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Archive for the ‘Child Support’ Category

Divorce is for Adults

Posted on: June 6th, 2017 by Scott Law

Marriage……People meet, fall in love, get married, have children and often grow together from young adults into full-fledged grown-ups.  Whether the marriage is short or spans several decades, divorce is not something that anyone enters into a marriage anticipating.  When a marriage reaches a point where divorce is inevitable, emotions run high and mistakes are commonly made.  Divorce is for adults, and it is important to remember that adults make mistakes too and it is okay.  Some common mistakes attorneys see and hope parties can avoid are:

 

Bad Behavior on Social Media and Text

 

Your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media posts can be seen by your friends, family and oftentimes by others you are not even aware of.  So, before you post pictures of you and your friends out partying, remember that that the pictures could easily be screenshotted and provided as evidence in your case.  Any statements made on social media about the other party, your children, or anything relevant to your case can also be used.  If you want the court to take you seriously, to view you as a mature parent with good judgment, don’t post it.  If you do not want the court to know about it, don’t post it.  

 

Charge it!

 

I remember an episode from the Flintstones cartoon where Betty and Wilma go on a shopping spree racking up a huge credit card bill.  “Charge it!”  The two women were yelling.  This is definitely behavior to avoid.  Sometimes people think that they can create a huge debt just before the divorce is filed and cause the other party to have to pay.  What they don’t know is that the court can look at this behavior and the other party can allege waste and spending in contemplation of divorce.  It is highly possible that you will be stuck with all of those bills.  What is worse is that you are likely going to need the credit cards for divorce-related expenses like legal fees, moving expenses, and rent.  Be smart about your finances and utilize your accounts in a mature, adult way.  

 

Oops!

 

Mistakes are inevitable.  Adults are human and sometimes we do things we later wish we had not.  The problem arises when a party makes a mistake more than once.  A party who bad-mouths the other party over text will likely be admonished by their attorney.  They apologize and the matter is dealt with.  A party that fails to follow the advice of the attorney and continues to bad-mouth the other party over text, should not expect the same level of acceptance from their attorney or the court.  As an adult, when making a mistake, one should follow three simple rules:

  1. Own your mistake.
  2. Learn from your mistake.
  3. Move past your mistake.  

As an attorney, there is no better evidence in court than a party who is constantly repeating the same bad behavior.  A person who refuses to learn from their mistake shows instability and immaturity to the Court.  Remember, going through a divorce does not give you a free pass for making dumb mistakes.  The fact that you are going through a divorce gives you even more reason to be careful and on your best behavior.  Be the bigger person and go through your divorce as an adult.  

Tips For Navigating The Family Court System

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Scott Law

Family court proceedings are a separate but parallel system of the judicial process that tends to be focused on children, especially those who are involved in divorce cases of their parents. The process of divorce is a traumatic one for all involved. While the underlying premise is to do what is best for the children, the goal is often lost sight of if the divorce is contentious. If the issue of custody is likely to be contested, finding a custody lawyer who is skilled at navigating the family court system is a crucial first step.

Choosing an attorney who is sensitive to the client, the children who are involved and the details of the particular situation is the first step. Placing a custody lawyer retainer Peoria area is an important decision and one which should only be done after consideration of the experience and skills of an attorney.

Before a final settlement date can be determined, the attorney will collect the facts of the case in order to determine whether a mutually agreeable decision can be reached about the legal custody of any children. It is preferable to reach a settlement before placing the decision in the hands of a judge. When an agreement is not possible, the custody lawyer will begin the process of litigation in order to ensure that the decisions about custody and visitation are in the best interests of any youngsters.

The legal team is always concerned about the effects that the legal proceedings will have on the youngsters. The legal team works with clients to reduce the negative effect due to the proceedings. Clients are helped to make decisions which will protect the interests of children and make certain that they will be provided for. Setting up a schedule for parents to interact with children in a way that supports the emotional health of each child is part of the agreement which is adopted.

It is important for parties to the custody proceedings to understand the differences between joint legal custody or sole legal custody. The laws in Arizona tend to favor joint legal custody. In sensitive cases, sole custody is possible, but can be more difficult to arrange. The courts will always try to find the best solution for the children involved.

Before the final settlement is made, there may be a need to arrange for temporary custody for the children, as well as financial arrangements for their care. Emergency custody orders or orders of protection may be needed in instances where the child is in danger of injury if the protective action is not implemented.

Although the initial decision and court settlement may be satisfactory, it often happens that circumstances change. It may be necessary to obtain a modification of the original court orders. A modification is requested when custody, visitation or parenting time needs to be changed for any of various reasons. The court must be petitioned for any modification of the original court orders.

For each step of the proceedings, a knowledgeable attorney is important. A custody lawyer for hire Glendale area provides both the knowledge and experience to assist the client through the process of family law proceedings.

Divorce Linked to Academic and Social Struggles in Children

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by Scott Law

A 2011 study published by the American Sociological Association found that children of divorced parents struggle in math and with social skills. The study followed about 3,500 children from Kindergarten to 5th grade. The researchers compared the academic and social abilities of children from divorced families versus children from families with parents who were still married.

The study concluded that children from divorced homes tended to perform more poorly in the area of math on standardized tests. They also tend to display more anxiety and sadness than their peers. Children of divorced parents have a harder time making friends and are more likely to feel lonely. These issues peak at the point that divorce proceedings are initiated.

Since it is evident that divorce negatively impacts children, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of a separation. It may be better for children in the long term, but it is a hard transition for children to make. To help minimize the impact of divorce, it is important that parents shelter their children from parental arguments. Conflict is hard for children and intense discussions should be tabled until they are asleep or not home.

Once the decision to divorce has been made, it is important to keep proceedings and interactions civil. Contact us for our services for family law, Glendale residents, and  to retain a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can handle the majority of interactions with your former spouse to ensure your children are not exposed to parental conflict. Our lawyers will also help work out custody arrangements that are as consistent as possible. Consistency will help ease the transition for your children and minimize the impacts of your separation.

It is also advisable to seek therapy for your children to help process their emotions. By being open and having an outlet for their feelings, it will make it less likely for them to internalize conflict and feelings of uncertainty.

Divorce is not fun for anyone, but we are here to make it as easy for you and your children as possible. Call us when you are ready to take the next step.

Understanding Contempt of Court After Divorce

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by Scott Law

When the court grants a divorce in Arizona, it has the power to enforce all orders that are entered for the couple of the divorce. If one of the parties violates any part of the agreement without the court’s permission, then that party is said to be in contempt of the court and can have sanctions issued against them.  These sanctions can range from monetary orders to incarceration.

 

If your former spouse has violated the court’s decree, your Glendale Divorce Attorney can petition the Court to enforce the Court’s orders and hold the other party in contempt. The copy of the Petition is then served to your ex-spouse. Your attorney will work to clearly specify the violation committed by your former spouse. Your attorney will collect evidence to prove the allegation in court. The most common violations seen are in the areas of visitation, child support, child custody, and property distribution.

 

If your ex-partner is found responsible by the court, then he or she is usually ordered to comply with the orders of the Decree and may be required to pay for your attorneys fees and costs or have other sanctions assessed against them.  The violating spouse can avoid a jail term if he or she immediately complies or asks for a reasonable amount of time in order to do so.

 

Proving contempt of court after divorce is not easy.  If you are interested in more information on contempt and enforcement proceedings contact the Glendale Arizona Law Office of Scott Law Offices for your free consultation. 

Factors That Guide Child Support Modifications

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by Scott Law

As a part of the divorce process, many states necessitate separate child support proceedings to ensure that the minor gets the same level of support that he or she would have enjoyed had the parents been together. During the court hearing, each parent is required to present evidence to support his/her ability to make the child support payments.

The parents may submit documents like pay stubs and tax returns as evidence in this matter. Depending on the evidence, the court specifies the amount that each parent is supposed to pay. Oftentimes, due to changes in personal circumstances, one of the parents may seek Arizona child support modifications.

The Factors

Decreased income: The noncustodial parent may lose his/her job and find it tough to make the child support payments. On the other hand, if the parent with primary custody has lost their job, the noncustodial parent might be asked to contribute more towards child support.

Increase in requirements of the child: The child may need some medical treatments or could be participating in extracurricular activities that demand money. The custodial parent, in these cases, might seek child support modification Arizona to meet these financial obligations.

Large inheritance or considerably increased income: In such cases, the custodial parent may ask the court to reevaluate child support payments as the noncustodial parent may be able to afford more due to their new economic status.

Increased family responsibility: If a noncustodial parent remarries and has children out of that marriage, he or she can ask the court that child support responsibility be decreased as the parent would have to financially support additional children.

If you have questions regarding child support or child support modifications contact Scott Law Offices to learn about your options.

 

Divorce Mediation and Its Advantages

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by Scott Law

Divorce mediation is a way of finding solutions to issues like spousal support and child support payments. The mediation occurs out of the courtroom where both parties and their divorce attorneys in Arizona meet the court-appointed third-party who acts as the mediator. The mediator is a neutral person who assists the parties involved in reaching a settlement. The divorcing couple gets an opportunity to sort out issues and come to an agreement on various issues. The mediator can only offer an opinion during the process and cannot force an agreement on the parties.

Advantages of  Divorce Mediation

A successful divorce mediation saves both time and money. Through mediation, a couple can sidestep the long divorce court process saving their time as well as the family court’s time and resources. The fees paid to the lawyer would also be relatively less. Since the mediator is a third-party who has absolutely nothing to gain from the outcome of mediation, it is fair to all. Also, the objectivity with which the mediator views the issues enables him/her to come up with solutions that the divorcing couple often cannot.

The entire mediation process is confidential. There would be no court reporter recording everything that is said during the process. Essentially there would be no “airing dirty laundry” in public as this is a settlement of divorce out of court. If the entire process goes smoothly, you would hopefully be able to maintain a cordial relationship with your former spouse after divorce. Mediation also helps reduce the tension often involved in court proceedings.

Scott Law Offices is committed to working with clients to negotiate the best possible resolution in every case and is prepared to litigate to protect the rights of our clients.  Contact our office for a free consultation.

Consequences of Failure to Make Child Support Payments

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by Scott Law

A parent who fails to make child support payments faces penalties such as accruing interest, wage garnishment, or even incarceration.

Non-payment and the role of federal government

If a noncustodial parent charged with nonpayment of child support moves to a different state to avoid the payments, he/ she may be convicted of a federal offense. The charges would fall under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act.

In these cases, some of the factors the federal government would address are:

  1. The noncustodial parent failed to make the payments despite having the financial capability.
  2. The noncustodial parent did not pay the child support.
  3. Child support payments have not been made for at least one year.
  4. The pending child support payment amounts to more than $5000.

Penalties for single parents in the military

A parent who is in the military who is ordered to pay child support but does not can face severe penalties.  The parent may even face termination.

Nonpayment defenses

A parent who has failed to make court ordered child support payments or has fallen behind in making payments, can attempt to prove that he or she has been providing for the child through monetary and non-monetary means but would need to hire a good Arizona child support attorney to set forth such defenses.

Child Support Guidelines in Arizona

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Scott Law

In Arizona, child support is continued until the child turns 18.  However, if the child has turned 18 and has not yet graduated from high school, child support will extend until graduation or the child’s 19th birthday, whichever comes first. There are several criteria that determine a child support order during a support hearing. To tackle this efficiently, you would need a professional Arizona child support attorney. Below are some of the elements that are considered when a judge determines child support.

Income

Courts in Arizona calculate child support payments on an income share model. In other words, the child support is calculated based on what the child would have been entitled to if the parents were not divorced. The court considers salaries, wages, commissions, severance, bonuses, pension, retirement funds, disability payments, and gifts when determining a parent’s income.

Income-based factors

Arizona courts also factor in certain things, which determine the support, like the total number of children the parties have, whether the parties have children from prior relationships that they support with or without a court order, whether one of the parties will be receiving spousal maintenance or alimony.  The court essentially considers the standard of living the child would have enjoyed with the joint income had the parents not separated.

Non-income-based factors

Apart from income-based child support, parents may also be asked to include the child in the medical, vision and dental plans, contribute to any out-of-pocket medical expenses, and share in any child care expenses. The court will also consider any costs that the parents may have for any special needs or gifts that a child has.

To ensure that your child support payments are no greater than they should be under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines, hire an experienced Phoenix child support attorney.  Scott Law Offices offers free consultations for all child support matters.

The Difference between Legal Separation and Divorce

Posted on: March 15th, 2013 by Scott Law

For many, divorce vs legal separation is a decision that is hard to make but understanding the difference between them can make the decision easier. The primary difference between the two is that legal separation will not end the marriage, but will enable the couple to live separately.   During the time that a couple lives apart, they can have an order from the court that serves as a guide about the rights and responsibilities of each spouse.

The Main Reasons Why Couples Opt For Legal Separation

There are 3 major reasons why couples will opt for a legal separation rather than a divorce, which are:

  1. The religion of the couple prohibits them from getting a divorce.
  2. The couple has been married for less than 10 years and wishes to get social security benefits.
  3. The couple needs to remain married to be eligible for medical and health benefits under the insurance plan.

Issues Addressed Through Separation Agreement

Some of the issues that a couple can address in the legal separation agreement are: child custody / legal decision-making, division of assets and debts, child support, spousal maintenance, and parenting time schedules. A separation agreement can protect your interests until you arrive at the decision to file for divorce. In essence, it can set precedence for a divorce.

If you file for divorce, the judge may look to your separation agreement to make a final determination in the case. This is because the judge may find that where the separation agreement was agreeable to the couple for separation purposes, it should, therefore, be agreeable for divorce purposes too. It is vital that you find a divorce attorney in Glendale or other city in which you reside who can assist you in drafting a legal separation agreement that you can live with long-term.

For advice on legal separation or divorce contact Scott Law Offices to schedule a consultation.

A Judge’s Authority and Having the Advantage of An Experienced Family Law Attorney

Posted on: March 15th, 2013 by Scott Law

Limits of a Judge’s Authority

Divorce, in general, is referred to as dissolution of marriage in many states. The Superior Court judge is the only authority that can grant permission to dissolve a couple’s marital status. In addition to this, the judge is also authorized to do the following:

  1. Issue orders that pertain to the custody / legal decision-making, control and care of the couple’s children.
  2. Divide assets and debts.
  3. Issue orders relating to monetary support of the couple’s children.
  4. Issue orders to one of the parties to pay the legal fees incurred in the case by the other party.
  5. Issue orders for spousal support.

The Advantage of Having an Experience Family Law Attorney

Under Arizona divorce and child custody laws, the couple is encouraged and permitted to reach an agreement relating to all issues of divorce such as legal decision-making for the children, physical custody of children, alimony, division of debts and assets, etc. When using a divorce attorney Phoenix family law cases can often result in a partial or full settlement.  It is advisable to have a settlement agreement drafted after negotiation by an experienced attorney. The parting spouses are most often unable to customize all terms of settlement to suit their circumstances and needs, but an experienced divorce attorney can help to ensure that their agreement is as inclusive as possible.

There are also certain issues that court is not authorized to otherwise order but can be included as a provision that is enforceable in the divorce settlement agreement. In other words, you stand to gain rights through a well-drafted divorce settlement agreement, which a court may not otherwise provide you.

If you are in need of an experienced divorce attorney contact Scott Law Offices and make an appointment for your free consultation today.