Children

One of the most important questions any parent asks when contemplating a divorce is, “What will happen to my child?” A conversation with Michael can help you answer this question and give you a better understanding of your options.

Michael has helped many individuals get the answers they need to important family questions about child custody, parenting time, visitation disputes, legal decision making authority, child support, modification of child support and termination of child support.

If you and your former spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, a Judge will need to determine what is in the best interest of your child. In most cases, the best interests of children are served by granting parenting time to both parents.

Courts consider several elements when determining child parenting time arrangements:

• Evidence of the child’s paternity (who is the father)
• Quality of the parent-child relationship
• Stability of the home
• Each parent’s income and assets
• Each parent’s mental health and moral fitness
• Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s emotional needs
• History of child abuse or neglect
• History of drug or alcohol dependency
• Evidence of spousal abuse
• The child’s wishes
• Each parent’s place of residence

As your attorney, Michael will scour the evidence to prove or disprove any claims your former spouse may make regarding any of these factors. If your spouse was abusive, drug addicted or neglectful of your child, Michael will use evidence to prove this to the court. On the other hand, if you have lost or are in danger of losing parenting time due to a personal failing or an addiction, Michael can use evidence of your rehabilitation, such as completion of a treatment program, to increase or restore you parenting time.

Courts intend for children to have close relationships with both parents when possible. If one parent moves far away, it can complicate earlier child custody arrangements. As your attorney, Michael can assist you in petitioning a court for a modification requiring:

• Money to pay your child’s travel expenses
• Longer visits with your child
• Scheduled telephone calls
• Scheduled video sessions using Skype

Michael can help you change arrangements not only if you move, but also if your ex-spouse moves and wants to take the child with him or her.

Evidence of abuse plays a pivotal role in determining child custody. If one or both parents have a history of domestic violence, such as spousal battery, child abuse or molestation, it can significantly affect parenting time and decision making authority.

Child support payments are established in Arizona according to the needs of the child and the abilities of the parents to provide. Although child support is determined according to strict guidelines, payments depend largely on each parent’s individual assets and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

The following are some of the factors that play a role in child support payments:

• Each parent’s income
• Time each parent spends with the child
• Health insurance and medical costs
• Child day care costs
• Educational expenses

If a parent’s economic or personal circumstances change significantly, it is possible for that parent to seek a child support modification. For such a change to occur, both parents must agree to change the support amount or the Court must enter a judgment.

Child support payments can be modified when:

• A parent’s earnings significantly rise or fall
• A parent’s capacity to earn money significantly increases or decreases
• Significant changes to the parenting time arrangement are made
• Changes in the child’s needs occur
• Severe injury or disability of a parent

A parent’s obligation to pay child support may be terminated when:

• The child turns 18 and the child has graduated from high school
• If the other parent remarries and his/her new spouse agrees to adopt the child
• If it can be proved the parent paying child support is not actually related to the child
01

As your attorney, Michael will scour the evidence to prove or disprove any claims your former spouse may make regarding any of these factors. If your spouse was abusive, drug addicted or neglectful of your child, Michael will use evidence to prove this to the court. On the other hand, if you have lost or are in danger of losing parenting time due to a personal failing or an addiction, Michael can use evidence of your rehabilitation, such as completion of a treatment program, to increase or restore you parenting time.

TOP