Tag Archives: divorce

Custody Rights Under Family Law

One of the main issues during a divorce is usually who the children will live with under the divorce decree. If an agreement can’t be worked out, then it’s left to the courts to decide what is in the child or children’s best interest as far which parent has custodial rights.

custody-battleThe types of custodial rights
There are several different types of custodial rights which can be awarded through the courts.

  • Physical and legal custody: The parent who is awarded both of these has the sole right to make decisions which deal with the wellbeing of the child or children. That parent is also the person who the child or children will live with the majority of the time. If the legal custodial participation is shared between the two parents; however, the non-custodial parent too has the legal right to makes decisions about what affects the child or children’s welfare.
  • Joint custody: In this arrangement, the child or children spend the same amount of time with both parents. This is worked out by the child going back and forth from one household to the other. The parents have to be in total cooperation dealing with the child’s or children’s best interests in order for this method to be successful though.
  • Split custody: This option is less favored by the courts because it splits up the children where one or more children live with one parent and then the remaining child or children live with the other parent.
  • Unmarried parents: Most states will award sole custodial rights of the child or children, if the parents are unmarried, to the mother. The father can sue for custodial rights, but if the mother is a good parent, it’s rare that he wins this type of suit.

What factors do the courts consider when making the custodial decisions?

The courts take many factors into consideration when making this decision. The child’s best interest is always put first. Plus one of the other main factors here is who is the child or children’s primary caretaker. Also if the child is of an age to make his or her wishes known, the court will take that into consideration.

Although some parents can settle custodial issues without an attorney, to make sure your rights as a parent are handled properly, hiring a family law attorney is really the best choice.

Divorce: Under Family Law Who Gets What?

divorceWhen two people divorce, dividing up the community property can become a very touchy issue. Everything that’s owned together in the marriage is considered community property. This includes any money that’s earned by either of them from the beginning date of the marriage regardless of whose account it is in. Also, it can include any property jointly owned that was bought with “community” money such as the home.

Too, the debts incurred together throughout the marriage until the separation date are community debts. This means that each spouse is liable for these kinds of debts such as the home mortgage, joint car loans and joint credit cards; for example. In this line then, it’s very important to close bank accounts to avoid cash issues; any joint accounts and joint credit cards as soon as filing for divorce has been decided upon. Also, just removing the names from the joint accounts doesn’t relieve a spouse from liability either.

However, property which is separately owned is another issue entirely. Anything which is owned separately by a spouse belongs to the spouse whose name it’s in. This would cover any property or belongings which were owned before the marriage. Also, if there was an inheritance or a gift received during the marriage, it belongs to the person it was presented to. Keep in mind too; any monies earned after the date of separation belong to the spouse who earned it.

Sometimes community property can get mixed in with separate property though, and a family law attorney is needed to straighten out the legalities. As an example, a car’s down payment may be made with community money, but the car is owned by only one spouse. Too, if a debt was acquired before the marriage by one spouse, then that debt belongs to that person in the divorce.

Now when there’s no intention on either party’s side to stay together as a husband and wife, then that date is the date of “separation.” This is important because it’s that date that’s used to determine the end of the community property. Proof of moving out of the home or another form of proof may be asked by the court to affirm the final breakup of the marriage though.

In the end, to make sure that assets are divided fairly, it’s always best to have an attorney to help with the legal issues.

Visitation and Stepchildren

Divorce can be a heart-wrenching process for families. This can be case for both biological and stepparents. A stepparent and child can build a strong relationship, especially over a number of years. There are many decisions that need to be made in the process of a divorce including financial decisions and division of property. Child custody is another issue which can become more complex when a stepparent relationship is involved. When the marriage ends, both the stepparent and child may wish to continue to the relationship. Often, the stepparent has been very involved in raising the child. Fortunately, a stepparent can work with family law court in many cases to establish visitation with the child or children.

Many family law courts recognize the importance of the relationships that develop between stepparents and their stepchildren. Family law courts in many states have provisions for visitation between children and stepparents. If you are facing a divorce and have relationships with a stepchild or stepchildren, you should work with an attorney. It can be difficult to get visitation because a family law court will seriously consider what the natural parents prefer.

There are a variety of issues the family law court will consider when it comes to establishing stepparent visitation. One is how involved the stepparent is in the child’s life. Also, how long was the stepparent a part of the child’s life? Was it a short-term or a long-term relationship? What about the emotional factor? How emotionally attached are the child and the stepparent? Is the stepparent is providing financial support for the child? How much? What about emotional harm to the child? Will cutting out visitation hurt the child?

What if you have established visitation with your stepchild but would like to increase the amount of time? This can be more difficult than the initial process of establishing visitation through the family law court. The family law court will consider a variety of factors in these cases. As always, the best interests of the child or children are the first consideration when modifying a visitation order. Strong consideration will be given to the biological parent’s wishes so this can make the process difficult.

Do Children Have a Say in Custody Decisions?

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the issue of child custody. Divorce splits families apart and decisions have to be made about visitation and custody. Some families opt for shared custody. Others have a primary custodial parent with visitation rights for the other parent. Sometimes, the parents can reach an agreement through mediation. Unfortunately, some divorces are contentious and both parties need to retain a family law attorney to help them through the process.

child supportWhile family law courts try to resolve custody issues based on the best interests of the child or children involved, what happens when the children have an opinion about custody? Do they have a say in the custody decision or are they at the mercy of family law courts?

There are many false assumptions surrounding family law and custody. Some people believe that children under the age of twelve have no say in custody agreements. It’s a common belief that after a child turns twelve, he or she can make decisions about custody. Both of these assumptions are false. No matter what the child’s age, a family law court will be involved in a custody agreement.

In most states, the family law courts will consider the child’s opinion when it comes to custody. However, the child’s opinion is not the only factor the court considers. In most cases, a custody evaluator will talk with the child and determine what his or her wishes are. The child’s preferences will be considered no matter how old the child is. The evaluator is typically very experienced with interviewing children and can detect when the child is under pressure from a parent. The evaluator will report his or her findings to the judge. The child will not testify in court.

The family court may decide on a variety of custody arrangements based on parental fitness, living situations and the background of the parent. If either parent has an arrest record or documented drug and alcohol problems, supervised custody may be recommended. In other cases, parents will have joint custody of the child and share decision-making. There are a wide variety of custodial arrangements and the court will try to find an arrangement that best benefits the child or children.

The Difference between a Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is very common in the world of family law. Many people create these agreements to protect their assets in the case of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are also common, but people are often not familiar with the difference between the two types of agreements.

prenuptial agreementA prenuptial agreement is created with a family law attorney before a marriage or civil union takes place. The agreement is actually a contract and covers many different family law issues. Prenuptial agreements can contain a variety of terms depending on the situation. The document details how the couple will divide their assets if they decide to divorce in the future. Some agreements have specific stipulations, such as forfeiture of certain assets in the case of adultery.

Both parties involved should have their own family law attorney during the creation of the prenuptial agreement. There are many issues to consider and individuals who complete these agreements without assistance can overlook serious concerns. These can include spousal support and what happens to individual assets if one of the parties dies after the divorce. Prenuptial agreements must be entered into voluntarily and the family law attorneys can ensure that this is clear before the documents are signed.

Postnuptial agreements are created after the two parties have already been married or entered into a civil union. The postnuptial agreement is a contract that specifies how assets will be handled if the couple divorces or separates. These types of family law contracts have only been popular for a few decades, but people find them very helpful in the case of a separation.

There are a few common types of postnuptial agreements. One type deals with assets if one person dies. In these cases, the other partner waives the right to property or assets that he or she would normally be entitled to under inheritance laws. Some agreements address the issue of alimony. Typically, the parties waive the right to alimony. The contract may also address the division of property that was acquired before or after the marriage or civil union. It’s important for both parties to work with a family law while creating postnuptial agreements so that the interests of both people are protected.

How Do I File for No-fault Divorce in Arizona?

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. Neither spouse has to cite specific reasons for ending the marriage. They must simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. No-fault divorces can be as stressful and contentious as other types of divorce. There are assets to be divided and other financial questions to settle. A family law attorney will be an immense asset during the divorce process. If you try to execute a divorce without the proper support, you can end up with a lot of problems when it comes to financial issues and child custody agreements. Don’t let yourself be pressured into a quick divorce. Instead, work with a family law attorney that can protect you.

divorce attorneyIf you have children, you will need to settle child custody issues. A family law attorney can help you arrange a mutually beneficial custody agreement. If you have any conflicts about custody agreements, it’s essential to work with a family law attorney to protect your rights. In some situations, there may be concerns about the children’s safety with your former spouse. Your family law attorney can help you protect your children in these types of situation. If you share custody, your attorney can help you enforce your visitation rights.

When it comes to financial issues, there are many questions you and your attorney will need to discuss. How will any existing debt be divided between your former spouse? How will your retirement accounts be allocated? Child support is another important consideration. How will the expenses of caring for the children be split? Will you be asking for alimony? There are several types of alimony and a family law attorney can assist you in filing the appropriate paperwork.

Arizona is one of the few states that have a type of marriage called covenant marriage. This type of marriage is created specifically to make divorce more difficult. If you have entered into this type of marriage, a no-fault divorce is not possible. A court will only grant you a divorce for a particular reason such as physical abuse, adultery, abandonment or substance abuse. A family law attorney can help you understand your options for moving forward with a divorce in this type of situation.

Going Through a Divorce? Hire a Family Law Attorney Today

Ending a marriage can be one of the hardest things that you will ever do in your life and it can be even more difficult if there are children and property. If you are planning on going through a divorce you will need to make sure that you have a family law attorney. When looking for a family law attorney you will need to make sure that he or she is fully experienced in the world of family law. The more experienced the better for you and your case.

Assets and Debts

When you are going through a divorce there are certain things that will have to be decided. For instance if you have debts such as a mortgage or loan payment it will have to be decided how these bills will be paid. Your family law attorney can help work with you on debt distribution. If you have assets you will have to divide your assets into what is mutually acceptable and your attorney will be able to help you with asset division.

Children in Divorce

Children with a divorce case can always be tough and this is where an attorney who is trained well in family law is needed. Your attorney can work closely with you and figure out what kind of agreements need to be made as far as child custody and the visitation of that child. He or she can also help with child support and making sure that everything is right for the child.

While going through a divorce is not something that most people want to do it does happen and you will need to be protected. Make sure that you hire an experienced family law attorney to help you and your family get the best possible outcome from your divorce. The quicker that you hire a lawyer the better for you and all parties involved.