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Surprise Legal Issues Blog

Same-sex couples have full parental rights in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court took a big step in guaranteeing that same-sex couples can enjoy another protection that has been historically reserved for opposite-sex couples. A recent ruling grants same-sex parents full parental rights in the same way that those rights usually apply to fathers.

This is a huge deal for same-sex parents who have raised a child who doesn't belong to them biologically. The case at the heart of the matter has to do with two women, one of whom had a child. The justices ruled that the nonbiological parent is afforded what is typically known as father's rights since the child was born within 10 months of marriage.

Requirements for mounting a libel or defamation suit

Your reputation may seem like it doesn't carry too much weight — that is, until someone else says something to tarnish it. It is difficult to know how to respond when someone is dragging your name through the mud, because some types of response will only make matters worse, while doing nothing at all is usually not helpful either. If you have concerns about defending your name, you can consult with an attorney to determine whether your circumstances justify a libel or defamation suit.

In order to successfully mount a libel or defamation suit, a plaintiff must demonstrate at least three and sometimes four components of the alleged libel or defamation. First, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the individual or individuals accused of the violation did actually make a false statement that is defaming or libelous. In general, if the things being said or published are actually demonstrably true, then a libel or defamation suit is difficult to win.

Credit card debt in Chapter 13

If your debt is continuing to build and you passed the point of no return, you might be considering bankruptcy. You might be wondering what will happen to your credit card debt if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 filing might be ideal if you have a regular income, want to reorganize your debts and keep your assets. 

However, you should know the details before you file. Here is what you can expect to happen to your credit card debt if you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.

Arizona woman's embryos must be donated, judge rules

A judge has ruled that an Arizona woman can't keep the embryos she preserved when she was battling breast cancer several years ago. The ruling comes after a contentious divorce battle between the woman and her ex-husband.

Before she began undergoing chemotherapy, the woman chose to create and freeze embryos with her then-boyfriend so that she could undergo in vitro fertilization later if she came through the cancer. She says that she wanted to be able to have a biological child, and cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can affect a woman's ability to get pregnant.

How is your debt handled when you pass away?

While it may not matter as much to you what happens with your debt once you die, it may matter to those you leave behind.

When an individual dies, his or her debts become part of his or her estate. The executor of your estate is responsible for ensuring that any debts that you amass while alive are paid off using your assets before any inheritance payouts can be made.

Should you be worried about a debt relapse?

You had a lot of credit card debt when you got out of college. You were just too busy to work, you didn't really grasp what all of that debt would mean, and you put everything on your cards.

In the five years since college, you've paid it all off. You cut back on your spending. You tackled each card, one by one, until you had no debt at all.

Mayoral candidate sues for defamation due to attack ads

How far can you allow a negative or "attack ad" campaign to go before it begins to hinder a fair election? At what point does "selective truth telling" become defamation?

That's the question being asked in a lawsuit filed by a mayoral candidate in the small city of Prescott, Arizona. The candidate, who is vying for the position against two other candidates, is up against some heavy hitters -- including a well-known political consultant, his firm and a supposedly independent "Voter Education Project" that's actually a non-profit organization run by the same consultant for the purposes of skirting election laws designed at limiting campaign donations by individual donors. Organizations like those then keep their donors' names secret through a loophole that applies to non-profit organizations.

How to resolve business disputes without going to court

Numerous successful businesses are the result of a partnership. Google, Apple Inc. and Microsoft are just a few organizations that came about as a result of a savvy partnership. 

No partnership is perfect, and business disputes come up once in a while. However, it is important to know how to resolve these problems so that the company does not become plagued with constant lawsuits. Here are some tried and true methods for two business partners to reach an amicable agreement on a controversy.

3 critical tips to stop inheritance disputes before they start

You want your children to stay close after you pass away. The last thing you want is for them to become embattled in a dispute over the money and assets you leave them.

If you're dedicated to putting an end to inheritance disputes before they start, use these three tips.

Surrogacy in Arizona: What you should know

Modern medical science has been a blessing to childless couples -- those who don't want to adopt now have a multitude of options that can help them have a child of their own.

However, if regular fertility treatments have failed you or carrying a child is simply not possible for you, you may be considering the use of a surrogate mother.

  • MCBA | Maricopa County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • ABA | American bar Association | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Oregon State bar
  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, is located in Surprise and serves clients throughout the West Valley area. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, call 623-208-6098 or toll free at 877-827-9906. You can also contact us online.

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