Before their divorce in 2014, Mandy and Drake Brooks conceived three children through in-vitro fertilization. During the IVF process, the couple produced six additional embryos that are currently in cryo-storage.

Those embryos are a major point of contention in the Rooks’ marital dissolution. Mandy wants to preserve the embryos for possible use in the future. Her husband wants them destroyed. Their agreement with the fertility clinic explicitly states that the courts would make the decision if the spouses could not find agreement as part of their divorce.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, and Steve Harvey and Marjorie Bridges have made it work so far. On the other hand, Brangelina and the Jenners failed to fare as well under the brightest of Hollywood spotlights.

Getting life back on track is important for any divorced parent moving on following a divorce. Over time, many ex-spouses choose the track of remarrying. Those new relationships often include a new spouse with children from a previous marriage or relationship.

In past generations, it was nearly always presumed that custody of children would be awarded to their mother in a divorce. In fact, many family scenarios involved fathers who spent most of their time “at the office” and rarely interacted with their families at home. Nowadays, however, paternity issues are quite different, and many fathers in Arizona and elsewhere wish to maintain active roles in their children’s lives; in fact, some pursue full or shared custody in court.

The court makes final decisions regarding custody, visitation and support. However, most judges take parents’ comments into consideration along with several other regulating factors. For instance, ages of children, how much time each parent spent with children prior to divorce, employment status and specific needs of children are other issues that may affect the court’s ultimate ruling.

Divorce is seldom easy, as anyone in Arizona who has been through it may attest. When children are involved, emotions tend to be highly charged on both sides. Any type of communication breakdown can make matters worse, preventing swift resolution to problems regarding child custody, visitation and other parenting-related issues. When one parent accuses another of being unfit, things can get pretty ugly. Such seems to be the case for reality tv star Jules Wainstein and her estranged husband, Michael.

The latter has apparently told the court that the mother of his children has a history of drug abuse problems. Currently, the two share custody of their kids. Since divorce proceedings have gotten underway; however, they have entered a contentious battle over the issue.

Everyone has said or done something they later regret. For those of us in a child custody dispute, a regrettable action can have a harmful impact on our case. Rap artist Ludacris recently learned this lesson, but the evidence against him came from an unlikely place: the music studio.

Ludacris was in court fighting for custody of his 1-year-old daughter when the mother’s attorney unexpectedly read the rapper’s lyrics from a song named Dancin’ Dirty. The song describes a sexual encounter that begins with Ludacris pouring a girl strong drinks before provocatively dancing with her.

National Parents Organization (NPO) recently released its 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card, a national study grading each state on how well its child custody statute promotes shared parenting. After examining each child custody statute, researchers assessed its effect by measuring how many cases actually resulted in shared parenting plans.

Arizona did relatively well according to NPO’s research, one of eight states to earn a B. No state earned an A. Arizona’s neighboring states did poorly: New Mexico earned a C+, Colorado a D+ and Utah, Nevada and California were assigned a D.

We know that all divorces are not cordial. Some couples going through a divorce are very emotional. Parents may be angry, spiteful, guilt-laden or even clingy. But those feelings don’t have to spill over onto your children and your parenting time.

Arizona parents should keep in mind that if they want their children to be healthy and happy, they need to prevent their own emotional feelings from taking over their children’s lives. Here are some tips that parents should remember when going through a controversial divorce.

When deciding on parenting time and future legal decisions for a minor child, the Arizona court system first allows each parent to create a parenting plan stating how they plan to handle everything. The court will then compare the parenting plans and see if the parents can agree on every aspect. The court will settle any disputes between the couple on any portions of the parenting plan, and it is the court’s goal to ensure that the accepted plan is in the best interests of the child.

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