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Tucson Family Law Blog

Modifying your parenting order in times of emergency

Once you have an order in place regarding parental decision making and parenting time, you may expect everything to continue as normal. Then, one day, everything changes. You lose your job or your ex loses their job. Or another crisis emerges that requires you to change your parenting and/or child support order. 

What is community property and why does it matter in a divorce?

If you are getting a divorce in Arizona, you may be wondering why we're known as a "community property state." This is because we're one of only a few states that have organized marital property this way. Most states use an "equitable distribution" model.

You may never have considered who owns precisely what during your marriage, but the issue will need to be decided in any divorce. In the community property model, virtually all of the property you acquired during the marriage belongs to the marital estate, except for property that is obtained by gift, devise or descent. That essentially means that gifts and inheritances are excluded from the marital estate.

After the divorce, how will we handle spring break?

Deciding who will get the kids over spring break may be as simple as consulting your divorce agreement, but you need to structure it right.

As you negotiate your parenting agreement, consider whether you plan to do something special with spring break, like travel, take the week off of work, or the like. If you do, include spring break in your parenting agreement.

Parenting after a rough divorce takes learning to let go

When you think about the term "co-parenting," it assumes you'll be cooperating and coordinating with your children's other parent. That may be the ideal but, in reality, it can be a lot harder than just agreeing to stick to a schedule. Each parent has their own parenting philosophy, and they can be quite different.

Especially if your divorce was emotionally difficult, you may be wary of each other. What communication skills you had before the divorce may seem to be tapped out at this point. You may not be very fond of each other. You may be struggling with residual emotions and lingering frustrations from the divorce.

Tips on protecting your kids' emotional wellbeing during divorce

When people with children consider divorce, it is always with some hesitation. After all, so many sources have told us that divorce can be emotionally devastating for children.

The truth is that kids do get through divorce, often very well. That said, there are specific steps you can take to help your child process the divorce and get through the inevitable shakeups that come with a new family structure. Here are seven of those steps, inspired by

Divorcing from a high-conflict personality? How to tell

Some people are inherently adversarial. They have almost a preoccupation with blaming other people for whatever problems arise. Or, they make everything about themselves by throwing a tantrum and making you pay to resolve it. These people are referred to as high-conflict personalities, and if you're divorcing one, you may be in for a "high-conflict divorce."

Here are some characteristics of high-conflict personalities:

When do you have to legally establish a child's paternity?

In Arizona, the law assumes that the child of a married woman belongs to her spouse, but this is not always the case. When it is not, the parents need to establish legal paternity. This could be necessary, for example, when:

  • The mother is not married
  • The mother's marriage ended more than 10 months before the birth of the child
  • There is reason to suspect the mother's husband is not the father

Now your divorce is final. Some steps you may still need to take

Whether you negotiated a divorce agreement or went to trial, your divorce isn't finalized in Arizona until the judge issues a divorce decree. This contains your agreements and orders about property division, each parent's legal decision-making authority, parenting time arrangements and support.

Your divorce decree is a court order, and both parties must comply with its terms. With that in mind, there may be terms you need to comply with right away. If your decree requires one party to buy life insurance, for example, that party should obtain the policy within a reasonable period of time. Likewise, you should make any necessary property transfers as soon as possible.

Is your children's other parent planning on moving away?

There are special rules in Arizona if one parent wants to move away with a child. Generally, when both parents share legal decision-making authority and substantially the same parenting time, the moving parent is expected to give 45 days' notice before either:

  • Moving a child out of state
  • Moving a child more than 100 miles within the state

Can you change your parenting order in Arizona?

Yes, under certain circumstances. In Arizona and in most states, legal decision-making authority and parenting time are decided in the child's best interests. What that means in a specific case is generally determined by weighing relevant factors.

What are legal decision-making authority and parenting time?

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Law Office of Hector A. Montoya, P.L.L.C.

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Tucson, AZ 85719

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