Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Can criminal charges affect a parent's child custody rights?

Our readers may be aware that when it comes to matters related to the custody of kids, the best interests of the children will generally guide legal proceedings. The "best interests" standard is subjective and allows courts to craft child custody arrangements that take into consideration the unique familial characteristics that may impact the welfare of the affected children. A number of considerations, including a parent's criminal record, may be reviewed when a child custody matter is being established or modified.

For example, if a parent is found to have abused or otherwise mistreated their children, that parent may have a harder time getting custody than the child's other parent. Additionally, a parent who is incarcerated will be unable to hold physical custody of their children and may be denied legal custody as well due to their limited access to their kids.

Dividing retirement accounts in Arizona

Although many people enjoy their jobs and find meaning in going to work each day, for most a career is simply a path to retirement and financial freedom. Arizona residents hope that if they work hard and save some of what they earn that eventually they will have enough to live off of and to carry them through the ends of the lives. While retirement savings do benefit many people, those savings may be impacted by a divorce.

As readers of this family blog may remember, Arizona is a community property state. This means that the wealth and assets that partners in a marital couple acquire after they wed are considered marital and therefore equally divisible upon divorce. So, for example, if a person saves $1 million in retirement accounts after they are married, that sum may be cut in half and reduced to $500,000 for them if their union ends in divorce.

What is "lump sum" alimony?

Most alimony or spousal support arrangements are structured so that the paying party provides to the receiving party monthly or other periodic payments to satisfy their agreed upon financial relationship. Under this traditional form of alimony, payments by the paying party continue until a stipulated period of time has passed or a terminal event ends the relationship. However, there are alternate forms of alimony, and one of those is "lump sum" alimony.

Lump sum alimony is just what it sounds like from its name. Instead of a paying party sending monthly checks for a long period of time, the paying party provides to the recipient one payment that completely satisfies their alimony obligation. Lump sum alimony can be financially advantageous to both parties, but may not serve their interests in all situations.

Understanding eligibility for child support

Children in Arizona have the right to receive financial support from both of their parents. As such, if their parents are divorced or do not share a home, then one of those parents may be required to provide the child with child support. There are some basic requirements that must be met for child support to be awarded, but readers should talk to their family law attorneys about their specific child support cases.

First, if there is a question of paternity between a child and man, a paternity test may need to be completed to demonstrate the man's responsibility toward the child. Oftentimes when parents are married or residing as a couple both of their names appear on the child's birth certificate; if a child's father is not established, then paternity may first need to be addressed before child support can be awarded.

Helping you assert your fathers' rights

When parents, married or not, part ways, this can impact the children involved. Every family has their unique story; thus, family law issues should be treated specifically to the family going through them. With regards to unmarried couples, there could be an issue of fathers' rights. A mother might be seeking sole custody, proving the assumed father limited visitation rights or no rights at all. A father might seek to assert his parental rights, seeking visitation or custody rights. And in some instances, a presumed father might be attempting to prove that he is not the father of the child, relieving him of any parental responsibilities.

At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our experienced lawyers understands the sensitive nature of family law matters. It is difficult and emotional, as it is an event that could cause an individual to spend little to no time with their child. By exerting your parental rights or taking the time to establish them, our goal is to meet the needs of our client, proving them the custody and visitation rights they desire.

Fathers deserve a fair opportunity to be with their kids

Parents in Arizona understand the special love that can only develop between them and their children. Loving a child is like no other experience, and even when children misbehave and make them crazy, parents would do anything to ensure their kids' health and happiness. This strong connection does not diminish when parents choose to separate or divorce from their partners and create custodial and visitation schedules through which to share their children.

Often, though, it may seem that courts prefer to give mothers more time with the divorcing couples' children. Mothers may appear to receive more judgments of sole physical custody or may be granted the bulk of the time in shared physical custody arrangements. Even if the parents share equally in the legal custody of their children, a father may find that at the end of this divorce his connection to his children is diminished.

Standard of living is an important factor in awarding alimony

When the young partners to an Arizona couple begin their lives in marriage, they may face the challenges that many young people do: expensive housing options, jobs that do not seem to pay enough and exorbitant costs associated with utilities, food and entertainment. Getting by can be challenging when a person is early in their career, but as time goes on many individuals enjoy promotions and the pay increases that come with them to boost the standard at which they live.

Over the course of a marriage, a couple may go from just getting by to saving for retirement, living comfortably and easily supporting themselves and their kids. Their standard of living may be secure, but should the partners to that couple choose to divorce, the economic stability of the partners may come into question. This can be especially true for a partner who elects to support their family at home in lieu of holding down a wage-earning career.

Can child support money be used to pay the rent?

There is a wide range of expenses to which child support payments may be applied. Individuals in Phoenix who have case-specific questions about how child support is being used in their familial situations should bring their concerns up with their family law attorneys. This post will discuss one general question in the very complex topic of child support and readers are reminded that its contents should be read as information only.

Many people think of child support as money that only applies to what a child individually needs. For example, they may believe that child support money may be used to buy the child clothing or school supplies but that it cannot be used in ways that may benefit others. This is not always the case. A parent who has sole physical custody of a child and to whom child support is paid by the other parent may apply child support money to maintaining housing for the child.

Circumstances under which spousal maintenance may be awarded

Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support, is a common divorce issue that many Arizona couples confront when they choose to end their relationships. However, an award of support is not guaranteed simply because a divorce is filed. In Phoenix a person must request support from their partner and must demonstrate that it is necessary before a court will approve it.

State law recognizes several circumstances under which alimony may be appropriate. One of those circumstances occurs when the requesting spouse does not possess enough wealth or property on which to take care of themselves after their divorce. After a couple works through its divorce-related property settlement a party may know if they are able to take care of their own needs; if they cannot maintain themselves, they may have a case for spousal maintenance.

Politician and wife to end marriage in divorce

Even though his political aspirations never reached to Arizona, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is a figure who has national recognition for his strong opinions and constant involvement in current events. When the presidential transition occurred just last year, Giuliani was considered a frontrunner for national appointed positions; today, though, he is in the news for a much more personal reason.

Giuliani and his wife have decided to end their marriage in divorce. This is Giuliani's third marriage and his union to his wife lasted for 15 years. His soon-to-be ex-wife has indicated that she will fight for her martial property rights, including to her rights in properties in the state of New York as well as other locations.