Arizona Family Law Rules

arizona family law rulesFamily law court is a unique part of the American judicial system.  Because of the nature of this area, interactions between the law and the family, it can be an intense environment.  This blogpost will look at the unique aspects of Arizona family law.

Arizona Family Law Terms and Forms

A lot of terms get thrown around in court.  Knowing the definitions is important to be well informed if you find yourself in family court.

  • Divorce: Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage that results in a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Legal Separation: This is the process of determining the legal rights and responsibilities of spouses without terminating the marriage and results in a Decree of Legal Separation.
  • Parenting Plan: A document that establishes when a child will be with each parent as well as how legal decisions regarding the child will be made.

Arizona’s Court website provides essential forms for family law actions that can be filed in the county in which one of the spouses resides, provided that at least one of the spouses has lived in Arizona for at least 90 days. If the action involves a minor child, the child must have lived in Arizona for at least six months prior to filing.

Arizona allows a person to prepare a family law action through the AXTurboCourt website. The forms for family law action include paternity forms, establishing legal decision-making (custody), parenting time, and child support, dissolution of marriage with and without children, and legal separation.

All of these forms can be filled out by the person filling.  It requires a person to state whether or not your are representing yourself or by an attorney.

For example, a paternity form asking for legal determination of a parent will have the person filing sign an affidavit swearing under oath that the person is the parent of the child or children. It asks whether there is a birth certificate that state the parentage or if there has been a DNA/blood test that has already been performed. It asks whether the parties are living together or whether they were married at the time of birth or any time during the ten months before the birth. Another question asks if the two parents in question were not living together but had sexual intercourse at certain listed dates of the conception of the child.

Other information is also required to be submitted, including names and birth dates of any minor children, legal decision making preference, drug and alcohol convictions, domestic violence convictions, and parenting time preference.

Parent Education

In 1997, Arizona proactively implemented legislation that required all new divorcing parents of minor children and unmarried parents of minor children in custody disputes to attend an educational program that focuses on children needs.

In 2012, the Parent Education Program was amended and included seduction on the impacts of divorce on adults and specify a list of information the court must include in education programs. These programs must include information on emotional, psychological, financial, physical and other short-term and long-term effects on adults and children.  The programs must also include options available as alternatives to divorce, resources available to strengthen or improve marriage, the legal process of divorce and options for mediation, and resources after divorce.

These programs are a minimum of two hours and a maximum of six hours. The Arizona Supreme Court provides parent education program contact list if you find yourself in this position.  This contact information provides the phone numbers and address of county courts in Arizona.

Click here to find out about how an Arizona woman can use fertilized embryos without ex-husband’s consent.

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