Posts tagged ‘family law’

June 11, 2013

Parenting Time and/or Legal Decision Making Modifications

Orders and stipulations regarding parenting time and legal decision making typically always are open to modification. The court recognizes that circumstances change as children grow older and time passes, and that a plan agreed upon by parents when a child is five may no longer be appropriate when the child is thirteen.

In order to request a modification in Arizona, at least one year must have elapsed between the current court order regarding legal decision making and/or parenting time. However, in situations where the present environment of the child could endanger his or her physical, mental, moral, or emotional health, the court will ignore the time requirement.

read more »

March 29, 2012

Grandparent Rights in Arizona

Each of the 49 states in the U.S. possess their own specific statutes that address the matter of visitation rights for grandparents. In Arizona, reasonable visitation rights may be granted to grandparents if two circumstances are met.

The first thing that must be proved to the court to establish visitation rights for grandparents is that it is within the best interests of the child for the visitation to occur. In making this determination, the court will consider all factors relevant to the matter (per A.R.S. 25-409), which include:

  • The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.
  • The motivation of the requesting party in seeking visitation.
  • The motivation of the person denying visitation.
  • The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child’s customary activities.
  • If one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.

In addition to proving that visitation is within the best interests of the child, one of three situations must also be true. The first is that the marriage of the parents of the child must have been dissolved for at least three months. Second, a parent of the child must be deceased OR missing for at least three months. The court will consider a parent to be missing if the location of the parent has not been determined and if the parent has been reported missing to a law enforcement agency. Finally, visitation rights can be sought if the child was born out of wedlock.

If a grandparent is able to acquire visitation, and if it is logistically possible and appropriate to do so, the court will typically allow the visitation to occur when the child is spending time with whichever parent that the grandparent used to claim the grandparent’s right of access to the child. However, the court recognizes that this sort of scenario is not always possible and will order alternate arrangements if necessary to minimize conflict and maintain a safe and stable environment for the minor child.

Though this statute applies specifically for grandparents, a provision also provides the same rights to great-grandparents if they can meet the elements listed above.

Like most actions involving custody and/or visitation of a minor child, the outcome is largely contingent upon what is in the best interests of the child. Because these matters are often hotly contested, it is usually a good idea to contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help guide you through the process. To speak with an attorney regarding Grandparents’ Rights in Arizona, contact The Carroll Law Firm at (623)551-9366.

February 24, 2012

Pre-Marital Agreements (aka “Pre-Nups”) in Arizona

Arizona law defines a premarital agreement (or what is commonly referred to as a “pre-nup”) as an agreement between two prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. Once the marriage of the parties becomes official, the premarital agreement goes into effect.

read more »

February 7, 2011

No-Fault Divorce

Family law is really about family relations.  The most common family law cases include divorce, custody, alimony, adoption, and domestic violence.  These are civil cases, and they are heard in the civil court.  You may wonder what exactly is a no-fault divorce.

Arizona divorce laws allow either spouse to file for a divorce if it is claimed that the existing marriage between the two parties is irretrievably broken, and that there is no possibility for reconciliation.  The spouse filing for the divorce or legal separation in Arizona is not required to state that either party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.  For this reason, Arizona is commonly called the “no-fault” state.

The circumstances for the divorce may vary greatly, but there are some very specific steps in moving forward to make a divorce final.  This includes the filing of exact documents, the serving of the documents to the other spouse, the necessity to disclose a number of papers such as one’s income tax returns, paycheck stubs, bank account and credit card statements, and copies of deeds or titles of property owned separately or jointly. In addition, both parties may ask for additional information or call expert witnesses.

As you can see, this is a complicated process with a number of options.  It is important that a person in this circumstance of facing a major life event or change needs to seek the consultation and advice of a competent, experienced law firm who helps you to not compromise your legal rights.

Unfortunately, many people stay in a marriage because they think they will lose everything for which they have worked. Instead, let The Carroll Law Firm help you in understanding how the legal system of no-fault divorce works.  Call now for your well-being and peace of mind. There is a lawyer here at The Carroll Law Firm ready to help you with any of your family law needs.