7 Resources for Divorcing Parents in Arizona

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Divorce

For parents with minor children, dealing with child-related issues is among the most important aspects of the divorce process. Not only do you need to make sure you do what is best for your children, but it is also critical to ensure that you achieve an outcome that provides the financial and emotional security you need to build a comfortable post-divorce life in which you can remain meaningfully connected to your children throughout their formative years.

While all divorces in Arizona involve the same basic considerations (i.e., property division, debt division, financial support, and child custody), every divorce is unique. Parents have different priorities, wishes, and concerns, and they have different ideas about what is best for their children. The parent’s ability (or inability) to work together during the divorce process is an important factor as well—although, even when divorcing parents are completely at odds initially, they will often still be able to reach an amicable resolution with their children’s best interests in mind.

What You Need to Know as a Divorcing Parent in Arizona

As with all aspects of the divorce process in Arizona, making informed decisions about child-related issues requires a clear understanding of all relevant considerations. With this in mind, here are seven resources you can use as you begin thinking about how to approach your divorce:

1. Arizona’s Child Custody Factors (or “Best Interests” Factors)

In Arizona (as in other states), divorcing parents must make all custody-related decisions based on their children’s best interests. Arizona’s divorce law lists several “best interests” factors that parents must consider when deciding how to split their parenting time post-divorce.

Understanding these factors—and how they apply to your unique family circumstances—is critical for making informed decisions during the divorce process. While the Arizona courts give parents plenty of leeway to develop parenting plans that meet their needs, the courts ultimately focus on the best interests of the children involved. To learn about Arizona’s child custody factors (or “best interests” factors), you can read: What Are Arizona’s “Best Interests” Factors for Determining Child Custody?

2. Types of Post-Divorce Parenting Plans

While it used to be fairly common for one parent (usually the mother) to have primary custody while the other parent (usually the father) had visitation every other weekend, these days parents routinely choose other options for dividing their parenting time post-divorce. Along with the more traditional custody and visitation schedule, other more contemporary options include:

  • Joint custody (with equal parenting time)
  • Co-parenting
  • Bird’s nest custody

With each of these options, divorcing parents have a substantial amount of flexibility to develop an arrangement that works with their respective schedules and meets their respective wants and needs. But, Arizona’s child custody factors must ultimately be the guiding force behind parents’ decision-making. Learn more: What Are Your Options for Child Custody During a Divorce or Separation in Arizona?

3. Special Considerations for Co-Parenting After a Divorce

Co-parenting has become especially popular in recent years. When divorcing parents are still on good terms, co-parenting allows them to continue jointly participating in their children’s lives while still living their lives separately in all other areas.

Of course, co-parenting isn’t right for all couples; and, even when co-parenting makes sense, divorcing parents need to ensure that they thoughtfully analyze all relevant considerations and make informed decisions based on realistic expectations. If you are thinking about co-parenting after your divorce, we encourage you to read: Is Coparenting a Good Option for Divorcing Parents in Arizona?

4. Important Issues Not to Overlook Regarding Child Custody

When developing parenting plans during the divorce process, parents tend to focus on their day-to-day or week-to-week schedule. While this is indeed an important aspect of child custody, it is far from the only aspect that divorcing parents need to consider.

Vacations, holidays, birthdays, and children’s activities all typically require special consideration. Divorcing parents need to think carefully about how they will handle emergencies involving their children after their divorce as well. For some insights into how divorcing parents often handle these types of issues, you can read: Vacations, Holidays, Birthdays, Activities & Emergencies: Important Parenting Time Considerations During an Arizona Divorce.

5. What Divorcing Parents in Arizona Need to Know About Sole Custody

We often hear from parents who are considering a divorce and have questions about sole custody. While sole custody is an option in Arizona, it is only an option in limited circumstances. As a general rule, Arizona law favors allowing children to spend time with both of their parents—as this is generally viewed as being in a child’s best interests. But, there are exceptions, and sole custody arrangements are warranted in some situations. If you need to know more about Arizona’s sole custody laws, you can read: Is It Possible to Obtain Sole Custody in Arizona?

6. Calculating Child Support in Arizona

If you have minor children and are preparing to get divorced in Arizona, in addition to dealing with child custody you will also need to deal with child support. All parents must financially support their children under Arizona law. Determining parents’ child support obligations is typically more straightforward than developing a post-divorce parenting plan, as Arizona’s Child Support Guidelines apply in most cases. For more information, you can read our introduction to child support in Arizona.

7. Property Division for Items with Sentimental Value

Finally, along with developing a post-divorce parenting plan and calculating each parent’s child support obligations, dealing with child-related issues during the divorce process usually means dealing with items that have sentimental value. In a divorce, neither spouse gets everything, and this applies equally to financial assets and items that are priceless because they remind you of past times in your children’s lives. When it comes to distributing items with sentimental value, divorcing parents have a variety of options available. To learn about these options, you can read: How to Handle Items with Sentimental Value During a Divorce in Arizona.

Request a Free Consultation with Phoenix, AZ Divorce Lawyer Adam Weingart

Are you preparing to go through a divorce with minor children in Arizona? If so, we invite you to contact us for more information. To request a free consultation with Phoenix, AZ divorce lawyer Adam Weingart, please call 480-750-7960 or get in touch online today.