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Let’s face it, there are some conversations that are just not easy to have, especially with your children…but how do you tell your kids that you are getting a divorce?! It might not be the easiest conversation that you will have, but here are some ideas that may come in handy if you ever need to have that conversation with the littles.

  • Work as one. Parents you should sit down together and explain the situation to your children. The divorce may be a joint a decision or it may not be, try to incorporate the word “we” into the conversation as much as possible. This is not the time for finger-pointing or blame. At the end of the day, it isn’t about you; it is about your children and their emotional well-being.
  • Engage with the family as a whole. Having this tough conversation with the entire family present is usually for the best, and then follow up with each child individually. If there is a concern of an older child taking the news hard or that their reaction may upset a younger child parents may want to consider talking to each child on their own.
  • Plan out your conversation. This conversation should not be made up on the spot, it should be thought out with specific and important messages that kids need to hear. For example:
    • “Mom and Dad have been having some problems. We have tried to work through them, but things aren’t working out.”
    • “Both of us love you very much. Nothing could ever change the love we have for you or the fact that we will both always be here for you.”
    • “We will always be your mom and dad; we just aren’t going to be husband and wife any longer. We are getting a divorce.”
    • “You are amazing kids. It is our fault that this is happening…not yours.”
    • “Even with things changing, we will always be a family.”
  • Expect mixed reactions. They may cry, yell, run to their rooms or even slam doors. Let them express their feelings regarding the news and be sure to provide them the space when needed and comfort them when wanted. You know your child best, be sure to let them know that you both are available to talk about any feelings or emotions they may feel during this time. Remember their lives are changing in a big way too.
  • Questions will be asked. Processing their emotions and feelings revolving the big news will take time to process. Expect your children to have many conversations with them as the separation and divorce continue on. Both parents should be open to answering questions and providing comfort to the children’s emotional needs. Be honest, let them know what you know and don’t know.

If you or someone you know happens to need an attorney to assist with your divorce, please consider Dodge & Vega, PLC. We are a team of friendly, warm and understanding professionals who can provide assistance.

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Jenna B., Dodge & Vega PLC

 

 

 

Dodge & Vega PLC founded by Ben Dodge, attorney at law. Ben is an Affordable Arizona Family Law Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Endurance Athlete, and Extreme Ultra Cyclist.

Ben Dodge, Esq.

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is.

Ben Dodge, Trial Lawyer and NITA Advocate

In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge Ben is one a very few lawyers trained in advance litigation skills through the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA) and has earned the designation as a NITA Advocate.

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Top 10 Tips For Co-Parenting

Are you tired of constant arguing and bickering with your ex about the kids, about their activities, about the parenting time schedule, about paying for the kids’ braces, about…everything really?

Or are you one of the lucky few yet to experience a breakdown in the co-parenting relationship and on the search for the secret of how to avoid such struggle?

No matter which boat you currently find yourself in, you are not alone! Arizona ranks as the state with the 13th highest divorce rate, and is 15% higher than the national average. But do not lament! There are a lot of co-parents out there and, lucky for you, many have successfully navigated the co-parenting waters and shared their experiences and tips with us. Here are our top #10 tips for effective co-parenting, in no particular order:

  1. Put pride aside and put the kids first. Center your decisions around what is best for your kids. They didn’t ask to be in this situation – and now it’s your job to advocate for them. One of the more common co-parenting squabbles we often see involve giving parental consent. It’s easy to automatically say “no” to anything your ex asks of you. I mean, they’re your ex for a reason. But is an automatic “no” the best decision for your kids? For example, let’s say your ex asks you to sign a permission slip to allow the kids to participate in afterschool painting classes on your ex’s “days.” If the kids want to do it, don’t hold back your consent out of spite because your mad at your ex. Let the kids paint!!

 

  1. Communicate – appropriately and respectively – directly with your ex (unless prohibited by court order). Both parents need to be aware of the kids’ schedule, routine, activities, appointments, etc. Be courteous in your texts/emails, business-like, and timely respond to message from your ex.

 

  1. Diffuse conflict. Do not communicate with your ex in an argument or when tensions are on high. Calm down and collect your thoughts first. Successful communication requires level heads and is not best done via a 2AM ranting text message

 

  1. Do not badmouth or bash your ex on social media. If other adults are involved, such as new spouses or older siblings, this applies to them too. Commit to positive talk around the children.

 

  1. Play nice and be nice – even when you don’t want to – and always when the kids are within eye or ear-shot. And make the child exchanges short and sweet – less opportunity to quarrel.

 

  1. Be patient. A successful co-parenting relationship takes time to nurture. Do not get discouraged if you still experience some bumps in the road. Co-parenting will challenge you.

 

  1. Learn to negotiate and compromise schedules. If you are flexible to your ex’s requests, chances are they will be more likely to be flexible to your requests. For example, your sister is flying into town next Friday and your kids haven’t seen her in years. But next Friday is your ex’s “day.” Do you think your ex will be more likely to switch “days” with you if you extended the same courtesy to them the last time they asked for a switch?

 

  1. Be on the same page. Strive for a unified parenting approach, with similar expectations and rules in each household (i.e., same bed time, homework rules, cell phone rules, etc.). Providing your kids with consistency, across both households, will increase their sense of security and safety, and overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Know when it’s time to seek outside input. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on big decisions, like school selection for next year, you may want to consider talking with your ex to a mediator. Mediators can be a great resource to settle these types of disputes without having to get the courts involved again, which we all know is a long and costly process.

 

  1. Practice empathy. Towards your kids and towards your ex. Try to put yourself in their shoes when navigating a sticky situation.

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Randi Partain, Senior Family Law Paralegal, Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq.

Ben Dodge, Esq., Affordable Arizona Family Law Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance Athlete, Ultra Cyclist

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Scott Disick, Tristan Thompson and Travis Scott all have one thing in common; can you guess what it is? That’s right! None of them have court orders regarding Parenting Time or Custody! All three of these men have children with one of the Kardashian sisters, but legally have no way to enforce Parenting Time or Custody. What does this mean for Khloe Kardashian now that her and Tristan Thompson have split up? Well, the couple has been living in both Ohio and California since the birth of their daughter, True, and one of the first steps in filing for legal action in a family law case is determining what Court has jurisdiction over the matter. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is an act that has been adopted by every state except for Massachusetts. The UCCJEA sets forth the policies for what constitutes a court’s child custody jurisdiction in a family law matter. In order to determine which state has proper jurisdiction the UCCJEA uses the following factors:

  1. The home state of the child is one in which the child has lived in for six months immediately before the custody proceedings began. If the child is under the age of six months, jurisdiction falls to the state in which the child was born.
  2. If no single state has jurisdiction based on item 1, jurisdiction falls where the child and parent have significant connections other than residence. This may include extended family ties.
  3. If a state has jurisdiction as defined by provision 1 or 2, it may decline to exercise this jurisdiction if it wishes to do so by transferring jurisdiction to another state.

Determining which Court has jurisdiction could potentially become a confusing and complicated battle on its own. If Khloe decides to mimic the parenting styles of her sisters, she may choose to not involve the courts at all and hope Tristan is willing to co-parent without court orders. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and of course will be a huge part of the upcoming season of Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s which premieres Sunday, March 31st.

Find out more about your family law issue in a free consultation.  Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Andrea Cadillo, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

 

 

 

Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq., Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance/Ultra Cyclist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Divorce and Taxes! Claiming Dependency Exemptions for Newly Divorced Parents

Tax season is in full swing! If you were recently divorced, there is a good chance this will be your first time filing individual income tax returns separate from your ex-spouse. Filing taxes is already pretty daunting for most, like me. But if you and your ex-spouse share minor children, there is also the added hassle of determining who is allowed to and supposed to claim the child(ren) on taxes this year.

As part of finalizing your divorce, the Court allocated the child dependency exemptions for income tax purposes between you and your ex-spouse. But how those exemptions were allocated varies depending on, among other things, each party’s proportionate share of the combined adjusted gross income. Typically, the Court will look at each party’s adjusted gross income and then allocate to each parent the exemptions(s) proportionate to their share of the combined adjusted gross income. The Court utilizes the Arizona Child Support Guidelines to determine each party’s adjusted gross income and the combined adjusted gross income. Follow the link below to the 2018 Arizona Child Support Guidelines for more information. As an example, let’s say the parties have one child, the Father earns $60,000.00 per year and the Mother earns $40,000.00 per year. The parties’ combined income is $100,000.00, with Father’s share of the combined income being 3/5 and the Mother’s share being 2/5. The dependency exemption would then be allocated using this fraction, unless the parties agreed otherwise, following a pattern that can be repeated in no more than 5 years. The Court could order that Father is eligible to claim the child in the first three out of every five years and Mother is eligible to claim the child in the final two out of every five years, or any other combination that provides Father the exemption three out of every five years.

So how do you determine if this tax season is your turn to claim the child(ren)? The first place to look is your Decree or most recent Child Support Order. There are other considerations to be aware of as well. Often times the Court will include in the Child Support Order a provision prohibiting a parent from claiming any exemptions if they were still behind on any court-ordered child support and arrears payments by December 31st of the year for which the exemption is sought. Yet other times the Court may order that the refund be intercepted and applied towards past-due child support. Unpaid medical reimbursements can also affect a party’s eligibility to claim dependency exemptions. It is important to carefully review your Child Support Order well in advance of April 15th. If you are unsure how to interpret your Child Support Order, call us at 480-656-8333 to schedule a free consultation.

http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/34/Forms/FamilyLaw/AOCDRS10H2018.pdf

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Randi Partain, Senior Family Law Paralegal, Dodge & Vega PLC

Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq., Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance/Ultra Cyclist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Right now, we are in the thick of the holiday season. For divorced families or families going through divorces, juggling holiday schedules can be quite overwhelming and emotional. They have to decide which parent gets to spend which holiday with the children, often leaving the other parent without his or her kids during the holiday and with a huge void in his or her heart.

Is there a way around alternating holidays with your ex? The short answer is yes! In Arizona, parties have flexibility in how they structure their parenting time schedules. They can spend as much or as little time co-parenting as they want. Even if there is a court-ordered parenting time schedule in place, if both parties consent, they can make changes to the schedule that are in the best interest of their children. So, for example, if 2015 is Mom’s year to be with the kids for Christmas per the court-ordered parenting time schedule, Dad can crash the fun if Mom is on board with that game plan. The kids would likely cherish the special time with both of their parents. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey provide a great example of how co-parenting during the holiday season could work.

Enjoy your holiday season with your loved ones!

As of this past summer, it looked like we could pretty much stick a fork in Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s marriage. They had signed off on their divorce, and they were just waiting for the judge to sign the final divorce decree. Now, even though the rumor mill alleges that the two are not “officially” together, they have 86ed their divorced and have decided to remained married for the time being.

You may be wondering to yourself, “Is that even possible?” Well, here in Arizona, the short answer would be yes. Like the cliché sayings “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings” and “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” a marriage is not over until a judge signs the final divorce decree. So, technically, if both parties get cold feet when boarding the next train to Splittsville, they could possibly make a successful motion to the Court to call off the divorce. Once the judge puts ink to paper, however, the divorce is likely a done deal.

James Harden must be one patient man.

Many of us have experienced the dark side of divorce either personally or by witnessing a family member or friend’s experience (or, in my case, practicing law as a family law attorney). We have seen the fights over assets, spousal support, and children. We may wonder how two people who loved one another so much could get involved in such a nasty legal proceeding.

A Canadian couple who announced their divorce on Facebook has shown the world that, though sad, divorce does not have to be nasty. Their civil approach to divorce is quite possible, even in the messiest of divorce cases. If you find yourself wondering if this is possible for you, the answer is yes, you can have a civil and amicable divorce. Here’s how:

1. Remember that the end of your marriage does not mean the end of your life as you know it. Life can, and does, go on. Remind yourself that you are an individual capable of loving and being loved even after your marriage ends. Maintaining a positive attitude will help you to endure the divorce process better than having a negative attitude will.

2. If you have children, it is imperative that you refrain from speaking to them about your divorce case. You must also refrain from speaking to your children negatively about their other parent. Not only could doing so damage your children, even if your spouse is in the wrong, but doing so could also damage your legal position. Your spouse could use your negative communications about him or her in court.

3. Be civil with your spouse. I know this is easier said than done. You will not help yourself by allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Keep your communications with your spouse limited to what is necessary. If your spouse becomes combative towards you, be the bigger person and ignore their offensive communications.

As painful as the divorce process is, it is a temporary, finite process. Going through a divorce does not mean that you are a bad person, nor does it mean that you are a failure. Do yourself a favor by being mature and civil during your divorce proceeding. Your dignity and sanity will thank you.

Do you have any tips on doing divorce the right way? Feel free to comment below.