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Maricopa County Family Law Blog

Worried about co-parenting during summer break?

Coming to terms with divorce as a family is challenging at best, and extremely difficult if all involved parties are not willing to cooperate and work as a team. While you might be looking forward to summer break with your kids, you may also feel anxious because it's your first summer since your divorce. Or perhaps it is your fifth or sixth summer since then, but you're worried anyway because you know your ex always tries to throw a wrench into your plans.  

It likely won't help your kids much if they spend their summer watching their parents fight. Then again, you shouldn't have to sit back and do nothing if your former spouse isn't playing fair. It's better to have a plan of action in mind and to know exactly where to seek support if a problem arises that you can't resolve on your own. Keep in mind, however, several ideas may also be helpful if your goal is to have a low-stress, enjoyable summer with your kids.  

What happens if you need to change your custody order?

The end of a marriage will bring many changes to your life, but for some Arizona families, these changes continue to happen even after the divorce is final. The terms of your custody order may not work for you and your children anymore, but there are ways you may be able to secure the changes you need. 

Securing changes to a custody order is not necessarily an easy process, and there must be valid reasons to seek a change. If you think you need to seek a modification, you might find it beneficial to learn more about valid reasons to take this step.

Negotiating a divorce settlement with your spouse

Dividing property during a divorce may be among the most stressful and contentious undertakings, second perhaps only to child custody matters. Often, spouses find themselves grappling over sentimental items as well as those with the most value. Arizona's community property laws stipulate an equitable distribution of marital property, which does not always mean an even split.

You could go to court and allow the judge to decide how your marital assets will be split between you and your spouse. Many find this impersonal process leaves them with an unsatisfying settlement that is difficult to live with. More recently, couples have tried working together to arrive at a fair division of their accumulated wealth. This may seem like an impossible undertaking, but there are ways to make the process a little easier.

Taking the fight out of child custody negotiations

Throughout history, leaders have often discovered—often tragically—that the opposite of negotiation is war. It’s been said that when there’s no negotiation, when there’s no talking and when there’s no agreement, then there’s war. When it comes to your children, we all want what’s best for them. War is not what you want.

Children are often caught in the middle of divorce and child custody battles. No one should be surprised to hear that children suffer when their parents fight. Studies have found that parent’s bitter fighting harms children more than the divorce itself. An alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation offers a way to stay out of the courtroom and avoid the fighting that often comes with it.