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Frequently Asked Questions: Divorce And Custody
If you are going through a divorce or are facing a child custody issue, you will likely have many questions. The following are a sampling of some of the questions our attorney encounters most often. It is important to remember that everyone’s situation is different, and nothing can replace the advice you receive from meeting with a lawyer in person. To schedule a consultation at Mathers Law Offices, LLC, call 480-877-1266.
How long will the divorce process take? There is no definitive answer to this question. You and your ex will largely control the length of the process. In other words, if you still have open lines of communication and are able to largely agree on the major issues in your divorce proceeding, the process will move along relatively quickly. However, if the two of you are unable to talk together and things are contentious, the process can last significantly longer. Other factors that can impact the length of the process include whether or not you have children and the number of assets that must be divided.
How will our property be divided? In Arizona, any property that is acquired during the course of a marriage is subject to division. Any property that was owned prior to the marriage is considered separate and is not subject to division. However, separate property can effectively become marital property if your ex had access or was allowed to use the property in question during the course of the marriage. As you can imagine, these issues can become complicated quickly, which is why having experienced legal representation is so important. Of course, you and your ex can also negotiate a property settlement on your own terms with the help of your attorneys.
Are mothers always awarded custody? No. While mothers may have had an advantage in custody settlements in the past, the law now recognizes that children benefit the most when they have a relationship with both parents. In addition, any custody determination must consider the best interests of the child above all other factors. If that means full or partial custody is awarded to the father, then that is what the court will decide.
I want to relocate, but if I do it will affect my custody agreement. Is there anything I can do? Yes. Custody arrangements are not set in stone. If you wish to move out of state or if you have experienced a substantial change in your life’s circumstances, you ask for a modification to a custody agreement. It is essential to follow the terms of your custody agreement until the court approves a modification. If you decide to suddenly stop following the terms of your agreement, the legal fallout can be severe.