Divorce and other family law matters can be acrimonious, which is why it is so crucial to retain legal counsel that can maintain objectivity in a dispute, let you know how the court is likely to interpret your situation, and look out for the interests of you and your family. If you need a Phoenix family law attorney, you should discuss your situation with Angela Duhon. Our firm represents clients in connection with divorce child custody, parenting time, child support, adult guardianship, and paternity.Divorce
Divorce occurs when the legal arrangement of marriage is terminated. One of the spouses needs to have domicile in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Since Arizona is a no-fault state, the petitioning spouse need not prove adultery or abuse are the reasons the marriage didn’t work out. Arizona is a community property state. This means that assets acquired during a marriage are owned by both spouses. Anything a spouse acquired on her own prior to the marriage or received via inheritance is separate property. However, if a spouse commingles her separate and community property during the marriage, the property loses its status as separate for purposes of divorce. During divorce, community property is usually split in half, with each spouse receiving 50%.Child Custody
Custody is divided into legal decision making (called legal custody in other states) and parenting time. The court assumes both parents should have joint custody. When making custody determinations, the court will make its determinations by evaluating a child’s best interests. The court does not favor one gender over the other in these evaluations. The Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure specify that a judge can order a custody evaluation if you and your spouse can’t reach agreement about custody. When a judge orders a custody evaluation in your case, a professional child custody evaluator will assess what arrangement would be in the child’s best interests.Parenting Time
Under Arizona law, the court can determine a parenting time schedule when making child custody determinations. Often, a parent who isn’t granted custody of his or her child will receive reasonable parenting time rights. The court tries to make sure a child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents unless that is inappropriate due to abuse or for some other reason. Our Phoenix attorney serving family law clients can negotiate with your co-parent’s attorney in mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution and take your case to trial if a resolution cannot be reached about parenting schedules.Child Support
Under Arizona law, both parents are required to provide reasonable support for their minor children regardless of whether they serve as the custodial or noncustodial parent. Generally, the child support determinations are based on the same factors regardless of the particular family. It’s important for a parent who is ordered to pay child support to make support payments. However, child support is distinct from child custody. A noncustodial parent is still entitled to parenting time when child support is not paid; the custodial parent can’t violate court orders about parenting time because a noncustodial parent has not paid child support. Our Phoenix lawyer can take appropriate steps in family law matters that account for your family’s specific situation.Adult Guardianship
The court can appoint a guardian for an incapacitated adult. Either limited or general guardianship may be appropriate. In a limited guardianship, the guardian only manages certain affairs. In a general guardianship, the guardian can manage all of a ward’s personal and business affairs. The county in which a person lives will decide whether an adult is incapacitated and unable to care for themselves without a guardian. An adult who is believed to be incapacitated needs to be personally served 14 days prior to the hearing and others must also be given notice.Paternity
The establishment of paternity results in a father gaining certain rights, while also imposing child support and other obligations. Paternity can be established in different ways: presumption of paternity, acknowledgement of paternity or a paternity suit. There are four different presumptions regarding paternity: marriage 10 months before a child’s birth, genetic testing that involves at least 95% probability, signature of both parents on the birth certificate, and signature on a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. These are rebuttable presumptions.Retain a Phoenix Law Firm
Family law matters can be emotionally sensitive and taxing for those involved. It is crucial to retain knowledgeable legal representation in any matter that could have long-term consequences for you or a family member. Whether you’re getting a divorce or seeking an adult guardianship, you should discuss your situation with our dedicated Phoenix family law attorney. Call Ms. Duhon at (602) 699-4949 or via our online form.