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Tempe Arizona Family Law Blog

Choose the best divorce dispute resolution method for you

For many facing a divorce, the way that disputes are navigated will be one of the most defining factors for success. Just like in any challenge, the way that adversities are handled can be the difference between success and failure.

The most traditional choice when handling a divorce dispute is to go through litigation in court. While this can be appropriate in particularly complex cases, litigation fees are expensive and going to court to make a case against your ex can be a stressful and traumatic process. This is why many divorcing spouses decide that they want to engage in alternative dispute resolution methods. The following are some of the most common dispute resolution methods that you may want to consider.

Think twice about moving out during a divorce

Tension, hostility and anger usually come as part of the territory when going through a divorce. This is why it is common for one spouse to want to leave the family home during the process. They will likely see many positives to this: It will prevent the children from being witness to arguments between their parents, it will allow both spouses to spend time apart and it will enable the divorce process to move forward more smoothly.

These positive outcomes are usually true for most couples who live apart during the divorce proceedings. However, it is important to recognize that the person who has chosen to move out may experience many negative ramifications. The following are some reasons why you should think twice before moving out during a divorce.

Children can suffer negative impacts of a divorce

Children may have to deal with many impacts when their parents divorce. Unfortunately, this situation usually can't be avoided. Parents who are in this position need to take steps to help their children thrive. This means addressing the challenges of divorce and teaching your kids coping strategies.

Parents must pay close attention to what their children are doing and saying during the divorce. You have to look for clues about how to help them because they might not be able to relay those needs to you. As you spot potential areas of concern, take the time to discuss them with your ex so you can be a unified front of support to your kids.

The determining factors for child custody in Arizona

State laws can vary when it comes to family law issues. This is why it is important that you pay attention to the law that applies to the state you are living in. Arizona, like the majority of states, has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA). This means that Arizona child custody laws are compatible with other states that have adopted the UCCA, and therefore, interstate child custody conflicts are minimized.

If you have recently gone through a separation or divorce and you have children with your ex, it is important that you understand the intricacies of the law when it comes to child custody. While the general rule is that the courts will make a ruling on what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child, there are more specific principles that you should be aware of.

What to expect when going through an uncontested divorce

Every divorce is different because of the unique scenarios that each couple faces. For this reason, it is impossible to predict the exact timeline of a specific divorce. However, there are certain factors that directly influence the length of the divorce process. One of the biggest factors that affects this is the question of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

If you are considering going through a divorce in the near future, it is important that you take the time to conduct research into the law. By understanding the most typical timelines, you will be able to plan your life around these milestones.

You can ask the courts to enforce a child support order

Whether you have just left your partner and are waiting for a divorce hearing or finalized your divorce a while ago, if you have more parenting time than your ex, you probably spend a lot more money on the care of your children than they do.

The courts try to offset that additional cost incurred by the parent with primary custody by ordering child support payments from the other parent. Although child support really only represents a fraction of what it costs to care for a child and provide them with the basic necessities of life, it is still an important resource for divorced families and single parents in Arizona and around the country.

How to get a child support modification

After your divorce is finalized in Tempe, you may find yourself required by the court to make child support payments. This will impact your budget and financial standing in a number of ways, but, after a few months, you should be able to settle in.

Sometimes, the previously court ordered child support obligation proves too difficult to keep up with. If you find yourself in this position, take the following steps to get a child support modification:

  • Don't fall behind: Until you receive a modification from the court, you're expected to make payments in full and on time. Neglecting to do so, regardless of your financial situation, will only make matters worse as the court will expect you to pay this money in the future.
  • Ask the other parent for help: It's difficult to reach out to your ex to discuss your financial troubles, but it may be necessary if you're unable to make child support payments. Their approval of a modification doesn't guarantee that the court will agree, but it will definitely help your cause.
  • Document your change in financial circumstances: Collect evidence related to your change, such as documents showing that you lost your job or medical reports proving that you're unable to work. The court won't simply take your word for it. They want to see proof that your financial circumstances have changed.

Why should I avoid moving out during divorce?

If a marriage feels as though it is heading for divorce, a compelling option is moving out of the family home. Living with your estranged spouse can create an extremely toxic environment, and this can lead to near-constant arguments that, in turn, will have an impact on your children.

However, there are many reasons why taking the initiative to move out of the family home before or during the divorce proceedings can be problematic. The following are some reasons why you should consider avoiding moving out of the family home.

Getting a protective order can help you leave abuse behind

Leaving an abusive marriage is a frightening prospect. Attempting to leave an abuser can often lead to an escalation in violence. Even if you believe you can leave without any issues, you may worry that you don't have anyone you can turn to. It is common for abuse victims to hide their issues from the people close to them. Abusers also often isolate their victims from their support networks.

Thankfully, there are laws in place in Arizona intended to protect the victims of domestic violence during dangerous transitions. If you intend to leave a spouse who has engaged in physical abuse against you or your children, securing an order of protection can be one way to help keep you safe.

When can a contested divorce be beneficial?

When going through a divorce, you will want to try and get the ordeal completed as quickly as possible, but at the same time, it will be vital that you get the agreement that you deserve. For example, you will want to make sure that you are satisfied with the decisions made regarding child support and visitation, and you will also need to reach a fair conclusion financially, in regard to asset division and alimony.

When divorcing spouses can agree on all of these details, they will likely be able to go through an uncontested divorce. This tends to be quicker and more economically efficient than contested divorces, because contested divorces require additional legal services and preparation.


Ashley Donovan Law, PLLC
4015 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85282

Phone: 480-900-5334
Fax: 480-304-3087
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