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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 Mediate.com:

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?

What should you expect in a military divorce?

If you or your spouse is in the military, you may have wondered whether your divorce will be more complicated than others. There are certainly differences to consider, but the same main issues need to be decided:

  • Division of property and debt
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance

Should your divorce include an order for life insurance?

It may be a good idea, especially if you have children. If one spouse will be paying child support and/or spousal maintenance, an insurance policy could be added to ensure that support continues if the payor were to die.

Insurance can be useful, for example, to replace expected income should it be lost, to pay off a mortgage, for emergencies, or to meet extraordinary child-related expenses. Unfortunately, many people skip this step when negotiating their divorce agreements.

Why would you share parenting time with your ex?

When you decide to end your marriage, you might hope never to see your ex again. Though, logically, your divorce process will most likely include establishing a parenting time agreement if the two of you have children together.

You might believe you should have full custody of the kids because of your active role in their lives. Or perhaps you think this is your opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level.

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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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