What Are The New Laws Regarding Paternity, Parenting Time, etc.?
One of the relatively newer laws is the change to A.R.S. Section 25-403.01. It says that “a parent who is not granted sole or joint legal decision-making is entitled to reasonable parenting time to ensure that the minor child has substantial, frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with the parent. This will continue unless the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.”
This new law is a strong signal to judges that the era of the every-other-weekend dad is over! Fathers, including those who don’t have any decision-making authority, should have the right to spend ample time with their children. In some states, the law goes further and creates a presumption that joint decision-making authority or equal parenting time should be ordered by the judge unless there is a good reason why it should not be.
Although the law is not quite there yet in Arizona, this is one of the changes that will come to the state in the near future. There have been some efforts to implement these presumptions in recent years, but the feminist lobby managed to ensure that those bills never made it beyond the first levels of consideration. Generally speaking, you don’t see many radical changes to family law from year to year.
Oftentimes, rulings are received from the higher courts — the appellate court — interpreting existing laws. Tweaks are also often made to existing laws to correct problems or perceived problems. One of the biggest areas of abuse that needs to be reformed is spousal maintenance standards. Right now Arizona is the “wild west” when it comes to spousal maintenance. There are very few standards regarding how much and how long a person should be ordered to pay spousal maintenance, which used to be referred to as alimony, to his ex.
Far too many men have been devastated financially because judges have such wide discretion on how much to give to the guy’s ex. Men are advised to spread the word that a premarital agreement — what used to be called a prenuptial agreement — should be a condition of agreeing to marriage. If she won’t sign a prenuptial agreement, then you may have some very serious problems on your hands down the road if a divorce occurs, especially when it is known that generally half of all marriages end in divorce.
What Are The Most Common Misconceptions People Have About Father’s Rights When It Comes To Divorce and/or Custody?
A lot of people assume that if a father wants plenty of time with his child, and if he is a good father, he will be treated the same as the mother. Unfortunately, too often this is not the case. There are too many judges who may subconsciously believe that the child is better off with the mother. This outdated belief is changing, though.
Over the past decade, many new judges have entered the family court system and many of these judges have much more modern views on parenting. They are much more willing to give fathers equal parenting time, at least more so than those who became judges decades ago.
Another misconception is that fathers are pressing for more parenting time in order to lower their child support obligation. This is almost always false. Although it is true that a father’s child support obligation will decrease with more parenting time, the main reason most fathers want more time with their children is so they can spend more time with their children. It’s that simple. They want to be an active part of their children’s lives. They want their children to grow up with both a mother AND a father. They don’t want to be relegated to the status of every-other-weekend dads.
Too many movies and television shows depict fathers as aloof buffoons who are only good for making money. This attitude needs to change. Studies have shown that children who grow up with two parents who are actively involved in their lives are better off than those who have one parent who is inactive. This is obvious. Sadly, these kinds of studies actually had to be done to prove the obvious.
Interestingly, many mothers are often motivated by monetary reasons. It seems that they want their ex-husbands to be a source of cash rather than a source of love and involvement in their children’s lives. This is a sad situation. A mother should be happy that her child’s father wants to be actively involved in her child’s life. It is not unheard of for a woman like this to drop her ostensible concerns about the father’s ability to be a good parent if he offers to pay more child support than the child support guidelines require.
If you need information regarding Laws And Misconceptions About Divorce, Paternity, Parenting Time, Custody Etc., call Thomas Law Office, PLC for a consultation at (602) 466-7055 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.