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Tucson Family Law Blog

When couples don't eat together, divorce could be coming

When couples in Arizona no longer eat dinner together, they may be headed for divorce. This may sound like a radical statement or a major assumption, but experts say that it is often an indication that a marriage is falling apart. Of course, couples may start spending meals apart due to conflicting work schedules and shifts. However, they may soon find themselves spending time apart even on the weekends or other days off from work, especially if the spouses make little effort to offset the logistical problems posed by their work schedules. Essentially, the loss of shared time can be a reflection that both partners are growing apart from one another.

Eating apart isn't the only seemingly minor issue that can indicate that the end of a marriage is coming. When couples stop enjoying fun activities or laughing together, this can indicate that they no longer enjoy being in each other's presence. The same is true for couples that essentially end their intimate or romantic relationships. While they may still have a relatively stable home life, they may no longer feel a deep connection to one another that helps to keep a marriage strong and long-lasting. They may even find themselves staying late at the office or volunteering for business trips to avoid time spent alone with the other spouse.

How parents may reach child support and custody agreements

When parents in Arizona are going through a divorce, they might need to reach an agreement on child custody and support. However, this does not always mean having to go through the process of litigation. Parents may reach an agreement through negotiation or by using an alternative dispute resolution method.

Negotiating may be done informally by parents directly, with their lawyers or by the lawyers on behalf of the parents. Even if parents do not negotiate with their attorneys present, they may want to have their attorneys review their agreement.

Signs that a co-parenting relationship is healthy

While it may be difficult to do at times, parents in Arizona who have gone through a divorce know that it is more productive to focus on the positive sides of co-parenting as opposed to focusing on the negative. Focusing on what is actually working can help co-parents as they take step to improve areas that aren't working so well.

When parents have joint physical custody of their children, it is a lot easier to co-parent when established boundaries are recognized on both ends. It is better to focus on what a person can control and not what they cannot control. For example, unless it is specifically outlined in the custody agreement, a person cannot control when their ex-spouse dates someone new and introduces the individual to their children. What a parent can focus on is helping their children see positive ways to deal with disappointments.

How to survive a divorce

As Arizona readers who have been through it know, divorce can be a difficult experience for everyone involved. It represents the loss of a partner, possibly a co-parent and all the future hopes and plans spouses may have had for their marriage. Facing this can bring stress and depression, but analysts say there are ways to make the process more tolerable.

First of all, it's important not to go through divorce alone. It's better to turn to friends and family for comfort and support. Next, those going through a divorce may find it helpful to talk with a therapist. While friends and family are invaluable, a therapist can offer objective advice on processing feelings. In the meantime, it may be helpful for a soon-to-be ex to go out, be social and make new memories.

Study examines which newlyweds more prone to divorce

Many people expect that when Arizona couples marry, their happiness in the relationship will almost inevitably decrease over time. They may expect that when the honeymoon period is over, couples grow apart and begin to fight more. Small things that may have initially not bothered the partners may begin to become sources of conflict. However, some research has questioned the idea that marital dissatisfaction grows with time. While relationships may change, it seems that the happiest couples when they initially marry are far more likely to stay happy together over the years that follow.

Researchers wanted to study marital satisfaction and indicators of divorce across a range of populations. They noticed that many studies examining these issues focused primarily on white middle-class couples, and they were interested in the effects of socioeconomic status on marital happiness. They surveyed the 431 couples living in a lower-income area in 2009 as newlyweds and delivered the survey again each year until 2014.

Financial considerations for divorcing couples

When Arizona couples are ending their marriage, they often put undue stress on themselves by worrying too much about finances. Much of the stress can be attributed to the anxiety of not knowing how things will work out. A realistic focus on the likely outcomes and their financial consequences can actually relieve stress in many cases. Any person's financial situation can be broken down into income, expenses, assets and liabilities.

Assets as a category include bank accounts, cash, money-market accounts, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, certificates of deposit and other things that have value. Art holdings and retirement accounts are also assets, and these are less liquid. For people who need liquid capital more than pure value, it's important to try to get the more liquid assets in divorce. Different assets have different tax consequences in divorce as well. Retirement funds are usually pre-tax, for example, meaning that a person will have to pay income tax on distributions.

Common myths about divorce

Some people in Arizona may believe a number of myths about divorce. These myths can be harmful when they mean that people going through a divorce are misled about finances or child custody. For example, a couple may assume that having separate bank accounts means their finances will be considered separate, but this is not the case. In Arizona, a community property state, most assets acquired since the marriage are considered shared property.

Another misconception is that mothers always get custody. Under this assumption, fathers may not even try for custody. However, courts make a decision about custody that is in the best interests of the child. A father who has been the main caregiver for the child may be awarded custody. Similarly, men might also assume that they will not receive alimony. This has also changed as more women have entered the workforce and their salaries have increased. Men who have stayed home and cared for children may be paid spousal support until they are back in the workforce.

The reasons why an individual may choose to file for divorce

Women initiate 80% of all divorces in Arizona and throughout the United States. There are many reasons why this is the case. For instance, if a woman doesn't feel an emotional connection to her partner, it may lead to problems communicating. When individuals feel like their spouses don't meet their needs, it can lead to resentment and other negative feelings. Eventually, these feelings become difficult or impossible to overcome.

In some cases, those who feel as if their needs aren't being met at home will seek a new partner. This may occur either before or after asking for a divorce. For some, their perception of marriage and what marriage is actually like are two different things. After a couple marries, they may stop doing or saying nice things for each other.

Keys to co-parenting successfully

Studies have shown that children who spend time with each of their parents do better socially, psychologically and academically. Those who are with each of their parents for at least 35% of the time have stronger relationships with both of them. For divorced parents in Arizona, the goal of co-parenting should be to move toward the highest good of the children. Among the most important keys to co-parenting are establishing clear boundaries and open communication, being consistent with rules, sticking to a schedule and maintaining respect.

Clear boundaries are required between the parents with regard to issues that don't involve the children. Co-parenting is not a means to remain tied to the other parent; it is an arrangement to help the child in ways that sole custody often can't accomplish. Open lines of communication might include texting, email, phone calls or other methods. The key is to have a way to communicate honestly with the other parent on issues involving the kids.

DNA paternity testing: alleged versus biological evidence

In Arizona and across the United States, divorced men may need to take DNA paternity tests to prove or disprove biological fatherhood. Parental questions are important issues affecting the upbringing of children. Establishing paternity is significant for a child conceived out of wedlock because an unmarried man is not automatically the legal father of his partner's child. Instead, he is called the baby's "alleged father" unless a DNA paternity test shows that he is the biological father. Additionally, the law does not require an alleged father's name to appear on the baby's birth certificate.

A positive DNA paternity test determines that a formerly alleged father is now a biological father. In this case, the court issues an official order requiring that the father pays child support as a way of caring for the child's upbringing. The biological father is also a potential custodian of the child. States can order paternity testing in various ways.

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Law Office of Michael A. Johnson, P.C.
177 N Church Avenue
Suite 311
Tucson, AZ 85701

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