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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Obtaining financial information for alimony payments in Arizona

In divorces in Arizona, there are generally two main categories of decisions that need to be made. One is decisions regarding the minor children. These generally include custody and visitation issues. The other main category is the financial decisions. Three main issues within this category are asset division, alimony and child support. Each of these decisions present certain challenges and can be very complicated depending on the circumstances of the marriage.

When making the financial decisions, it is important that each party knows the amount and types of marital assets each party has in their possession. In many marriages, each spouse may not know all of the assets the other spouse has in their possession or how much is in certain accounts. Some accounts are funded directly from a spouse's pay check and the other spouse may never see that money. In other instances, spouses will purposely hide assets in accounts that they set up in their name alone.

Investigations in child custody determinations in Arizona

Child custody determinations can be very difficult decisions. In many situations both parents want to spend significant amounts of time with their children and be a part of making decisions regarding their well-being. Also, the two parents may disagree as to the proper parenting style and neither one may be necessarily wrong. So, the parents may not agree to child custody and a parenting time schedule.

When the parents cannot reach an agreement, then ultimately the court must make the decision for them. However, these are not easy decisions for a judge to make. They are very fact specific and for the most part the only people who truly knows what happens within the family on a day to day basis are the parents. So, when they state two very different things, it can make the judge's decision hard.

Deviating from the child support guidelines in Arizona

Any parent in Arizona knows that children can be very expensive. They rely on their parents for all their financial needs. These expenses include the basics such as food, shelter and clothing, but include many other expenses besides the basics. When parents are married or living together, these expenses are covered by the parents. However, if parents are divorced or never married in the first place, then it is often times necessary for one parent to pay child support to the other for these expenses.

The amount of child support a parent pays is determined by the child support guidelines. These guidelines take into account each parent's adjusted gross income, medical costs and parenting time. Based on the numbers, the guidelines state how much the total child support obligation is and each parent is responsible for a portion of the total child support amount, based on the percentage of the total income they earn.

Fathers' rights to information regarding their children

Many couples in Arizona have children, but are no longer together. This could be because the couple is divorced or they never were married. In either situation, the parents most likely will have to determine who has custody of the children, as well as the visitation schedule for each parent.

Custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. Traditionally, mothers received custody with fathers receiving fairly minimal visitation. This trend is changing and parents are increasingly receiving joint custody of their children. However, there are still many fathers in Arizona who do not have custody of their children. This limits the father's rights to make decisions regarding their children.

Dividing unvested stock options in a divorce in Arizona

Divorces in Arizona vary in length and complexity. High asset divorces can take longer than most divorces. Not only are there many different assets to divide, but valuing each asset can be complicated and take time to complete. People may have to value multiple properties, businesses, investments, stock options, retirement accounts and many other assets. After the assets have been valued, the parties can then start dividing them.

One example relates to dividing unvested stock options. It is necessary to calculate the value of the unvested stock options that is subject to division during the divorce as community property. The parties first must determine if the unvested stock options were given for past or future work. This may involve testimony or evidence from the spouse's employer as to why the stock options were given to the employee. After that fact has been determined, one of two formulas apply to the division of the stock options..

How alimony affects consumer credit reports in Arizona

Many people are divorced every year in Arizona. During the divorce, there are many issues that must be resolved. If the couple has minor children, then there will have to be a child custody and visitation arrangement. Child support will also likely be an issue. The couple will have to divide their assets and determine whether one spouse will pay the other alimony, or spousal maintenance, as it is commonly called.

Once all of these determinations are either agreed to by the parties or decided by a judge, the parties then need to live with the orders. They will need to follow the visitation schedule and ensure that the property is actually divided. They will also need to actually make the payments that they are ordered to make, such as child support and alimony.

How does substance abuse affect child custody in Arizona?

Dealing with child custody decisions in Arizona is not an easy task. There are many different factors that are analyzed to ultimately determine what is in the best interest of the child. A child custody determination is a very fact-specific process that looks into the child's needs and who can best provide for those needs. Sometimes both parents can provide for the child's needs and joint custody is granted, which is a preferred situation for most children.

However, there are certain situations in which joint custody is not in the best interests of the child. One of those instances may be if one of the parents has a substance abuse problem. If a parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it makes it very difficult for the parent to take care of himself or herself, much less the children.

How medical costs factor into child support in Arizona

Paying for children's needs can be very expensive for the parents. Children need food, a place to live, clothes (which they grow out of rapidly) diapers (depending on the age), school supplies, fees for extracurricular activities and many other costs. When the parents are married or live together, they may not keep exact records on how much they pay for their children, but it can be a significant portion of their income.

When the parents are divorced or no longer together, the children's financial needs do not decrease, but figuring out how to pay for those expenses can become trickier. The most common way of dealing with that issue is through child support.

Protecting fathers' rights to their children in Arizona

Pretty much every child in Arizona has a biological father and mother. Every family dynamic is different, but in order for a child to be conceived there must be a father and mother. How much involvement a mother or father has in a child's life after conception varies though. Some children are raised in a family where the mother and father are married and raise their children together. In these situations, a father's rights to their children are not an issue.

However, many couples end up divorcing at some point in time during a minor child's life. In these situations, a father's right to be involved in their children's lives can become an issue. The traditional notion is that a mother takes care of the children and the father works and earns money for the family. However, that dynamic is changing and now it is common to have both parents working and in many families the woman is the primary wage earner for the family.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin finalize their divorce

Arizona fans of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may remember the couple, now somewhat famously, stating that they were going through a "conscious uncoupling." This was in reference to the couple's pending divorce, which is now finalized. The couple reached a confidential settlement for their divorce and it is filed with the court. They apparently agreed to joint custody and divided their assets.

While the settlement agreement is confidential, one reason why the negotiations took over a year to finalize may be due to their large amount of assets. High asset divorces can be quite complicated. In a divorce like Paltrow and Martin's, they have to equitably divide their marital property, which may consist of multiple properties, multiple bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, businesses and many other assets.

Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC is one of the East Valley's premiere litigation law firms.

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