Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Custodial Interference?

What Is Custodial Interference

What does Custodial Interference mean? In simple terms, when one parent attempts to create disruption to the custody rights of the other parent of the child or children, this is known as custodial interference.

Often a highly contentious issue, when custody orders are interfered with it can lead in some cases to consequences of a criminal nature. However, there are a very few situations where it may be legally permissible to temporarily interfere with the custodial rights of the other parent. The following are important facts you should be aware of regarding custodial interference and what can be done regarding it.

Types Of Custodial Interference

There are many ways custodial interference can happen. Here are some examples:

  • Making a visitation upon the child or children while the other parent is supposed to have custody of the child or children.
  • When the other parent has a planned and a scheduled visit, the refusal to release the child or children to the other parent.
  • Limiting the telephone or online contact the child or children has with the other parent.
  • Not returning the child or children on time for a planned exchange.
  • Using enticements to turn the child or children against the other parent.

However, in certain situations, custodial interference is not a violation of the law. For example:

  • When you are protecting a child or children from danger.
  • When previously made agreements disrupt custodial arrangements.
  • When outside events prevent a parent making a timely transfer of the child or children (bad weather being one example.)

What Can Be Done?

A parent can report to law enforcement and the courts any examples of custodial interference. Courts will often try to remedy the ongoing situation. Here are a few ways they try to achieve this:

  • Instituting revised and specific orders for visitation.
  • Instituting make up time for visitation purposes.
  • Family mediation or therapy.

Depending on the situation more severe intervention may be required – a parent may request greater relief. Examples include:

  • Third parties being present at supervised visits.
  • A neutral location being designated for the transfer of the child or children.
  • Reductions or loss of custody or visitation.
  • Fees and fines.

Many states consider custodial interference to be a felony or misdemeanor crime.

Source: “What Is Custodial Interference?” Findlaw, https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/08/what-is-custodial-interference.html.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Custodial Interference By Grandparents

Custodial Interference By Grandparents

Child custody describes the legal relationships and status regarding a child or children and their legal guardians and/or parents. An individual with the custody of a child or children by default has all the responsibilities and rights of raising the child or children. This includes caring for the child or children and making choices and legal decisions for the child or children. The custody of a child or children can be granted by a court to anyone, meaning, a legal guardian can be the child or children’s, adoptive parents, biological parents, cousins, grandparents, siblings that are of legal age as well as friends, uncles and aunts. Read on to learn more.

In most custody cases for a child or children, grandparents are often not given consideration, when it comes to visitation and securing custodial rights. Even when the grandparents have been separated from the child or children from their parents because of causes like divorce, death or the breakdown of communication between a child or children and their parent or parents.

Primary Arguments For The Rights Of Grandparents

  • The child or children can suffer from trauma when they no longer have contact with the grandparents.
  • Divorce or the incarceration of a child or children or if a child or children should die does not give the parent who has custody the right to sever the relationship the children or child has with their grandparents.
  • Grandparents offer a stable role in the life of a grandchild or grandchildren. This is especially the case for a child or children following a death or a divorce.

Primary Arguments Against The Rights Of Grandparents

  • As long as the parents are competent, the state generally has no right to interfere in the decisions of how those parents raise their child or children – meaning a parent has the right to exclude a visit from a grandparent, even when supervised.
  • There can be good reasons to exclude a grandparent or grandparents. For example, if they have a history of child abuse or interfere with the process of the conventional decisions competent parents make on behalf of their child or children. Also, some grandparents will bad mouth the parents of the child or children in front of them.
  • Grandparents and parents often have conflicts but even when parents are being irrational or unfair, interference from a court can make the home of the child or children less stable than before.

Currently, a grandparent visitation law does not exist nor is it protected in any shape or form in common law or the constitution of the United States of America. In the last 40 years, any statutes or laws on the books regarding the rights of a grandparent of a child or children are not similar from state to state. It is true all 50 states have visitation laws for a child or children as well as who may be permitted to have visitation with them after a case of child custody has been determined. These laws can consider, stepparents, parents and grandparents.

Approximately forty percent of US states only allow grandparents of the child or children to have rights of visitation and not any other person. The consequences of this are cousins; foster parents, stepparents or other relatives cannot be granted rights of visitation. However, in all of the fifty states, Grandparents are able to file a lawsuit in court in situations when they have been told they are denied the right to visit or see their grandchild or grandchildren when there is apparently no reason for them not to be allowed access to the grandchild or grandchildren.

Grandparents Rights In Arizona

In Arizona, the custodial rights of Grandparents are defined by statute A.R.S. § 25-409. Therefore, Grandparents maintain the right to be involved in the lives of their grandchild or grandchildren and if needed, to seek safe protection for them, on their behalf. Grandparents can seek legal assistance when the relationship between a grandchild or grandchildren has become broken in cases where the grandchild or grandchildren may be in risk or danger. These rights can help Grandparents retain involvement in the lives of their grandchild or grandchildren as well as protect their own rights as Grandparents. Some examples of where legal advice may be required include:

  • Parents refuse Grandparents involvement or even access to their grandchild or grandchildren.
  • Adoption, permanent custody or guardianship of a grandchild or grandchildren.
  • In cases of parental abuse of a grandchild or grandchildren.

Furthermore, Grandparents are realizing they have rights and can exercise them, examples include:

  • The filing of court petitions with the purpose of requesting continued visitation and access to their grandchild or grandchildren.
  • The filing of child custody petitions with the purpose of care of a grandchild or grandchildren.
  • The filing adoption petitions with the purpose of care for a grandchild or grandchildren.

Grandparents often seek legal advice on their visitation rights regarding a grandchild or grandchildren. There are legal requirements that must be gone through and met including the fact Grandparents must provide evidence their contact with a grandchild or grandchildren is in the child’s best interests. Some factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • The historical bond the Grandparent has with the grandchild or grandchildren.
  • A parental divorce of at least a minimum of three months.
  • A parental absence of at least a minimum of three months.
  • When a child or children are born out of wedlock.

Custodial requests by Grandparents are considerably more complex as a vital key to success will be providing convincing evidence the parents are unfit.  Grandparents seeking such relief will very likely need competent legal assistance to advance their case.

Source: Phoenixdivorceattorney. “Grandparent’s Rights in Arizona (Ultimate Guide for 2019).” Cantor Law Group, https://cantorlawgroup.com/grandparents-rights-in-arizona.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State Arizona

Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State Arizona

When deciding if a parent will be allowed to relocate with a child or children, courts in Arizona conduct an investigation whether the relocation is likely to damage the relationship the child or children has with the parent who is not relocating. Following a divorce, it is not at all unknown for one parent desiring to relocate to another city or indeed, another state. It may be for a new spouse, a new career or just a fresh start in a new place. Regardless of the reason, it has a substantial effect on issues of custody. Following the move, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement regarding custody of the child or children, a judge will make the final and legally binding decision. The judge will consider many factors when assessing the most preferred custodial situation for the child or children. Therefore, as relocation custody can be a complex issue, it is vital to understand circumstances and situations that may impact your case.

Overview of Arizona Custody Laws

The center point of any custody dispute is what is in the best interests of the child or children. Let’s look at some of the factors court consider to be of paramount significance when deciding on the visitation and custody arrangements that will satisfy the physical and emotional needs of the child or children:

  • The physical health and mental health of each parent.
  • The relationship the child or children has with their parents.
  • The ability of each parent to provide a stable environment for their child or children.
  • If any of the parents have a history of child abuse or domestic violence.
  • The ability of the child or children to adjust to a new community and home.

The judge will then make a decision as to whether to award sole or joint physical custody as well as sole and joint legal custody of the child or children having undertaken a consideration of factors relating to the health and wellbeing of the child or children. It is worth remembering a parent with sole custody of the child or children may have more leeway when it comes to the relocation of the child or children.

Relocation Rules For Arizona Parents

A relocation is not a simple move to the other side of town. When parents share legal or joint custody, the parent who is relocating is obliged to give advance notice of at least 45 days regarding an intended move out of state or an in-state move in excess of 100 miles. The parent who is not moving may then make a petition to the court preventing the relocation. When a judge refuses the relocation request, the other parent may still move there, but will be unable to take the child or children with them to live.

How Judges Decide Relocation Cases

Primarily, the judge examines the negative consequences a potential move may have on the wellbeing of a child or children. Evidence will be submitted by each side and the judge will determine whether to allow the relocation and how custody arrangements will be adjusted. At the hearing, a judge may hear testimony from the individual parents, relatives, teachers, or friends. In particular the judge is looking at the following aspects:

  • The reason for the move.
  • Is the purpose of the move to interfere with the visitation of the other parent?
  • Will the quality of life and wellbeing of the child or children be impacted in a negative way?
  • The relationships the child or children have with both parents, looking at the past, the present day and the future potential of these relationships.
  • What are the possible effects of less visitation with one parent?
  • The relationship a child or children has with their siblings.
  • The adjustment to home and community the child or children will have to undertake.
  • If they are of mature enough years, the preferences of the child or children.
  • Any other circumstances the court deems to consider as important.

The burden of proof lies with the parent making the move to show it is in the best interests of the child or children to move with them. Courts understand the needs of a parent to move, travel and follow a career but the best interests of the child or children and the right of the other parent to maintain meaningful relationships with their child or children has to be balanced up against this.

Source: Otterstrom, Kristina. “Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Arizona.” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 31 Mar. 2017, https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/child-custody-and-relocation-laws-arizona.html.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Custodial Interference In Arizona

Custodial Interference In Arizona

ARS 13-1302 is the Arizona statute governing custodial interference. An individual can face custodial interference charges when they knowingly act in a manner that contradicts an existing parenting plan or when they act in a way defying the legal rights of a parent. Custodial interference takes place when a parent makes a decision to purposefully hamper the custody rights of the other parent. Sadly, this is a frequently a contentious issue in cases of shared custody and can even result in charges of a criminal nature being filed because once they are established, custody orders are enforceable, more than that, they are also binding from a legal standpoint.

When Can You Claim Custodial Interference?

Court orders have to be in place because if rights of legal decision making and parenting time are yet to be adjudicated by the court, there are no outstanding orders to be broken and there are no meaningful legal actions you can undertake until the courts sign off on the orders.

Examples Of Custodial Interference Include:

  • When parenting time has been scheduled, refusing to bring the child or children.
  • When the other parent has company making a visitation to the child or children without at first obtaining permission to do so.
  • Not returning the child or children on schedule.
  • Purposefully limiting the contact, the child or children have with the other parent.
  • Using enticements on the child or children to isolate the parent holding custody.
  • Taking the child or children before court orders are in place.
  • Taking the child or children when it is not parenting time according to the schedule already in place.

These are common examples but as each situation is unique you should talk to a family law attorney and they can make a determination as to whether your rights have been violated.

When your child or children have been born out of wedlock, the law states the custodial rights go to the mother until brand new court orders becomes effective. It is vitally important you do not take any actions against the child or children or the mother. This law will be enforced and can result in criminal proceedings.

When The Other Parent Interferes With Custody

Custody agreements are often contentious but when you have a court order already in place, you are within your rights to call law enforcement when the other parent refuses to stick to the agreed parenting plan. Your actions should also be reported to the courts. Minor examples of interference will likely be met with a caution from law enforcement as well as the enforcement of the agreed, court order, plan of parenting. In cases when a parent continues to interfere in this way, the police will now have written documentation of the behavior and if needed can make an arrest. In situations when the custodial interference has become very extreme, the courts have the power to make the following changes to the established parenting plan:

  • Transfers at a preset location that is neutral (sometimes a police station.)
  • Visits that have to be supervised by a third party.
  • Loss or restriction of custody and rights of visitation.
  • Penalties and fines.
  • Criminal repercussions.

Custodial Interference Penalties

As custody is an agreement that is court ordered, when this agreement is not adhered too, it is enforceable by law. The court system has the best interests of children uppermost in their thoughts. As per ARS 13-1302, custodial interference can be penalized by:

  • Class Four Felony: Interference by a non-parent.
  • Class Four or Class Six Felony: When a child or children is taken outside of state boundaries depending on the parenting agreement and the circumstances.
  • Class One Misdemeanor: When the child or children are returned within a forty-eight hour timeframe and they are unharmed.

As you can see, the penalties are serious. That said, it is usually only in the most serious situations where criminal charges are filed. More than likely, the initial penalty will result in a loss of current parenting rights. Always remember, any action by the parent that is contrary to the interpreted best interests of the child or children will be taken very seriously indeed.

Custodial Interference Law Exemptions

In some situations, the court allows a parent non-adherence to the parenting plan if the following applies:

  • A parent is protecting the child or children from harm.
  • Disruptions to the parenting plan that have been previously agreed upon.
  • Events the parents do not have control over.

There is no question it is frustrating to deal with custodial interference. However, the courts will be on your side and will protect your rights. The courts just will now permit a parent to continually transgress a parenting agreement that has been court ordered. The wellbeing of your child or children will be of primary concern and your own concerns will be taken seriously.

Source: “Custodial Interference in Arizona: Laws for a Disruptive Divorced Parent.” Mesa Divorce Lawyers & Family Law Attorneys, 30 May 2019, https://www.jacksonwhitelaw.com/arizona-family-law/custodial-interference-arizona/.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

My Wife is Keeping My Child Away From Me? What to Do?

My Wife Is Keeping My Child Away From Me

The relationship between you and your wife has reached the point of no return. The wife says she is going to leave, and the kids are going with her. Legally, can she do this? Can you stop her from following through with these actions? What can be done legally to help you? What course of action do you take if she leaves with kids in tow having not obtained your permission to do so? Primarily, she just cannot take the kids and depart. She has no more rights to the child or children than the father, this is even more so when there is no custody or divorce agreement in place.

What To Do When Your Wife Leaves With The Children

  • As a father you have certain rights and they need immediate protection in these circumstances. If you allow this to go on without any action, you are at risk of losing the rights you have when the custody and divorce case goes to court. You should immediately contact a family lawyer who will safeguard your rights.
  • Your attorney will immediately contact the attorney your wife has retained to commence work on an agreement. Avoid legal ramifications by deciding not to just show up and attempt to take the children back. Leave it to the attorneys. This contact from the attorneys will be documented and the courts will be able to tell, you did not just allow this to go on and that you want to maintain your involvement in the lives of your child or children.
  • A schedule for visitation needs to be created and adhered too as there is no doubt the time spent with our child or children will be examined during the divorce proceedings. If you want custody, be sure to be involved with the parenting decisions for the child or children and ensure you are there for them when they are with you. Avoid having them babysat. Instead, be a Dad and make sure the time you spend with them is quality time. Make sure no scheduled visits are missed, so it cannot be held against you. These are all things the judge will be reviewing.

Father’s Rights During and Following Divorce

Throughout the divorce process, you have certain rights as a father and your wife is not able to stop you from using those rights unless there are circumstances such as a substance problem or history of abuse. Examples of these rights include:

  • You wife cannot keep you from your children. And any attempt by her to do so needs immediate attention. You have the right to attend activities, events, sports games, graduations, plays, and so on. In situations where she is purposefully preventing you from doing so, tell your attorney right away and handle it through the legal process.
  • Should your ex-spouse remarry she may want your child or children to be adopted by her new husband. You have the right to stop this. No judge is going to allow this to occur if the father is meeting the agreed obligations and sticking to his visitation or custody agreements.
  • It is vital to provide the needed financial support to your child or children in order to protect your rights through the process. It is documentable evidence that you are meeting the financial obligations you have towards your child or children. Your right will remain in place by ensuring you stay current on these payments.
  • You have the right to share custody of the child or children with your wife during the divorce proceedings unless the courts have decided custody may not be shared. She is unable to force your hand on this issue unless you allow her to do so.
  • You have a right to have full involvement in the parenting decisions on behalf of the child or children, as their father. This ranges from religion, schooling, health care choices and so on. Disagreements will need to be worked out and it will demonstrate to the court that the pair of you can work for a common goal…doing what is best for the child or children.

Minimizing Problems With The Mother of Your Child Or Children During Divorce

If both of you realize conflict will be of no benefit to the child or children or yourselves during the divorce process, things should go a lot smoother. Disagreements are inevitable but serious conflict should be avoided at all costs.

  • By respecting the plans of the other person, problems should be minimized especially when it comes to things such as special events or trips. Discuss in advance any changes to schedules or pick up and collection times of the child or children. Open lines of communication are key.
  • You must remain consistent in your efforts. Being reliable and turning up when you say you are going to do so and following through with what you have said you are going to do, often helps to minimize other issues in divorce proceedings. This is an area where there is really no room for excuses so do not give her a just reason to become upset or frustrated with the situation.
  • You need to be able to communicate, clearly and concisely with your ex. If that is difficult, think about using an online service that creates and organizes schedules and you can leave each other messages on there. However, remember words said in text form can often be misconstrued as it lacks the subtlety of human intonation.

Source:  Baker, Nicholas, et al. “Can My Wife Take My Kids Away From Me? Family Law Rights.” Family Law Rights, 24 July 2016, https://www.familylawrights.net/blog/can-my-wife-take-my-kids-away-from-me/.

Speak with Our Father’s Rights Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our Father’s Rightschild custody, and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale address your case with concern and personal attention, and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Moving Out of State with No Custody Agreement in Arizona

Moving Out Of State With No Custody Agreement In Arizona

Can a Parent Move out of state without a custody agreement in Arizona? The short answer is no.

Courts in Arizona deciding whether a parent can relocate with their child or children have a duty to investigate if the move will harm the relationship the child or children has with the parent who is not relocating.

One parent often moves to another state following a divorce, be it for a new partner a new career or just a chance to start over somewhere else. Regardless of the reason, the move of the parent will have a significant impact on custodial issues.

A judge will decide and look at many different issues to decide custodial arrangements, if the parents are incapable of handling custody issues following the move. Without question these decisions are complex and it is vital you understand the circumstances that may impact your case.

Overview of Arizona Child Custody Laws

In any custody decision, the interests and wellbeing of the child or children is given top importance. Some of the factors taken into consideration include:

  • The physical and mental health of each parent.
  • The relationship the child or children has with each parent.
  • The ability of each parent to provide stability.
  • If there is a history of abuse or domestic violence with one or both parents.
  • The adjustment required by the child or children to adapt to their community and home.

Based on this the judge will determine whether joint or sole custody should be granted to one of the parents for the child or children. Parents can share legal custody even when the one parent has lone physical custody of the child or children. But that parent may be in a better position regarding the relocation of the child or children.

Understanding Relocation Rules for Arizona Parents

A relocation is defined as a move out of state or a move within the current state they reside that is greater than 100 miles away from the current location of the child or children. When parents share legal or joint custody, the parent making the move must give 45 days’ notice of such a move. The parent who is not moving then can petition the court to prevent the relocation of the child or children. In circumstances where a judge refuses to allow the relocation, it means the parent cannot move with the child or children but may move without them.

How Will a Judge Decide a Relocation Case?

The primary factor a judge will consider in these cases is how the move may have negative consequences for the child or children. Each side will be required to submit a statement of evidence for the judge to consider. The judge will then hold a hearing to decide. At the hearing, the judge may hear live testimony from both parents, relatives, teachers, friends, as well as any others with relevant testimonies such as guardian ad litem. The judge will look primarily at these considerations:

  • The reasons for the move.
  • Is the move designed to limit the visitation of the other parent?
  • Will the quality of life improve for the child or children following the relocation?
  • The future as well as the past and present relationships of the child or children with both parents.
  • The impact of one parent having less time and ability to have visitation with the child or children.
  • The sibling relationships of the child or children.
  • The community and home adjustment of the child or children.
  • If the child or children are mature enough, what is their preference?
  • Any other factors thought of importance enough to be included.

A good example of this in Arizona is when a trial court decided on preventing the Mother from moving out of state with her child as there was not a good reason for the move. In these circumstances, the woman’s new husband was looking for a job as a welder in the northeast United States. As the stepfather had no training or experience as a welder and no job to justify the move, the court decided it was unreasonable. In the end the court of appeals had the trial court rehear the case to consider other determining factors such as the effects on the child the move would cause.

The burden of proof is squarely on the parent of the child or children to establish the move is in the best interests of the child or children. While courts acknowledge the right of each parent to further their career and understand that may mean traveling, it has to be measured against the other parents right to keep a meaningful relationship with the child or children.

Source: Otterstrom, Kristina. “Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Arizona.” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 31 Mar. 2017, https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/child-custody-and-relocation-laws-arizona.html.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arizona? & Attorney Fees

On average, an Arizona divorce costs about $20,000. The average cost of divorce in Arizona without a Lawyer is $577. The average cost of divorce in Arizona with a Lawyer is $20,000. However, the average cost of divorce in Arizona can range from $15,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees.

Hiring a divorce lawyer in Arizona can cost as much as $550 per hour. The cost to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Maricopa County is $349.  The responding party will be required to pay $279 when filing their Response, or if both parties have agreed to a Consent Decree, the $279 is still due and owing from the responding party when tendering a consent decree for the court approval. Want to find a cheaper way to get divorced in Arizona? Arizona collaborative divorce only costs about $10,000 per spouse.

*Disclaimer – These fees are always changing and this is not an actual quote. If you need an experienced divorce lawyer contact Canterbury Law Group to start your initial consultation.

These costs may include:

  • Monthly Child Support
  • Monthly Spousal Maintenance
  • The Division of Property and Debt
  • Attorney Fees
  • Waste Claims For Reimbursement
  • Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • And more.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Arizona?

Getting an Arizona divorce can be costly. However, how much you spend will depend on the type of divorce. A contested divorce with protracted proceedings will definitely cost more than an uncontested one. While there are no set rates, it is possible to get an approximate cost estimate based on historical averages of what divorcees spend on their cases.

According to some estimates, the average divorce case can cost as much as a new car. However, people typically do not spend more than $10,000 per spouse.

While costs will largely depend on attorney’s fees, most people do not realize it right away, but there are other costs to consider as well. Divorces that go all the way to trial will incur third party expenses for such things as depositions, a child custody evaluator, a business appraiser, and forensic accountants to present financial data to court. If the couple is divorcing with children, then the divorced parents will have to attend a Parent Information Program class. If the divorce diverts to a private divorce mediator, then that will be an additional cost for the mediator who typically charges an hourly rate.

How Much Does A Divorce Lawyer Cost In Arizona?

Most of the expenses will come from the attorneys. Consider, for example, the average cost of a divorce lawyer in Scottsdale. Family lawyers in the Scottsdale area charge between $250 and $550 per hour on average. If you hire an immensely experienced lawyer in Arizona, the cost can be as much as $400 to $750 per hour. In addition to the hourly rate, some lawyers also charge extra for drafting letters, printing documents, travel time, mailing, stamps and so on. Divorce lawyer fees in Arizona can total a combined average of about $20,000 per divorce.  However, there is no assurance that fees come in higher or lower than this figure because every divorce is truly unique.

After attorneys, those filing for divorces should expect to pay for outside expert witnesses. The divorce case may require the services of a mental health expert, business accountant, real estate appraisers, and many others. Collectively, these expert witness fees can cost as much as the attorneys. Of course, not all divorces require experts to testify or issue expert reports. If two people with a shared business or significant real property get a divorce, the expert fees can be meaningful. So how much does a contentted divorce cost in Arizona? In some contested divorces, total costs can range from $25,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees.

Learn more about Divorce In Arizona

How Much Does An Uncontested Divorce Cost in Arizona?

Divorces do not have to go to trial if certain conditions are met. If the divorcing spouses agree on the material terms of the separation, or if one spouse does not participate in contesting the divorce, then the case does not have to go to trial. As a result, the costs will be considerably less.

The divorcing couple can go to the court and file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The court, depending on the county, will charge between $300 and $400 in filing fees. This makes the average court cost of an uncontested divorce in Arizona about $620. This does not include Arizona divorce attorney fees. If the two parties amicably divorce at this point, then only court fees will have to be paid assuming the parties are sophisticated enough to paper their own divorce.

If the divorcing couple needs legal assistance, for example, a divorce attorney in Scottsdale, legal fees at an hourly rate will have to be paid in addition to court fees. Some couples prefer to hire a mediator and legal counsel.  Mediators typically charge similar rates to attorneys. Overall, the fees of an uncontested divorce are far less in comparison to contested litigation.

If you are planning for a divorce, it’s best to talk to your spouse and amicably separate. Otherwise, you will have to be willing to pay a lot more for the lawyers to fight it out.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. You can contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your unique situation.

Learn more about Uncontested Divorce In Arizona

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost in Arizona?

On average collaborative divorce in Arizona costs about $7,500.  Arizona collaborative divorce costs ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 according to Equitable Mediation. However, Canterbury Law Group has navigated many collaborations for less than $10,000 in legal fees per spouse.  This is a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars that other couples inevitably can spend in a contested litigation in a court of law. Collaborative divorce is one of the peaceful divorce options, also known as amicable divorce.

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost in Arizona?

Divorce mediation costs about $7,500.  Divorce mediation costs in Arizona ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 in 2019.

What is the Average Cost of Divorce in Arizona?

The average cost of divorce in Arizona is $20,000. Arizona divorce costs ranged from $15,000 to $100,000 per side when including expert witness fees in 2019. The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer in Arizona can cost as much as $550 per hour.

How Much Does a Legal Separation Cost in Arizona?

The complete cost of legal separation can vary enormously, from as little as $1,000 to in excess of $100,000 when matters such as alimony, child custody and having to work through the disposition of a very complex marital estate are to be decided. So, you can imagine, there are many factors coming into play to determine the total legal separation costs. Read on to learn more about these factors.

Arizona Divorce Attorney Fees

In a divorce proceeding, a request may be made to the judge by one party that the payment of the attorney fees for that particular party should be covered by the other party in the divorce process. The court can order attorney’s fees paid when the party being asked to cover the cost was not represented by legal counsel or when both parties were represented by legal counsel. The importance of this is delays and errors that are unintentional yet caused by the pro se litigant can have on the outcome of the award of the legal fees of the other party that were incurred when these mistakes were being dealt with.

A.R.S. § 25-324 is an Arizona statute allowing the for the payment of fees due to an attorney in cases of marriage dissolution. The court does have the discretion to award the attorney fees against a specific party in some circumstances.

When it comes to making a decision regarding a fee award, the court is obliged to objectively make an evaluation of how reasonable the legal positions were adopted by the parties during the divorce proceedings. The subjectivity of a spouse’s intentions is not taken into account when it comes to the decision made by the court and neither is the party’s lack of knowledge regarding family law, divorce law, local rules and court procedures. The court will examine the available financial resources of both parties before making a decision. What is more, the court will also take into account the financial disparity between the two parties and compare the fees that are owed versus the assets of each party and so on. In three circumstances, though, the court shall award attorneys’ fees against a party:

  • The petition was filed by the party in bad faith
  • The petition submitted by the party was not grounded in fact or the law
  • The party’s petition was filed for some “improper purpose, such as to harass the other party, to cause an unnecessary delay or to increase the cost of litigation to the other party.”

Other costs that may be considered for award include but are not limited to the following:

  • Deposition costs and expenses considered to be reasonably incurred during the litigation process and any following appeal
  • If the court makes the decision that orders money to be paid directly to the attorney of the requesting party, that attorney will be responsible for the enforcement of the order

Sources:

  1. “Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.” Arizona Mediation, azmediator.com/uncontested-divorce-arizona/.
  2. “How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arizona?” Arizona Legal Center, 12 June 2018, arizonalegalcenter.org/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost-in-arizona/.
  3. 25-324 – Attorney Fees, www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00324.htm.

Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?

The Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale orPhoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

My Wife Cheated On Me And I Want A Divorce

My Wife Cheated On Me And I Want A Divorce

Law offices across America often hear the refrain of: “My wife cheated on me and I want a divorce!” Thankfully in most situations we can help. Read on to learn the best way to negotiate through this difficult transition.

One of the most mentally and psychologically painful experiences one can endure is when you discover your spouse has been cheating on you. The pain can endure for months as you come to terms with the situation. Understandably many men think the only option from this point is opting for divorce.

When Your Wife Cheats on You and You Want a Divorce

Your first port of call should be to speak to an experienced attorney. At this stage, you do not have to decide upon a course of action, but you should be aware of the options that are available. Similarly, just speaking to an attorney does not mean you will get a divorce, it just allows you the chance to obtain legal counsel regarding your current position. The attorney will explain the step by step process, should you decide on a divorce. They can also explain issues such as child custody and the division of property. You will also be made aware your divorce can go one of two ways, uncontested and contested. In short, a contested divorce is where the other party will not agree with the terms of the divorce you propose, and an uncontested divorce is when the other party does agree.

Does Infidelity Matter?

Since the advent of no-fault divorces, it means infidelity no longer has to be proven. However, the judge may take it into consideration if the acts of infidelity have had a negative financial impact on you. They may also consider the impact the infidelity has had on the child or children of the parents.

Property Division and Infidelity

Regardless of your wife cheating, it does not disqualify her from a property settlement. As Arizona is a state with a community property law, anything you acquired during marriage must be split evenly. The same applies to a division of debts, some will be considered separate and others will be considered community debts.

Alimony and Cheating

It is a fact, a wife who cheats will still ask for alimony in many cases. However, a court may offer her less alimony as it is based on financial need, if, for example, she has already moved in with her partner from the affair. You need to let your attorney know if the affair partner (or indeed any other party) is living with your wife before the divorce becomes finalized and of course, once the divorce is final.

Child Custody

A judge is always going to act in what they consider to be the best interests of a child or children involved in the divorce process. Sadly, courts will not always think your wife is a bad Mom, even if she has cheated on you. The only way something of this nature would come into play would be if her infidelity threatens the wellbeing of the child or children. For example, engaging in acts that can be described as sexual in nature around the children.

Sadly, many relationships can never bounce back after cheating. The damage is irreparable. But we are here to assist you in dealing with the relationship fallout following infidelity.

Source: “My Wife Cheated On Me and I Want a Divorce.” Maples Family Law, 17 Jan. 2019, https://www.maplesfamilylaw.com/divorce/my-wife-cheated-on-me-and-i-want-a-divorce/

Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?

The Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Parental Alienation in Arizona

Parental Alienation In Arizona

When a child or children are in the mix during a break-up or a divorce, the communications of one parent as well as their actions may purposefully undermine the relationship the child or children has with the other parent to the extent parental relationships can be permanently damaged. As a result, courts are rapid in their actions to address such behaviors and acts when they are exposed. Parents need to understand these issues and should avoid all negative behaviors. Therefore, it is important to learn the indications in the behavior of a child or children when they have been placed in a position they are being alienated towards the other parent.

Read on to learn more about the aspects of parental alienation.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Both judges are evaluators of child custody will seek the parent whose actions are positive and promote the relationships between the child or children and both parents. it is vital a parent never appears to be in a mode or retaliation or be vindictive or use financial issues as a weapon in matters of child custody. Therefore, parental alienation happens when a parent is guilty of causing a child or children to be negatively influenced towards the other parent of the child or children. On occasions this behavior can be unintentional but if often intentional and it is worth remembering parental alienation is not only a weapon used by one gender. Parental alienation is not gender specific any either parent is equally able to indulge in this destructive pattern of behavior should they wish to do so.

Parental Alienation Examples

There are many ways a child or children can be manipulated when one parent carries out acts of parental alienation. The goal is normally to separate the emotional bond a parent has with the child or children. The parent can do this by making negative comments about the parent directly to the child or children or to third parties but by ensuring the child or children can hear what is being said. These comments can have a great influence on a child or children who if they hear negative comments on a regular basis, become more credible and believable to the young minds who hear it. In the end, the result is often the child or children sees the other parent in the manner the way the accusatory parent has presented the situation to them.

Additionally, other members of the family may also join the accusatory parent in making alienating comments and actions towards the other parent in front of the child or children. These do not have to be outrageous statements, but just small comments and actions can help to cement negative thoughts towards the other parent. Nonetheless, with alienating, it is more often than not that not just one act or statement is negative, but usually the result of many small comments made over a prolonged period of time.

Signs of Parental Alienation

As we have discussed it is seldom one single action represents parental alienation but a series of actions and words and thoughts that manipulate a child or children negatively impact a parents’ relationship with their child or children. Undoubtedly some tactics used in parental alienation are extremely harmful but never more so than when a parent accuses the other of criminal activity. Especially when they do this in front of a child or children. This is a matter that needs to be acted on immediately. Here are some signs to look for that your child or children may be the victim of parental alienation:

  • Is a parent creating scenarios where the child or children misses when it is your time for visitation?
  • Has the attitude of your child or children changed from one of being pleased to see you to one of being angry towards you?
  • Does your child or children no longer use a familiar, informal name for you?
  • Does your child or children show signs of being uncomfortable around you?
  • Does your child or children only give very brief, monosyllabic answers?
  • Does the other parent turn up unexpectedly, creating drama and tension when there is no need to do so?
  • Does the other parent severely question the child or children following your visitation?
  • Does the other parent show resentment when you discuss enjoyable times with your child or children?
  • Does the child know matters regarding the divorce beyond what they need to know at their age?
  • Does it appear your parenting time is being cut short, altered or canceled at short notice?

Parental Alienation Laws in Arizona & Effect on Child Custody (Legal Decision Making)

Title 25’s legal decision-making laws were last modified a couple of years ago when the Arizona state legislature decided it will be the responsibility of the court to engage both parents in the raising of a child or children. In light of this, clearly parental alienation is recognized as being a cause of damage to a child or children. When one parent has an established history of using parental alienation, it is less than likely they will be able to come to an agreement regarding parenting time or putting the best interests of the child or children first. In some cases, not even the use of lawyers or mediators assist in getting to this goal.

In such circumstances, a judge will consider what is in the best interest of the child or children. To make that determination, the judge will review  Arizona Code section 25-403.

The court is going to examine what parent is more likely to allow frequent, meaningful and continued custody with the other parent. So parental alienation can definitely count against a parent in these circumstances. The court may decide the child or children should be spend additional time with the other parent who is not involved in the practice of alienation tactics. In some circumstances, this alienation crosses a line into custodial interference where one parent violates current custody orders. In Arizona, this is considered a felony offense with possible jail time.

Source: “Parental Alienation.” Stewart Law Group, https://www.arizonalawgroup.com/child-custody/parental-alienation/

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

7 Signs of Parental Alienation

7 Signs of Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Syndrome is the purposeful act of one parent with the purpose of distancing their child or children from the other parent. The aim is to dismantle the bond that unites the child or children with the other (usually noncustodial) parent. There can be many reasons for a parent to do this. Sometimes, it is done as a form of punishment as the instigating parent sees it as a way of delivering justice for some alleged act of wrongdoing. Sometimes the acts can be the result of a mental health-oriented personality disorder that comes to the fore in a stressful situation, preventing them from acting and reacting rationally.

Read on to learn more how parental alienation is something that may develop over a period of time and how the early signs of parental alienation syndrome can be identified.

Encouraging Acts of Anger Towards the Other Parent

A parent will be critical or talk in a dismissive manner regarding the other parent to the child or children. These may be blatant negative statement or more subtle jibes designed to erode the confidence the child or children has in the other parent. They may claim a new item of clothing or something that is needed for school cannot be purchased and the child or children are told this is because the other parent has decided to spend the money on someone else or something else. The whole purpose is to develop insecure feelings in the child or children towards the parent.

Subtle Attempts Promoting Anger

This often happens when one parent purposefully speaks poorly of the other parent to the child or children. Although they may not address the child or children directly, they will ensure the child or children is within earshot when making derogatory comments to other people about the parent. A more direct example would be to attribute to the child or children that the other parent did not care enough about the child or children or the marriage relationship. Essentially, the parent causes and then exploits the emotional turmoil the child or children experience.

The Sharing of Details

When a parent indulges in parental alienation, they often tell the child or children of the divorce process and report to the child or children the ongoing conflict between the parents, attributing the cause and the blame of the conflict to the other parent. This may include the discussion of financial problems, or blaming the other parent for legal issues, often with the emphasis of presenting how the scenario would be easier if the other parent was not so mean in their actions. This can cause the child or children to feel angry at the other parent and a feeling of responsibility of guilt.

Sending Negative Messages

A parent can utilize body language to show their displeasure regarding the other parent to the child or children. The child or children may witness the parent rolling their eyes, shaking their head, throwing their arms around and other physical actions when describing what the other parent supposedly said or did. Often this non-verbal communication has a large impact on the child or children.

Refusing to Co-Parent Properly

When one parent refuses to co-parent in the agreed way with the other parent and then blames that parent to the child or children it can cause a great deal of damage. Children may be told this is because the other parent is always angry or does not want to associate with the child or children.

Making False Accusations

Sometimes a parent may make unfounded accusations ranging from emotional, physical and even sexual abuse from the other parent towards the child or the children. This obviously is a very serious set of allegations to make and can have very dire consequences, both emotional and legal. When the child or children is too young to talk, a medical examination must take place as well as a psychiatric evaluation whenever there is an accusation or suspicion of abuse. The damage that can be done between a parent and a child or children can be permanent even if the allegations are totally untrue. Often the child or children are left with unresolved conflicts and nowhere else to turn. The child or children also have the issue they have little to no input into the conflict they are being involved in. it can be a horrendous price for the child or children to pay when one parent is lying regarding the other parent in such a serious manner.

Refusal to Communicate

If one parent cannot or will not communicate effectively to transfer information regarding the life and wellbeing of the child or children, it is at least a possibility this is an attempt for the parent to isolate the child or children from the other parent.

Source: Group, DiPietro Law. “7 Signs Your Ex Is Engaging in Parental Alienation.” DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, 10 Feb. 2016, https://www.dipietropllc.com/blog/2016/february/7-signs-your-ex-is-engaging-in-parental-alienati/

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

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