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Tucson Family Law Blog

How is child support calculated in Arizona?

At least on their wedding day, most couples who get married believe they'll be together forever, but unfortunately, that isn't reality. Many couples will live long and happy lives together. Other married couples will bask in the limelight of marital bliss for a few decades before life takes its toll on their relationship.

Sometimes couples hold on to marriage longer than they feel they should due to the fear of putting their children through the trials of divorce -- or putting themselves through the trials divorce. If you do get divorced and have children under 18, your new budget may include obligated child support payments or court-ordered alimony payments on top of losing assets and property.

What does an Arizona parenting plan need to contain?

If you're divorcing with children, you may have a disagreement with your divorcing spouse about how to share parenting time with the kids. If you can't agree, each of you will have to develop a proposed parenting plan to submit to the court. Then a judge will decide which plan provides for each parent's legal decision-making authority over the child and maximizes each parent's parenting time.

The main thing to remember is that parenting plans must be in your children's best interests. That is the legal standard the court will use when evaluating the plans.

Can I keep my divorce records private in Arizona?

If you are considering divorce, you may wonder what happens to the records produced by a divorce trial. Are they public records like most court cases? Is there a way to keep things private?

Traditionally Arizona, like other U.S. jurisdictions, has started with the presumption that court records should generally be open to the public. This is done in an effort to promote open government and an informed citizenry.

What factors do the courts consider when setting parenting orders?

In any divorce with shared children, you will need to determine whether both parents will have legal decision-making authority and how much parenting time each will have. In general, you can negotiate this instead of going to court, although whatever agreement you reach must accord with Arizona law. If you do go to court, the court will make these determinations based on the children's best interest.

The court will decide what is in the children's best interest by weighing "all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being." Eleven such factors have been spelled out in the statute, but the court has the authority to consider other factors that may be relevant.

What is the 10/10 rule for dividing military pensions in divorce?

When you're married to a member of the military, you have a number of advantages. Military housing can be less expensive, you get not just pay but also medical benefits and even commissary privileges, and you can earn retirement benefits in only 20 years. Those benefits can be divided in retirement.

Many people have heard that military spouses can't get a share of their service member spouse's retirement unless they meet the 10/10 rule. This rule refers to 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of creditable military service. If your marriage didn't last that long or didn't overlap with 10 years of service, the theory goes, you won't be eligible for any of your spouse's retirement benefits.

Is there any penalty for denying parenting time to your ex?

Absolutely. You should never interfere with your child's other parent's parenting time. Your parenting order is a court order. Even if you think you have a very good reason for denying parenting time, you could face serious consequences. Instead, you should seek to have the parenting order modified.

Under Arizona law, there are several possible consequences for violating your parenting order without good cause:

The basic issues of dividing your shared business in a divorce

Divorce can be a challenge for anyone, but especially for people who operate a shared business or professional practice. How is this divided in an Arizona divorce?

The first order of business is to determine how much of the business is considered community property. This will depend on the facts of the situation. Did one of you start the business before the marriage and the other joined after the marriage? Were both of you part of the business before the marriage? Did you found the business together after the marriage? The specific facts of how and when the business was created will have a large impact on the determination of whether it is part of the community estate.

Considering a divorce after 50? You're not alone

Whether this is your first marriage or a subsequent one, there can be good reasons to consider divorcing over 50. Over the past few decades, "gray divorce" has become something of a trend. In fact, whereas the overall rate of divorce is declining in the United States, the divorce rate for people 50 and over has been rising.

Should you choose mediation for your Arizona divorce?

In Arizona, the family courts encourage the use of mediation to resolve disputes, including the issues of divorce. Any issue can be voluntarily mediated, either by the parties' consent or a court order.

Mediation is a confidential process handled by a neutral third party called a mediator. Rather than judging between the positions taken by the parties, a mediator helps the parties come to their own, shared resolution. Mediators help the parties communicate effectively and address the underlying issues of the dispute.

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. 

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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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