Untying the Knot: Divorce in Phoenix

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Family | 0 comments

It is generally much easier to tie the marriage knot than it is to untie it, and that is true for divorce in Phoenix. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state but it is also a covenant marriage state (one of three in the US which also includes Louisiana and Arkansas), which means that you don’t need grounds to file for the dissolution of a non-covenant marriage, but you do need one such as adultery or abandonment to dissolve a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is a special kind of legal tie that a couple can choose when getting married. Less than 1% of Arizona marriages are covenant marriages.

Divorce law requires that one spouse is a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before the petition can be filed. If there are no hindrances to the petition, it will still take 60 days before the court can hand down a divorce decree.

A divorce in Phoenix means that the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage will be divided equally between them because Arizona is a community property state. Assets and properties acquired before marriage and after the divorce are considered separate. Community property includes personal and real estate property, income, debts, and other financial obligations. Marital misconduct i.e. adultery has no impact on property division.

Alimony is not automatic; when petitioned, the court may grant spousal support if the petitioner can prove a lack of self-sufficiency, the needs of a child make employment impracticable, the petitioner supported the spouse’s education, or the marriage lasted 10 or more years. The amount will be determined by the court based on the circumstances.

Child support and custody is perhaps the most emotional and personal aspect of divorce in any state. In Arizona, the court will decide if one parent will have sole physical custody or if both parents will have joint physical custody. According to the website of the Law Offices of Daniel Jensen P.C., one parent will typically be required to pay child support (which the court may order to be garnished from the parent’s wages) until the child turns 18 if there is no significant physical or mental disability, but the court will take into account a number of factors before a decision is made.

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Ear-Pinning Surgery for Kids and Teens

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Cosmetic Surgery, Family | 0 comments

Many adults prefer to teach their children that their individuality is something to be celebrated. While this is often true, the truth is that glaring physical deformities such as protruding ears can cause children to be the target of vicious bullying.

Some experts estimate that by the time a child is five or six years old, if his or her ears are still clearly large, the child will probably never “grow into” them. Therefore, it’s not surprising that about 60 percent of all ostoplasty procedures—or ear surgeries—are performed on patients aged 13 to 19.

These surgeries can fix many aesthetic ear problems, including asymmetrical, big, or oddly shaped ears. The surgeries usually only take about 2 hours, with 4-6 weeks healing time and about 2-3 months before the final, permanent results become apparent.

Ostoplasty can often have life-changing benefits for children and teens. The surgery can reduce bullying, allowing the child a completely different experience at school. Some effects of ostoplasty for kids and teens include:

  • Heightened self esteem, and a willingness to make new friends
  • Better grades; this may stem from the child’s belief that they are more accepted at school
  • More regular school attendance due to reduced bullying

For a child that is being regularly bulled for his or her “bat ears” at school, an ostoplasty may be the difference between becoming a successful social butterfly or spiraling into seclusion and depression. If your child hates his or her ears, a simple ear-pinning surgery may be the perfect solution.

Before committing to one surgeon, it may be wise to research many different board-certified doctors before deciding on one to perform an ostoplasty on your child.

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Bankruptcy: Joint Filing vs. Separate Filing

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

When a couple gets married they bring many facets of their lives together, including finances. Couples will often share bank and credit card accounts. Unfortunately amongst other things, debt is commonly a financial situation that develops over the course of a marriage. Sometimes couples facing financial hardship are forced by looming property foreclosure to make the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.

Couples can file for joint bankruptcy or separate bankruptcy. The definitive decision typically depends on which option allows the couple to discharge the most debts while retaining the largest amount possible of their personal property. To explain it in different terms, couples want to maximize the debts paid off while simultaneously minimizing the assets lost.

According to the website of the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC some benefits of filing for joint bankruptcy include a more efficient application process, cheaper application fees than filing two separate cases, and additional protection from telephone debt collectors. Despite the advantage of frugality and efficiency, filing for joint bankruptcy has some disadvantages. A couple is ineligible for joint bankruptcy when one spouse has previously filed for bankruptcy. Additionally joint bankruptcy is not an option if one spouse has a large secured debt that exceeds the accepted limits.

If couples decide to file separately, it will cost people more money in lawyers’ fees, application costs, and court fees. However, since joint filing compromises the credit of both spouses, separate filing can protect one spouse from the negative effects of bankruptcy. To understand which type of bankruptcy will be the most advantageous, it is extremely useful for couples to consult a lawyer.

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Paternity and Divorce

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Family | 3 comments

Paternity is often comes into question during a divorce proceeding. Even a loving father can end up questioning the legibility of their child while the divorce happens. It may seem an unfair and unexplainable situation, but it happens and dealing with it is the only way to get through it.

DNA testing is the best way to prove paternity. There are several reasons why establishing paternity is necessary during a divorce. Fatherhood entails a lot of responsibilities, especially for minor children. For one, they are the ones who need to support the child or children until they come of age. Child support, visitation rights and establishing a strong and long-lasting relationship between father and child/children are just some of the benefits that can be acquired through a proven paternity test.

When the issue of paternity is raised during a divorce proceeding, it is always done through legal methods in order to protect the wellbeing and the rights of the child. A father refusing to get a paternity test shall be issued a court order to do so, and it should be given early in the divorce to help the process go a smooth as possible and prevent it from complicating other things.

Once the issue of child support surfaces during the process of divorce, a court ordered paternity test is a given. It can be requested by either parent, the child support office, or it may be the court’s initiative itself.

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Marijuana Possession: A Violation of US Federal Law

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Crimes | 1 comment

A drug-related crime is among the list of serious offenses a person can commit. Thus, the US federal law inflicts higher fines and harsher punishments to people who voluntarily commit it. There are different ways by which a drug crime can be committed; these include manufacturing, selling, distribution and / or delivering of drugs, drug paraphernalia possession and use, and possession of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine or marijuana. The punishment for drug crimes may vary per state.

Among the many types of illegal drugs in the US, marijuana is reported to be the most widely used. Also referred to as herb, grass, kif, pot, Mary Jane, boom, weed, chronic, reefer, ganja, skunk or gangster, this mixture of shredded, dried leaves, seeds, flowers and stem of the plant cannabis sativa contains a chemical known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Although marijuana contains a lot more other chemicals, about 400 in number, it is THC that is the main psychoactive ingredient.       

Marijuana can be smoked or mixed in food, like cookies or brownies. Its effect, which is immediate when smoked, lasts up to three hours; when eaten, the effect can last longer, but will also take more time before it is felt.

Marijuana possession may be classified as either Class C felony or Class A misdemeanor. A misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense that is less serious, has three classes, A, B and C. Class A misdemeanor is considered the most serious of the three, with a penalty of not more than $4,000, a jail term of up to one year or both. A felony, on the other hand, is a serious offense; Class C felony, though, is the least serious of its types. The standard punishment for this type of felony is jail term for at least one year and a day to a maximum of 10 years; the court may otherwise include a fine of up to $10,000 if the offender already has a previous record of Marijuana, Second Degree under his or her name. A felony conviction will also take away your right to vote, get certain state occupational licenses and own a gun.

If a person has been accused of a drug crime, it is important they seek skilled legal representation to defend their case. However, after being found guilty, an expunction lawyer may be more effective.

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The Difference Between Non-Dischargeable Debts and Dischargeable Debts

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Financial Issues | 7 comments

One common misconception about bankruptcy that a number of debtors fall for is that filing for bankruptcy will eliminate every single one of their debts. Unfortunately, bankruptcy can only discharge certain types of debts. Every debt is classified as either dischargeable or non-dischargeable, and it is important that you understand the difference before you file for bankruptcy.

While bankruptcy can help eliminate a number of your debts, it cannot get rid of all of them. As the name suggests, dischargeable debts are those that can be eliminated, or discharged, while non-dischargeable debts are ones that cannot be eliminated by Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A skilled and experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you differentiate between these two types before filing for bankruptcy so you can assess your situation and make the best possible decision for your financial situation.

There is a large difference between dischargeable and non-dischargeable debts, as non-dischargeable ones are those that the debtor will be responsible for paying even after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. According to Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code, some common types of non-dischargeable debts include the following:

  • Debts that aren’t listed when you file for bankruptcy
  • Student loans
  • Child support and alimony
  • Any financial compensation you owe in a personal injury settlement
  • Penalties from traffic tickets or crimes
  • Taxes

While a debtor will still be responsible for paying these debts after a bankruptcy filing, there are other types that they will be able to eliminate. The following are the types of debts you can discharge by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

  • Credit card debt
  • Small claims judgments
  • Medical bills

Although credit card debt is dischargeable, any debt accrued suspiciously close to the bankruptcy filing date or charges considered luxurious may not be discharged. Speaking with a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine whether filing for bankruptcy is right for your particularly financial situation due to the limitations placed on discharging debt.



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Child Support: What Parents Need to Know

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Family | 2 comments

Child support is often one of the most challenging issues for divorcing parents. Aimed at ensuring that the various needs of the child are met even after his or her parents have separated, child support requires one parent to provide the other with financial assistance to help pay for the costs of raising their child.

Support to their biological child when parents decide to separate is both a legal and moral obligation. Thus, the non-custodial parent, otherwise called the obligor, will be ordered by the court to pay a specified amount monthly or periodically to the parent who has child custody, the child’s guardian or caregiver, or to the state, in the absence of any specific individual.

In promoting and enforcing child care, the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 paved the way for all states to list the factors that need to be considered when deciding child support issues, such as how much financial support the non-custodial parent ought to pay monthly. Though these factors differ from state to state, the more basic ones include:

– the parents’ present income (can be earned income, portfolio income or passive income). Income includes salaries, dividends, commissions, overtime pay, and all other monetary forms of earning.

– custodial parent’s living expenses and the living standard of the child before the divorce.

– the age and needs of the child and the capacity of the parents to make a contribution.

Child support is intended for the child’s basic needs: food, clothing, shelter and education. Though it is usually required by the court only until the child turns 18, additional contribution can be required by the court intended for the child’s other activities and interests.            

 To learn more about child support payments and what you may be entitled to receive, consult with an attorney.

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