Arizona family law is the area of practice that primarily covers divorce, child custody and child support in Maricopa County, Arizona. Divorce also covers specific areas such as property division, legal separation and spousal maintenance which people usually call alimony. Enholm Law, PLLC, in addition to their attorneys that handle bankruptcy, estates, criminal defense and DUI, have two full time Phoenix family law attorneys that specialize in this area of practice. The ever changing Arizona Revised Statutes that focus on family law contain a large volume of laws that govern the areas of family law. Call an Enholm Law, PLLC Phoenix Family Law attorney today to arrange a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
By 1987 all fifty states had adopted, either as an option or as their exclusive model, the no-fault divorce model. Divorce lawyers In Phoenix, Arizona, argue cases using the no-fault divorce model exclusively. No-fault divorce means the court only focuses on the existing state of the marriage. Arizona makes no rulings concerning adultery, alcoholism or cruelty and allows people to enter into divorce simply on the grounds of incompatibility, irretrievable breakdown or irreconcilable differences.
Arizona Courts will make no ruling on divorce until 60 days after one spouse files for divorce. Arizona prefers that couples arrive at a mutual agreement and you and your Arizona Family Law lawyer will attempt to negotiate this with your spouse before ever going before a judge. For a complete overview of divorce in Phoenix, please see our article entitled Divorce Attorney Phoenix – The Definitive Guide.
Spousal maintenance is about being eligible for alimony, or receiving an order to pay alimony, under Arizona Revised Statute 25-319. Spousal maintenance is up to the discretion of the court. Judges have wide latitude when it comes to this subject. Spousal maintenance is commonly not awarded when couples are involved in a marriage of short duration. Alimony is not usually awarded if the spouse who seeks alimony has the ability to be financially self sufficient. Alimony is often awarded when the spouse seeking alimony requires education or training to return to the work force or is of an age when acquiring a job is nearly impossible. Please see our article entitled Phoenix Spousal Maintenance Attorney for a complete overview of Spousal maintenance in Arizona.
In January of 2013, child custody was significantly changed by Arizona Legislators. Child custody is now two separate and distinct areas called legal decision making and parenting time. During your marriage, both parents had the right to spend time with their children and share major decisions made on behalf of the child in the areas of religion, medical, educational and other areas. When marriages end, people can argue about these two topics. The court will focus completely on what is in the best interest of the child in these cases.
Regarding visitation, parenting time is simply the time each parent must spend with their child. In situations where defined parenting time is necessary, the court will look at multiple factors to make visitation frequent, equal, and meaningful. For example, the distance between both homes will be a factor in deciding the plan for parenting time. In accordance with ARS 25-403 Best Interest of the Child, the court will always focus on what is best for the child. To read more about the procedures we follow, please read our full article on Phoenix Parenting Time Attorney.
Legal Decision Making
With the best interest of your child in mind, the court will rule on who maintains the right to make decisions for your child. Arizona Family Law allows for three possible rulings for who maintains legal decision making rights for your child. These three rulings are: joint legal decision making, sole legal decision making, or joint legal decision making with one parent having the final say. The court will make every attempt to have both parents involved in the process. Often there may be court mandated counseling, mediation, or high conflict resolution for parents who have trouble in this area. Read our article Phoenix Legal Decision Making Attorney for more information on the Phoenix family law standards we follow.