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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Why is establishing paternity important for servicemembers?

There are many Arizona fathers serving in the military. Servicemembers have a very different life than civilians. They can be stationed in various locations and therefore have to move frequently. Also, they may be deployed for lengthy periods of time overseas. During these deployments they are separated from their family and managing family affairs is difficult. Family law issues such as paternity, child custody or child support may prove especially difficult.

Paternity often becomes an issue when a father has a child while not being married to the mother. In these situations paternity must be established. This can be done voluntarily by both parents signing an acknowledgement of paternity. However, if there is a dispute it can be determined through genetic testing, which the parents can agree to or one parent can ask a judge to order the other parent to undergo genetic testing.

Disclosure of financial statements and property in a divorce

Couples of all types of financial backgrounds get divorced each year. Some do not have many assets and others possess significant assets. In either situation, the couple will have to divide their marital assets. If the couple has only been married a short time or do not have many assets this may be a relatively easy process. However, for those with many assets or those who have been married for a long time, asset division can be a very difficult process.

To help ensure that the process is fair and that each spouse receives an equitable amount of the marital assets, Arizona requires that each spouse disclose all of their financial assets and property. In a high net worth divorce, this process can be somewhat complicated.

Protecting parental rights in child custody disputes

When parents in Arizona decide to end their relationship, one of the most important issues is child custody and visitation. This issue is relevant whether the parents were married or not. At the end of the relationship, both parents are still the child's parents and will continue to be so for the child's entire life. Thus, which parent will have child custody can be a very contentious issue between them.

Often both parents want to be a part of their child's life as much as possible. Parents should know, however, that there are two different aspects to child custody. The first aspect is the legal decision-making regarding the child's life. The other aspect is parenting time and visitation rights, which concerns when each parent will have the child. Each aspect is handled separately, and therefore parents who do not have physical custody still often have a right to parenting time with their child.

CEO of energy giant must pay nearly a billion in alimony

When people are divorced in Arizona, many are concerned about how much money they will have to pay to their ex-spouse. This could be in child support, alimony or property division. One of the more contentious issues involving money can be alimony or spousal maintenance. Understandably, some are reluctant to pay their former spouse due to lingering conflict from the divorce. Whatever their opinion, though, the law states that a person may need to pay their ex-spouse monthly alimony.

Recently the CEO of Continental Resources, Inc., an energy giant in Oklahoma, was ordered to pay his ex-wife $995.4 million in property division alimony. He is to pay over $320 million directly to his ex-wife during the remainder of 2014, and then pay $7 million a month starting in 2015 until the rest has been paid off. The ex-wife also received three different properties that have an estimated combined value of $22.8 million. The CEO himself did receive over $2 billion worth of assets, however.

Penalties for not paying child support in Arizona

In Arizona, child support orders generally remain in place until the child is at least 18 years old. Under some circumstances they can last longer than that. An order put in place when the child is young could last well over ten years. Over that amount of time there can be many changes in the parents' lives.

These changes can include the loss of a job or a major injury or illness which requires extensive medical treatment. These events can have a major impact on a parent's financial situation and their ability to meet child support obligations. However, simply not paying violates the order and there are serious consequences if a person falls behind in those payments.

How does one establish paternity in Arizona?

There are many fathers in Arizona who are not married to the mother of their child. In these situations, until paternity is legally established the father is not considered the legal father. Paternity is important to establish because without paternity a father has no legal rights to custody or parenting time with their child. That means the mother can make all the decisions and could legally not allow the father to ever see his child.

If you would like to have legal rights to care for and see your child, you must take steps to establish paternity. There are several different ways to do this. The first is to have it established voluntarily. One way to do this is to have each parent sign a notarized document indicating you are the father of the child. This document must contain your and the mother's social security numbers and be filed with the court or the department of economic security.

How is property divided in a high asset divorce in Arizona?

There are many divorces that occur each year in Arizona. Divorces can be very emotional times for the parties involved, as well as for their children and other family members. Despite the fact that a divorce can be very emotional, the parties still need to make very important legal decisions. These decisions include making arrangements for child custody and child support if there are minor children involved. Another common decision is whether one spouse will pay the other alimony. However, one issue that almost all divorces will involve is property division.

As you can imagine, the process of dividing assets will be much more complicated in a high asset divorce. This is in part because of the volume of assets, as well as the complications of valuing those assets. Divisible assets may include businesses, various real properties, bank accounts and investment accounts, among other assets, and valuing them may not be easy.

Uma Thurman's ex attempting to gain custody of their child

Arizona fans of Uma Thurman may be interested to learn that the actress' ex is seeking custody of their daughter who is two years old. The couple has been engaged on two separate occasions, but were never married. Her ex lives in London, but recently filed his case in New York where Thurman lives. A representative for Thurman indicated that she is hopeful that they will be able to work out an agreement on child custody and visitation.

There are many families in Arizona who have also had to navigate issues of custody and visitation rights across two different cities or states. Anytime there is a divorce with minor children or a child is born out of wedlock, child custody can be an issue, especially if relocation is involved. In Arizona, the parents will have to determine - or have a judge decide - whether one parent will have custody or whether the couple will have joint custody. They will also have to determine parenting time to establish when each parent will see the child.

Modifying a spousal maintenance order in Arizona

There are many divorces in Arizona every year. There are general aspects that are similar in almost every one, but each one is unique. The general aspects include property division, child custody and child support and alimony, or spousal maintenance as it is commonly called. How each aspect is dealt with is what makes each divorce unique. However, no matter how each aspect was dealt with, at the end of the divorce each couple will end up with an order indicating what was determined about each aspect.

Depending on when a divorce occurs, a divorce order can last for a long period of time. As most people know over the years things change in people's lives. As things change, the order may no longer reflect people's current circumstances. For instance, people may lose jobs or begin to make significantly more money. In these situations one spouse may need to modify a spousal maintenance order to accurately reflect the new financial circumstances.

Establishing and enforcing child support orders

There are many couples who have children, but who are no longer together for a variety of reasons. These situations arise when couples divorce or were never married in the first place. Generally, when parents are no longer together, one parent will be ordered to provide the other parent with child support. This is to ensure that the child's financial needs are being met by both parents.

Child support in Arizona is determined by standardized child support guidelines, which are used to calculate child support. While the support amount is calculated according to a formula, the amounts used in the formula are up for debate. Child support laws allow variations to the numbers used and it is important to understand these laws in order to ensure that the proper amounts are used.

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