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Family Law

Crimes can be stressful and hard on families. You can find information here about steps you can take to address common family law issues as well as information about services that can help you.

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More in this section

Crime can have a serious impact on the entire family, not just the victim of a crime.

Sometimes, crime victims and perpetrators are in the same family and issues of divorce, legal decision making (custody) and parenting time (visitation), and safety are sometimes related to a crime. This section covers the laws in Arizona related to divorce, legal decision making and parenting time, and child support.
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In general, legal issues with a spouse or between the parents of children are referred to as family law. In Arizona, family law matters are heard in county Superior Courts.
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Ending a Marriage

In Arizona, married persons may petition the court for a legal separation (separation) or a dissolution of marriage (divorce).

Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time

Legal decision-making is the current, legal term for what used to be “legal custody” or just “custody” in Arizona. Legal decision-making is the authority to make decisions about a child or the children’s major life issues. This includes things like education, medical care, and religion. Parenting time is the current, legal term for what used to be "visitation" or the amount of time a child spends with each parent.
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Child Support

Being a victim of crime victim can affect your ability to provide financially for your children. You may need child support to help provide for your children, or you may no longer be able to afford to pay the same amount of child support. This section covers how to ask for child support or how to modify the amount of child support you pay or receive.

Paternity

Some crime victims may need financial help for their children, and protection for themselves and their children. If the parents were not married when the child was born, paternity must be established before it is possible to ask for child support or legal decision-making and parenting time orders.
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Guardianship

Guardianship of a child is a legal relationship created by a court, where a non-parent (a guardian) is given the legal right and duty to care for a child (the ward).
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Family Resources and Help