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Phoenix Arizona Family Law Blog

What to think about when considering divorce

Divorce is something that happens to many marriages, no matter where you live, how much money you make or how old you are. Sometimes, even when both spouses make the effort to work out issues, the best thing is for them to go their separate ways. It is often not an easy choice, but a necessary one.

If you are thinking about divorce, you may wonder whether you've examined every available option to try and make your marriage work. You aren't alone in that thought as many couples across Arizona have the same questions. Fortunately, experts have advice for those who are considering getting divorced, including a few different issues to examine in order to help you decide whether you should stay or go.

When fathers pursue child custody

Fathers in Arizona may be concerned about their rights when it comes time to seek custody of their children in family court. Over the years, many people have come to believe that fathers are likely to suffer from a bias that makes them more likely to have less time to spend with their children or be denied child custody altogether. Many of these beliefs come from historic approaches to custody, although these have changed over the years. Research backs up the idea that children benefit from having a strong relationship with both parents, and fathers who actively pursue custody are even more likely than mothers to successfully receive child custody.

In the past, women were far more apt to provide primary care to their children. Women were less likely to work in jobs outside the home except when absolutely necessary. At the same time, men generally were seen as having less of a role to play in child care except in terms of providing financial support. These types of gender stereotypes excluded women from the workplace and many areas of achievement at the same time that they functioned to keep fathers distant from their children. Mothers almost received custody by default except in circumstances where they were clearly unfit, and fathers were expected to provide support and have minimal visitation.

Illegitimate reasons to deny visitation rights

Co-parenting can be challenging, as many divorced individuals in Arizona are well aware. Divorce can create hurt feelings and resentment. Some spouses use their children as weapons by denying visitation rights. Unless the non-custodial parent is putting the health or well-being of the child at risk, it is assumed that they have the right to visitation.

Resentment or hostility does not give the custodial parent the legal right to use their child as leverage. This behavior is not in the best interests of the child. A custodial parent who uses this tactic could face jail time, fines and even lose custody.

How to successfully raise children after a divorce

Every parent in Arizona wants their children to thrive. However, a divorce can really throw a wrench into the system. As the parents try to raise their children between two separate households, many issues could arise. Here are a few things parents can do to successfully raise their kids after a divorce.

Children of divorce often feel a conflict as far as their loyalty is concerned. That's why each parent should be fully supportive of the child's relationship with the other parent.

Tips for communicating with a toxic co-parent

Arizona parents who share custody of their children with a toxic ex-spouse may feel trapped in a difficult situation. However, there are ways they can keep their sanity and stay focused on the kids' best interests despite the power struggles, drama and manipulation caused by the toxic person. Successful co-parents have found that it is a lot more about not engaging with a toxic person than it is about engaging.

For a person to maintain their sanity and do their best at parenting, they have to set boundaries and stick to them. One way that this can be done is by limiting communication with the toxic ex. Instead of having face-to-face conversations, using a parenting portal or email may be a better option. In addition to documenting everything that's said, it can help co-parents keep the communication factual and business-like. The communication should focus on parenting, not hashing out old problems from the marriage that caused the divorce.

Protect and rebuild wealth with a divorce financial specialist

A divorce financial specialist may be a useful professional for some Arizona couples to work with during a divorce. In particular, people with complex assets or who are unfamiliar with the marital finances may benefit from their expertise. This can include experience with such topics as forensic accounting, business valuation and the tax implications and long-term financial effects of divorce settlements.

Knowledge of these divorce-related matters mean that a divorce financial specialist can complement the services of other financial professionals, such as a financial adviser. For example, a divorce financial specialist may be able to help a couple decide what to do with the shared home, often a focus of strong emotions and acrimony in a divorce. They may work with individuals or couples, or they might offer expert testimony if there are issues a couple cannot resolve.

Worried about the holidays because of your recent divorce?

In Arizona and throughout the country, people are gearing up for the 2019 holiday season. Perhaps, your plan of events will begin with a Thanksgiving celebration surrounded by family and friends. Then again, maybe you are opting for a quiet, simple holiday this year. Either way, if it is the first holiday season you and your children will share since you finalized your divorce, you might be a bit concerned about your co-parenting arrangement.

Many parents think they have developed a thorough post-divorce, co-parenting plan only to realize (often during a holiday season) they might have been a bit too vague. You might have thought that you and your ex get along well enough to wing it when it comes to special occasions and holidays. You might also wind up being one of many parents who encounter legal problems when winging it doesn't work out as you'd hoped it would.

How parents can work out a visitation schedule for babies

One step for most parents getting a divorce in Arizona is working out a schedule for custody and visitation. If their child is an infant, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind.

Parents who are the main caregiver may hesitate to hand the child over to the other parent even for short visits. The custodial parent may worry that the other parent will not know what the child's cries mean or have the same instinctive sense of how to care for the child. However, the other parent is most likely capable of learning even if parenting styles are different. With an infant, the priority is for the noncustodial parent to have the opportunity to bond with the child, and as little as half an hour several times a week may be enough for this. Overnights can be stressful for the main caregiver, but many courts do not order them until the child is older anyway.

Are you an Arizona parent preparing for divorce? Read this

The day you made the final decision to file for divorce in an Arizona court, you might have had mixed feelings. Especially if you've been married for 10 years or more, you might have felt a sense of mourning or sorrow for the relationship you were now choosing to leave behind. However, thinking of moving on in life might have also given you a sense of hope, although you likely worried about how your decision would affect your children.

Telling your kids that you are getting divorced is definitely a sensitive topic. Depending on their ages and personalities, each child may have a different reaction. If you and your spouse are able to sit down together with your kids as a family, it might make it a bit easier for them to receive the news. It pays to start building a strong support network as soon as you make plans to file a petition.

Michael Strahan involved in child support dispute with ex-wife

Arizona residents who are fans of former NFL player Michael Strahan may be aware that he was married from 1999 to 2006. He and his ex-wife have twin daughters who are now 14, and at the time, they worked out an amicable agreement for child custody and support. However, his ex-wife is now asking for back child support of $321,654 plus $225,000 for half the cost of their daughters' horseback riding lessons.

The original divorce settlement gave his ex-wife $15.3 million. Strahan also agreed to pay $18,000 monthly in child support. In 2009, that amount was reduced to $13,000. His ex-wife is now asking that the amount be raised to $18,378. She says Strahan, who now hosts "Fox NFL Sunday" as well as having income from other sources, makes enough money that he can afford it.

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