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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

What are some possible signs of abuse or neglect?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, while it may be difficult for grandparents to get custody of their grandchildren as a matter of routine, grandparent custody may be an option in Arizona when it appears that the grandchildren have been abused or neglected.

The trouble is that child abuse and neglect rarely occur out in the open. For one, parents who engage in this sort of behavior have some natural shame about what they are doing and also probably recognize that they can get in to a lot of trouble for their actions. Moreover, children themselves are often too scared or embarrassed to tell their grandparents or, for that matter, anyone else.

How to figure child support for high earners

This blog has previously discussed what a parent can do if he or she feels that the other parent is earning a low amount of income but could be earning more if he or she tried. Phoenix, Arizona parents in this situation do have options to make sure that they get adequate child support, despite the other parent not making any income or only a small amount.

A separate but related problem is what parents can do if they, either based on one parent's income or on their combined incomes, are earning too much for the Arizona Guidelines to adequately account for their full earnings. The Guidelines, which use a formula to figure child support based on each parent's income and other factors, only consider households that have up to $20,000 in monthly combined gross income.

What are the warning signs of child abuse or neglect?

As this blog has discussed previously, grandparents who are concerned about the well-being of their grandchildren may be able to get child custody over them in certain situations.

Although it cannot be invoked in all circumstances, the ability to obtain custody is one of the most important among grandparents' rights, as it could mean that a Phoenix, Arizona, grandparent can save their grandchild from a dangerous situation.

Review of how Arizona courts enforce parenting time

This blog has discussed on previous occasions the importance of parenting plans. Among other things, a detailed parenting plan ensures that each parent of a child gets the opportunity to see and build up a relationship with their children.

It is of course equally important that, once a court approves a parenting plan or creates one for the parties, the parents both obey the plan. While of course sometimes circumstances come up where a parent cannot follow the plan to the letter, it too often happens that one parent decides that the other parent is not entitled to visits with his or her children, even though those visits are ordered by the court.

What should you include in a parenting plan?

Many couples in Phoenix, Arizona, who are not living together may decide to resolve their custody and visitation issues by agreement and submit an agreed parenting plan to the court. Because this parenting plan will become a binding court order once a judge approves it, it is important for fathers who want to have a relationship with their children to make sure it addresses all critical topics.

There are several issues a good parenting plan should address, and many of the issues have a direct bearing on fathers' rights, particularly with respect to fathers who are not acting as their children's primary caregiver. For instance, a parenting plan should spell out what happens should either parent need to move, as this often leads to custody disputes down the road. This is true even though Arizona law has a statute on the books covering parental relocation.

What to do when a parent is unemployed and owes child support

As previous posts here have discussed, it can be frustrating when a parent in Phoenix who is taking care of children full-time is not getting adequate help in the form of financial support from the other parent. While it's bad enough to need to enforce a child support order, it is especially frustrating when the other parent is claiming to not have any source of income and thus cannot pay a high amount of child support. This can leave a parent unable to provide for the financial needs of the children, yet also unable to pursue legal remedies.

In these sorts of situations, a parent may have options under Arizona's Child Support Guidelines. For one, under the Guidelines, a court is generally going to assume that the parent who is paying child support is at least making minimum wage and thus can and should pay something toward child support. Moreover, a court will also treat certain benefits a parent receives, like regular help from relatives, as income for child support purposes.

Representing men in difficult custody situations

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, once a man legally establishes paternity over a child, the man has the same legal rights to custody and parenting time as the mother of the child. The only question a court will ask is what is in the best interest of the child.

Unfortunately, for a lot of reasons, a man may still face an uphill battle to develop a relationship with his children. In some cases, the man may have had his own struggles with drug or alcohol addiction or was fighting some other bad habit. In other cases, he may have been wrongly accused of abuse or domestic violence, sometimes just so the mother could get the upper hand in a custody fight.

How is the value of art determined?

In the event of a divorce or a legal separation, a Phoenix couple that happens to own a piece of unique artwork, as opposed to a commercially available reproduction, will face the difficult question of how much the art is actually worth. The answer to this question can affect property division and other court decisions. Incidentally, knowing how to value one's art can also be of benefit even to happily married couples who might need to know this information for business or tax reasons.

Perhaps more so than other forms of property, the value of art is very subjective and thus somewhat illusive. While the most basic way of valuing a piece of art is to add together what it cost to create the work, most would agree this isn't really an accurate way to know the true value of a piece of fine art.

Mothers still get custody most of the time

According to relatively recent statistics from the government, most single parents are female. Overall, a little over four out of five children who live in single parent homes are living with their mother, while only about 18 percent live with their fathers the majority of the time.

One thing the statistics did not break out, however, is how many of those children who were living with their mothers had fathers who were also active and involved in their lives, such that the father would also want to seek out parenting time and even primary custody.

What factors do Arizona courts use to decide child custody?

While this blog has touched on them at in the past, it may be helpful for our Phoenix readers and those in suburban Maricopa County to understand exactly what factors Arizona courts will use to decide a child custody case.

The goal of any court is, or at least ought to be, to serve the best interests of the children involved in the custody case. When trying to determine the best interests of the child, though, it relies on a list of factors described in Arizona's laws.