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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Fugitive mother in custody case returns to U.S. with children

Many parents in Arizona have custody orders regarding their children. Often, the mother is given more time with the children than the father, even in cases where the parents have joint custody of their children. These court orders must be followed by both parents, and a father's rights to see his children is protected just as much as a mother's right. Even if the father sees the children less than the mother, it does not give a mother the right to move the children wherever she wants.

Recently, a mother who took her two children out of the country for almost two years has finally returned to the United States. Leaving the country was in violation of a court order, and as a result, the fathers of the two children received sole custody of their children while she was gone. One of the fathers worked very hard to locate the mother, creating a Facebook page dedicated to finding her and even appearing on the television show 20/20. The mother has now been charged with multiple criminal counts for leaving the country with the children and violating court orders.

Proposed legislation impacts parents' ability to move children

Many parents in Arizona have children with an ex-spouse. These parents most likely have a court order, which governs their relationship with their children. These orders generally state who is able to make the decisions regarding the children's education, religion, medical needs and other aspects of the children's lives. These orders also state which parent the children will reside with and where they can live or move with the children. The orders also govern when each parent will have the children -- known as parenting time. As many former spouses do not always see eye to eye on things, parenting time disputes can arise from time to time.

The House in Arizona preliminarily approved a bill which would change some of the current rules governing these custody orders. Currently, the law allows a parent with custody of a child to move up to 100 miles away and there is not much the other parent can do about it. The new bill would require the parent with custody to notify the other parent any time they wish to move. It also would allow the non-custodial parent to object to any move. This gives the non-custodial parent more of a voice about how a move would affect their relationship with their children. This new bill would be seen as a positive step for parents who do not have custody of their children, but have parenting time and a relationship with their children.

Musician Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow are separating

Many Arizona fans of either Coldplay's Chris Martin or of the actress Gwyneth Paltrow may be surprised to learn that the high profile couple has decided to separate after 11 years of marriage. Although reports differ, the couple reportedly has upward of$280 million in joint assets, which include multiple multi-million dollar properties.

As the couple goes through the process of their divorce they will have to figure out how to divide their vast amount of assets. Divorce is generally a very emotional side for both parties and therefore the asset division and other aspects of the divorce can be very contentious. However, despite how the couple feels towards each other, ultimately they will have to either agree on how to split their assets or a judge will have to decide for them.

Arizona man arrested for failing to pay child support

For many people in Arizona, establishing a child support order is relatively easy. Either at the time of divorce or, in the case of unwed parents, at a hearing to establish paternity, child support is ordered at an amount either agreed to by the parties or determined by a judge in accordance with state child support guidelines. The hard part for many parents, however, is child support enforcement. Simply being ordered to pay a certain amount does not mean that the person will actually pay it. Some individuals are very good at evading child support collection efforts and end up owing large amounts of child support.

One man in Arizona currently owes $25,000 for one child in back child support. The man was recently arrested by authorities and a $10,000 bond has been set. The mother of the child told police that she heard that he was going to leave the area after receiving a tax refund check. The police went to his home and the man fled. The man was eventually arrested on a golf course near his home after police chased him down with a golf cart.

Porsha Williams receives no alimony in her marriage dissolution

As Arizona fans of the Real Housewives of Atlanta know, Porsha Williams, one of the show's stars, had her marriage depicted somewhat publicly on the television show. Williams was married to former NFL player Kordell Stewart and most fans probably know that the couple, who married in 2011, filed for divorce in March 2013. What fans may be surprised to know is that Williams received no assets or alimony after the dissolution. Stewart on the other hand kept all of his property, cars, investments and business interests.

When any couple gets divorced, there are many things that must be determined. Some of the major ones are child custody and support, if they have children; alimony or spousal maintenance, as it is commonly called; and property division. Each have their own unique factors that govern the decision making process. Each also have their own unique challenges.

Physicist attempts to solve child custody problem through science

Many parents in Arizona have child custody and parenting time arrangements after a divorce. Sometimes these arrangements were agreed to and sometimes a judge decided what the arrangement would be. Either way the parents must abide by the order. However, as the parent's lives change and children get older the orders are not always as convenient anymore. This becomes even more complicated if a person has children with multiple ex-spouses, or a new spouse has children from a previous relationship. In those situations, parenting time disputes can be common.

One physicist who found himself in a situation with multiple ex-spouses attempted to use physics to determine a parenting time schedule where he could have all his children on the same weekends. The researchers looked at vast amount of parents in similar situations and were able to use the spin-glass system to develop an algorithm. The algorithm allowed a parent to see their children from different relationships on the same weekend. However, they were not able to figure out a way to have a new spouse's children on the same weekend all the time.

International law takes over in some child custody cases

In many situations, Arizona parents facing issues of child custody do so in local terms - sharing visitation or parenting time from separate homes, for example, in the Phoenix area. However, not every set of parents stay close to each other, which can complicate things - particularly when a parental relocation sees one parent move out of state or out of the country.

In situations where parents live in different nations, an interesting web of laws - from state to international - can play a role in the outcome of a dispute over child custody. In fact, the United State Supreme Court recently rules on a case involving an interesting question of the law governing international child custody disputes.

New app created for child support payments

There are many divorced couples in Arizona who have children. Most of the time one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other parent, who is generally the parent caring for the children the majority of the time. One aspect of child support is a monthly lump sum amount. However, many divorce decrees also include clauses dealing with another child support issue, which addresses how much each parent will pay for extracurricular activities and uninsured medical costs. Sometimes this is the most complicated part of child support payments.

A divorcee who had a divorce decree with similar provisions recently developed an app to help in these situations. The app allows a parent to scan and store receipts and bills that they incur on behalf of the child. The other parent can then see the receipts and bills and know that the money requested is in fact going to the child. It also has a feature that automatically notifies the other parent that approval is needed for purchases over a certain amount. It is also an easy way to keep records of expenses come tax season.

Wife of actor David Cassidy seeks a divorce

Some Arizona fans of David Cassidy may be surprised to learn that his wife has filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage. According to his wife, this decision has been looming for some time and it has been reported that the couple has been living apart for the last few months. Mr. Cassidy also was recently arrested for his third DUI and has had an ongoing battle with alcoholism. It is not clear whether the recent DUI had anything to do with the divorce.

The Cassidys will now have to start the divorce process, just like any other couple who wishes to divorce. In this case, there will be no decisions regarding child custody or child support, as their only child is no longer a minor; however, they will have to deal with the financial side of the divorce. In their situation, this may be a long process, as the couple has been married for 23 years and presumably has accumulated numerous assets during the marriage.

As economy grows stronger, number of divorces rise

Many more people in Arizona may be looking to get divorced as the economy rebounds. Divorce rates were lower during the recession according to a recent study in Population Research and Policy Reviews. As the economy has rebounded the number of divorces has rose. The divorce rate for woman fell from 2.09% to 1.95% during the recession, but has risen over the last couple of years. Some feel that it is because people can now afford to get divorced. Also, as stocks and the housing market recovers, there is now equity to be had where there was none during the recession.

There are many issues that a couple must deal with as they go through a divorce. For couples with minor children, they must deal with child custody, visitation and child support issues. Every couple, though, must deal with the financial side of the marriage. These issues include division of assets, debts, property, spousal maintenance and others.

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