Many Arizona parents may face a difficult time during a divorce, often because the split nearly always means a reduction in time spent with the children. While some divorcing parents are able to reach an amicable conclusion that shares parenting time, others have a more difficult or volatile relationship that can devolve into a drawn-out custody battle in court. When the latter situation happens, both parents may feel as if they were treated unfairly in family court.
Some may feel as if their arguments weren’t taken seriously, and some fathers may believe they are the victims of bias. It is true that up to 80 percent of child custody cases involve primary custody held by the mother. However, most of these situations don’t involve custody battles with each parent seeking additional time; in most cases, the mother is the only parent actively seeking custody. In addition, shared or joint custody is increasingly the legal standard nationwide, even though some judges may retain unfair or traditional biases.
Child support can also be a difficult issue; while the initial child support order is based on a state formula, it reflects the paying parent’s income at the time of the initial order. However, job loss, disability and other changes may mean that the parent’s circumstances are dramatically altered. They may no longer be able to pay their monthly child support, and their debt may continue to accumulate. Parents could even face jail time for contempt of court if they continue not to pay their mandated support.
However, a parent facing financial hardship can seek relief. A family law attorney may be able to work with a parent to return to family court for a child support modification. When parents present evidence of their financial hardship and changed circumstances, they might receive a new support order that reflects the current situation.