retirement accounts usually aren't that high on the priority list when it comes to assets at issue. Why not? Well, for many of these couples, there are more pressing concerns, such as what will become of the family home, or child custody and support. However, couples should not overlook the value of retirement accounts, and, as a recent article noted, couples should do their best to seek to preserve the funds in these accounts.

But, as the recent article pointed out, sometimes the divorce process can be expensive. And, in many cases, either one of the soon-to-be ex-spouses may come to the realization that they do not have the funds to go through the process as they would like. It is at this point that they may consider withdrawing funds from a retirement account. According to the recent article, this can be a big mistake.

Spousal maintenance may keep you financially strong post-divorce

The dissolution of a marriage is never an easy process to navigate due to the financial and emotional challenges involved. During the process of divorce, one of the biggest areas of contention involves determining if one spouse should have to pay alimony to the other one.

When it comes to alimony, on the one hand, you may be worried that you have to pay more than what you believe is reasonable. On the other hand, you might be concerned about not getting enough from your future ex-spouse. Understanding Arizona law regarding spousal maintenance is critical in either situation to ensure that you and the other party attain a fair outcome.

Making a challenge when paternity fraud occurs

In America today, it is more common than ever that the parents of a child are not married. In some cases, the parents of the child aren't even involved in a relationship. When this occurs, the parties will likely approach the issue of establishing paternity at some point. Establishing paternity is important so that the parties can confirm that the man is the father of the child, and, from there, issues such as child custody, child support and fathers' rights can be addressed. But, is the process of establishing paternity infallible? The unfortunate answer is "no."

Everyone has seen the occasional news reports about DNA evidence exonerating a person who has served prison time for a crime they didn't commit. DNA testing is just as important when it comes to establishing paternity, and, just like in criminal cases, this testing is not 100 percent foolproof. When a father begins to suspect that the paternity results might have been erroneous, it may be necessary to challenge the case for potential paternity errors or fraud.


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