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Maricopa County Family Law Blog

Your priceless art collection needs a value in a divorce

Some people collect figurines, coins or a multitude of other items that have some significance to them. You collect works of art. Over the years, you put together a collection that speaks to you, and you consider it priceless.

However, now that your marriage has ended, you will need to put a price on that collection because any pieces purchased during the time you were married are part of the marital estate. In fact, the court will assume you and your spouse own everything jointly as a starting point since Arizona is a community property state. 

Child custody proceedings: Here's what to expect

Like all good parents in Arizona, your children's best interests were your main concern when you decided to file for divorce. It's definitely true that divorce disrupts children's lives. However, it need not be true that it is sure to ruin them. By building a strong support network from the start, you can encourage and provide for your kids as you adapt to a new lifestyle together.

No matter how prepared you think you are, child custody proceedings can be a bit daunting, especially you've never experienced litigation in the past. No two cases are exactly the same, but you might want to talk to a friend or family member who has gone through custody proceedings. You'll likely be able to relate to many issues. Discussing what to expect with someone well-versed on the topic can help alleviate a lot of stress.

The difference in various types of child custody

Do you have concerns about what will happen to your children after your divorce? Like many other Arizona parents, you want to make sure that your kids have stability and security for years to come after your separation and divorce. One way you can do this is by providing them with a custody agreement that is smart, practical and sustainable. 

One of the first steps in securing the right custody plan for your children is to learn more about the different types of child custody. When you understand these things, you can be more intentional about pursuing a plan that will both protect the best interests of your kids and your rights as a loving parent. Because of the importance and complexity of this specific issue, you may want to work with an experienced attorney as you seek a reasonable custody settlement.

How the Arizona court determines parental fitness

After months or years of serious problems, you may be among many other Arizona parents who decided to file for divorce. You may understandably be worried about how that decision will affect your children's lives. Then again, in some ways, you might be thinking they'll be better off in the long run.

Filing for divorce means you must resolve numerous issues so the judge overseeing your case can issue a final decree. Such issues likely include topics such as property division, child support and custody or visitation. If the latter two issues concern you because you believe your co-parent is unfit, you'll have to prove that to the court, which can be quite challenging. Knowing where to seek support for you and your kids throughout the process is the first step toward achieving your goals.

When is uncontested divorce the right option for a couple?

Divorce is hard, and your decision to move forward with this action was not easy. Like many other Arizona couples, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may be looking for ways to ease the complications that come along with the process of ending a marriage. Depending on the details of your situation, you may consider the benefits of filing for an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested divorce is not an option in every situation, but this is a way some couples are able to move through the divorce process quickly and easily. Before you file or make an important decision that will impact your future, you may want to learn more about this specific type of divorce and if it's right for you. It is always smart to know about all of the options available to you.

Helpful ideas for shared custody in an Arizona divorce

Parenting is definitely not without its challenges as most Arizona parents can attest. If you're getting divorced, you may encounter some problematic issues regarding child custody or finances having to do with your kids. Preparing a co-parenting plan can be stressful as well, especially if you and your spouse disagree on certain things. Your divorce doesn't necessarily have to ruin your family life. There are several ways to reduce stress in a shared custody situation.

It's crucial for both parents to be willing to cooperate and work as a team. You may no longer reside in the same household but you will always have your children in common with your ex, so the more you work together to help them adapt to their new lifestyle, the less stressful your co-parenting arrangement may be.

Substance abuse could affect the outcome of your divorce

Going through a divorce is an understandably difficult and emotional process. As a result, you may find yourself falling back into old habits of drinking too much or even taking substances in attempts to dull your pain. However, these actions could greatly affect the outcome of your divorce, especially when it comes to child custody.

If you want to obtain at least joint custody of your children, you need to prove that you are a fit parent. If you and the other parent do not get along, it is possible that he or she may try to use your substance use as evidence that you should not have custody, even partially.

How is debt divided in divorce?

The ending of a marriage is not usually a simple process. The two people involved have to make choices on how to handle several aspects of life that they previously managed together. This can include determining child care, property division and even debt division.

If you carry any amount of debt along with someone else, you likely understand that the amount owed is the responsibility of both of you. So what happens if you decide to divorce your spouse? Experts say that the distribution of debt during a divorce depends on several factors.

Is your ex-spouse interfering with your rights as a parent?

As an Arizona parent, there is nothing more important than protecting the relationship you have with your child. Divorce can change how often you see your kids, so it is crucial that you have equitable access to your kids and the ability to maintain a strong relationship, even after the process is final. One way to do this is to seek a custody and visitation order that is fair and reasonable.

Even with a practical custody plan in place, the other parent can do things that could potentially undermine your role and the relationship you have with your kids. Through various types of interference and influence, your ex-spouse may carry out actions that compromise your rights and what your kids think about you. If this is happening, it is parenting time interference, and you do not have to stand for it. 

Is divorce always litigious?

It might be entertaining to watch explosive legal battles play out on TV or in the lives of celebrity couples, but it is far less fun to go through that experience. Highly contentious divorces usually cost more, take significantly longer to finalize and are simply harder for everyone involved. You probably already know this and might even be putting off filing for divorce because of it.

You have options other than staying in an unhappy marriage or dealing with a highly contentious divorce. Indeed, many Arizona couples use approaches like mediation or collaborative divorces to reach timely and agreeable resolutions.