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Arizona Family Law Blog

Practical tasks after the divorce is finalized

When Arizona couples decide to divorce, they may imagine that all major matters will be handled by the time the family court finalizes the end of their marriage. However, the divorce decree may be only the beginning of some of the most important practical steps to make the property division agreement a reality, as making an agreement does not complete the actual separation of assets.

When one party will remain in the marital home after the divorce, there can be a number of tasks for both parties to handle. The mortgage will, in most cases, need to be refinanced into the sole name of the remaining owner, and the other party will need to sign over his or her interest in the home through a quitclaim deed. In general, it is best to take care of both of these aspects at the same time to avoid an imbalance in ownership and responsibility. Other types of property, like motor vehicles, will also need to be retitled to reflect their current ownership.

Joint custody is becoming the norm in divorce cases

When family law judges in Arizona and around the country make child custody decisions, their primary concern is the welfare of the children involved. There was a time when the prevailing belief was that children fared better when they were cared for by their mothers, and judges generally awarded sole physical custody. However, things began to change in the late 20th century when research revealed the benefits of joint custody, and now these arrangements are rapidly becoming the norm.

This shifting trend was highlighted in 2014 by a University of Wisconsin-Madison study. After reviewing the outcomes of divorce petitions filed in Wisconsin between 1980 and 2008, the researchers discovered that the percentage of mothers awarded sole custody fell from 80 percent to 42 percent. During the same 28 years, the frequency with which judges ordered equal or unequal joint custody rose from 5 percent to 27 percent and 3 percent to 18 percent, respectively.

Courts can adjust child support and custody orders

Parents across Arizona and other states file for separation and eventually divorce their former spouses because of issues ranging from cheating to financial problems. During the proceedings, the judge will look at factors and determine both a child support order and a custody agreement. This order will name one person as the custodial parent and the other individual as the noncustodial parent. People can request a modification or change in either order if they think that they need one.

A noncustodial parent losing his or her job is the most common reason why a court will modify a child support order. Judges base the size of the order on the income that the individual makes and the amount needed to raise the child. If the noncustodial parent does not work or works fewer hours than before, it's possible to change the order.

What if your child wants to move in with your ex?

Divorce is challenging in so many ways. Just when you feel the worst is over, a new problem crops up: Your child wants to live with your ex who is considering a job transfer to another state. You share joint custody with your former spouse. You are the primary caretaker because his job requires traveling. 

You and your ex both want to do the right thing. There are pros and cons for the child living with dad. As parents, you want your children to feel comfortable and have a sense of control over their lives. It is hard to know how to handle the situation.

Why people should pay attention to technology in a divorce

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in Arizona divorce cases. People who are planning to end their marriage may want to take some steps to separate their digital lives and to prevent problems that could arise because of their online presences.

Most married couples know each other's passwords, and some share online bank accounts and other linked accounts. People should start by opening their own individual accounts and changing all of their passwords to ones that cannot easily be guessed. Many couples also share devices. If a couple shares a laptop or tablet, it is a good idea to reset it to factory settings. This can prevent people from recovering sensitive data about their ex-spouses.

Spouses hiding money in cryptocurrencies during their divorce

When going through a divorce, most people in Arizona and elsewhere expect to eventually fight over money. Divorcing individuals, accountants and family law attorneys are accustomed to dealing with traditional investments, pensions, property and savings accounts. However, Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are changing the game when it comes time to divide assets during the divorce.

Since its introduction in 2009, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become unbelievably popular. Part of this popularity is fueled by recent stories of individuals who invested a relatively small amount of money in a cryptocurrency a few years ago and now are sitting on a sizable fortune. For married individuals looking to divorce, dealing with cryptocurrency assets can be difficult and draw out the divorce process. Part of this is because governments and financial institutions are still creating regulations that determine how cryptocurrencies can be used and where they can be stored.

Information about marriage in Arizona

According to data from the Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey, Arizona has a marriage rate of 47.3 percent. This is slightly below the national average of 48.2 percent of residents aged 15 and older who are married. Population figures were gleaned using a five-year average that ended in 2017. The divorce rate nationally has fallen since 2000, but at the same time, the marriage rate has also fallen.

In 2000, 8.2 people per every 1,000 American residents were married. This was compared to just 6.9 people were married for every 1,000 people living in the country almost a decade later. In Arizona specifically, the marriage rate in 2017 was 5.8 per 1,000 individuals living there, which was the 11th lowest in the United States. Conversely, it had a divorce rate of 3.5 individuals per 1,000 state residents.

3 tips for getting a divorce in your 20s or 30s

Young marriages can be beautiful and full of life, but marriage can be difficult in your 20s or 30s. Many millennials who marry young struggle with having healthy relationships, leaving some to get divorced. If you find yourself in this situation, you may not know how to handle it. 

Getting a divorce is hard, especially if you do not have many examples of good relationships in your life. You may also find it difficult to get back into the dating scene after your breakup. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you navigate marriage, divorce and moving on as a millennial. 

Tips for divorce at 50 and older

Some Arizona couples who are 50 or older may be among those whose divorce rates are increasing according to the Pew Research Center. The divorce rate for this age group is more than twice as high as it was in 1990, and Pew researchers believe this may be because there are more second or third marriages in this age range. They are more vulnerable to divorce than first marriages.

People of any age who are going through a divorce need to make a budget that will give them a sense of what their finances will look like afterwards. They should also be aware that alimony is no longer tax-deductible or treated as income for the recipient. There are other concerns that are more specific to people nearing retirement. For example, they might want to recalculate their retirement plan. The division of a retirement plan is an issue that often arises, and according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, after alimony, it causes the most conflict.

Can an extra-marital affair lead to problems in divorce court?

An unraveling marriage leads to high anxiety, stress and sorrow. Even when it seems like both spouses agree that things have not gone well lately, they may have held onto hope.

A discovery that one spouse is cheating stops that hope dead in its track. Now it is full-steam ahead through the divorce process. The other spouse may wonder if the infidelity will have an impact on how the divorce process goes. Will it give him or her an advantage over the cheating spouse? Is it grounds for divorce?

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