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Phoenix Family Law And Estate Planning Law Blog

What are factors that judges consider to determine alimony?

When a marriage heads toward its end, there are several important financial decisions that a person has to make in addition to coping with the emotional challenges of ending a marriage. One such decision is regarding the demand for spousal maintenance, which is commonly known as alimony. According to its legal definition in Arizona, alimony is the money that is paid by one spouse to the other as part of the divorce decree. However, it is not necessary that every divorce will involve the payment of alimony.

In Arizona, the purpose of paying alimony is to make sure that the accomplishments of a marriage are shared equally by the separating spouses, much like how marital property is divided equally at the time of divorce. Alimony is particularly important for stay-at-home spouses and those spouses whose income is much less in comparison with the other spouse. By having the alimony provision, Arizona laws allow separating spouses to ensure that they are able to maintain a comfortable life even after divorce.

Mediation a smart choice for divorcing couples in Arizona

Divorce, as many of our readers may agree, is one of the most exhausting experiences that one can go through during the course of life. This is because separation often comes with its own set of challenges, which lead many couples to end up at loggerheads. Considering how divorce proceedings can easily turn bitter, separating couples may choose to spend some time to think about a divorce through mediation.

In the state of Arizona, it is possible for couples to separate amicably by deciding to obtain a divorce through mediation. As many readers would know, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technique that is based on a collaborative approach to solve divorce-related matters. The mediation is conducted by a neutral third-party mediator who acts as a communication bridge between the separating spouses and helps them to arrive at a mutual agreement regarding all the matters associated with a divorce.

What is considered separate property in an Arizona divorce?

Arizona is a community property state, which means that all marital property is divided equally between the spouses in the event of a divorce. However, it is important to remember that not all the assets that were acquired by an individual during the course of the marriage are considered community property. Article 25 Section 213 of Title 25 of Arizona Revised Statutes clearly states what separate property is.

According to this section, property that is acquired by a person before marriage is considered separate property. Additionally, property that a married individual obtains through inheritance, gifts, rents, issues or profits earned from an existing separate property is considered separate property. Also, any property that a married individual acquires after filing a petition for divorce is considered separate property. This rule, however, is applicable only if the petition for dissolution of marriage is approved by an Arizona court.

Advice for noncustodial parents

If your co-parent was granted sole physical custody of your kids in the divorce, it can be a disheartening decision to live with. It doesn't help that all sorts of myths about noncustodial parents abound -- particularly as shared custody has become more prevalent. Many people believe that noncustodial parents chose not to help raise their kids or perhaps have an issue that makes it unsafe for their kids to be around them.

In fact, many noncustodial parents want to be involved in their kids' lives. They may, in fact, share legal custody even if they don't have physical custody. This means they have a say in decisions regarding their kids' education, medical care, religious upbringing and more. Often, they pay child support to the custodial parent, so they're helping provide their kids with everything they need even if they can't be there for them regularly.

Know what to expect from a custody evaluation

If you and your co-parent are unable to reach a child custody agreement on your own, with the help of your attorneys, a judge may order a custody evaluation to help them make a decision.

Sometimes these evaluations are performed as the couple is divorcing. Other times, they're ordered if one or both parents believe the current custody arrangement isn't what's best for their kids. While an evaluation may be ordered by a judge, it can also be requested by parents.

Arizona Court of Appeals rules for woman in frozen embryo case

An Arizona appellate court has ruled in a much-watched case involving a divorced couple who has been fighting over what to do with their fertilized embryos. Those embryos were produced during an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process the couple used before they were married.

The majority of the Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling in favor of the ex-husband. They determined that the woman could implant those embryos if and when she chooses to, and her former husband doesn't have a say in the matter.

What are your options for selling a loved one's items?

Your elderly parent or other loved one who just passed away didn't believe in downsizing and decluttering as they got older. That's left you looking at options for an estate auction to sell their property.

There are several ways to have an estate auction. Which one is best depends on how many items there are, what type of items are involved and how much money and time you have to devote to the process.

Welcoming a child? Consider your estate planning options

Expanding your family is likely a dream that you have had for some time. Now that you are expecting a baby or are close to completing the adoption process, you may feel that excitement mounting more than ever. Of course, while thinking about bringing more life and love to your family is wonderful, you may also want to consider planning for the possibility of less-happy events.

If you have not yet created an estate plan, doing so before your child comes into your family is wise. You certainly hope that you will always have the ability to care for your child and that the future will be perfect, but unfortunately, perfection is not always attainable. Luckily, you can plan for potential hardships and at least ensure that certain scenarios will be handled more easily.

Talking to your child about an absent parent

Not all divorced parents share custody of their children. For a variety of reasons, your co-parent may have little or no contact with your child. Perhaps there were issues with drugs, alcohol or violence that have made it unsafe and unhealthy for your child to be around them. Your co-parent may have moved far away and chosen not to be part of your child's life other than to provide court-ordered financial support.

It's not unusual these days for kids to live with only one parent. Many of your child's friends at school may have divorced parents or parents who never married. However, when one parent is largely or completely absent from a child's life, it can have a serious psychological impact on their sense of identity and self-esteem. It's up to you as a single parent and to other adults in your child's life to be positive role models and to help develop a strong sense of who they are.

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