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Carlton Law Office
Helping People With Family Law Matters For 14 years

Help With Issues Of Child Custody And Child Support

There are few issues more important in a divorce to a parent than the details of their child custody and child support arrangements. It is important because the decisions you make during your divorce and what is placed in your child custody agreement and child support obligation will control much of your life until the court modifies it or your children become adults.

Understanding How To Create A Parenting Plan

Working with our lawyer at Carlton Law Office to develop a parenting plan that will work for your family is paramount. This agreement will describe, in detail, how you and your child's other parent will interact for the remainder of your children's childhood.

Cooperating in the creation of this agreement is important because you will need to be civil to and work with your child's other parent for the entire period the agreement is in force. We can help you with mediation to develop life strategies and an agreement that will encourage cooperation and help your children thrive. Call our Phoenix office at 602-730-7561.

Decision-Making Authority

One element of your child custody agreement will be the decision-making authority. This used to be known as custody. This is the ability to decide important questions concerning your children such as their religion, health care decisions, education and even issues like tattoos or piercings. In the vast majority of cases, the court will award joint decision-making authority to both parents.

Factors for not granting joint decision-making authority are complex, but involve issues of violence, abuse, criminal activity, substance abuse, ability to work with other parent or any other issue that would make it not in the best interests of the child.

Parenting Time

The second, major element of an agreement will be the parenting time, which used to be known as visitation. This will be the detailed schedule of where the children will spend their time and where they will sleep each night. You will need to allocate holidays, birthdays (theirs and yours), vacations, camps and any other specific event where you wish to share time with your child.

Arizona strongly encourages shared parenting time with as close to an equal split of time as possible, but you need to figure out exactly which schedule will work best for your child or children. A schedule that is appropriate for a toddler may not work with a teen. Similarly, if one parent must travel a great deal for work, an every-other-week schedule for parenting time may be unworkable.

You can make the parenting time schedule as detailed as you like, but the overall plan must still be in the child's best interest. If you cannot reach an agreement with your former spouse on parenting time, the court will make the decision for you and impose a plan. If you can cooperate, you will likely obtain a better plan.

Child Support Calculations

Child support can be a difficult and contentious issue. Of course, it should not be, as the money is for your children and every parent owes their child reasonable support. The Arizona child support guidelines use an income shares model to calculate child support. When you meet with us, we will explain how this applies in your specific situation.

This amount will vary for every family, as it is based on the income of the parents, the number of children, the amount of time they spend with each parent and any other special conditions that apply. The amount a friend or relative pays or receives is irrelevant for what you will pay or receive. The calculation can be very complex and our attorney can help you understand how it is determined.

Call Us Today

Call our child custody attorney in Phoenix for help with any aspects of your parenting plan, decision-making authority and parenting time. Carlton Law Office can also help with child support questions, so call 602-730-7561 or use our online form to request an appointment.

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