Legal terminology, by its very nature, is precise and can be complex. A Phoenix custody attorney addresses the terms specific to child custody cases in the paragraphs below.
Types Of Custody
There are a number of ways in which parents may have custody of their child or children. How these terms are used and the terms which are chosen have direct bearing on the lives of both the divorcing parents and the children involved.
These terms are:
- Physical custody: If the child lives primarily in your home, then you have physical custody. Like legal custody, it can be awarded jointly or solely depending upon the circumstances.
- Legal custody: If you are empowered to choose how and where the child goes to school, medical and dental practitioners and procedures, what the child’s religious affiliation will be and other such matters, then you have legal custody.
- Joint legal custody: In cases of joint custody, both parents share legal custody of the child or children to some degree. Parents who, despite whatever differences led to the divorce, can set these differences aside and work together to make decisions on their children’s behalf are usually awarded joint custody. If there is extreme dissension or hostility between the parents, the judge is more likely to place custody solely in the hands of one or the other. Usually a judge will assign visitation rights to a non-custodial parent, enabling the parent to spend time with the child in scheduled visits.
- Sole legal custody: Sole custody places legal custody in the hands of one parent only, giving this parent the right to make decisions concerning the child’s life and welfare. Decisions made by a non-custodial parent can be countermanded by a parent with legal custody.
“Parenting Time” v. “Visitation”
Since non-custodial parents have begun recently to object to the idea of “visiting” their children, the term “parenting time” has begun to gain popularity as a reasonable and understandable alternative to “visitation.” Parenting duties are performed by the non-custodial parent during these times just as they would have been had no divorce taken place. The couple may have divorced each other, but they did not divorce their children. They are still a family, so the term “parenting time” makes sense.
Contact a Phoenix Custody Lawyer
If you are involved in divorce procedures with have children, seek a Phoenix custody attorney. Call the Thomas Law Office, PLC at (602) 788-1395.
As a Scottsdale father’s rights attorney will tell you, fathers are given the same consideration as mothers when it comes to custody decisions made in Arizona courts. Determining what is in the best interest of the children is the primary concern for family court judges. It is widely known that, in most circumstances, children whose parents are divorced benefit the most when they can spend quality time with both of their parents. In preparation for mediation or a custody hearing, fathers should consider these options.
Joint Legal Custody
Parents who share legal custody are responsible for making decisions together regarding their children’s education, medical care, welfare and safety. Joint legal custody provides a way for both parents to have a voice in how their children will be raised.
Joint legal custody is awarded in most cases, except in situations that involve serious issues such as parental conflict, an inability to co-parent, substance abuse, child abuse or domestic violence.
When considering the possibility of shared physical custody, a Scottsdale father’s rights attorney will ask you how much time you have to devote to your children’s care. The answer will depend on both your work schedule and the age of your children. For instance, young children require direct care and supervision, while older children can take care of themselves in the hours between the end of the school-day and when you come home from work.
Dealing with False Allegations
One of the greatest risks to a father’s rights is false allegations made by the children’s mother. However, the court takes the matter of false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence very seriously. If your children’s mother is alienating your children or making false accusations, you may want to consider a modification of an existing custody arrangement.
Legal Counsel from a Scottsdale Father’s Rights Lawyer
If you wish to speak with an attorney regarding a custody matter, please call the office of Thomas Law Office, PLC, at (602) 788-1395.
Being unemployed, suffering from a serious medical condition, making a bad investment or going through a divorce can cause a major upheaval in your financial circumstances. When you aren’t able to pay your bills, you may find yourself drowning in debt. Bankruptcy was created to give people a fresh start. Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys can explain your rights and help you figure out if bankruptcy is the right solution for you.
Filing for Bankruptcy
One of the major benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that an automatic stay provision protects debtors from creditors. According to the automatic stay, creditors must stop foreclosure proceedings, property repossession, lawsuits, phone calls, wage garnishment and other attempts to collect payment of debts. If creditors violate this provision, the Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys representing you can request that the creditors be sanctioned by the court.
Debts Eligible for Discharge
When the bankruptcy court discharges a debt, you are no longer required to pay it. Creditors are permanently prohibited from demanding payment for discharged debts. Debts that are often discharged in a bankruptcy case are unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, deficiency balances for repossessed property and certain civil court judgments.
Individuals remain responsible for debts that aren’t discharged by the court. Non-dischargeable debts in a bankruptcy case may include child support, alimony, court fines, debts incurred through fraud, personal injury judgments related to drunk driving, student loans (unless it imposes severe undue hardship) and debts not listed in the bankruptcy petition.
Contact Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers for Legal Advice
Dealing with an overwhelming amount of debt can be stressful and may jeopardize the financial future of you and your family. The attorneys at Thomas Law Office, PLC, use their expertise to assist clients with their debt problems and guide them through the bankruptcy process. Call us at (602) 788-1395 to schedule a private consultation.
In any divorce involving children, the matter of child custody will be one of the most important and contentious issues in the process. If both spouses cannot work together to reach an acceptable child custody agreement, the matter will go to family court where it will be decided in a trial. This is the worst possible outcome, however, and any Scottsdale divorce lawyer will advise you to do what you can to avoid it.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
There are several alternate dispute resolution avenues available to you that you might want to consider instead. Virtually anything is better than having a judge, who does not know either you or your children, decide the fate of your children for the next several years based on a few hours of testimony. It is highly recommended that you consider mediation in order to resolve any disputes you have with your spouse; studies show that people are far more likely to comply with an agreement that they had a hand in developing than one that was unilaterally handed down by a judge with almost no input from them.
Mediation as a Potential Option
Mediation is rapidly gaining broad support as a method of alternate dispute resolution. Your Scottsdale divorce lawyer will likely be able to recommend some they have worked with before. The typical mediator has taken extensive mediation training and has a good deal of expertise in the family law field. The only people involved in the discussions are usually the mediator and both spouses.
Settle the Dispute with an Attorney’s Help
For more information on methods of alternate dispute resolution, consider talking to a Scottsdale divorce attorney at Thomas Law Office, PLC, at (602) 788-1395.
If you are not able to pay your debts, you risk losing your property or business, and you may even face harassment by debtors. Consult with a Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney to see if filing for bankruptcy can discharge your debts and give you a fresh start.
The two basic types of bankruptcy proceedings are “core” and “noncore.”
Core proceedings concern issues that are entirely related to a bankruptcy case and arise under the Bankruptcy Code:
- Issues concerning estate administration;
- Claiming allowance or disallowance;
- Matters regarding usage and sale of estate property;
- Preference litigation to determine, avoid or recover preferences;
- Automatic stay litigation motion to change, end or annul automatic stay;
- Fraudulent conveyance litigation; and
- Confirmation of bankruptcy plans.
A bankruptcy judge presides over core proceedings and may render the final orders.
Noncore proceedings also concern matters related to the bankruptcy case, but they do not arise directly under bankruptcy code. Examples of noncore proceedings include personal injury or wrongful death claims of the debtor.
A Scottsdale Bankruptcy Lawyer Explains the Different Types of Bankruptcy Cases
The following are the six types of bankruptcy cases:
- Chapter 7 – Liquidation or “Straight” Bankruptcy;
- Chapter 9 – Adjustment of Municipality debts;
- Chapter 11 – Reorganization;
- Chapter 12 – Adjustment of Debts for Farmers or Fishermen;
- Chapter 13 – Wage Earner’s Adjustment of Debts; and
- Chapter 15 – Ancillary and Other Cross Border Cases.
A Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You Achieve Financial Relief
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, please contact the Thomas Law Office, PLC, at (602) 788-1395 for legal assistance. Our experienced Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney will help you manage your debt and provide a caring voice in addressing any difficult financial issues. The initial consultation is free.
When preparing to separate their shared property during a divorce, most married couples think about how to split up the big-ticket items such as the cars, the valuables, etc. While these are important to consider, many couples forget about the items that may seem less important, such as the decorations, linens and basic household tools that they have accumulated. It may seem strange, but a Phoenix divorce attorney knows that considering how to divide the household furnishings is an important but often overlooked step in the separation process.
Different Standards of Value
The issue is that most low-value household tools such as kitchen utensils and small furniture are not worth very much on the market yet would be considerably expensive to replace. Think about what’s in your kitchen drawers: the total resale value of all your spatulas, tongs and wooden spoons would probably not exceed $10 if you sold them at a garage sale. However, buying a new set of utensils from scratch would probably cost someone more than a hundred dollars.
Property in a divorce is typically valued according to its fair market value, and failing to stick to this standard might cause your divorce negotiations to fail, as your Phoenix divorce attorney might warn you. However, there are alternate standards of value that might be more useful. The parties can try to research current prices for goods or have them appraised by a neutral third party, but these steps are time-consuming and often not worth the effort.
Rather, it might be better to divide the household goods by utility, such that one person takes one set of linens and the other takes the other or having one party take the daily dishes while the other takes the special occasion dishware. Compromises such as this can make the divorce more amenable and efficient.
Getting Help from a Divorce Lawyer
For more information on the most efficient way to divide your marital estate, consider talking to a Phoenix divorce lawyer at Thomas Law Office, PLC, at (602) 788-1395.
Due to the increased number of pregnancies involving unwed mothers, the recognition for fathers’ rights has grown exponentially. A Scottsdale father’s rights lawyer can explain the background of the fathers’ rights movement and how this can affect your case.
Your Scottsdale father’s rights lawyer may begin this conversation by discussing the change of the marital relationship in the United States. In the 1950s, divorce was not as common, nor was it as socially accepted. In these situations, most children were raised in two-parent households in which the father worked and the mother primarily took care of the children and domestic duties. Your Scottsdale father’s rights lawyer may explain that many women lacked job skills, education or the ability to make a sustainable wage.
However, the picture of the American family changed as time progressed. The 1970s saw a spike in the divorce rate, as it became more widespread due to no-fault divorces and women having more earning power. Now, nearly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Out of Wedlock Children
During the same period, more children were born out of wedlock as many couples decided not to formalize their relationship through the marriage contract. This situation has led to more focus being placed on fathers and their rights. In the past, women ended up with custody of the children the majority of the time. A Scottsdale father’s rights attorney can explain that as the roles changed in the American household, the father’s role in his child’s life has changed as well.
Seeking Legal Counsel
For more information on this topic, contact the Thomas Law Office, PLC at (602) 788-1395.
Many Phoenix custody attorneys have seen the negative ramifications of a child in the cross hairs of divorce. However, conscientious parents can help shield their child from some of the negative consequences by taking the following steps.
Provide Basic Necessities
Your Phoenix custody attorney can explain that your child’s basic needs will mostly stay the same during this time. He or she still needs a safe place to sleep, food on the table and clothing to wear.
Reassure the Child
A significant difference that your Phoenix custody attorney can highlight is your child’s need for more reassurance. Divorce can be an emotionally trying time for a child. Children need to know that they are loved and that their needs will be taken care of. Your Phoenix custody lawyer might also explain that children need to receive information in an age-appropriate manner. They should be told that their parents are divorcing. However, it may not be appropriate to tell them why.
Children thrive on structure. Maintaining their routine schedule of mealtimes, bedtimes and curfews can help provide the reassurance that they need.
Children must be monitored closely during this transitional time. Younger children might regress or their development may be stunted due to the emotional trials and tribulations. Toddlers who have been toilet trained may have more accidents than usual. However, children often recover once they feel more stable and their routine is predictable.
Talk to a Phoenix Custody Lawyer
The Thomas Law Office, PLC, can be reached by calling (602) 788-1395 at your convenience.
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