A couple heading toward divorce can expect to face many difficult decisions. Among the most common sources of contention between divorcing spouses are decisions about child custody and property division. When both spouses have strong opinions about the issues, negotiations can break down quickly.
Parents in Arizona may benefit from learning more about the state's provisions governing modifications to child support orders. In order to receive a modification, parents are required to prove to a family judge that a significant change in circumstances or living conditions has occurred. The changes warranting modification may concern the affairs of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and child or both parties. In certain states, the terms of child support orders are reevaluated by a family judge every few years.
In some Arizona cases, individuals may want to consult with a licensed lawyer while they are representing themselves. The State Bar of Arizona has released an ethics opinion addressing the scope of representation under such an arrangement, including the requirements of disclosure and confidentiality and the possibility of coaching the client.
Although there may be exceptions, the law in Arizona generally requires any court-ordered support or maintenance payments to be paid through the state's support payment clearinghouse. The clearinghouse maintains the names and addresses of the parties involved as well as employment information for the party who must make support payments. Under the law, the clearinghouse must be notified if any party changes their address.
Arizona is changing the way they handle issues of child support. In an effort to better help children, the Division of Child Support Services, a branch of the La Paz County Attorney's Office, has focused on actively assisting children and parents in positive ways. This change began with the division's name that went from being the Department of Child Support Enforcement, which harbored negative connotations, to DCSS's current title. DCSS is also raising public awareness declaring August Arizona's Child Support Awareness month.
An Arizona man retained his parental rights in a ruling by the Court of Appeals, nullifying an adoption by the foster parents. The decision, which was made by the three-judge panel in a 2-to-1 ruling, comes as a decisive reminder to everyone involved in custody proceedings.
One of the biggest issues facing divorced parents is that of child custody. For some couples, especially if they have split amicably, it is easier to reach an agreement on how to share their child's time. However, if the parents live far apart, or one of them seeks to move away, it can often complicate matters like visitation. Recently, in Arizona, a new bill threatened to make it harder for divorced parents to move with their children.
As many couples in Arizona know, no marriage is perfect, and some simply don't work out. Although some couples can work through their differences, for others the best option is a fresh start. Whether your divorce is amicable, or you are at odds with your spouse, there are several things to sort out. You will need to agree on the division of your assets and even the custody of your children if you have them.
Many Arizona residents are affected in some way by state agencies' intervention into matters of child welfare. For example, many times in family law proceedings such as divorce, child custody or child support, testimony of staff from the formerly named Child Protective Services has played a role in the court's decision-making.