Divorce proceedings, whether involving children or not, is a difficult time in any person’s life. Not only does divorce represent the end of a relationship, but it often represents years or even decades of asset acquisitions. A former couple will have to work closely together to accurately divide all their possessions with the assistance of attorneys and mediators, or even a judge. Arizona is a community property state which often eases the burden of property division, but it can often raise new issues regarding the valuation of property that may be difficult to place a dollar amount on, such as student loan debt or pension funds. An experienced divorce attorney can better assist you in walking through the full financial repercussions of property division.
Arizona is one state which provides for spousal support after a divorce in unique situations. One spouse may receive temporary support which lasts during divorce proceedings. A spouse may additionally be entitled to receive permanent spousal support or extended spousal support. A court will look at a variety of factors in determining whether a former spouse is entitled to receive spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the education and earning ability of the spouse seeking support, and the marital standard of living.
Child custody cases are often the most hotly contested cases in family law throughout Arizona. Neither parent will want to give up possession of their child. While joint custody is often the favored option for parents, one parent will often receive primary custody of the child, including the location of the permanent address of the child.
A court will consider the best interests of the child in making a child custody determination. During child custody determinations, both parties will come to an agreement in the form of a parenting plan, which lists out all scenarios which the parents may face in the future. While child custody plans may be modified in extreme situations, most child custody agreements remain in place for years to come, and therefore should accurately detail all parental duties that could arise in the future.
Child support is determined separately from child custody arrangements, although is often carefully tied together with the parenting plan. The parent who does not have primary custody of the child is often the parent who will provide child support. A court will look at various factors in determining the amount of child support, including:
- Monthly income of the parents; and
- Needs of the child
A child support agreement can be modified at any time if the circumstances of either parent have changed since the initial agreement.