Children in Divorce or Paternity Matters
Divorce and Children
Called legal decision making and parenting time in Arizona law, child custody, child support and parenting decisions are some of the most delicate matters in a divorce where children are involved. In the midst of all of your own turmoil, you’re trying to protect and support your children’s feelings of hurt and worry about family separation. Our family law attorneys include certified specialists in family law who have an emphasis in children’s issues.
Arizona’s Policy Regarding Children in Divorce
or Paternity Matters
Arizona’s public policy promotes strong families and strong family values. It includes the premise that it’s in the children’s best interest to “have substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents” and that both parents participate in parental decision-making about the child.
The public policy is only part of the picture, however. There are many different family structures and the standards guide the process. At McCarthy Family Law, we encourage you to think about the best interests of your children because Arizona bases its standards on the children’s best interests, not the parents. Ultimately, how the parenting plan works is not about you. It’s about the children and what works best for their wellbeing.
The Parenting Plan
There are specific statutes that address parenting plan development. Just because one of you stayed home with the children doesn’t automatically place that person in the primary parenting seat. The Court takes not only the past and present into consideration, but also the future. The Court will also craft parenting plans to address the effects of domestic violence or other considerations which may harm your children.
The state’s goal, remember, is strong families. That usually (but not always) means maximized time with both parents. Not all children are equally close to each parent, or even to their own siblings, but divorce changes things. Happy, healthy children are the ultimate goal. There is no “winning” spouse when it comes to the children’s situation.
Depending on their age, your children may be able to have input about parenting time and legal decision-making, too. But it’s a balancing act. Under- and over-estimating your children’s ability to make these kinds of decisions is tricky.
Arizona Child Support Guidelines are the basis of child support calculations. Arizona has a formula that determines what an intact family would spend on their family at a particular gross income level. That level of support is allocated between the parents based on incomes, allotted parenting time and other expenses that the state designates as includible in the calculation.
McCarthy Family Law’s objective is that your children don’t become a casualty because your marriage relationship is ending. We take a child-focused approach in these cases, and draw on resources that help you actively work toward the best possible outcome for your children. Contact us today to learn how we can help with issues on child custody and child support.