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Valley Of The Suns Legal Issues Blog

Parenting agreement violations

As you attempt to settle your child custody case outside of court, you'll find yourself negotiating a variety of terms with your spouse. Every decision you make is included in a parenting agreement. This document is designed to help both parents understand their legal rights and responsibilities in the future.

Once you settle on the terms of the parenting agreement, it's submitted to a family law judge for final approval. While not always required, you may be asked to attend an informal court hearing to answer some basic questions from the judge. This is primarily to ensure that both individuals understand what they're signing.

Estate planning mistakes that can lead to trouble

Creating an estate plan is not always easy, especially if you're new to the process. Unfortunately, any mistake can impact you and/or your family now and in the future.

Understanding the most common estate planning mistakes will allow you to avoid trouble. Here are four you should have on your radar:

  • Thinking it's okay to not have an estate plan: While the law does not require it, not having an estate plan is a big mistake that could result in serious disagreements after your death.
  • Forgetting to review your estate plan: It's one thing to create an estate plan, but another thing entirely to review it regularly to ensure that it still suits you, your family and your short and long term goals.
  • Neglecting to plan for disability: There is more to a comprehensive estate plan than outlining who receives your assets when you pass on. Your estate plan should also plan for disability, such as by naming a power of attorney or creating a living trust.
  • Neglecting to name a guardian: If you have children under the age of 18, you should name a guardian in your estate plan. This person will takeover your parenting responsibilities should you pass on before your children reach legal age.

Different ways to settle a business dispute

Business entails continual transactions with others, whether customers, shareholders or other companies. Most often these transactions are pleasant or beneficial. However, in some cases, conflict can arise, such as over a contract. What are you supposed to do when a dispute happens?

You can reach resolution in a variety of ways. Which one is best to use depends on your specific circumstances.

Are there potential disadvantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you're considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, you'll want to compare the pros and cons to ensure that it's the best decision for you and your finances at the present time.

Although there are many benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, such as the ability to keep most or all of your assets, there are some potential disadvantages. These include:

  • The Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan: Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're expected to repay some or all of your debts through a repayment plan that lasts anywhere from three to five years. This debt is paid with any disposable income.
  • The impact on your credit report: Since a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years, you will find it difficult to secure loans in the future. However, as the years go by, you'll be able to take steps to improve your credit score and eventually qualify for many types of loans and credit cards.
  • Doesn't relieve you of all your debts: Chapter 13 bankruptcy has no impact on child support, alimony, student loans and back taxes. You're still required to pay all of these things, even after you file for bankruptcy.

Arizona Supreme Court makes key ruling about parents and courts

Courts in Arizona cannot interfere with decisions made by a parent who has sole legal custody of a child unless the decision is harmful to the child, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled.

The Supreme Court made its ruling after considering evidence in a case in which divorced parents disagreed over how one parent treated the child's gender identification.

Property division matters can be hard to decide

When you got married, you genuinely believed in "until death do us part." But somewhere along the line, your marriage got off onto the wrong track and now you're headed for divorce court.

The process of divorcing means that you must make some difficult decisions. Some may have to do with which assets you want to keep. These decisions can be hard because often the logical answer to the problem isn't what your heart wants. This conundrum means that you will have to think carefully about your plans.

How to talk to your adult children about your estate plan

Talking about your estate plan is never easy, especially when doing so with people you love. Although it may not be an enjoyable conversation, you need to talk to your adult children about estate planning every now and again.

Here are some steps you can take to ease the tension and ensure that the right details are discussed:

  • Decide on what you want to say: You don't need to share every last detail with your adult children. Instead, decide what they need to know and what you can keep to yourself. For example, you don't have to share how much money you have in the bank or how you're investing for the future. Conversely, you should share information on where you keep your legal documents and how to access them.
  • Be honest: There's no point in lying about your estate plan, as this only makes things worse on your children in the future. Be open and honest about your current plan, as well as your hopes for what will happen after your passing.
  • Touch on difficult subjects: For example, you may struggle with the idea of talking to your children about how you'll divide your property, but it's critical to ensure that everything goes as planned.

How to watch out for illegal practices when buying a car

Buying a car is an exciting event: a culmination of finding the right vehicle at the right price. Although it may take some time, shopping and signing for the car should be a positive experience.

Unfortunately, some dealerships care more about making a buck than about following consumer protection laws. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich offers advice to consumers on how to avoid falling for shady practices when buying a vehicle.

Are these signs pointing you toward bankruptcy?

You hope that you never have to learn more about bankruptcy, as this means that you're facing serious financial trouble. Unfortunately, this is a reality for tens of thousands of people every year.

There are many signs that could point you toward bankruptcy, including the following:

  • Constant calls and letters from debt collectors: Not only can this cause a lot of stress in your life, but it could even result in a lawsuit. Filing for bankruptcy provides some protection against debt collectors.
  • Wage garnishment: If a creditor gains permission to garnish your wages, this means that your paycheck won't be as large as you've come to expect. This can negatively impact your finances, as you won't have as much money each month for your expenses.
  • You're close to losing your home: Receiving a foreclosure notice is extremely scary, as your lender is threatening to repossess your home. By filing for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will kick in. This doesn't stop the foreclosure process entirely, but it can buy you enough time to consider your options and work things out with your lender.
  • You're buried in debt: If your debt continues to mount with no end in sight, a bankruptcy filing can help clear some (or most) of this off your plate.

Follow these 3 tips when asking for a divorce

Asking for a divorce is a big step in your life, as this is sure to change your relationship and future forever. You shouldn't approach this conversation until you're absolutely sure that divorce is the answer to your marital problems.

As you prepare to ask for a divorce, here are some tips you can use to get in the right frame of mind:

  • Have a plan: Know what you want to say and how to respond to your spouse, regardless of their reaction. When you plan for everything, you'll feel confident in your ability to push the conversation forward.
  • Get to the point: You don't want to dance around the subject, as it'll place additional stress on you and your spouse. Get to the point, be gentle with your approach and stick to your plan. Your spouse may beg you to reconsider, but if you're sure that divorce is the answer, you should continue forward.
  • Leave the details for a later date: It's tempting to discuss the details of your divorce, such as who will have custody of your children and who gets to keep the family home. Discussing these details when tension is high can result in an argument you don't want to have.
  • 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, has offices in Avondale, Scottsdale and Surprise to serve our clients' needs throughout the Valley. 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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