Family Lawyers in Chandler, Arizona
The Zachary Law Group are family lawyers in Chandler, Arizona who can help you with a range of family law matters. Our firm can assist you with developing a parenting plan that will be accepted by the courts if you are planning to get divorced. If you have questions about child support, a family attorney can also help. If you need to make modifications to a parenting plan, the Zachary Law Group may also be able to help. A family lawyer can also assist unmarried individuals who wish to establish paternity. Whether you are getting divorced, need to make changes to your parenting plan, or want to establish paternity, or seek help getting child support, the family law attorneys at the Zachary Law Group in Chandler, Arizona can help you.
Child Custody in Chandler, Arizona
In Arizona, if you are getting divorced and have children, you and your former spouse will need to have a parenting plan in place before your divorce can be finalized. How you get to a final parenting plan will depend on your needs and whether you can agree on issues with your former spouse. In general, it is often in your best interests to develop a parenting plan outside of court with the help of family lawyers representing both you and your ex. When parents cannot agree to a parenting plan outside of court, the case may have to go before a judge. This is often not encouraged because the decisions a judge may make may not be something either parent wants.
When child custody matters go before the courts, the judge will use the “best interests of the child” standard to make decisions. There are several types of custody that must be determined. According to Arizona law, the courts do not use the term “child custody,” but rather refer to the concepts of “legal decision making” and “parenting time.” This is to make clear the idea that the courts tend to favor the children having time with both parents. Only in rare circumstances where one parent poses a danger to the child will a parent’s right to see his or her child be affected. As a general rule, when it comes to child custody matter, what is in dispute is how much time the child will spend with each parent, not whether or not the child will be permitted to see a parent. The next concern the courts will address involves “legal decision making.” This is a parent’s right to make decisions for the child regarding schooling, activities, religion, and medical decisions. In general, the courts tend to favor an arrangement where both parents share this right, though there may be circumstances where sole legal decision making rights may be awarded to one parent.
The courts will consider the “child’s best interests” when making these decisions. The courts will look at the emotional and physical health of both parents, the ability of each parent to provide for the child, the child’s relationship with both parents, and evaluate which parent may be more likely to permit the child to have a relationship with both parents. After considering these factors, the court will make a ruling.
In order to avoid a situation where a judge makes a decision neither of you want, it is often best to draft a sound parenting plan outside of court. The Zachary Law Group is a family law firm in Chandler, Arizona who can help you draft a parenting plan that will be accepted by the courts. Contact us today to learn more.
Child Support in Chandler, Arizona
Child support is calculated based on each parent’s incomes. The state of Arizona uses calculations based on the noncustodial parent’s gross income to determine the child support obligation. If you believe that your ex has misrepresented his or her income, if you have not been receiving the child support you are due, or have another question about child support, consider reaching out to the Zachary Law Firm, a family law attorney in Chandler, Arizona. Our firm can help you calculate the child support you are due, investigate your case to determine whether you may be owed more child support, and fight to help you receive the child support you may be owed if a parent refuses to pay.
How to Make Modifications to a Parenting Plan in Chandler, Arizona
In general, it is very difficult to make modifications to a parenting plan in Chandler, Arizona. Parents who wish to make changes, must show that there has been a significant change in their circumstances. There are, however, circumstances where changes may be permitted. For example, if one parent is found guilty of domestic violence or if the parent has reason to believe that the child may be endangered. In this case, the parent should take steps to protect his or her child.
If a parent is moving for a new job, if a child will be attending a new school, or if a child’s older age requires that changes need to be made, the courts may approve changes to a parenting plan, but the parent will need to show that the changes are in the best interest of the child. Modifications to parenting plans can also be made if both parents agree to the changes. In order to make modification to a parenting plan, you will need to file all paperwork and provide evidence to show the courts that the change is necessary and meets all requirements. If you need to make modifications to a parenting plan, it can be helpful to have a family lawyer, like the Zachary Law Group in Chandler, Arizona on your side.
Establishing Paternity in Chandler, Arizona
If you and your former or current partner are unmarried and you have a child, you may want to establish paternity. If both parents agree to establish paternity, this can be done with a simple form and it is not likely that you will need the assistance of a family law lawyer. However, paternity comes with certain rights and responsibilities on the part of both parents. For example, the father may be able to assert his parental rights to make decisions for the child and to have parenting time after paternity has been established. Likewise, if the mother is the sole custodian of the child, the mother has the right to seek child support after paternity has been established. If you are in a situation where one or both parents are denying paternity, you may want to seek the assistance of the Zachary Law Group, family law attorneys in Chandler, Arizona.