Phoenix Child Custody Lawyers Near You

Looking for the Best Child Custody Lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona?

Experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers provide knowledgeable advice and skilled representation which can assist you in your pursuit of a fair custody, or joint custody arrangement. Resolution and visitation disputes in Phoenix child custody cases require parents to act rationally in their child’s best interests at a time when they are often facing overwhelming stress.

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Arizona Child Custody Details

Every year in the U.S., approximately one million children see their families changed through divorce. The ongoing health and emotional well-being of these children depends greatly upon how their parents communicate and interact after the break-up. In our experience, child custody matters are among the most contentious in family law. To help your child through this potentially life-changing event, you need to understand the basics of how physical custody works in Arizona law. Whether you’re in Phoenix, or anywhere else in Arizona, you need the help of an expert divorce attorney when dealing with child custody issues. We can help guide you along the way – with our help, you’ll know you found the best child custody lawyer in Phoenix or it’s suburbs.

What Relationship Will You Have with Your Child?

child custody lawyer phoenix

Your child is as much a part of your separation or divorce as you and the other parent are. Even though you expect some challenges, when your child’s welfare and upbringing become the Court’s focus, the stress can be overwhelming. Stay calm. Be rational. Take matters one at a time. But don’t be caught unprepared for family court proceedings.

The typical child custody case may involve mediation, child custody evaluation, proposing a parenting plan, calculating child support, and serious negotiations with the other party. Will you win the relationship you desire with your son or daughter? This is what the proceedings will determine.

Make Custody Choices in Your Child’s Best Interests

Is anything more important than your child’s future? Start building your case by reading everything you can about Arizona child custody law. Although we touch on numerous points in this article with links to in-depth information on our website, you should also take our FREE Arizona e-Custody Course. Request our Arizona Child Custody Essentials book. Keep reading, podcasting, and searching our blog for actual case summaries.

There is a big learning curve to child custody. Make use of precious planning time by taking this one small step – talk to a child custody attorney. Knowledgeable advice and skilled representation from an experienced family lawyer will put you on track to a fair, desirable custody arrangement. Attorneys with Stewart Law Group represent spouses in divorce as well as unmarried parents seeking custody. We assist clients on the full range of family law issues: Legal decision-making, parenting time, child relocation, parenting plan modification, child support, and more.

Note: Although “child custody” is a commonly used term, Arizona law specifies legal decision-making and parenting time when addressing children’s issues.

Constitutionally Protected Status as a Parent

What legal right do you have to custody? The U.S. Constitution protects a parent’s right to custody of his or her minor child as a substantial fundamental constitutional liberty interest. A parent’s right to raise his or her child should not be interfered with unless necessary to protect the child’s welfare. Against relatives or third parties, the natural parent is entitled to custody in an initial proceeding. The exception? A finding of parental unfitness.

Most contested custody cases are between biological parents, whether married or unmarried. There is no legal presumption favoring one parent over the other because of the parent’s or the child’s sex. Nor does Arizona recognize a maternal “tender years” preference to raising young children. In practice, however, a judge may be more inclined to place a baby or young child with the mother, particularly if Mom has been the primary caregiver.

For parents who are not married to each other, paternity must be established before obtaining child custody. In this case, it’s always advised that you consult with a paternity lawyer. We can also help with navigating the complex issues of unmarried step-parent rights.

Legal Decision-Making, Parenting Time, and Parenting Plans

joint child custody arizona

To begin communicating your wishes for custody, you need a working vocabulary. Three essential legal terms are defined in Arizona law:

  • Legal Decision-Making
  • Parenting Time
  • Parenting Plan

Legal decision-making

Legal decision-making is the parent’s right and responsibility to make non-emergency legal decisions for the child. The four pillars of legal decision-making are “education, health care, religious training, and personal care decisions.” A.R.S. § 25-401(3). In some other jurisdictions, this is referred to as legal custody. These responsibilities may be shared (joint legal decision-making) or made only one parent’s obligation (sole legal decision-making).

What if parents with joint legal custody were to disagree? Even though jointly responsible for making major decisions for the child, one parent may be granted final decision-making over one of the four pillars. Say, for example, the parents have joint legal decision-making, but the father makes final decisions on the child’s education while the mother makes final decisions on religious upbringing. (Are you the Dad? Do some reading about father rights in Arizona law.)

Parenting time

Parenting time is the specific day, weekend, week, holiday, or school vacation that the parent has the child with him or her. This represents the parent’s access to the child according to the schedule in their parenting plan. Your parenting time responsibilities include making routine child care decisions along with sheltering, feeding, and clothing the child while with you. Be mindful that joint legal decision-making does not ensure equal parenting time.

Seldom is a parent denied parenting time access. If the court is convinced a risk of harm or danger to the child exists, then a parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, criminal activity, child abuse or neglect, domestic violence or mental health problems may require restricted, monitored, or supervised parenting time. The supervisor could be a relative, family friend, social worker, or mental health professional. Depending upon the circumstances, supervised access could take place in the visiting parent’s home or at a neutral location, such as the office of a family counselor. Restrictions on access are often phased-out by the court’s order once the parent has established his or her stability and reliability around the child.

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Parenting Plan

When spouses agree on parenting issues, they include those terms in their parenting plan. Every plan must be in the child’s best interests. The plan is submitted to the judge. Once approved, the plan becomes binding and is enforceable. If parents do not reach an agreement, however, then a custody trial will be necessary. The Court will impose a parenting plan on the parties. The parenting plan is best described by what it contains. At a minimum it should:

  1. Designate whether one parent will have sole legal decision-making or they will have joint authority.
  2. What each parent’s rights and responsibilities will be over the child’s personal care, education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
  3. A schedule for parenting time, including holidays and vacations.
  4. A procedure for parenting time exchanges detailing where exchanges will occur and who will provide transportation.
  5. A procedure for resolving proposed changes, disputes, and alleged breaches. Private counseling, mediation, or use of court conciliation services are all possible.
  6. A procedure for periodic review of the plan.
  7. A procedure for parent communications regarding the child (how, when, and how often).
  8. A statement that each party has read, understands, and will abide by the notification requirements of A.R.S. § 25-403.05(B) regarding convicted or registered sex offenders or dangerous crimes against children.

See A.R.S. § 25-403.02.

There’s good reason for parents to start working toward as many agreements as possible early in the process. The more issues they resolve, the less is left to judicial discretion. The less uncertainty, the more stability for the child. What happens if parents agree to almost everything in the plan? The court decides any missing elements for them. The judge also has discretion to include additional terms when deemed necessary to promote and protect the child. The court could order supervised parenting time, for instance, or random drug testing. Every child custody case is unique, so the parenting plan should be nicely tailored to fit the family’s needs.

Child Custody Jurisdiction in Arizona and Federal Law

There are state and federal statutes limiting a court’s jurisdiction and authority to enter orders in child custody proceedings. Arizona’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) provides the test for establishing a child’s “home state” for purposes of asserting Arizona jurisdiction, among other things. On the federal side, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) likewise addresses jurisdictional issues when custody is of interstate concern, preventing another state from entering enforceable custody orders when Arizona has already established home state jurisdiction over the child. With enforcement generally, the parent who fails to comply with the family law judge’s temporary or permanent custody order may be held in contempt of court and sanctioned.

The time frame for bringing claims or motions involving legal decision-making and parenting time extends throughout the child’s minority. A custody petition may be filed independently or may be joined with another domestic relations action, such as a divorce or legal separation. After a custody order is entered, the Court retains continuing jurisdiction until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school if older. Legal decision-making or parenting time orders may be modified or vacated under certain circumstances.

Voluntary Parenting Plan Agreements

Statistics bear out that custody arrangements are best determined by mothers and fathers through parenting plan agreements (or co-parenting agreements). Joint child-rearing can truly be cooperative when parents own their plan. A voluntary written agreement in the child’s best interests – where both parties are totally invested in the plan – offers the greatest opportunity for successful co-parenting and a happy, well-adjusted child.

ADR and Settling Child Custody

Arizona’s child custody proceedings consistently emphasize alternative dispute resolution (or ADR). Expected to give their best efforts, parents are encouraged to work together, settle differences reasonably, and arrive at a voluntary co-parenting arrangement if they can.

A custody trial may be necessary because spouses remain at loggerheads or simply cannot decide what they should do. Custody litigation is particularly stressful, more costly than settlement generally, and ultimately puts the judge in control. Fortunately, only a small percentage of family law cases actually go to trial. That is because numerous ADR opportunities are made available to parents – namely mediation, negotiation, and settlement conferences. Arriving at a mutual custody agreement also helps the child adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle without the anguish associated with litigation between parents.

Most parents compromise on custody without judicial intervention. Prior to permanent or temporary orders, spouses have co-equal rights to the physical possession of their child. Until there is a written document establishing the parents’ respective rights and responsibilities, custody arrangements are largely in flux and can be changed on a whim by either parent. Informal custody arrangements may work for a time, but they are not enforceable like a court order is. They can create additional problems, too. What are the alternatives when, for instance, a parent relocates with the child without notifying the other parent? Or one parent obstructs the other parent’s access to the child for some reason or no reason?

Parents have much to think about. There are practical matters, financial decisions, and emotional realities as well as child centric basis. To help you along, check out our child custody FAQs and look through the governmental guidelines.

When Custody Trial Is Necessary

When parents are not in agreement regarding their children, the Court must decide all outstanding custody issues at trial. The judge considers a range of factors, such as the parents’ stability, any child abuse or neglect, known drug or alcohol problems, and much more.

Several principles apply in custody litigation. First, determining what is in the child’s best interests requires in-depth examination of parents’ past and present conduct, the best predictor of how they’ll behave in the future.

Second, the judge has wide discretion in determining custody. The judge’s broad discretion stems, in part, from observing firsthand the demeanor of both spouses and all witnesses. The Court will also rely heavily on the child custody evaluator’s report.

Third, review of the family law judge’s final rulings and orders is very limited. Appeals courts are unwilling to substitute their judgment of the facts for that of the judge who personally presided over the proceedings.

Fourth, the child is certainly the focus of the proceedings, but his or her participation is not a given. Letting a child participate at trial could be traumatic. The child may be too young or emotionally fragile to comprehend what is happening or the reasons for the questions asked. You will learn about the impact separation and custody proceedings could have on a child when you participate in the parent education program class.

Arizona Child Custody Factors

The child custody factors mentioned earlier cover matters that could affect the child’s physical, mental, emotional, moral, and spiritual development. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with these factors and discuss details with your attorney. The child’s age and developmental needs are very important to the analysis. Each parent’s caretaking abilities, home environment, and time actually available to spend with the child are examined. The Court considers the child’s relationship with each parent and with siblings. A.R.S. § 25-403. The weight, or importance, associated with each factor is discretionary for the judge.

Can the child decide which parent should be the primary custodian and caregiver?

In Arizona, a minor child does not choose which parent to live with. Children do not always know what is best for them and frequently change their minds. Choosing between Mom and Dad also puts too much pressure on a youngster. But that is not to say a teenager’s or tween’s desires should be ignored. The child’s wishes are a factor, but are not determinative. The judge may interview the minor in chambers to ascertain which parent the child would prefer living with. A.R.S. § 25-405(A).

How to Modify Child Custody

One year after a joint legal decision-making or parenting time decree is entered, either parent may request its modification. There are two exceptions to the one-year rule:

  • Modification can be sought anytime if the child’s environment is endangering his or her physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. This includes domestic violence, child abuse, criminal conduct, and more.
  • Modification may be sought after six months if the other parent has failed to comply with the custody order. (This does not apply to a military spouse who is deployed or mobilizing.)

What is the legal basis for modifying the court’s custody order?

The parent requesting custody modification must show how a substantial and continuing change in circumstances has occurred or the court will not hear the matter. A.R.S. § 25-411. Additionally, the UCCJEA allows consideration of requests for modification if occurring in the state where the child has an established residence. This is meant to prevent forum shopping and custody-motivated child removals.

Don’t Confuse Past Due Child Support with Parenting Time

Too many parents are under the mistaken impression that one parent’s failure to pay child support on time justifies the other parent withholding parenting time. Wrong! Child support and child custody are two distinct legal issues – parenting time is not dependent upon timely payment of child support. One parent cannot withhold support or suspend the other party’s parenting time without obtaining a judicial order. In fact, refusing access violates the court’s custody order. What parent wants to be held in contempt?

Request enforcement by the appropriate child support enforcement agency or seek enforcement through the court. Never take matters into your own hands.

See Other Common Child Custody FAQs Here

What Our Clients Have to Say:

“When I was first confronted with the possibility of divorce I became aware of the complexity of the legal proceedings. Robert Howard and Stewart Law Group came highly recommended from my colleagues in the medical community that have been through similar situations. Mr. Howard helped me navigate all of the “twists and turns” of child custody and the financial end of the divorce. Mr. Howard used his many years of experience to protect my assets and my precious parenting time with my children. If you are looking for a well run practice such as Stewart Law group and a honest, attorney with integrity to fight for your rights during a divorce you have come to the right place.”

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Stewart Law Group
202 E Earll Dr Ste 160
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 602-548-3400
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Phoenix Child Custody Lawyers

For more information, contact our nearest law office today! Stewart Law Group has caring, experienced child custody attorneys in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Tempe and Gilbert.

Serving Maricopa County, Pinal County, and all of Arizona, our legal team is committed to providing all of our clients with the highest quality of representation. To speak with one of our family lawyers or schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney, call 602-548-3400, fill out the online contact form, or email your question to and we will respond quickly and discretely.


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Video Transcription:

Hi, this is Erica, Maryland. I am the founder of Perfect Legal Video and I am very excited to have with us today. Attorney Kristin banfield. She is a family attorney out of Stuart Law Group in Phoenix AZ and they work with family Law and they do some estate planning as well. But today we’re going to be talking about a very important topic and that is what is the difference between legal decision making rights in parenting time?

As well as who gets the most parenting time? Thank you so much for joining us today Anne. Welcome to the show.

Hi there, thank you.

Chris, that I appreciate you coming on today. Can you tell us first of all, we want to define a few things because I know when we were talking before you said that most people are asked questions about you. Know how much parenting time am I going to get? And it’s an emotional.

Situation for them. They probably didn’t realize they were going to go through a breakup.

Also want to mention that this could have to do with parents that are not going through divorce. They were just together an are breaking up and happen to have children. So let’s first just define what is parenting time.

Yes, so parenting time is what I think a lot of people use to refer to is just test city. So we used to use this kind of blanket catchall terminology of custody. Now Arizona uses the terms legal decision making authority and parenting time.

So legal decision making authority is who is going to make those big decisions for the kids that don’t happen often. But when they do they have an impact. So medical, educational, religious upbringing. But schools that kids go to what doctors they see, what treatments they have, things like that and parenting time is really the one that I think most parents are thinking of when they they use the term capacity, which is who is the child going to be within like what’s our weekly schedule going to look like? Holiday schedule, vacations?

Things like that.

I mean that is really important and a lot of people start off. I don’t know a lot of people, but sometimes people start off, you know, really friends and this is going to be amicable and then later on like people move on into other relationships all of a sudden things get ugly and I know that it is so important to have as much of this figured out as possible before you make your final decisions.

I don’t know if you would agree with that or not.

Oh yeah, the the new relationship conundrum that happens so and I have people who say, you know, so obviously if you’re married and you go through a divorce but parenting plan, legal decision making, that’s that’s part and parcel of the divorce. That’s always going to come with it. But then you have the.

Other scenario you mentioned where the.

Parents were never married and they were just breaking up an A lot of them think, well, we don’t need to go through the court system, we can just, you know, work this out together. Because we’re amicable. You know this is a mutual breakup, or.

Fine, and you know, kind of based on what I’ve seen. You know when I see those people a few years down the road when they end up coming to me because of my experience with that, I can say.

Meanwhile, you’re amicable while you’re getting along. While everyone’s on the same page, why not just drop this down? Why not? You know, make it official, because if you are amicable, there’s no reason to litigate. There’s no reason you know, for court hearings and things like that, but we could go ahead and put it down in the parenting plan, the stipulated order, and get it signed and filed.

Get the judge to sign off on in. It’s done and what helps is.

Avoid the mess on the road because yeah, that new significant other that comes in that can sometimes so rented. Thanks for sure.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean and then you don’t know how they’re going to be. And there’s like there’s a whole the whole another animal that’s born.

So if you could tell us a little bit about what’s the difference between the legal decision making rights and parenting time.

Sure, so legal decision making like I mentioned, so that’s who’s going to make the decisions on medical, educational, religious upbringing. Arizona leads very heavily towards blank legal decision making. They really want both parents involved in making those decisions. For the kids, there are reasons one parent might get sole legal decision making. Typically those are the outlier cases, those are ones where there’s been a significant history of domestic violence, or ones where one parent has mental health or substance abuse issues. That kind of render them incapable.

Of making those decisions in the best interest of the kids, then you might see a so legal decision making order. There is one that kind of falls in between. It’s called joint with final where it is joint legal decision making that parents are expected to discuss these things amongst each other to try to come to a solution amongst themselves.

But if one is.

You know they can’t after a good faith effort it’s really good thing that hurts reset decision together if they can’t reach a resolution, the court might invest final decision making authority in one parent to go ahead and make the call so that the parents don’t have to keep bringing those decisions back to the court to have the court decision.

Now, parenting time. Like I said, it’s that’s who’s spending time with the kids in wet so that.

You know your weekly schedule. Do we have a week on week off schedule? We have a 522 schedule to get our is one parent, then we primary and the other parent has and every other weekend schedule. What are we looking at there in Arizona? We do lean heavily towards equal parenting time as well as the joint legal, but I’d say not quite as heavily as a legal decision making. There are many reasons where an equal parenting time schedule just might not be in the kids best interests. Sometimes logistics, the parents just.

Live quite a distance from each other, or maybe one parent travels a lot with work and is gone quite often, and sometimes those other factors can kind of come back into the mental health, substance abuse. You know things like that. They get involved. That might sway it off of.

Equal parenting time and maybe sometimes movie extreme. Sometimes the parent might be supervised parenting time.

I mean, those are. I mean, I think it’s great that they are leaning toward equal because you know both parents you know could be stellar parents and enrich and benefit the children in different ways. But in both in good ways. So I mean that is always a positive thing, and I know that the courts have the kids best interests in mind.

You know, and I’m glad too, that they look at, you know whether the parents are fit or not. And like you said, there’s all those reasons where they may or may not be, and they may develop the reasons later. So you know, that’s that’s really, really great. Can you tell us about any myths that might surround parenting time and legal decision making rights?

Yeah so one.

Myth that kind of still prevails today, even though I haven’t really seen it in the, you know, decade. Plus, I’ve been practicing is that you know, moms or women are still given a preference in the family court with legal decision making her parenting time.

I can tell you that still prevails today on both sides. I have some moms who will call me and some others that will call me and sometimes they are discouraged by what I have to say and sometimes their encourage depending on which side I’m talking to you.

Because I’d say Arizona courts have done just a great job, it really becoming gender control on those issues. So I’d say it’s a that’s a myth that’s really gone by the wayside. Now there might be reasons to give one parent preference, but I typically only see that in very young children. If a child is is newborn, sometimes you have parents split before the child is even born, so you could be in court almost right away with a newborn child.

You know you have a mother who is breastfeeding. She’s on maternity leave, things like that. Then yeah, I think that even a father should acknowledge. It’s probably in that child’s best interest that mother remain primary parent for a bit of time. You know, until we’re able to kind of get that child a little bit older. Maybe we in the child from breastfeeding things like that.

Now I know that you have your clients and their children’s best interests in mind when you’re working with them, and sometimes your clients can get in their own way.

I wonder if you have any tips for people that are starting this process while there is just a regular breakup, or whether it’s a divorce. To really make sure that the process goes smoothly and that they don’t do anything stupid to mess it up.

Yeah, that’s a great point. Getting in your own way uh-huh so and sometimes I can kind of sense that even from my original phone call with somebody is I could see maybe their frustration with the other person is getting in the way of their reasoning. As you know how to behave as a parent. So those are some things that we definitely talk about this listen, you know, maybe Mom or Dad isn’t, you know they’re doing things you don’t agree with, or things like that, but there’s better ways to handle it than what you’re doing, so let’s you know.

Back that train up a bit.

Because, you know, one very common thing we see in family court is the use of that communication between the parties. Coming in as exhibits. So emails, text messages, phone calls, things like that. So parties really need to pay attention to how they’re communicating with the other parents.

One of those old.

You know, rules of thumb about hey write the email, but then maybe just save it, walk away from it for a minute and then come back. You know when you’ve got a cooler head and make sure it still looks OK to send it. Now obviously in the age of text message, that’s a little bit different to do. People just kind of start texting, you know they.

Don’t take a pause, they don’t take a break.

Make sure you know if you’re that upset that you’re about to reply in anger.

To set the phone down, I mean it’s rare that an response is really needed right at that moment. So whatever you need to do to be able to respond in a way that basically you won’t mind a judge saying. And that’s just how you have to look at communication when you’re dealing with these situations is.

Just expect a judge to see it sooner or later and will you be proud of the way you acted. Or will you have to apologize for it?

It was explained to me when I went through my divorce that divorce is like a business transaction an you are just basically dissolving of a business. You need to be professional in a way, but I’ve also heard that there are there are some softwares out there that you can use to you know both keep track of things, keep traffic and track of extra expenses and that sort of thing but also have a component where it will.

Look at your emails and you can communicate through there and and tell you how you’re coming off.

Yeah, those do exist and for some extreme cases the courts sometimes order the parties to use those afterwards.

It’s funny you say to treat it like a business. My undergrad degree was actually in business and I worked in the business world for a while before law school so.

I love spreadsheets. I love analyzing. I love doing all that kind of stuff to me though that really comes in handy when I’m dividing assets and debts when I’m looking at numbers for things like spousal maintenance and child support.

Parenting time, though I tell you that’s that’s a pretty hard one to separate the emotion and even be, you know, as apparently self.

I understand that when I’m dealing with my clients, but it’s not so easy to separate your emotion from, you know decisions dealing with your children so you know shy of actually investing in those different type of software programs. Or you know the the email formats that will actually, you know, flag your emails before you send them and say no, no, you might want to change this.

Is you know some people use shared calendars. You know Google Calendars are free and you can make him shared so you don’t have to use that. You know you don’t have to pay for different software programs for them, but they could really come in handy because when you have parents who don’t communicate extremely well, or maybe you just have multiple children with very busy schedules and it can be frustrating, you know, trying to coordinate all of that shared calendars.

Can work wonders for parents to have to keep track of all of that.

I mean, those are some really great suggestions that you have as far as keeping track and and also I mean obviously just speaking with a calm voice through your your text in your emails. I mean I have found reason to just.

Before I hit send call my sister read it out loud. You like don’t send that.

You gotta have somebody that you can bounce things off of. Would be, you know, make sure that you’re being reasonable when you’re communicating so.

I wonder, do you have any suggestions for parents that are helping their kids transition?


living in a house together and being a complete kind of family to just going to these change circumstances.

Yeah, I mean gosh it, I mean it.

All parents handle these things so differently. All families handle it so differently. Some parents are much more open about talking with things with their children, and you know, some.

Just aren’t as emotionally available and some maybe can’t be emotionally available because there so you know, kind of wrapped up in their own emotions regarding the breakup of the divorce that it makes it hard for them to separate their anger with that when talking with the child. So I have many clients to kind of proactively will put their children in counseling, just you know, to have that neutral person somebody to talk to about these feelings that they’re going through that are related to the divorce or the breakup.

And that way you know they have really a professional to help them learn how to process those feelings, how to deal with them in a healthy manner, how to set appropriate boundaries if needed with either parent.

And I’m a huge proponent of that huge proponent of counseling. For sometimes from my clients, you know I’ll have clients where.

You know, listen I I’m part counselor myself. In this role you know, I I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about things that aren’t.

Technically, legal advice, and that’s fine. You know, that’s that’s what I’m here for to help them through this hard time.

But sometimes I do suggest that they actually get somebody who’s trained to do that to help them through that part, because it’s a lot to go through.

And similarly their kids are going through it too and.

You know they say kids of different ages process these things differently. You know, younger kids might not seem to be reacting to the divorce, but they could be acting out in other ways. And really, that is a reaction to the changes going on in their lives.

Kids around that 10 to 12 age range tend to internalize it more. They don’t talk about it a lot, so really, having a therapist or counselor who’s trained in dealing with children of divorce.

Yeah, I think that’s a great gift to give to your child during something like this.

And of course we were speaking earlier and that is something that usually both parents have to agree on. Unfortunately for some, for some that they don’t both agree on it. But yeah, I mean I, I agree with you, that is is one of the most stressful things that an adult can go through. Nevermind children. So I think it is a gift Ann and I absolutely can see where you’re saying as a lawyer. Sometimes you end up being the counselor Ann.

I, I mean honestly like really having an attorney when you’re going through this process is just having the voice of reason and somebody that can give you your options and help you come up with the best strategy. Come up with the best outcome for you and your family.

Yeah, I agree and I could tell you, gosh, I’ve had so many consultation phone calls with people were at the end of it. You know, I I sometimes worry that I’m overwhelming them with information I’m getting there. Someone. I’m OK. You don’t have any more questions or you OK and so many conversations that ended. I just feel so much better having talked to you about this now and having these answers because people. Unfortunately they come with too many assumptions.

And or they might have, you know, their soon to be ex telling them. Well, I talk to an attorney who said XY and Z and that might be true. It might not be true right? So just talking to your own attorney, your own advocate can really help a lot, even if it’s just for the consultation phase, so that you know what your rights are and maybe what they aren’t, what to expect, what not to expect. Things like that. And then you know what areas are worth. You know, really fighting for.

I absolutely I it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. When I hear people say they didn’t consult an attorney because, you know, I have friends who have never collected several friends that have never collected any child support and they clearly needed it and include clearly had the children most of the time or even half of the time. But they weren’t making as much as their spouse was, and they could have used to help. I mean, there’s.

There’s just so much to it I.

It’s better to have an attorney I. I would never try to do anything where the law is.

Is involved and I’m not a lawyer, so I’d rather have somebody that could consult has years and years and years of practice, and they’re in court all the time, so I would say that if anyone watching themselves or know somebody who might be going through a family law situation and might want some advice or find out what the best strategy might be in every situation is unique and different and I.

I can guarantee you’ll never be sorry for asking for help and for asking someone who was an expert in this area about what you should do in your particular situation.

Right, absolutely yeah. It certainly doesn’t hurt just to get the consultation and see and.

Hey, if I got it tells you everything you already know then OK but I highly doubt that’s going to be what happened because almost every constancei have people.

You know?

Even if it’s not always news that they want to hear, and if it’s not good news, you know for say it’s complete them to know and they say, OK, I feel so much better knowing this now.

It’s true, I mean, I know when I sat down I I was shocked by 50% of the questions and I was shocked that I didn’t know the answers to a lot of the questions. I mean, some people have no idea what the family income is or what the assets are or.

There, there’s just.

So many situations people don’t know where they’re going to live. People don’t know if they should move out immediately. I mean, you give some of the most valuable advice. It’s Worth 10s of thousands of dollars more than what you charge, because honestly, if you make a mistake in the beginning, sometimes you’re going to be paying exponentially for that later in more ways than just your pocketbook.

Yes, that’s absolutely true. It’s always better to get.

It done right the first time.

And you know, I know we may live in fact legal decision making in parenting time now, while those things are modifiable in the future, you could always file the modify, enforce things like that.

That’s not an easy feat, you know. You really have to show a change in circumstances that’s really affecting the child. In order to get that done, it’s so much better just to get yourself a really good solid parenting plan to start with.

And then you would only have to modify him more extreme situations, not just situations well. Well, we didn’t think about this, or we didn’t think about that. Well, I mean, that’s my job, that’s what I think about all the time with these cases, that’s you know.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do. That’s what I had to do is. Think about all those things that you haven’t thought about yet to make sure we get it covered.

And your clients are certainly lucky to have you because I have found you to be very empathetic and intelligent, and you know, if I were in your area and going through a breakup, I would absolutely give you a call. Having heard a lot of your insights and you know it’s nice to have the voice of reason when you’re going through some of these situations, so I hope that the audience will keep that in mind when they are going through a situation that.

They may be too emotional to make sane and rational decisions on, and you can be their voice of reason.

Yep, absolutely, that’s what I’m here for.

Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. We’ve really enjoyed meeting you and speaking with you and we hope that you’ll come back again soon.

Absolutely anytime.

Right and thanks so much to the audience for listening. Will look forward to seeing you all again soon when we talk about more, family matters and and how to resolve those and what are the best ways. And we really appreciate everyone. Listening will see you later.

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