3rd Party Adoption

Exercising Third-Party Adoption Rights in AZ

Child custody can be an exceedingly difficult issue to understand. Often, due to the most unfortunate circumstances, a third party may need to seek intervention from the courts regarding custody, visitation, or placement in a home. In some situations, these children are not biologically related to the people they are being placed with. While the person seeking this decision is often a relative of one of the biological parents of the child, a close family friend, or even an ex-stepparent of the child, this can still put a great deal of strain on all parties involved.

Most frequently, Arizona’s third-party adoption or visitation rights are proposed because the biological parent or parents cannot care for the child but may have refused to allow family or loved ones any kind of visitation with the child or children. In this case, the Arizona family court must get involved in determining what is in the best interest of the child and make an official custody ruling and adoption decree.

Third-Party Adoption Rights in Arizona Explained

A third-party adoption happens when the seeking party isn’t a biological parent of the child or children but is instead a relative or close family friend. Third party adoptions stand in contrast to foster-to-adopt or general adoption situations, where the child is adopted by an unfamiliar non-relative. This can happen when either of the parents does not want to maintain custody or is deemed incapable of caring for the child or children.

These two situations tend to occur because of very unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes, parents choose to relinquish their rights, but other times, more aggressive legal action is taken when the parents are determined to remain unfit to care for the child or children.

Reasons this can happen include:

  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Abuse or extreme neglect
  • Ongoing substance abuse
  • Inability to provide for the child or children

These situations can be incredibly dangerous and damaging for the minors involved. Often, the child or children remaining with a family member or friend is a preferred solution to minimize the negative impact on the children. When relatives are capable of petitioning for adoption, the Arizona family court must decide what is in the best interest of the child or children involved.

What Is Considered the Best Interest of the Child?

Best Interest of the Child

Determining the best interests of the child and arranging custody and adoption in accordance with that determination is the primary concern of family courts. As such, it is the determining factor in adoption, custody, and visitation hearings. When it comes to the best interests of the child, the court prioritizes the welfare and safety of the child or children, specifically “all factors that are relevant to the child’s physical and emotional well-being.”

Some of the factors the court considers regarding the child’s best interests include:

  • Any potential relationship that the child may have with the petitioning adult
  • Any relationships or interactions with siblings or other family members that may affect the child after the adoption
  • The child’s current school, home, or community attachments (in the event they need to be relocated)
  • Whether the child is of a reasonable age or maturity level to help in the decision-making process
  • The physical and mental health of all individuals involved
  • Any history of substance use, abuse, or neglect

These are all crucial factors in determining who can be granted third-party visitation, custody, or adoption. It is worth noting that often, parents do not wish to terminate their rights, and it is difficult to award custody or adoption rights to a third party. For this reason, most third-party cases in Arizona involve visitation rights only.

Important Factors for Third-Party Custody in AZ

In addition to the child’s best interests, these factors are considered when a third-party petitions for custody of a child or children.

  • Whether a third party has been acting in loco parentis for the child
  • Whether allowing the child to remain in the care of either parent would be extremely detrimental to their well-being
  • A legal decision was not made within one year prior to the current filing by the petitioner
  • Whether one of the child’s parents is deceased, the parents are unmarried, or divorce filings are pending

What Is in Loco Parentis?

In loco parentis is a Latin term that means “in place of a parent.” In the legal world, it refers specifically to a non-parent who takes on the typical roles and responsibilities of a parent.

Indicators an in loco parentis situation exists include whether:

  • The child has treated that person like a parent.
  • The person has a strong, meaningful relationship with the child.
  • That relationship has been established for a considerable length of time.

An individual acting in loco parentis could be a grandparent, aunt, uncle, stepparent, sibling, or another third party who has stood in as a parent to the child for an extended period. In loco parentis situations frequently happen in Arizona. The courts often hear cases where a party has been acting as a parent for a child, especially with blended families.

The Arizona Third-Party Adoption Process

The Adoption Process

The adoption process can be complex, even for a close friend or family member. It’s also important to recognize that third-party adoption and third-party visitation are quite different things. Visitation allows a third party to have visitation rights with a child they have a documented close relationship with—this typically applies to family members who had previously been kept from seeing the child by one or both parents. However, the parents retain parenting time and legal decision-making authority.

By contrast, a third-party adoption gives all parenting time and legal decision-making authority to someone other than the biological parents of the child. The person will then act in the interest of the child concerning medical care, schooling, religion, and other legal matters. They also take responsibility for the child’s life and must provide care for the child. This is a permanent decision that does not expire.

Third-party adoption takes place in a series of steps.

Placement with the Petitioner

Gaining legal custody or demonstrating dependence of the child is the first step in pursuing a third-party adoption in Arizona. This can be difficult, as it must be proven that the third party stands in loco parentis of the child. The third party must also show proof of the inability of the parents to care for the child and that the child may be being neglected or otherwise harmed. The petitioner and everyone in the petitioner’s home must also complete fingerprinting, submit to a federal criminal history record search, and submit to a DCS record search.

If the above-listed conditions for third-party child custody are met, the child or children can reside with the petitioner. The petitioner is then responsible for parenting and legal decision-making for that child or children. After six months, the petitioner can then petition for third-party adoption.

During this stage, petitioners must submit the following:

  • Adoptive Placement Agreement
  • Application for Adoption
  • DHS Certificate of Adoption, first two portions

Filing Final Petition Documents

For the Arizona family court to finalize the adoption, the petitioner must submit the following documents:

  • Social Study Report (at least ten days prior to the final hearing)
  • Communication Document
  • Current federal criminal history record or fingerprinting document
  • DCS registry records check document (results reviewed within 24 hours of the hearing)
  • Original Consent of Department to Adoption
  • Petition to Adopt
  • DHS Certificate of Adoption in full

Filing a petition for adoption with the courts is the next step necessary for adopting the child, but this must occur after the required six months. However, expedited adoption is possible if the child, the parent, or the petitioner have a debilitating or terminal illness; if the child is 16, free for adoption, and consents to the adoption; or if the court finds that there are other special circumstances.

The petitioner must also show notice of any proceedings and a copy of the petition to the following parties:

  • The legal parents of the child
  • The guardian or guardian ad litem(“GAL”) of the child
  • Any third party with decision-making authority for the child
  • Any agency or person who retains the child’s physical custody
  • Any person who has claims to decision-making authority for the child
  • Any other party who has appeared previously in any actions for the child

If the parents don’t object to any filings, custody rights go much more swiftly. If they do, parental rights must be terminated for the proceedings to continue. Additionally, the court cannot have made a ruling within the past year regarding legal decision-making for the child. Because Arizona doesn’t allow for shared custody between legal parents and third parties, all the requirements to terminate the parental rights must be met before proceeding.

Court Hearing and Finalization

After the Petition to Adopt has been filed, the court will provide written notification of a hearing date. Testimony regarding the biological parents’ fitness to parent (if the parents are contesting the removal of their rights), as well as the fitness of the petitioner, will be heard by the court. Information regarding the child’s best interests and why remaining with the petitioner is in the child’s best interests will be used to make the final decision. If the adoption is approved, the Order of Adoption will be submitted with the date of finalization.

Arizona Third-Party Adoption Rights: FAQs

If you have been considering establishing 3rd party adoption rights in AZ, these frequently asked questions can help you get started with the process.

Do Stepparents Have Any Custody Rights

Q: Do Stepparents Have Any Custody Rights?

While a stepparent may have been acting as a parent during the full course of a marriage, they, unfortunately, retain no legal rights to a child unless they have completed legal adoption for the child. This, however, doesn’t mean that visitation rights wouldn’t be in the best interest of the child in the event of a divorce. The same could be said for third-party adoption. If a stepparent feels that they can prove the inability of the legal parent to care for the child, then they may begin the adoption process to terminate the legal parent’s rights and gain legal decision-making authority for the child.

Q: Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights in AZ?

A: Under appropriate circumstances, grandparents and even great-grandparents have visitation as well as custody rights. Grandparents must apply for third-party visitation or custody by understanding AZ family court facts.

Q: How Do I Get Custody of My Niece in Arizona?

A: The first step is to understand all the criteria that must be met to initiate a third-party adoption and apply for placement. Submitting background check requirements, filing a Petition to Adopt with the courts, and submitting a petition fee is the next major step. Finally, the court will conduct an adoption hearing to determine whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child and potentially finalize the Adoption Decree.

Q: What Are the Requirements for Adopting a Child in Arizona?

A: One of the basic requirements for adoption in Arizona is that the petitioner must be at least 18 years of age. The petitioner, as well as any other adults in the household, must also be able to pass a local criminal background check as well as a federal background check and DCS search. As always, the adoption must be determined to be in the best interests of the child.

Q: How Do I Know If I’m Eligible to Adopt a Child in Arizona?

A: To be eligible to adopt a child in Arizona, you must:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 18
  • Own or rent an apartment or home
  • Be able to pass local and federal criminal background checks
  • Pass a DCS records search
  • Own a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card that has been issued by the Department of Public Safety in Arizona

Q: What Are the Rights of the Birth Parents in Arizona?

A: While both parents must consent to place a child in someone else’s care, that doesn’t necessarily terminate any contact they may have with the child in the future. Different types of adoptions allow varying levels of contact between biological parents and children, and you can decide the level of contact you are comfortable with. Additionally, for a third-party adoption to take place, parental rights must first be terminated before a new custody arrangement can be awarded or established. Parental rights are protected under the 14th Amendment, and the courts take this very seriously.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in Arizona?

A: The final amount it costs to adopt a child in Arizona depends on several factors. First, it depends on whether a party goes through an agency. You’ll likely have to pay agency fees that are determined by the agency itself. If parental rights must first be terminated, lawyer fees and court costs apply. Other expenses, such as travel costs and living expenses, are often a factor as well, so costs to adopt may be as high as $50,000.

Q: What Are the Resources Available to Adoptive Families in Arizona?

A: There are a variety of resources available to adoptive families in Arizona. Various governmental agencies can assist adoptive families, as well as religious resources, advocacy and information resources, and support groups. Depending on the location of the family, additional region-specific resources may be available.

Legal Documents for Third-Party Adoption Rights in AZ

A third-party adoption, like any adoption, is a decision the Arizona court never takes lightly. As a result, the court considers a variety of critical factors before impacting a child and family’s lives forever. For that reason, before proceeding with a third-party adoption, consider any requirements to make sure it is the best option possible for the child.

If you are considering establishing 3rd party adoption rights in AZ or need more information about how to proceed with a case, Draft My Legal Docs is here to help you ensure you have all the necessary documentation for an AZ legal case. Whether it’s offering guidance, providing facts and figures, or giving advice on necessary paperwork, we can find the answers. We assist with proper procedures that allow you to not just narrowly drift pass legal obstacles but absolutely thrive during the legal process.

Legal Document Services for Arizona Court

Preparing for a Family Court Case in AZ

Arizona family law cases can become extremely complex, as they often deal with intense emotions, personal struggles, disagreements, or discord among family members and spouses. If you decide to represent yourself in Arizona family court, it’s essential that you prepare well in advance for the various legal aspects involved. If you wait until the day of your hearing, you risk becoming blindsided by these roadblocks—you may even endanger your case by neglecting the various documents you’ll need to complete.

Here’s everything you need to know about family court in Arizona and what you can do to prepare yourself for the legal proceedings ahead.

What Is Arizona Family Court?

Arizona family court is a specialized court of law created to handle cases dealing with family and domestic relations, otherwise known as family law. One of its main priorities is to help settle disputes that occur within families and find solutions that work for all parties. Common AZ family court questions are related to divorces, separations, spousal maintenance claims, child custody disputes, property division proceedings, child support matters, adoptions, paternity disputes, and more.

How Does a Family Court Case Work in Arizona?

Legal Document Services for Arizona Court

While the precise workings of a family court hearing will vary depending on the type of case you’re filing, conducting hearings and trials in family court generally proceeds in five steps.

1. Trial Preparation

Before entering the trial preparation phase, you’ll need to begin your case by filling out an initiation form that matches your case type. For example, you may need to file a petition for legal separation, a petition for dissolution of marriage, a petition to establish child support, or something else. From there, you will be assigned a court date when your hearing will take place and you’ll enter the trial preparation phase.

Your court date will take place according to the time available on the court’s calendar, and you will receive a slot on the docket when the judge has time to hear your case. This can take time, and you’ll want to spend most of it preparing to represent yourself. You should determine your goals and objectives for your case, locate and complete all documents required for your specific type of case, and gather evidence that will support your argument. For example, you may need financial documents, affidavits from childcare providers, doctors’ statements, and more.

2. Trial Begins—Opening Arguments Shared

Once your trial date finally arrives, it will begin with both parties sharing their opening arguments with the petitioner—the party that initiated the case—going first. The purpose of opening arguments is for both parties to outline their respective positions on a matter for the court without interruption or argument from the other side. If you choose to represent yourself, you should add the preparation of your arguments to your trial preparation list.

3. Evidence and Witnesses Are Presented

After the opening arguments are presented from both sides, the judge will ask to hear evidence backing each party’s position. Again, the petitioner will go first. This is where most of the preparation you did will be critical, as you’ll need to make a convincing, effective argument to win your case.

Your argument must be backed by a preponderance of evidence, which can be presented via witness testimonies, legal documents, records, photographs, video, and more. After the petitioner calls and questions a witness, the respondent can cross-examine. When the petitioner has finished calling witnesses and presenting evidence, the respondent can do the same. At this time, the respondent can cross-examine.

4. Closing Arguments

After all evidence has been presented and all witnesses that were listed have testified, the closing arguments of both sides will then be made in court. Closing arguments are used to reiterate the argument of both parties, summarize the evidence that backs their claim, and try one last time to convince the judge to choose their side. At this time, the judge may ask any questions they have that are applicable to the case.

5. Final Decision

When closing arguments are complete, the case will then be submitted to the judge so they can make a final decision. It’s possible that the judge may make their decision immediately after closing arguments, but it’s common for a judge to review evidence in their chambers before deciding. In cases with complex documentation and financial histories, including division of property and child support cases, the judge may take time to review the documents and announce the decision later. When the judge makes their decision, they will deliver it to the court, and the case will be closed.

Being Prepared for an Arizona Family Trial

When it comes to representing yourself in court, it is critical to prepare well for your hearing. You must be able to present a convincing argument to the judge, back that argument with evidence or witness testimony, and respond to the opposing side’s evidence. In addition, you’ll need to prepare a variety of legal documents and file them properly by the expected date. Without adequate preparation, your chances of success are severely diminished.

Just a few of the ways preparing for your trial can benefit you and your case include the following.

Helps You Develop a Strong Argument

One of the most critical aspects of trial preparation is developing a solid argument that will help you secure the judge’s decision. You need ample time to determine your goals for the case, decide what argument you will present, and assess how you will convince the judge. Ask yourself questions like, “What do I want out of this case?” and “What is the best possible outcome for me?” Once you have created a strong argument, you can then move on to backing it up.

Gives You Time to Gather Evidence

Sometimes, gathering evidence can take a significant amount of time, especially if your case involves finances or an exhaustive records search. Preparing for your trial as soon as possible is the best way to give yourself enough time to gather the evidence you need. If you are looking to use witness testimony, it’s also crucial to speak with them as soon as you are able.

You Can Complete and File All Required Paperwork

Each family court case requires different legal forms, all of which must be filed correctly and in a timely manner. For example, a divorce case must include a formal petition for dissolution of marriage filed by one spouse and then legally served to the other. If there is no initial petition, a couple cannot get divorced. If you begin preparing for your trial early, you can give yourself enough time to identify the required documents you need for your case and complete and file them properly.

You’ll Know What to Expect

Taking the time to properly prepare for your trial can also help you get a better idea of what to expect when the proceedings begin. Court proceedings can be intimidating for anyone, but they can be especially nerve-wracking when you’re representing yourself. With proper preparation, you can learn how the court process works, what to expect, and how to deliver a compelling argument confidently.

Tips to Prepare Yourself for Arizona Family Court

Arizona Family Court

Some of the best things you can do to get ready for your upcoming Arizona family court case include the following:

Gather Documents

There is no such thing as being over prepared for a family court case. If you are representing yourself, make sure you plan as thoroughly as possible for each phase of your upcoming case. Plan your arguments, plan what you’ll ask witnesses, plan how you will present your opening arguments, and plan how you can effectively convince the judge of your position. The more time you take to plan your case, the smoother it will go.

Organize Documents

No matter what your family law case involves, you’ll need to complete and file a variety of legal documents throughout your trial. It’s vital that you keep your documents organized so that when they are needed, you can quickly present them. It’s recommended to keep documents for evidence, such as printed records, separate from documents you may be reading and documents you’ll need to file with the court. If you’re disorganized, it can make your case more difficult than it needs to be—and may also have a negative effect on your case.

Identify Strong Evidence

Making sure that you have convincing evidence to back your claims in court is crucial. Without evidence, there’s an extremely low chance you’ll be able to convince the court to take your position, especially if your case is a complex dispute. Taking the time to gather pieces of evidence and witnesses that can back your claim will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Secure Opening and Closing Arguments

Your opening and closing arguments play critical roles in your case. Because they are the first and last words a judge will hear from you, you’ll want to take the time to make sure you form an argument that’s efficient, convincing, and memorable. Your opening argument should clearly state your position and tell a story through facts that help the audience better understand how you plan to outline your case. Your closing argument should include a summary of your evidence, critiques of any holes in the other party’s case, and an overall conclusion of your argument that convinces the audience of your position.

Prepare Witnesses

If your case involves calling any witnesses to testify, it is important to make sure they are prepared for trial as well. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t rehearse with the witness to the point where your witness begins to recite answers; otherwise, it can look like witness tampering. Make sure your witness is comfortable, ask them some questions, and help them understand how the trial will go, and your witness will be adequately prepared.

Documents You May Need for AZ Family Court Case

We provide a wide variety of legal forms and documents for residents of Arizona. When you’re going through a family law case, you’ll need to complete paperwork before, during, and after your case.

To Initiate Your Case

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (with or without Minor Children): These are the official forms that must be filed if you decide that you want to get divorced in AZ.
  • Petition to Enforce: This form is often used to initiate a case where one party hasn’t been following a court-ordered agreement.
  • Petition to Modify: If you want to request a modification to a previous court order, you need to file this form to initiate your case.
  • Petition to Establish: These petitions can be used to initiate multiple kinds of family court cases, including paternity, child custody, and child support cases.

During Your Case

  • Petition for Temporary Order: If you’re waiting for the judge’s final decision and believe you need a temporary order in place until that decision is made, you’ll need to file this document.
  • Property Settlement Agreement: These agreements are used to clearly establish how property and other assets will be divided and show that both parties consent.
  • Rule 69 Agreement: When two parties involved in a case reach an agreement, they need to legally confirm it by filing this document with the court.

After Your Case

  • Motion for Clarification: After a trial ends, you can file a Motion for Clarification to have the order clarified or corrected if some aspects are unclear.
  • Notice of Appeal: If you don’t agree with the final decision regarding your case, you have 30 days to file an appeal to have it reviewed.
  • Motion for Relief (from a Judgement or Order): If you have a legally justified reason, you may be able to file this document to request relief from a previously filed court order.

Legal Document Services for Arizona Family Court

Legal Document Services for Arizona Court


Draft My Legal Docs is pleased to offer legal document drafting and preparation services to help Arizona residents successfully navigate their court proceedings. As trained Arizona attorneys, we understand how complex family courts can become. To help, we offer a full slate of 50+ legal documents to assist you throughout your family law case.

The complex nature of family law cases is why we are so dedicated to providing the help you need to ensure your case is handled properly. Whether you’re looking to initiate a legal case or preparing for an upcoming trial, contact us today to see how our legal document services can help.


Parenting Plan AZ

Tips For Forming a Parenting Plan in AZ

Parents can create an environment where children feel less stressed with the new changes if they work to co-parent with their child’s needs at the forefront. Establishing a parenting plan as an agreement that helps both parents get on the same page and work together is the number one way you can ease the stress on your child. In addition, drafting a parenting plan is one of several proactive ways parents can outline critical issues ahead of time to avoid conflict later.

Steps To Creating a Successful Parenting Plan in AZ

Here we will outline the most important steps to take while creating a parenting plan. Keeping these key points in mind helps you create a parenting plan that encompasses all the needs of the family and prepares you to handle critical issues before they arise.

1. Work Towards the Best Interests of the Child

When children are involved, the first step of creating any parenting plan should involve both parents making an agreement to work together for the children’s benefit. It is essential for both parents to discuss these critical aspects of the children’s lives, including physical and emotional well-being.

When relationships end, children need extra special care to adapt successfully to the new situation, and parents need to facilitate an environment that allows children to ask questions and feel supported on both ends. If you have decided to have a parenting plan, it is safe to assume that you wish for your children to have a smooth transition into this new dynamic and will make every effort to be there for them.

This involves creating a parenting plan that considers your child’s physical needs, such as shelter, medical care, diet, recreation and activities, and physical safety. Your child’s emotional needs such as mental health, education, close relationships, and socializing should also be discussed while making the plan. Covering both the physical and emotional needs of children helps parents evaluate which life aspects will have to be adjusted and which life aspects should be preserved to maintain a sense of stability for the child.

2. Create a Parenting Schedule That Works for Both Parties

The parenting schedule refers to the amount of time each parent will spend physically caring for the children and how much time the child will spend with each parent. Again, the details of the schedule will vary depending on the needs of the family members, but the goal should be to create a schedule that works for all involved.

Create a Parenting Schedule That Works for Both Parties

Another thing to remember about parenting plans is that life happens, and when it does, plans must change to accommodate new needs. For this reason, flexibility will be crucial for maintaining a parenting plan that works long-term. For some families, this means parents will work to maintain a 50/50 schedule where they aim to share an equal amount of time with the child. For others, a 50/50 arrangement may not be possible, so they will create a schedule that allows optimal parenting time without interrupting work schedules or disrupting the children’s lives.

Some examples of common parenting schedules include:

  • A biweekly rotation schedule where the child spends one week with the mother and the next week with the father.
  • A 2-2-5-5 rotation schedule where the child has two (2) days with the mother, two (2) days with the father, then five (5) consecutive days with the mother, and five (5) consecutive days with the father.
  • A 3-3-4-4 rotation schedule where the setup is like the 2-2-5-5 schedule, but the splits are 3-4 days per parent.
  • In the 2-2-3 rotation schedule, a child would spend two days in the home of the first parent, the next two days in the home of the second parent, and a three-day weekend with the first parent. In this schedule, the rotation would cycle back and forth between parents, allowing for weekdays and weekends to be shared with the children.

Remember: your parenting schedule should suit your and your co-parent’s abilities to be present for the child, so don’t force an arrangement that is unreasonable for either of you to honor consistently.

3. Be Sure to Consider Your Child’s Age and Development

How much time a child spends with each parent and the timing required to fill out the schedule will likely change as your child ages. Children have different needs as they grow and develop, especially when it comes to their parents. Consider these age and development-related considerations:

0 to 2 Years

Babies and young toddlers are still learning to trust their caregivers. They require constant care, a consistent schedule, and extremely specific feeding guidelines. Babies can become attached to a particular caregiver, especially if one parent is breastfeeding. Later, toddlers can push boundaries. At this age, it is important to consider whether both parents can care for the child overnight, whether the child has developed a bond with both parents, and which parent or parents can maintain the schedule the child has become accustomed to.

2 to 5 Years

At this age, children often experience a stronger bond with one caregiver over others. They are also learning to assert their independence and may become resistant to moving between homes; many will feel anxious about being separated from their primary caregiver. Parents can help soothe this anxiety by continuing to follow a consistent schedule and avoiding negativity or hostility at exchanges. Also, consider keeping holidays and birthdays consistent and inform children in advance, so they know what to expect.

Elementary Aged Children

During elementary school (often ages 6 to 10), children are building more independence from their parents and may be more accepting of long periods away from each other. As a result, their worry often shifts from separation anxiety to concern over losing one parent. Some even feel responsible for their parents’ separation. At this age, parents can consider creating an equal parenting plan to provide the child with the opportunity to bond with both parents and reassure them that their parents will continue to love and care for them.

Middle School-Aged Children

During the middle school years (typically ages 11, 12, and 13), children are more likely to be embarrassed or upset that their parents’ marriage is ending. They may also feel resentful at having to shift from household to household. Some even side with one parent. During this time, parents should be careful not to vent frustrations about the other parent in front of the child and be cautious about creating distance between the child and one parent. Consider involving the child in the decisions regarding where they will live and when and be sure to incorporate the child’s extracurricular activities in schedule decisions.

High School-Aged Children

High School-Aged Children

Teenagers are not only asserting their independence like never before, but are also experiencing dramatic shifts in hormones, emotions, friend groups, school life, and more. Parents should be careful to avoid involving their teenager in parenting conflicts, but also cognizant of ensuring their child knows they care about how the divorce is affecting them. While teens need plenty of time with both parents, many benefit from establishing a home base of sorts to keep things consistent for friends, school, and activities, then spending weekends and holidays with the other parent. Many teens enjoy the option of providing input on their living situation.

4. Decide How You Will Communicate

This step may seem simple, but it is just as important as the other steps in your parenting plan. You may decide to speak over the phone, via text, email, in person, or a combination of these methods. Whichever form of communication you choose, you must be consistent and respectful of each other’s needs as co-parents for your parenting plan to proceed smoothly. Healthy and consistent communication between co-parents will be another key component to maintaining harmony and helping all parties feel supported in the new family dynamic.

5. Handle Major Decisions About Childcare

If you and your co-parent both have legal decision-making authority for your child, you will need to discuss how you will make important decisions for them in your parenting plan. Take time to discuss how both parties will address issues such as education, religious practices, cultural practices, and more.

It is fine not to have all the answers up front as long as both parties agree to discuss these life areas moving forward. In addition, all must agree to keep the lines of communication open. When the time comes to make crucial decisions, remember the parenting plan, agree to compromise when possible and keep the child’s needs at the forefront of any final decisions.

6. Hash Out Childcare-Related Expenses

While legal and physical custody typically depends on the financial resources and availability of the parents, both parties are expected to be financially responsible for the child. Child support payments are often mandated in these cases to serve to cover a child’s essential living expenses.

While many of your child’s expenses may be covered with child support, it is also important for parents to discuss how any additional costs like emergencies or travel will be divided. If you need help working through these details, your attorney can assist you with documentation for financial contributions and help you create a system to keep track of the agreement.

7. Maintain the Goals Set in the Parenting Plan

For this step, we recommend that you and your co-parent keep the successful upbringing of your children as your only priority once your parenting plan is set. Ending your relationship or marriage is not ideal, but you can continue to work together to raise happy, healthy children once the union ends.

Parenting as a united front will provide a sense of stability in your child’s upbringing and help them understand that you both still have their best interests at heart. In the long run, your parenting plan will prove successful because you both decided to keep the lines of communication open, stick to a schedule you can both honor, work together to make necessary decisions, and utilize flexibility when needed.

Long Distance Parenting

Of course, it isn’t always possible for both parents to remain in the same city, state, or even region. However, if you are planning on one parent becoming a long-distance parent or moving with a child, you must have the relocation approved by a judge if there will be over 100 miles or a state line between the two homes. According to ARS § 25‐408, any move must be in the best interests of the child and consider the child’s education, friends, family ties, developmental needs, and unique needs. You will also need to make provisions regarding which parent will pay for the child’s travel expenses. Often, this is done in proportion to each parent’s earning power, but if one parent is choosing to move, they typically pay a greater portion of the costs.

Long Distance Parenting

If only a parent is moving a considerable distance away, it is important to consider the many ways this can weaken the long-distance parent’s relationship with the child. Limited physical contact and large gaps of time between visits can make it challenging to maintain a healthy relationship. If you are planning to become a long-distance parent, it is essential to create a parenting plan that outlines at least four blocks of parenting time, preferably over school breaks. In addition, be flexible and make arrangements that allow both parents the opportunity to enjoy important holidays and other special occasions with their children.

Required Parenting Provisions

Once you’ve created an outline that dictates how you will divide your parenting time, it’s time to create a parenting agreement for AZ family court that describes the decisions you’ve made.

In the state of Arizona, a parenting agreement must contain these provisions:

  • Legal Decision-Making—Often referred to as legal custody in other states, Arizona’s legal decision-making provisions will outline which parent or parents have the authority to make final decisions regarding the child’s care. Decisions can be made by one parent (sole decision-making authority) or both parents (joint decision-making authority.
  • Medical Care—Parents must provide provisions for medical care for any children with special needs. It is also required to specify who must provide insurance and whether each parent can seek medical or dental care for the children in an emergency despite the legal decision-making provision.
  • Education—Parents must create a provision describing where and how the child will attend school and participate in activities, parent-teacher conferences, and more.
  • Religion—Any religious education, or a lack thereof, must be described in the parenting plan.

You may also want to create provisions to establish guidelines for:

  • Child discipline
  • New partners
  • Communication between co-parents and between parents and children
  • Child safety
  • Resolving disagreements
  • Any anticipated changes as children age

Additional Required Statements

In addition to parent responsibilities, decision-making authority, and parenting time, you must also include several statements in the text of your parenting plan. These statements recognize that certain Arizona statutes exist and certify that you will abide by them.

Here are the required co-parenting statements your parenting plan must include a statement that:

  • Acknowledges ARS §25-403.05 (B) – certifies you and your co-parent will notify one another immediately if someone convicted of a sex crime has access to your child.
  • Acknowledges ARS §25-403.06 – certifies both you and your co-parent will have access to the child’s school, medical, and legal records unless the court orders otherwise.
  • Certifies both parents will follow the established parenting plan during any dispute until the dispute is settled.
  • Certifies both parents can petition the court to enforce any violations of the parenting time plan.
  • Outlines any history of domestic violence, including allegations of domestic violence.
  • Makes the court aware of any domestic violence allegations, DUI, or substance use within the last twelve months and outlines both parents’ reasoning why the court should determine shared custody is in the best interests of the child.

Help with Your Parenting Plan in Arizona

Drafting a coherent and cohesive parenting plan in Arizona can seem daunting if you do not have experience with the law. Trust Draft My Legal Docs to assist you with the process and remove the stress from your planning. We specialize in helping families create and draft documents that outline the implementation of cooperative parenting dynamics for Arizona court and mediation.

Our licensed attorneys can help you develop a parenting plan that works, support you with any legal issues that may arise during the filing process, and ensure your parenting plan includes the necessary components. Don’t take on the task of drafting your parenting plan alone. Let our team of experts walk you through the process and provide sound guidance you can trust.


  1. https://www.custodyxchange.com/locations/usa/arizona/parenting-plan.php
  2. https://www.azcourts.gov/portals/31/parentingTime/PPWguidelines.pdf
Avoid Child Conflict During Divorce

How You Can Prevent Split Child Loyalty in Divorce

The emotional effect of a divorce on a couple’s children, both short term and long term, is a very serious matter. However, as a parent encountering a divorce or its aftermath, there are things you can do to reduce the negative impact on your children. Efforts like ensuring that interactions between you and your ex-partner are more pleasant and preventing disagreements from affecting your children can be great steps towards maintaining a stable environment.

How Do Your Actions Impact the Way Children Understand Divorce?

During divorce, it’s your responsibility to allow your children to maintain a healthy relationship with the other parent, which will allow the difficult process to go more smoothly for them. If your ex-partner is the one being uncooperative, it’s important to work towards acceptance within yourself and your children, and understand that you cannot control your ex-partner’s behavior. It’s important to focus on your own actions and how they affect the needs of your children.

Your actions during this time can forever affect the relationship between you and your children. In order to support your kids during this hard time, you must take control over the aspects you can, and practice compassion regarding how others’ actions affect their lives. No one has ever called divorce easy. If all parties, including both parents and children, are to move on and adjust in a healthy way, it’s important to work together. You and your ex-partner must be willing to forge this new type of family.

So, What Age Is the Hardest on a Child During Divorce?

Though younger children may be less aware of the intricacies of divorce and therefore less troubled by the events of divorce, this is not always the case. Young children may also be confused in the long run, or be unable to reconcile earlier happy memories with the potential turmoil of divorce.

Studies show that older children are more likely to be affected by the emotions of a divorce. However, this study focuses on participants’ immediate reaction to a divorce, and the long term impacts may be more or less severe depending on the child and your unique situation. In general, it’s important to accept that divorce will have an impact on your children, and it’s your responsibility to reduce the negative effects as much as you can.

What Are Things That Influence a Child’s Reaction to Divorce?

Psychological impact of divorce on childDivorce can cause a variety of psychological and emotional impacts on children. These impacts can include growing mistrust, a loss of security, and confusion. Conflicts between parents can worsen these impacts, and leave children feeling like the mediator between their parents. Divorce forces children to give up their control over their own family situation. The decisions being made by their parents and family court are fully outside their control, which can leave children feeling powerless and insecure.

After a divorce, children are once again forced to accept many choices that make them feel less safe, secure, or stable. In many cases, the choices available to children can be conflicting and function to worsen these feelings. For example, if parents are on bad terms, then simply deciding where to have a birthday party or which parent to spend special events with could have serious impacts on their sense of loyalty and even their relationship with both parents.

What Are Child Loyalty Conflicts?

Sometimes, one spouse may even use their children as a way to inflict pain or exact revenge on their ex-partner, or as a way to attempt to force their ex-partner to meet their needs and wishes in divorce. This need for revenge or to secure resources can stem from anger over many issues, including child support, alimony, or issues during the relationship. For example, if one parent is required by the court to remit child support and resents the court’s decision, they may attempt to influence the child’s relationship with the other parent.

However, none of this resentment, anger, or need for revenge will make your divorce easier or help build your relationship with your children. In fact, it will only complicate your divorce and harm your relationship with them, their mental and emotional well-being, and their long-term healing from the divorce. In the aftermath of a divorce, your children should not feel burdened with the issues between you and your ex-spouse, and they should never feel as if they must choose between one parent and the other.

How Do Divorce and Loyalty Conflicts Affect a Child’s Personality?

Divorces that include conflict between parents can severely affect the personality development in children. Divorce and its aftermath are very difficult periods for children, who likely have never imagined their family disbanding.

Shared custody can help during this difficult time. Children who are given ample time to spend with both parents can continue to feel like they’re valuing their parents, and that they’re allotting love for their parents equally. However, unequal custody and custody conflicts can make children feel like they must place value on one parent over the other. This can force a loyalty conflict.

How Long Does it Take Children to Adjust After Divorce?

In low-conflict divorces, it can take over two years after divorce for children to become adjusted once again. However, continuous parental disagreements and high-conflict divorce will increase the emotional and psychological damage on children. This can mean it takes children even longer to feel well-adjusted again after your divorce is complete.

Children also experience the effects of a divorce for a longer period when the major changes of divorce happen quickly. Sudden change can be difficult for children to accept and deal with. It’s important to maintain clear communication and help children understand what’s going on well in advance of any major changes to improve your child’s chances at recovering from divorce smoothly and quickly.

How to Prevent Child Loyalty Conflict During Divorce

There are several steps you can take to prevent loyalty conflict during your upcoming divorce, and in the weeks and months that follow.

  • Have adult friends or a therapist you can vent to regarding your issues with your ex-partner. By confiding in your children, you force them to choose sides.
  • Prioritize your children’s happiness over any other issue in your divorce.
  • Be sure that your children don’t overhear negative comments about their other parent.
  • Recognize that your ex-spouse deserves respect for being your child’s parent, and communicate this to your children.
  • Share with your children about good qualities they get from their other parent.
  • Be genuinely interested in the time your child spends with their other parent.
  • Encourage your child to spend time with their other parent.
  • If you’re experiencing arguments with your ex-spouse, be the bigger person and don’t let the situation deteriorate further.
  • Involve your child’s other parent when communicating with your children about upcoming changes.

You Can Avoid Divided Loyalty and Child Distress During Divorce

Parent Comforting Child in Divorce

Keeping a healthy dialogue between you and your children regarding the divorce can help ensure they feel they can be open with you about all their feelings. Similarly, keeping any conflict you have with your ex-spouse away from your children, allows them to continue to interact comfortably with you both. Maintaining relationships with both parents allows your children to adjust and heal from the impacts of divorce.

Be sure to remind them that the situation isn’t their fault. By providing your kids with love, care, and encouragement, and keeping their best interests in mind, you can help them stay strong and heal. If you feel your child isn’t adjusting well, talking with a therapist can help.


*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published Apr 6, 2018 and has been updated October 17, 2022.

Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Statistics 2022

Prenuptial agreements, more commonly known as prenups, are becoming increasingly more common, especially here in Arizona. Prenups are incredibly helpful legal agreements future partners can draw up together before getting married.

What Do Prenups Do?

In one sense, divorce in America has been on a steady decline for the last two decades, falling from a high of 4 divorces per 1,000 people to 2.3 in 2020—though the COVID-19 pandemic may have skewed numbers in that year.

However, the number of divorces per the number of marriages has stayed fairly steady. As a result, people are frequently anxious about what could happen if their marriage were to end. In particular, many people worry about what may happen to their assets and finances if they should divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help to ease some of that anxiety by making some essential decisions before divorce does occur.

Some of the most important things a prenup can do include the following:

Pre-Arrange Financial Matters

Many couples decide to get a prenup to protect their finances as well as set expectations for how their finances will be handled throughout their relationship. A prenup can outline, for example, if the couple will be using a joint bank or savings account. This helps to prevent conflict about how money is spent and shared. Some people also use their prenups to detail how assets and debt will be split if they are acquired during marriage, especially if the intent is to divide them in a way that does not align with Arizona community property guidelines.

Assign Separate Property Before Marriage

One of the most frequent worries partners experience, especially if it’s not their first marriage, is losing property they had before they got married. Because Arizona follows community property laws, everything acquired during a marriage is subject to equal division in divorce. A prenup can preempt this property division by outlining “separate property,” or property that was owned by each person before the marriage. This way, if one partner enters the marriage with valuable assets, a prenup can prove that it was owned individually before the marriage occurred.

Protect Partners Individually

Prenups can protect a variety of assets, physical property, finances, children, inheritances, and more. However, prenups can provide a great deal of protection for both parties involved, regardless of their personal wealth before the marriage. For a prenuptial agreement to become legally enforceable, it must be fair to both partners. For example, prenups can outline spousal support obligations to support a lower-earning spouse who may have left their job or stopped career training to care for children. The best part about prenuptial agreements is that they can be crafted to fit you and your partner’s unique wants and needs, no matter your financial situation.

Protect Children

Another important property of a prenup is that it can be used to protect children. Many partners seek prenups to make sure that any children they have during the marriage will continue to be supported by their wealthier partner after a divorce. People that have children from previous marriages may worry about protecting their children financially in the event of a divorce. A prenup can help to outline aspects such as spousal support and potential child support as well as detail important assets that may belong to the children. For example, a prenup can protect your child’s future inheritance by stating it goes directly to them.

The Benefits of Using a Prenup

The Benefits of Using a Prenup

Getting a prenup with your partner before you get married comes with a great deal of benefits, including:

Ensures Fairness

Sometimes, when a marriage ends poorly, the divorce process can be long, emotional, and difficult. Many people deal with consistent disagreements with their soon-to-be-ex-partners and find themselves in prolonged divorce litigation to settle each of them. A prenup can not only help with these disagreements, but it will also ensure that your assets are divided fairly as the divorce is finalized. Community property laws state that everything that was acquired during a marriage must be split equally. A prenup can help you ensure that you define separate property in advance and protect both spouses regardless of their earnings during the marriage.

Makes Divorce a Bit Less Complicated

Getting divorced is never easy, whether or not the relationship is ending on good terms. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can help make the process smoother and less stressful for all parties involved. When drafting a prenup, both parties can express their needs, expectations, priorities, and more. If a divorce does occur, many of the most complicated aspects of separation have already been addressed.

Provides Peace of Mind

Whether it’s your first marriage or your third marriage, a prenuptial agreement can help provide both partners with some peace of mind before, during, and after the marriage. Many people are afraid of losing critical assets if a marriage ends, which is why a prenuptial agreement can lessen some of that anxiety. As mentioned, outlining the division of assets ahead of time can provide much-needed peace of mind no matter the success of the marriage.

Current Divorce Rates

In 2020, over 1,600,000 marriages occurred across the country. As of 2021, the national divorce rate of the United States moved to just above 40%. For the past decade, that number has varied between 40-50%, meaning that almost half of marriages in the US ended in divorce during that time. For people in a second or third marriage, these rates often jump even higher.

According to the CDC’s latest report on marriages and separations, roughly 2.3 out of every 1,000 people are currently divorced in America. These figures can seem daunting for many couples, especially those who recently married and are hoping for the best. The divorce rate is consistently cited as a factor contributing to the growing use of prenuptial agreements around the country.

In Arizona, the marriage rate sits below the national average, at 4.9 weddings for every thousand people. This rate appears to be falling in recent years, and is currently 34th in the nation. By contrast, Arizona ranks 11th for total divorces, though the divorce rate per thousand people is on par with the marriage rate in the state.

Divorces in Arizona
Source: Strictly Weddings

Prenuptial Statistics

Prenuptial agreements can provide a sense of security for couples embarking on a marital journey, especially regarding their financial futures. While prenuptials aren’t as commonly used as you might think, they are becoming more common. Here are some statistics regarding the current use of prenups in the US and here in Arizona.

National Prenuptial Statistics

  • While prenuptial agreements can be incredibly helpful, it has been found that they are only used in about 10% of marriages.
  • Just over 10% of people believe that there is a possibility their marriage might end, despite consistently high divorce rates.
  • Almost 50% of unmarried people believe prenups can be helpful.
  • Despite their beneficial properties, most people polled had negative connotations regarding asking for or drafting a prenup
  • 63% of people said they would feel intimidated or at a higher risk for divorce if their partner asked them to sign a prenup.
  • Roughly 15% of people who were recently divorced wished they had crafted a prenuptial agreement.
  • Over 50% of divorce lawyers noted that they’ve seen an increase in demand for prenuptial agreements.
  • More people are getting married later in life, which may contribute to the rising use of prenups in America.
  • Drafting a prenuptial agreement is much less expensive than going through litigation and lawyers because of disagreements in a divorce.

Arizona Prenuptial Statistics

  • As of 2020, the divorce rate in Arizona was higher than the national average.
  • In 2020, Arizona had the 23rd highest divorce rate in the country. In 2022, it is now 14th.
  • As of 2022, roughly 12% of people in Arizona were divorced.
  • Arizona’s divorce rate sits at 2.9 people out of every 1,000 people according to a 2020 report by the CDC.
  • In the past 2 years, Arizona has also recorded some of its lowest marriage rates in decades.
  • In Arizona, only around 5% of people have created or used prenups.
  • However, in the past few years, Arizona has experienced a gradual increase in the creation of prenuptial agreements.
  • Because Arizona is a community property state, most people who created prenups to define separate property report being happy they did so.

Arizona Prenuptial Statistics

Help You Can Trust For Prenuptial Agreements in Arizona

Drafting, creating, and implementing any form of legal document is not an uncomplicated process, especially if you have minimal legal experience. However, retaining an attorney is not always feasible, especially in the time leading up to an important event like a marriage. Here at Draft My Legal Docs, our legal experts specialize in writing and reviewing legal documents of all types, including prenuptial agreements.

Our team of licensed attorneys can not only help you prepare and create a draft of your prenup, but also assist you throughout the filing process to prevent any issues from arising. Marriage, divorce, and the documents that come along with them are complex, so let Draft My Legal Docs help you through it. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, contact our team today.


  1. https://time.com/nextadvisor/in-the-news/why-you-need-a-prenup/
  2. https://www.mediate.com/prenuptial-agreements-what-do-the-statistical-trends-say-2/
  3. https://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/menu/info/trend/index.php?pg=marriages
Facts About Arizona Family Court and Family Law

Facts About Arizona Family Court and Family Law

Arizona Family Court is a branch of civil court, meaning that the court does not handle instances in which people break criminal laws. Instead, family court handles civil disputes between people who are related to one another. Family court must interpret family law to settle these disputes.

Family court applies family law to determine physical custody of children after a divorce, adoption and even cases of child abduction. Family court can also interpret family law to determine which legal rights or responsibilities a person has for another family member, as in legal decision making responsibilities for children after a divorce or even spousal support/alimony. These are only some of the ways family law can affect Arizona family dynamics.

As a result, Arizona Family Court deals with a number of case types, including:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Alimony/Spousal support
  • Division of property in divorce
  • Adoption and foster care
  • Child custody and legal decision making responsibilities
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Elder exploitation and abuse

Facets of Arizona Family Law

There are many aspects of family court that affect Arizona families. Here are some of the most important facets of family law.


The impacts of divorce on the family dynamic are significant, and they can have long-term effects on everyone involved—particularly the children of the couple. Often, too, a divorce is not only a divorce, but a mix of several areas of family law.

These can include visitation rights, child custody and legal decision making rights, alimony or spousal support, and child support.

  • In 2019, the average rate of marriage in Arizona was 5.4 per 1,000 people and the divorce rate was 3 per every 1,000 people.
  • The average Arizona divorce rate was 56% as of 2019.
  • According to the 2016 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of people at the time of their first marriage increased by two years between 2008 and 2016.
  • There were over half a million divorces in the U.S. in 2021, according to CDC data.

Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption

Termination of adoptions and termination of parental rights are actions that, together, work to sever legal ties between adopted persons and their adoptive families. This action is also referred to as “relinquishment.” This action can be brought to AZ family court by the adopted family member or the adoptive parents, and usually comes as a result of disagreements about biological family members. The case can also be the result of concerns about the manner in which the adopted child was raised by their adopted family, including concerns involving physical abuse. These concerns often relate to issues that would make it difficult for the child to form future relationships.

Though the parties bringing this case to family court may feel they have no other options, family law attorneys take care to request that all parties involved carefully consider the decision. Relinquishment is irreversible and there is no potential to reconcile at a later date if disagreements are resolved. if parental rights are terminated, all legal ties are severed and the adoption decree is void.

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

In family law, a restraining order—also known as a protective order—is utilized to keep people safe from physical or emotional harm at the hands of another person. If the danger is immediate, the person at risk should contact an Arizona family law attorney. An attorney can request an emergency protective order to prevent whoever is harming or threatening to harm a person from doing so.

A restraining order could entail many actions, including ordering the threatening party to stay away from the victim’s place of residence and job, or ordering them to refrain from contacting the person by phone or any other means. If the risk will continue into the foreseeable future, a family law attorney can seek a long-term protective order that will last until a trial can take place. This is often necessary if the situation will remain dangerous for the person even after a divorce or other family court matter is complete.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child Custody and Visitation

Typically, parents create a parenting plan, including child custody and visitation decisions, and present it to the court for approval. If they are unable to do so, the court makes the final decision. The court determines legal decision making rights and physical custody according to the best interests of the child or children.

When a parent takes their custody case to family court, it’s generally with the end goal of gaining full and sole physical and legal custody, allowing the other parent only supervised visitation. Sometimes, the other parent desires full and sole physical and legal custody, as well. However, Arizona Family Court begins with the assumption of joint custody, and determines adjustments to custody according to the child’s best interests. A parent requesting sole custody must provide evidence parenting rights for their ex-partner are not in the child’s best interests, such as evidence of substance misuse or child abuse.


Arizona Family Court often determines the biological parentage of a child, usually for custody or child support purposes. Often, proof of paternity becomes necessary when the parents were not married at the time of conception or the child is conceived outside of a marriage.

However, paternity can be either presumed or biological in the eyes of Arizona Family Court. Presumed paternity refers to the idea that if a child is conceived during a marriage, the male partner is presumed to be the father. Evidence must be provided to prove this isn’t true. Legal presumptions also apply to family members who financially rely on one other as they work for financial freedom from their families.

Biological paternity in family law is determined as the result of a legal action, which seeks to determine the genetic father of the child. In Arizona, a party must provide evidence regarding why a biological paternity case should be issued. However, the way paternity laws function across state lines may be different. Be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney if you intend to initiate a biological paternity case or are dealing with a paternity case across state lines.

Juvenile Law Matters

This refers to any family law matter that involves minors who have not reached the age of eighteen in Arizona. Juvenile matters include many facets of family law, such as child custody and visitation conflicts, as well as child abuse and neglect. Juvenile matters also include temporary guardianship, or dependency, which refers to a party needing support from someone until they are an adult. This can apply in cases where parents have lost rights to their children.

Juvenile matters can also involve truancy and juvenile delinquency. Juvenile probation, supervision, and even juvenile custody are handled by family court. Minors cannot be prosecuted by adult criminal court, except under exceptional circumstances. As a result, Arizona Family Court handles most juvenile cases.

Division of Property

Legal property division ties in with Arizona divorce. It’s a complex process that addresses a number of extenuating factors to best distribute marital debts and assets between two people who are separating. In most cases, a divorcing couple either determines property and debt division prior to the divorce hearing, or accepts the equal division of community property as prescribed by the state of Arizona.

If no such agreement is possible, Arizona family court makes decisions for the division of property based on the best interests of the family, according to community property guidelines. Typically, this means both parties receive roughly half of all assets and debts obtained during the marriage. This, of course, can be very difficult to do in a way that pleases all parties involved, as people often come out of a divorce feeling as if they deserve a larger portion of the assets. It can be helpful to have a family law attorney by your side to represent your interests and help you retain what you deserve.

Why Do I Need to Understand AZ Family Law?

Understanding AZ Family Law

Family law in Arizona provides a framework upon which Arizona Family Court makes just decisions regarding family disputes. In this way, family law protects mothers and fathers from unfair treatment in child custody disputes, advocates for the best interests of children in all matters, and ensures that the interests of all parties are considered in divorce, custody, support, and property division cases. Family law works to create safe home environments and protect the most vulnerable among us.

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