Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

Parenting Time and the Holiday Season

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 by Scott Law

Scott Law Offices is focused on family.  The holiday season is all about family.  Holidays can bring a certain amount of stress for many people.  When two people share child custody in Arizona, that holiday stress is often magnified.  Avoiding child custody and parenting time issues during the holidays can reduce stress for all involved.  By doing so, the children can enjoy a great holiday experience with both parents.  Here are some things to consider:

Check Your Paperwork

Your court orders for child custody and parenting time are binding.  Oftentimes there are specific orders regarding holiday parenting time set forth in your parenting time orders.  Stick to this schedule unless and until the orders are formally changed.  Most parenting time arrangements can be modified so long as the parties have a mutual agreement in writing.  Before making any modification to the parenting time schedule, be sure to follow the procedures for modifications set forth in your court orders.


Be sure to check your custody orders for limitations on travel.  It is often the case that advanced notice must be given to the other parent prior to traveling out of State with the children.  Sometimes permission must be obtained from the other parent to allow the children to travel out of State.  Plan ahead and give sufficient time for any necessary discussions related to travel.  Also, you may want to consider allowing some form of video chatting between the children and the other parent while you are travelling.  This may ease any stress that the children and the other parent may feel from being away from each other during the holidays.

Trade Time

If you find that you need to keep the children for extra time over the holidays or hope to have the children on a day that is not designated to you in your custody orders, consider trading time.  You could offer the other parent extra days at any time during the year or possibly offer them a holiday that would normally fall during your parenting time.  Flexibility is important in any co-parenting situation.

Be Nice

Though it may be difficult, try to be nice.  A little bit of compassion and tolerance can go a long way.  This can alleviate stress not only for you and the other parent, but for your children.  Communication is often the key to avoiding difficult holiday disputes.  Having effective communication and playing nicely with the other parent will set a good example for your children and may help them to have a happy holiday.

If you have questions about your parenting time schedule or child custody orders do not wait until last-minute.  Avoid the stress of last-minute holiday disputes by addressing potential holiday parenting time issues well in advance of the holidays and court closures.  Contact a Scott Law Offices custody attorney for your free consultation.

Why Do I Need A Divorce Attorney?

Posted on: October 12th, 2012 by Scott Law

One of the most common questions posed to divorce attorneys is:  Why do I need an attorney?  Husband and Wife may agree to  the divorce and may even agree to the terms of the divorce.   Regardless of the agreements reached by the parties, a final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is required in every case.  This Decree, commonly known as a Divorce Decree, is a legally binding document and is an enforceable order of the court.  Both parties will be required to follow the orders set forth in the Divorce Decree and can be sanctioned for failing to adhere to it’s requirements.  A Phoenix family law attorney is able to draft a Divorce Decree that is tailored to the specific case and the parties individual needs.

A divorce attorney understands what is required to be included in the Decree and what special terms can be added to fit the parties circumstances.  The attorney, in drafting the Divorce Decree, is able to account for certain situations that the parties may have never considered and use specificity in an effort to avoid disagreements as to the interpretation of the Decree’s terms.  This can help to preserve an amicable relationship between the parties and avoid future litigation and expense.

For more information on Phoenix Consent Decree or uncontested divorce, contact Scott Law Offices.

I Was Served With a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Now What?

Posted on: August 13th, 2012 by Scott Law

It is never an easy thing to face the reality that your marriage is over.  When one party (the “Petitioner”) initiates court proceedings by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and serves their spouse (the “Respondent”) with the pleadings, the Respondent is often left with the question: Now What?  Here are some simple tips to follow when served with divorce papers:

  1. Keep track of the date you were served.  The court imposes a deadline the Respondent served with a petition for dissolution of marriage to file their response to the petition.  Failure to file a response within the court’s deadline can cause the court to issue orders without any input from the Respondent.
  2. Determine whether you will hire a family law attorney.  It is important to determine early in the proceedings whether you will hire an attorney to assist you through the divorce proceedings.  If you choose to have legal counsel, the attorney will likely want to draft their own response to the Petitioner’s petition for dissolution of marriage.  The earlier the attorney is brought into the case, the more familiar they will be with the facts of your case and the goals you have set.
  3. Consider your finances. Take a look at any joint bank accounts and keep a close eye on the funds that are removed from the account.  Keep accurate records of your spending out of any joint accounts.  You may also want to consider working with your spouse to divide the remaining funds in the joint accounts so that those accounts can be closed.
  4. Read any Injunctions that are put in place by the court in your divorce case.  Once the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed the court will normally issue an injunction.  An injunction prevents certain actions with regard to the marital property, insurance and any minor children.  An injunction is a court order and it is important that all court orders are followed by the parties.
  5. Consider sitting down with your spouse.  Oftentimes the parties are able to sit down early on in a case to discuss how each of them would like to resolve the case.  While many cases are contested and the parties are unable to reach any agreements, some divorcing couples are able to take control of their divorce case and work out agreeable terms that their attorneys can then memorialize in a final decree.  Parties should also consider whether a form of mediation would be helpful in their case.
  6. Do not forget the kids.  While learning that your spouse wants a divorce is painful, the affect that this decision has on the children of the marriage should be a primary concern of the parents.  Divorce can be devastating for the kids.  While the parents often consider what they could have done differently in the marriage to make it work, the children often do the same.  It is so important that children of a divorce are appropriately informed and that they have an outlet to express their emotions.  Counseling can be helpful and should be considered early on in the divorce case.

If you are served, do your best to stay organized, make sure that you calendar all court dates and deadlines and contact an attorney early to ensure that your rights are protected.

The Effect of Divorce on Children

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Scott Law

Divorce is obviously difficult for the divorcing parties, but the children of divorce often suffer in their own way.  Young children thrive in stable, predictable environments.  During and after a divorce, their environment is often far from stable and predictable.  One household is divided into two, new surroundings and new relationships are often introduced, and the children are no longer with both parents on a daily basis.  The children may feel frightened, confused, stressed and may experience separation anxiety.  It is important for the parents to make their children feel secure both during and after the divorce proceedings.

It may help for parents to try to adhere to daily routines for the children.  Normal morning and bedtime routines can help a child feel safe and secure in both households.  Continuing with their regular extracurricular activities as much as possible can also provide stability.  When one or both parents move to a new neighborhood, parents should encourage the children to make friends in the neighborhood so that they feel more at home.  Also, having a specific toy, blanket, pillow or other personal item that regularly travels between the parents homes may also provide a source of comfort.

While it is important to answer a child’s question honestly, it is also imperative to speak about the other parent in a positive way and avoid discussing court proceedings.  One should never argue with the other parent in front of the children and should make attempts to encourage the children to have a strong relationship with both parents.  Avoid using the children as messengers between the parents.   Never make the children feel guilty about enjoying the time they spend with the other parent.

Each family is different and every child has unique needs.  It is important to discover what works for your family and your children during and after divorce.  Always listen to the children’s concerns, let them express their feelings and, if necessary, seek the assistance of a counselor to assist them both during and after the divorce.

Communication with a Former Spouse

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Scott Law

Discussing issues during a divorce with a former spouse may be uncomfortable, but communication is key.  Open communication regarding issues with the children, scheduling changes, travel plans, etc. is important for effective co-parenting.  Here are some tips for communicating with a former spouse:

  1. Always abide by the orders of the court with regard to communication methods.
  2. Schedule a time to talk with your former spouse and focus on one issue at a time to effectively tackle the task at hand.
  3. During the divorce treat your former spouse in a respectful manner.  Avoid name-calling, cursing, blaming, criticizing and bringing up the past.
  4. Actively listen to what your former spouse is saying and avoid jumping in before they have had a chance to complete their point.
  5. Avoid calling the children “my child”, “my daughter”, etc. and remember to refer to the children as “our children”, “our daughter”, etc.

Some individuals have more difficulty than others communicating effectively.  It is always a good idea to seek out a counselor, mediator or parenting coordinator if communication with a former spouse is overly difficult.