See Spousal Maintenance
The deficiency between the amount required under court order and the amount actually paid.
Arizona Revised Statutes. The written record of Arizona law.
Court-ordered payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent that are not tax deductible by the non-custodial parent, or includable in the custodial parent's taxable income.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Federal legislation that guarantees all persons covered by medical insurance the right, for a monthly fee, to continue coverage even if their employment or marital status changes.
Commingle means to mix the funds belonging to one party with those of another party. A spouse may turn a separate property asset into community property if (s)he commingles the property with property of the other spouse. For example, a spouse who inherits $5,000, which is separate property, will convert the money into community property if he deposits it into a joint account or into an account that is in his name alone, but into which his paychecks (community property) are also deposited.
Generally, community property is everything acquired during marriage except by gift, devise or descent (inheritance). See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-211(1) (2000). This means that earnings and property acquired by either spouse are viewed as joint property. Thus, salaries earned by each spouse during marriage are community property. It is irrelevant that the property acquired is in only one spouse's name. The philosophy underlying this is that marriage is a full partnership and that the contributions of a homemaker are equal in value to those of the bread-winner. This marital property includes pensions and retirement investments acquired or earned during the marriage, as well as equity in property built up during the marriage.
A custody evaluation is often the best way to determine which parent should have custody of a child. Evaluations are usually conducted by a mental health professional, sometimes called a Guardian ad Litem or court advisor, who makes recommendations to the court regarding child custody and visitation. The process may include interviews, psychological testing and home visits. The court follows the evaluator's recommendations in the evaluation in over 90% of custody cases.
See Wage Assignment
Guardian ad Litem
A court-appointed individual who, for the purpose of pending litigation, puts himself or herself in the shoes of a legally incompetent person such as a minor child. A GAL investigates the contested matter, uses her own judgment to determine the 'best interest of the child,' and reports her findings and recommendations to the court.
The State where a child lived with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of child custody proceedings. If a child is less than six months old, then the home state is the state where the child lived from birth.
When a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, income can be attributed to him because he is trained, educated, experienced and/or capable of earning income. This theory is most often applied when calculating child support.
Joint Legal Custody
Each parent has the same rights and responsibilities for making major decisions regarding the care and welfare of the child. Neither parent's rights are superior to those of the other. Even when joint legal custody is granted, a court may still direct that certain decisions be made by only one parent. Joint legal custody does not mean equal parenting time and does not automatically mean the parents share physical custody.
Joint Physical Custody
Refers to a parenting agreement where the parents both live with the child for an equal amount of time. For example, Mother has the child for one week and Father the next. It can also include parenting plans where one parent has the child for the school year and the other parent has the child for the entire summer. For joint physical custody to exist, parenting time must be virtually 50/50. Like joint legal custody, joint physical custody works best when both parents are able to put aside their differences and plan together for the welfare of the child.
Generally, this term refers to joint legal custody.
Refers to the right to make major decisions about your child, including education, healthcare and religion. Some types of decisions included in the right of legal custody are where your child goes to school, if your child gets surgery and what kind of religious training your child receives.
An informal, voluntary process allowing parties to work with a neutral third party to develop a separation agreement. In Pima County, the Family Center of Conciliation Court (FCCC) provides free mediation of custody and visitation disputes regarding minor children for parents going through a divorce, legal separation, and paternity or child support action in the Superior Court.
Arizona is a no-fault divorce jurisdiction. In fault divorces, the petition for divorce must state grounds for divorce, such as cruel and abusive treatment, adultery, abandonment and other types of misconduct. In a no-fault divorce, a spouse only has to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
The act of one parent illegally taking a child in violation of a court order. The federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act requires states to cooperate with each other in returning children kidnapped by a parent.
Visits of minor children with their non-custodial parent pursuant to stipulation, agreement or court order.
Latin for 'during the litigation.'
Petition for Dissolution
Petition for Divorce.
One who files a petition, which is a pleading wherein specific orders are requested from the court.
Refers to where your child primarily lives.
Men who were not married to the mother during the pregnancy and have not established their paternity. A man alleged to be the biological father.
Qualified Domestic Relations Order, pronounced quad-row, is a specific type of domestic relations order that recognizes the right of an alternate payee to receive all or part of a pension plan, which belongs to another person. Typically, the order assigns some or all a participant's pension benefits to a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent to satisfy family support or marital property obligations. QDROs often are used when one party has a large pension or 401K and other assets of the community are insufficient to equalize the distribution of property between the parties.
The person required to answer a petition for a court order.
Separate property is not considered part of the marital estate. There are two main forms of non-marital property: property acquired before the marriage (or in exchange for property acquired before the marriage) and property acquired as a gift or inheritance made by a third party to one spouse, but not the other (or any property acquired in exchange for such property). For example, if one spouse has $5,000 in cash prior to the marriage and during the marriage she buys stock in IBM using only that $5,000, the IBM stock is still considered separate property. If she uses that $5,000 plus any community funds, however, the IBM stock is now commingled. The burden of proving that an asset is separate property is on the claiming spouse.
Service of Process
The delivery of a petition or other pleading to those parties named in a court proceeding. It is the legal process of informing or giving notice, that a complaint or motion is pending. Process is served personally either in-hand or accepted by an adult at the recipient's residence or place of business. If the opposing party cannot be located, service is by publication in the local newspaper where the party last lived.
See Service of Process.
Sole Legal Custody
A parent with sole legal custody is responsible for making the major legal decisions about the care and welfare of the child. Although both parents may discuss the issues, the parent with sole legal custody has the authority to make a final decision if the parents cannot agree.
Sole Physical Custody
The parent with sole physical custody is the person who has responsibility for the everyday care of the child. Day-to-day decisions include what the children eat and wear, who they play with and when they go to bed.
Court-ordered usually monthly payments to a spouse. Payments are tax deductible by the payor and included in the payee's taxable income.
See parenting time.
A court order to a third party, usually an employer, requiring the employee's wages to be automatically deducted from a paycheck and assigned or paid to another party. Wage assignment is required in child support cases because it avoids late or missed payments.