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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Action star and wife to get divorced - again

Arizona action movie fans may be interested to learn that actor Jean-Claude Van Damme's wife filed for divorce for the second time. The couple had previously been married in 1987 and divorced in 1992. During the first marriage, they had two children who are now adults. Then they were married again in 1999 and have been married since then. Van Damme is no stranger to divorce though, as this is now is fifth divorce.

Divorce for anyone can be a complicated and emotional time. There are a number of issues that need to be resolved as people separate two lives that were previously merged together. If the couple had minor children, they will also have to determine which spouse will have custody and visitation as well as determining child support. This also means figuring which belongings each spouse will keep and how they will pay for certain financial obligations, which can be complicated in a high asset divorce, like Van Damme's divorce.

Agreements that alimony cannot be modified are valid in Arizona

Alimony, also called spousal maintenance, can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce in Arizona. Alimony refers to financial support payments paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce. The alimony award can be permanent or temporary. It can also have contingencies placed on it or it may decrease over time. It is a very fact-specific issue in divorce and each alimony award is different.

Arizona judges follow guidelines when making alimony decisions, but the guidelines are not as rigid as those used for child support. One of the factors considered in setting alimony is how much time it will take one spouse to become economically independent, which in many cases is a guess at best. Other factors include the health of each spouse, which can also change with little or no warning.

How domestic violence affects child custody in Arizona

There are many victims of domestic violence in Arizona. In some situations the victim is an adult or a child, but in other situations, both the adult and the child are abused. While it is very important for a person to leave an abusive marriage, in order to leave it completely, the victim must go through the divorce process just like any one else.

That means the victim will still have to deal with the issues of child custody, child support, alimony and property division. Some of these will be dealt with in the same manner as a marriage without abuse, but child custody is dealt with differently.

What is considered gross income for determining child support?

Many parents in Arizona either receive or pay child support. For many of these parents the child support obligation was determined using the child support calculator. We have previously discussed how this calculator is used to determine child support. However, as we discussed there may be disputes regarding which numbers are put into the calculator in the first place.

One of the more common disputes revolves around the issue of gross income and what is included as a parent's monthly income. It may seem straightforward, but not all of the money a parent earns each month is considered gross income for child support purposes.

Challenging a paternity test in Arizona

Many children in Arizona are born to parents who are not married. Despite this, many times the father is present and known to both the mother and child. However, this by itself does not establish paternity. There are a few legal steps that must occur before the establishment of paternity. Many times these steps are done voluntarily and there is not a dispute, but this is not always the case.

Even if the parties are ordered to obtain a paternity test, which concludes that the man is presumed to be the father, either parent can still challenge the finding. The party opposing the results must submit a written challenge to the genetic test results within 20 days of the results being submitted to the court. If a written challenge is not submitted, then the test results automatically become evidence in the case.

How are retirement accounts divided in an Arizona divorce?

People in Arizona have different economic situations. Some have little property or discretionary income while others have significant assets and extra income. For people in the latter category, these assets can be in the form of real property, stocks, investments, retirement accounts and many other types of assets. However, when people with many assets divorce, these assets must be divided just like in every other divorce.

This can be a complicated matter. Assets in these situations can be difficult just to value. Property appraisals may be needed as well as business appraisals if one or both spouses own a business. The couple may also need a forensic accountant to analyze the various accounts they own to determine their value as well as the marital portion of those accounts.

Ex-Husband of Walmart heiress seeks $400,000 a month in alimony

There are many divorces in Arizona each year. Each one is unique given that the circumstances of each marriage are unique. Some divorces involve minor children and child custody and child support will need to be dealt with and others do not. Sometimes the couple may own real property and others will not; there are countless reasons why each Arizona divorce merits individualized attention.

Also, the financial circumstances of each marriage are different. Sometimes both spouses work and sometimes just one spouse works. In divorces when only one spouse works or one spouse makes significantly more than the other, alimony may be an issue.

Temporary child custody orders in Arizona

Many people in Arizona have gone through a divorce with children, or a custody proceeding. As these people know, the whole process, from start to finish, can take a long time to complete. While the parents are going through the process, they generally are living in separate residences. This means that the children will be residing with only one parent at a time. Many times the parents cannot come to an agreement on a parenting schedule or who will be making the decisions.

In these situations, one of the parents can seek a temporary order for child custody and parenting time. These orders will be in place while the divorce or custody proceeding remains open. Once the case is closed, the temporary orders cease.

Modifying a child support order in Arizona

Many people in Arizona have children with a person to whom they are no longer married or to whom they were never married in the first place. People in this position may be either receiving or paying child support for their children. Child support is ordered to ensure the financial needs of the children are being met by both parents when the child is residing with only one of the parents.

We have previously discussed the child support guidelines in Arizona and how child support is calculated. The amount ordered remains in effect until the child is emancipated. However, especially if child support is ordered when a child is young, the financial circumstances of the parents may change prior to the child's emancipation.

How does parenting time effect child support payments?

There are many fathers in Arizona who have children and are not currently married or are no longer in a relationship with the mother. In many of these situations, the father has a custody order and a child support payment each month. In addition to the custody situation, the father may have parenting time with the child. This is the amount of time the child is with the father.

Fathers' rights can sometimes be a touchy issue. However, it is important to understand that parenting time is crucial for both the children and the father. This is the time that the father and the children are able to build their relationship. The parenting time can also have an effect on how much child support the father will pay each month.

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