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Valley Of The Suns Legal Issues Blog

Back-to-school tips for newly divorced parents

Back-to-school time can be as stressful for parents as for kids. That's especially true for parents who will be facing their first new school year since their separation or divorce.

If you and your co-parent share custody of your children, you both want to be involved in their education and extracurricular activities. There are three vital steps you should take to do this:

Estate planning considerations for 'solo agers'

Many baby boomers are entering their senior years without a family. They chose not to have children and never married (or are divorced or widowed.) Experts say that these seniors can suffer from isolation and poor health, including malnutrition if they don't take steps to care for themselves and to socialize.

An even bigger concern for seniors who don't have family or a support system of friends is that they have no one to look out for them if they become ill or disabled. Further, they can become victims of financial exploitation by people who claim to care for them but really just want to get ahold of their money or get an inheritance when they die.

What do you need to prove a breach of contract?

As a business owner, agreements can make or break you. Coming to terms for things like leases, inventory and equipment require parties to enter into a legally binding document to specify the conditions and terms of the agreement.

If one party does not fulfill the duties as agreed, the other may have the right to seek remedies. If you find yourself dealing with an entity failing to perform according to the contract, you may have cause to pursue legal avenues.

Why 'gray divorce' can be financially devastating

Divorce among people over 50 (which carries the unfortunate moniker "gray divorce") has been increasing. It might seem like older couples would typically have more assets to split than younger ones, and would be more likely to land on their feet financially. However, divorce in later years can often be financially devastating -- particularly for women.

One sociology professor who has been studying the phenomenon of gray divorce says that women who divorce after 50 see their standard of living drop by 45%. That's about twice as much as for younger divorcees. Meanwhile, men who divorce after 50 have a 21% drop in their standard of living.

Dealing with a child's sleep problems during divorce

The stress and anxiety of parental divorce can have serious physical and emotional impacts on kids. One common manifestation of this anxiety is difficulty sleeping. Getting enough sleep is essential for the growth and development of a child. Therefore, it's important for parents to work together -- regardless of how frayed their own relationship may be -- to help their child who isn't sleeping (or who perhaps is sleeping too much in an effort to escape the stress they're feeling),

If your child is dividing their time between two homes now, it's important for both parents to work to establish similar pre-bedtime routines and sleep schedules for them. Depending on your child's age, this might include scheduling one or more daily naps.

When can you seek to have a trustee removed?

Your father appointed an old family friend or perhaps your stepmother to be the trustee of his trust. However, now that he's gone, you don't think that person is administering the trust appropriately. Can you have them removed? It all depends.

First, you should determine whether the trust includes a removal clause. This would detail who can seek to remove a trustee and under what circumstances. If there's no such clause, it will be up to the probate court to determine whether the trustee can be removed. Typically, you need to be a beneficiary, co-trustee or settlor to ask a probate court to order a trustee's removal.

When can an online post be considered defamation?

It seems as though people can post just about anything they want on social media and elsewhere on the internet, no matter how vicious and untrue. Public figures like politicians and celebrities are typically the targets of this vitriol, and many accept that it comes with the territory of being a well-known figure. However, any person or business can become the victim of posts that are untrue and pictures and videos that are altered or photoshopped.

At what point can you take legal action against a person who has posted defamatory comments or images? First, it's essential to understand what constitutes defamation. Typically, defamation is any published statement that is false and injurious to a person's or business's reputation. A statement can be considered "published" whether it's on an obscure blog or the comments section of a popular website.

Overcoming negative communication patterns with your co-parent

One of the biggest challenges facing divorced spouses who have kids is how to transition from communicating as marital partners to communicating as co-parents. That can be difficult when the relationship has been seriously damaged by one or both spouses' bad behavior. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to summon any kind positive feelings toward one another.

However, divorced parents need to be able to communicate clearly and work together for their kids' well-being. That means recognizing the negative patterns that still exist in your communications and working to overcome them.

How to handle an implied warranty dispute

A breach of implied warranty could lead to a civil dispute. An implied warranty suggests the use of a product for ordinary and reasonable purposes. It states the item is appropriate for such uses even without an express or written warranty.

If someone recently breached an implied warranty and caused you damages in Arizona, that person may owe you restitution. It may take a lawsuit to protect your rights as a consumer, as well as to obtain any compensation the entity may owe you.

Do you have a summer custody schedule in place?

If you and your soon-to-be ex are in the process of drawing up your child custody and visitation agreement, it's important to include a section that addresses how your children will divide their time during the summer. You'll need to address things like whether one or both parents will have longer stretches of custody than usual, who will care for the kids during the day and whether there are restrictions on where either parent can take the kids on vacation.

If you already have a plan in place, that's great. It's essential to remember, however, that summer is a time of flexibility. It's typically best when parents can embrace some flexibility, within reason, when circumstances arise that make a change to the schedule best for the kids. For example, maybe a favorite uncle on the other side of the family is coming into town during "your" week with the kids. Do you really want to deny them that time with someone they love?

  • 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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