Deciding on Divorce: Your Next Step

Jan 11

Divorce may be the most volatile process you will ever go through. Even when spouses are in agreement that the marriage should end, it is an emotional process as both parties cope with the death of the relationship. When a divorce is imminent, one of the first questions you should ask is whether you need a Scottsdale AZ divorce attorney to walk you through the process.

The attorneys at the Fruchtman Law Firm realize it is a big decision. We offer these three ways a lawyer can help you through your divorce.



Emotions heighten during the divorce process. An experienced attorney from Fruchtman Law Firm can act as a buffer between you and your spouse. This can help you focus on making logical decisions without pain and anger coloring your perspective.


Legal Advice

While you can file a petition for divorce yourself, you are not an expert in the field of family law. You are limited to learning as you go, listening to the experiences of others, or doing a lot of research on your own. Even the best research is unlikely to help you if the case becomes complicated with the division of assets and liabilities, child custody, or alimony. You need an expert who not only knows the court system but stays up-to-date on current changes in the law. A Scottsdale AZ divorce attorney can act as a disinterested third party and help you make tough decisions when you feel overwhelmed by the whole process.


Paperwork Preparation

While you can find forms online to file for a divorce yourself, they are pretty generic. A divorce lawyer can customize your divorce petition to address your specific situation. The attorney will also ask you thought-provoking questions to help you make sure you are not forgetting to include vital information.

Think carefully about whether you want to follow through with a divorce alone or with the skilled support of a legal expert. Your decision can make a difference that affects your future for many years to come. Contact Fruchtman Law Firm today to begin building your defense.

Spousal Maintenance: What Does That Include, and Do You Need an Attorney?

Dec 19

Spousal support might be ordered by a judge during divorce proceedings or upon granting a judgment for dissolution of marriage in Arizona. One person to a marriage might earn substantially more than the other. The lower earner might need financial support for a period of time in order to meet his or her reasonable needs. Either party to a marriage might be ordered to pay spousal support for that purpose. Although permanent spousal support is becoming increasingly unusual, a court may give deference to a party to a marriage who was a homemaker for decades and might be unemployable due to age and outdated job skills.

Factors Considered in Awarding Spousal Maintenance
Hope E. Fruchtman is a Scottsdale Arizona family lawyer at the Fruchtman Law Firm. Based on the evidence in the case, here are just a few of the factors that say a judge might consider in awarding or denying spousal maintenance:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • The standard of living of the parties.
  • The physical health of the parties.
  • The employment histories and earning ability of the parties.
  • Whether the party seeking maintenance contributed significantly to the other party’s earning ability.
  • Other financial resources of the spouse who is asking for maintenance.


Isn’t There a Formula For This?
Ms. Fruchtman advises that some judges might employ a formula for purposes of calculating maintenance, but the above factors and others must still be taken into consideration. It becomes a complicated and confusing process that a party to a divorce does not want to approach on their own.

Every divorce does not involve an award of maintenance. Before you file for a divorce, you will want to inquire with a Scottsdale Arizona family lawyer at the Fruchtman Law Firm about what rights you have in the context of maintenance. You will be listened to carefully and advised of all of your legal options.

How An Attorney Can Help Through Your Step-Parent Adoption Case

Nov 14

As a step-parent, you want to give your step-child the best in life and offer them the utmost care. In many instances, the step-parent needs to have certain rights in order to give their step-child the best care. Adoption by a step-parent is the most common type of adoption as it helps to solidify the family bond of a blended family and helps the step-parent to fulfill their role. The process of a step-parent adoption should be handled by an attorney as it is complex and if something is missed, the step-parent will not have full parental rights. A Scottsdale AZ family attorney will guide you along the process and represent you in court.

The step-parent adoption process typically includes the following steps:

Consent: Before the adoption can begin, the step-parent must get consent from both of the biological parents. The parent who will relinquish their rights will not be responsible for the child, not even for child support. It is important to note that if there is no consent, the adoption may not be legal.

Contact court and obtain legal forms: Once the court that handles adoption has been located, you should obtain the necessary legal forms. All information and documents that are requested must be submitted in order to receive a court date. An attorney at Fruchtman Law Firm can explain the forms and required documents to you.

Appear at court date and await decision: Once you have been given a court date, you should attend with a Scottsdale AZ family attorney and wait to see what the court has decided. Remember to provide all requested information.

Step-parent adoption should be handled by an attorney due to how intricate the laws are. At Fruchtman Law Firm, our professionals will work to make this process as easy as possible. Contact us for a consultation so that we can answer your questions.

Terminating Parental Rights? Have an Attorney Help

Oct 26

You want what is best for your child. You may have agreed to share custody with your former spouse; but, you are still obligated to protect your son or daughter from all danger—even from that which comes from the other parent.

Seeking to terminate parental rights is a significant action to take. However, it may be necessary if your ex leads an unhealthy lifestyle or has gotten themselves into a situation that makes it impossible for them to parent.

If you believe you need to take this step, you should first retain the services of a Scottsdale family law attorney. The Fruchtman Law Firm and Attorney Hope Fruchtman have helped a great many parents in your situation. She will give you the advice and legal representation you need to get through it.

You will need to establish sound reasons for terminating parental rights. Here are a few of the most common grounds for such a termination:


If your ex has ceased all contact with your child and has left you no way to get in touch with them, you can file a motion to terminate their parental rights.


The mental and physical abuse of your child is unacceptable. If you have substantive proof that your ex abuses your child, then you can seek to have their parental rights terminated

Substance Abuse 

Your child should not be exposed to illegal drugs. If you can prove that your former spouse is a drug addict or drug dealer, you can petition to have their parental rights terminated.

Excessively Long Prison Sentence 

If your ex has been sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole or they have received the death penalty, there is no reasonable hope that they will be able to establish a healthy relationship with your child. You can have their rights as a parent terminated on these grounds.

At the Fruchtman Law Firm, our Scottsdale family law attorney that can help you work through these issues and do what is best for your child. Contact Attorney Fruchtman today to begin your case.

Custody Relocation: How it Works and Why You Need an Attorney

Oct 09

Child custody relocation is a situation in which the custodial parent moves out-of-state or more than 100 miles within the state. The act is legally defined, and the custodial parent must get the court’s permission before carrying out such a plan. If you are the non-custodial parent, such a move can have a significant impact on your ability to see your child and cultivate a healthy relationship with them.

This is a major decision that can have huge ramifications on the lives of you and your child. Your ex should discuss the matter with you before doing it. However, if they have decided to do it without consulting you and getting your permission, you can petition the court to stop it.

You should first contact a lawyer. Retaining the services of a Scottsdale AZ family lawyer at Fruchtman Law Firm will ensure that you are not denied your parental rights. Attorney Hope Fruchtman at Fruchtman Law Firm will help you protect your ability to parent your child.

The request by the custodial parent to relocate with the child will be examined by a judge. As always, the judge will keep the best interests of the child at the center of their deliberations. The judge will consider the following factors:

-the circumstances that led to the decision to move
-the impact the move will have on your ability to see the child
-whether the move is motivated to prevent you from seeing the child
-whether the move is motivated to get an increase in child support
-the impact on the emotional and mental health of the child

The bottom line is your ex cannot take your child away from you by simply moving to another state or city. Working with a Scottsdale AZ family lawyer will help protect you and your child against the whims of your former spouse. Contact our office today to begin building your defense.

In Loco Parents: What Are Your Rights?

Sep 28

Regardless of your relationship with your children’s other parent, you have rights as a mom or dad that cannot be violated under the law. You can gain access to your children and exercise your rights as a parent by hiring the Fruchtman Law Firm to represent you in your custodial or child support case today.

Access to Your Children 

Under the state law, you are entitled to access to your children. As long as you are not considered to be a safety or flight risk to your children, you have the right to visit and spend time with them equally with the other parent.

When the other parent is not giving you access to your children or violating the visitation rights established by the court, you can have your Scottsdale family law attorney petition the judge for a new visitation order. The other parent may be found in contempt of court. He or she may also lose custody of the children in extreme cases of neglect or interference.

Support for Your Children 

You also have the right as a custodial parent to financial support for your children. When you have been awarded sole or physical custody of the children, the other parent is obligated by law to pay a fair and affordable amount of child support to you.

The support order also takes into consideration the amount of income you earn as well as expenses you pay for the children. The Fruchtman Law Firm can ensure the amount of support paid to you is on par with what the children are entitled to and what the other parent can reasonably pay on a monthly basis.

Even if you are not married to your children’s other parent, you still have rights as a mother or father. You can make sure your rights are protected under the law by hiring a Scottsdale family law attorney to represent you in your custodial or support case. Contact our office today to begin building your defense.

3 Tips to Help Your Children Through Divorce

Sep 06

When you have decided to divorce your spouse, you are doing more than just ending your marriage. You also are disrupting and changing the structure and function of your family. You can help your children cope with divorce by using these tips and retain the Fruchtman Law Firm to assist you during your case.

Establish Fair Visitation 

Children are entitled to access to both parents. As long as your spouse is considered stable and safe, he or she has the right to visit with and spend time with the children. Having your family lawyer in Scottsdale AZ petition the court for fair visitation schedules for the children can help them cope with their parents’ divorce and make them feel more secure about still having contact with both their mom and dad.

Establish Child Support 

The Fruchtman Law Firm can also help you pursue a child support order that is fair to both parents. Children of a divorced couple are entitled to support from both parents. Your family lawyer in Scottsdale AZ can ask the judge to issue a child support order that is affordable and realistic when it comes to supporting your children.

Keep Your Children Out of the Divorce Negotiations 

Finally, you can help your children cope with your divorce by keeping them out of the legal case if possible. They are entitled to enjoy childhood without the burden of having to side with one parent over another. They also do not want to be brought into the middle of heated discussions or arguments during which you or your spouse might accuse or call each other names. It is best to allow your lawyer to handle any conflicts that arise during the case and entrust him or her to be your ally rather than you bringing your children into matters that they are not mature enough to handle.

These three tips can help your children through your divorce. Retain a good family lawyer in Scottsdale AZ to assist you during the proceedings. Contact our office today to determine your available options.

Minor Guardianship: What You Need to Know

Aug 20

When an adult is appointed to be the guardian of a minor child, that adult is given full care, custody and control of the child. Guardianship must operate in the best interests of the child. An appointment of guardianship might be for a temporary and fixed period of time, or it might continue until such time as the child reaches the age of majority.

Termination of Guardianship
An appointment of guardianship in Arizona doesn’t operate to end a parent and child relationship. It’s merely suspended. In order to terminate a guardianship, a proper petition must be filed by the parent. The court will then decide if terminating it is in the best interests of the child.

According to a Scottsdale AZ family law attorney at the Fruchtman Law Firm, here’s how the guardianship process begins. Temporary, permanent or emergency guardianship may be sought. Proper and timely notice must be sent to the parents, anybody the child has lived with recently and even the child if the child is over 14 years of age. The person who is petitioning for guardianship must state the reasons why it would operate in the best interests of the child if guardianship is ordered. Should any person of interest object to the guardianship petition, they must file their objection in writing and appear in court. After guardianship is approved, if somebody else believes that the appointed guardian of the child isn’t working toward the best interests of the child, that person can then file his or her own petition for guardianship.

Guardian Duties
Guardians have their own responsibilities. A place to live must be in existence and the child has to be enrolled in school. Appropriate financial arrangements must also be made, especially if the child is receiving public benefits, child support or the like.

Obtaining guardianship is a complicated process, and if an order of guardianship is approved, there are continual responsibilities. Speak with a Scottsdale AZ family law attorney at the Fruchtman Law Firm today to determine your best option for success. You don’t want to go through the guardianship process by yourself.

Are We Eligible for an Annulment?

Aug 05

If you’re contemplating an annulment of your marriage in Arizona, Title 25 Chapter 3 Article 1 of the Arizona Code allows for it. The statute states that “The Superior Courts may dissolve a marriage, and may adjudge a marriage to be null and void when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.” Getting an annulment isn’t easy. If you live in or around Phoenix, we recommend that you speak with a Scottsdale family attorney at the Fruchtman Law Firm.

If an annulment is granted, it has the same effect as a divorce. Assets are divided and the rights and obligations as to children of the parties are adjudicated. In the end, it’s as if you were never married at all. What was a marriage becomes a nullity. Rather than saying that you’re divorced, you can legally hold yourself out as having never been married.

In order to have a court grant an annulment, you must prove that you are eligible for one. You must prove one of the following grounds:

  • That the marriage was never consummated.
  • It was incestuous.
  • Your spouse was guilty of bigamy.
  • Your spouse was a minor at the time of the marriage.
  • Your spouse was guilty of fraud or misrepresentation.
  • He or she was of unsound mind.
  • You were forced into the marriage.

Petitioning for an annulment and proving that you’re eligible for one can be a burdensome endeavor, especially if you intend on representing yourself. Arrange for a consultation with a Scottsdale family attorney at the Fruchtman Law Firm before making any filings. We will listen to you carefully. We will answer your questions and advise you of your full range of legal options. You don’t want to be required to continue to return to court on your case for months or even years after an annulment might be granted. Get it done right the first time with Hope E. Fruchtman.

Spousal Maintenance: How We Can Help

Jul 26

Alimony, otherwise known as spousal maintenance in Arizona, is based upon principles of equity (what is fair in the particular situation). In order to simplify and curtail the prolix factors the court must consider, it is recommended that you obtain specialized legal counsel from Attorney Hope Fruchtman. She strives to be the best family law attorney in Scottsdale AZ. In order to meet this high bar, the Fruchtman Law Firm has developed a streamlined process to calculate and/or mitigate the costs of spousal maintenance for you.

Pro se litigants who go into court may have read a few websites and gathered some basic information on the process. The concept of spousal support primarily turns upon whether one is earning significantly more than the other. The overall focus is whether the marriage commitment took an unfair toll on one spouse by committing to housekeeping and child rearing, etc. Other factors may include whether the spouse is disabled or educated enough to maintain a satisfactory level of independence after the divorce. By preparing your spouse for separation with education, a full-time position, and a place of their own before the divorce, you are in a better position to argue against imposing spousal support payments.

But, remember, a divorce is essentially a contract. Contracts are strictly construed. It is, therefore, necessary for the most straightforward, concise, and clear wording to be drawn up in the terms of a divorce settlement. The same is true on appeal. If you disagree with the judge’s ruling and feel he was being biased and unreasonable regarding some aspect of the case, you will need to present your claims succinctly to the appellate courts. The sad reality is that the courts often lack the capacity to tediously sift through rambling pro se filings. The filings often get fast-tracked for denials under the theory of conserving judicial resources in all but the most fundamental tersely pled errors.

The judges also tend to rely upon and trust the opinions of specialists in this field of practice like Attorney Hope Fruchtman of the Fruchtman law firm. When you hire this family law attorney in Scottsdale AZ you will be able to help the judge to see the merit of your arguments as more persuasive in many cases.