Posts tagged ‘child custody’

February 17, 2011

Child Support

A divorce is a legal proceeding wherein one or both spouses are seeking to end their marriage.  As a part of the divorce proceeding, the Court will issue orders pertaining to custody of the parties’ child/children.  The court may also grant temporary orders during the divorce proceedings before a final decree is issued. These orders include the payment of child support and visitation rights / parenting time with the children.

The Arizona Revised Statutes dictate how much child support will be calculated. There are Child Support Guidelines set by the Arizona Supreme Court, which establish a uniform standard used to determining a child support obligation. There is also a child support calculator (available online) that allows a person to plug in certain numbers such as income, health insurance, day care payments, etc. in order to show how much a spouse can expect to pay in child support. Child support cases take into consideration the financial situation of both parties, therefore good documentation is imperative. This documentation may include: tax returns, credit reports, car payments, pension statements, real estate records, credit card balances, and investment statements. The Arizona Child Support Calculator usually provides an accurate assessment of the level of support that will be required, but in some situations deviations from this amount are granted. An attorney can take the time to go through these possible situations with you if you are facing this issue.

Once the divorce is finalized and the court has determined the child support and visitation rules, both parties are legally obligated to follow the court order-and to follow it correctly. In the event a spouse violates a court order granting child support, there are several remedies available to the other spouse including the garnishment of wages, bank account and asset seizure, and in extreme cases, criminal penalties such as imprisonment. Although divorce decrees are final, the court is allowed to revisit issues such as child support and custody in certain cases. If circumstances regarding child support change that would result in an outcome that differs by 15% or more (such as a parent losing a job or getting a substantial raise), the court may revisit the original orders and change the amounts due.

You can see that there are very specific laws regarding divorce and child custody. An attorney can help you understand the differences between terms such as an absent parent, a custodial parent/person, and a non-custodial parent; or what the age of majority is, or the difference between an alleged father and a legal father.  Going through a divorce is hard enough without worrying about understanding all of the laws and your legal rights. It is important that you find a qualified law firm to help you with this process. We believe our lawyers at The Carroll Law Firm are the perfect choice in helping you through this difficult time of important decision making.

December 1, 2010

When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”

I don’t think anyone who says “I do” plans on later saying “I don’t.” But here you are, and there are a lot of things to think about. What assets and debts have you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage, and how will they be divided? If you have children together, what parenting time schedule do you envision? How much child support will you owe or be owed? What about spousal maintenance (alimony)? The list goes on.

We at the Carroll Law Firm PLC can help you answer these questions and more. We can serve as mediators if you and your spouse want to try and agree to the terms of your divorce with minimal court involvement. We can represent you in an uncontested or a contested divorce action. We can help you with a legal separation. No matter what route the end of your marriage takes, we will protect your interests and help you navigate through this difficult time.

If you and your spouse have children, your divorce decree will end your marriage, but it will not end your relationship with each other. As I recently heard a judge say, “A divorce ends a marriage; it does not end a family.” For that reason, you may want to think not only about the concrete terms of your divorce, but what your relationship with your spouse will look like in the future. Think about birthday parties, school events, soccer games. . . . What if your spouse wants a few extra days of parenting time because his or her relatives are in town? What if you need your spouse to pick the kids up at school on “your” day because you have a late meeting at work? How flexible are you willing to be, knowing that you may need to ask for some flexibility sometimes, too?

If you are facing the end of your marriage, please know that we are here to discuss your options with you. Please call us at (623) 551-9366 if you would like to schedule a free thirty-minute consultation. Now and always, we wish you the best.

October 19, 2010

Custody Relocation

Divorce can be difficult all by itself; but when adding child custody to the situation, divorce becomes even more painful. Child custody affects everyone-mom, dad, children, and perhaps other family members. Arizona Family Laws can be very complex, and divorce and custody laws vary widely from state to state. It is important for you to find a law firm whose goal is to manage your marital disputes in a caring way and to be the advocate for you in custody proceedings.

Every parent has rights to visit their children. Parenting time (visitation) may be one of the most important legal steps to keep you in touch with your child and involved in his/her life. You may wonder as a non-custodial parent how you can visit your child on a regular visitation schedule. How do you make sure that these visits are enforceable? Most importantly, what are the best interests of the children?

A major custody issue is that of Custody Relocation. What happens if the custodial parent wants to leave the state to pursue a new job, or to be closer to family members, or maybe just to get a fresh start? Does the custodial parent need a written consent from the non-custodial parent? It is crucial that you know the particular state’s statutes to understand your rights. We at The Carroll Law Firm are qualified to help you understand the implications of a custodial parent’s decision to move out of state. Call us today for a free consultation.