How to Know if An Annulment is Right for You and Your Spouse

Feb 16

Divorce is not the only option for ending a marriage. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to have the union legally annulled. Unlike divorce, an annulment effectively makes the legal statement that the marriage was invalid. Here are some of the grounds for annulment that are recognized in the state of Arizona and how to initiate the legal proceeding:

Acceptable Grounds annulment

As a family law attorney in Scottsdale will explain, Arizona’s laws provide several grounds for annulment. Many of them have to to with physical and mental capacity. For example, if one party is suffering from a mental illness, the other party may seek to have the marriage annulled. Should one party withhold information about a chronic physical condition, such as being physically incapable of consummating the marriage, the other spouse will have grounds to have the union voided.

Duress is also grounds for invalidating the marriage. This could involve using coercion to force someone into a marriage he or she did not want. A refusal to consummate the union may also be considered a form of duress.

Bigamy is recognized by the state as a reason to declare a marriage invalid. Other reasons include one party being under the age of consent, intoxication at the time the marriage took place, and the failure to obtain an official marriage license. If any of these circumstances apply, the innocent party can seek help from an attorney and file the documents necessary to annul the marriage.

How to Seek an Annulment

While current laws do allow individuals to file their own documents with the court, securing the services of a family law attorney in Scottsdale is the best approach. The attorney will file a petition for annulment at the local courthouse. Depending on the reasons for the petition, the court may require additional documents.

The defendant named in the petition has the opportunity to file a response. A hearing is set and both parties along with their legal counsels have the opportunity to speak with the judge. In the event the defendant does not respond to the petition, Arizona law allows for what is known as a default hearing that can happen 61 days after the filing of the original petition. In either situation, the judge will determine if an annulment will be granted or if filing for divorce is necessary.

If you believe there are grounds for annulment, contact The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman today. After going over the specifics of your situation, it will be possible to determine the most practical way to end the marriage. Contact the office today to schedule your consultation.

How to Ensure Child Custody Arrangements are Fair for Everyone

Jan 29

In many cases, if you and your former spouse can agree on the terms of child custody, then the judge will find no issue with custody decisions. However, if you cannot agree on child custody, you must file an action with the court in order to have a judge make that determination. A trusted family law attorney in Scottsdale can help you and your loved ones find an agreement that is fair for everyone. child custody

Without regard to your state of residence, it is typical for judges to take into account the best interests of the children involved. This means that he or she will listen to the factors involved and make the custody decision for you. The factors that typically determine custody decisions include the children’s relationship with both parents, the parents’ living situation, whether or not any abuse or neglect are present, and whether or not their needs are being met.

Hiring a family law attorney in Scottsdale will give you the peace of mind in knowing that you have someone on your side that cares about your case. The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman will take the time necessary to listen to your case details and determine a course of action that is best for you, your children, and your situation as a whole.

If you need a family law attorney in Scottsdale, contact The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman so that we can help you rebuild your life. Even if you and your former spouse agree on everything, it is always in your best interests to consult an attorney on matters of child custody. We will work hard to show you that we care about your situation and will create a strategy for you to move forward in your lives.

Your family is important, and you don’t have to go through child custody issues on your own. Contact us today to set up a consultation so that we may begin helping you. The process is hard enough when you don’t know the answers to the tough questions. Call us and we will help you move forward.
If you need a child custody attorney that will fight for your rights, reach out to us today for more information. We will help you navigate the tough waters.



What are Your Rights as a Grandparent?

Jan 29

grandparents rightsGrandchildren are often the highlight of a grandparent’s life. Unfortunately, in some cases, the parents decide not to let the grandparents see the grandchildren. Often, this is in cases of divorce or when the parents were never married. If you or a loved one are struggling with their custody or visitation rights, contact your trusted Scottsdale family law attorney to discuss your case.

Arizona’s Supreme Court can grant grandparent visitation rights. In Arizona, grandparents’ rights can be granted if:

  • The child’s parents were never married
  • The child’s parents have been divorced for at least three months
  • The child’s parent has been missing or deceased for at least three months

These are not the only requirements, however. One of the above requirements must be met in addition to being able to prove that it’s in the child’s best interests to have visitation with their grandparents.


What is the child’s best interest?

There are a few factors the court looks at when determining if grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest:

  • The motives of the grandparents
  • The existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild
  • The parent’s motive for denying visitation
  • The amount of visitation time being requested
  • The benefits to the child if they maintain a relationship with their grandparents

The Goodman decision

The recent decision in the Goodman case makes getting grandparent visitation rights more difficult. Essentially, this decision says that you need to prove the parents unfit if you want the court to override the parent’s denial of your visitation rights. If the parent is fit and chooses to deny you visitation, it is very difficult to get past that.

It may be difficult, but it’s not necessarily impossible. If you are a grandparent who wants to see their grandchild, contacting a Scottsdale family law attorney at the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman is the first step to working something out. The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman can help you engage with your grandchild’s parent and attempt to find a solution or help you with a case in court.

Facing the Holidays After a Divorce

Dec 18

Holidays After a DivorceGoing through a divorce is one of the most painful experiences anyone can endure. This is especially true if there are young children involved. As the holiday season looms, all the emotional elements of the season are heightened, and if the situation is not handled carefully and delicately, the entire holiday season can leave a person feeling shattered.

There are ways to cope with the holidays in a healthy fashion, but it takes real thought and planning ahead in order to come through it all in a stable way. A person whose marriage is ending should definitely seek out an experienced family law attorney, as having legal help is essential to getting through the process and avoiding any dangerous pitfalls. A Scottsdale divorce attorney can help with solid advice on a range of issues that can come to a head during and after a divorce.

A Scottsdale family law attorney can be a stabilizing force for anyone who is facing the holidays while also dealing with the stress of dissolving their marriage. One of the issues a family law attorney can advise on is financial matters. A lawyer can outline the wise use of finances as assets are being divided, and also help the client to avoid emotional overspending over the holidays.

Another major issue after a divorce is child visitation, which can become very emotionally loaded during the holiday season. A recently divorced person should confer with a Scottsdale family law attorney as they figure out holiday plans with children, to ensure there are staying within the bounds of acceptable behavior as regards a custody agreement.

The other important issue during a divorce, with the holidays looming, is to keep track of important paperwork. Having financial and family records in place is critical after a divorce, and it’s wise to confer with experienced counsel about what is needed.

If you have faced a divorce and are worried about how to prepare for the holidays, contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman. Don’t go through this emotional season alone, call today.

How to Plan for the Holidays With a Child Visitation Schedule

Dec 18

Holidays With a Child Visitation ScheduleMost parents can’t wait to enjoy the holiday season with their children. Making cookies, wrapping gifts and spending time with each other are all exciting parts of the holiday season. However, when you’re divorced or you have a child visitation schedule, the holidays can be more complicated.

Follow the written order 

Courts speak through their written orders. If you have a court order that gives you a defined parenting schedule, follow it. Most parenting orders have specific rules for holiday visitation. One parent might have Christmas Eve from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The other parent might have the same hours on Christmas Day.

If it’s written in the custody order, both parents have to follow it unless both parents agree otherwise. The parent with primary custody or more parenting time doesn’t have the right to choose to ignore the parenting time schedule even around the holidays. What’s written in the order is what you need to follow even if one parent doesn’t like it or it’s a bit inconvenient for both parents. Until the court order changes, you have to follow it as it’s written and signed by the judge.

Get it in writing

If you want to make changes to the parenting time schedule and both parents agree, you can make changes. For example, if you want holiday parenting time to begin at 7:00 p.m. the night before the holiday instead of 9:00 a.m. on the holiday, you’re free to work this out with the other parent. However, you can not make the changes unless you both agree. If you both agree to the change, make sure that the other parent agrees to it in writing. Email or text is usually sufficient.

Making changes to custody or parenting time

If you need to make changes to a custody or parenting time schedule, you can make a formal request to the court. Scottsdale divorce attorney Hope E. Fruchtman can help you understand when the court will entertain making a change to a custody or parenting time order. Their Scottsdale child support lawyers company can also help you understand how changes to parenting time might impact child support. Contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman to talk about your case.

Holiday Co-parenting Tips

Nov 30

Holiday Co-parenting TipsThe holiday season can be a stressful and difficult time for parents and children after divorce, especially during the first year. It can be a hard adjustment to transition to a co-parenting relationship, especially when the holidays become a source of contention. No matter how old your children are, they deserve to be the priority. Here are some tips for drama-free holiday co-parenting from a Scottsdale family law attorney that ensures both families get to spend time with the kids.

Be flexible
While this can be difficult — especially if you have something really special planned — co-parenting requires compromise and flexibility. If your child’s other parent has family visiting from out of town during your scheduled parenting time, try to be open to trading days. This is in the best interest of the children to ensure they get time with both sides of their family. You would also want your ex to do the same for you. Be sure you arrange for specific make-up days at the time of the agreement.

Don’t overcompensate
Don’t feel pressured to buy your kids’ love or win their affection. Coordinate gifts with your ex to make sure the kids receive a normal amount of presents without duplicates. Don’t use oneupmanship and extravagant gifts to try to make your ex look worse in the eyes of your children. Your children want time with you. Start new holiday traditions, spend within your means, and create memories that they will remember forever, unlike the latest high-price gadget.

Don’t ask kids to decide where they will spend the holidays
Children go through the strongest grieving process after divorce and it’s simply not fair to ask your children to decide with whom they want to spend the holidays. Before talking to your kids about possible holiday plans, start by consulting your visitation schedule or parenting plan. Discuss plans with your ex and make decisions together as much as possible. When you have the kids during a holiday, give them time to speak with their other parent that day.

At the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman, we understand just how difficult the holidays can be after divorce. Still, there will always be opportunities to make new traditions and memories with your children and move on together while working with your ex to support the kids. All divorces come with an adjustment period, but remember that you can work with a Scottsdale family law attorney if your ex refuses to follow the visitation agreement in your case.

Thinking about divorce? What you should know before making a decision

Nov 09

thinking about divorce

The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman is devoted to helping people who have come to a place of crisis in their lives. This Scottsdale Divorce Attorney practices family law including child custody, child support, prenuptial agreements, post-divorce enforcement, adoption, paternity, juvenile law and other family law issues. As a Scottsdale AZ family lawyer, this team has intense experience in assisting with divorce.

Divorce never begins with the divorce lawyer, but rather, that is the final action for a relationship. Over the years, the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman has found five main things that will help both parties immeasurably if they are used before the signing of the divorce.

1) Finding a support network is one of the most important assets for those thinking about divorce.
2) Depending on what your lawyer suggests, consider separating bank accounts and credit cards so that neither spouse can bankrupt the other.
3) Prepare a balance sheet for all of the finances. List properties, retirement accounts, bank accounts, mortgages, autos and credit cards including all debt and assets. This will make the split easier when you can anticipate what will be divided.
4) Set a budget on the amount you want to spend your divorce attorneys.
5) If you have children, their safety and mental health is the priority. Compare your work schedules, and try to determine the best times for the children in the event of shared custody.

Divorce is one of the most difficult things a couple can go through. This Scottsdale AZ family lawyer desires to provide the highest quality and compassionate legal representation for their clients as possible.

This experienced team is committed to excellence, and their clients rely on their specialized knowledge concerning the law and litigation skills. This law firm has been through years of dedicated service. They know what they are doing and how to help. If you are thinking about divorce contact a Scottsdale divorce attorney today.


Recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence

Nov 09

warning signs of domestic violence

Generally speaking, most people find that domestic violence a topic they simply do not like to talk about. Often, shame is attached to domestic violence. The abused partner in the relationship blames their behavior on igniting the abuse. The distressing fact is that millions of women and men are in abusive relationships. It might be a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or other family member. Generally, the abuser is a controller in the marriage or any type of personal relationship. The abuser uses the behavior to control his partner. Recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence is key to ending domestic violence and leaving the relationship. This is where an experienced AZ divorce attorney can help.

Recognizing Domestic Violence Warning Signs
Often, the abuser’s goal is to control the situation. The abuser might start out by simply yelling at his partner, spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend. They may threaten their partner with physical violence, scream, or throw things around the home. The abuse escalates and the abuser starts pushing, shoving, and/or slapping their partner around violently. Generally, the violent behavior is triggered by the most innocent situations.

Signs Your Partner Is An Abuser
Domestic violence varies. Still, there are several similarities to note. Here are a few signs that your significant other is an abuser and that you are in a domestic violence relationship.

  • Your partner calls you derogatory names in front of others
  • Exhibits frightening behavior
  • Controls your life
  • Insist you end relationships with friends and family
  • Controls your money, spending, and paycheck
  • Makes all the decisions in the relationship
  • Threatens to hurt or kill you
  • Destroys your personal belongings
  • Denies abusing you
  • Threatens you with weapons

The sobering fact is that arguments happen in just about every personal relationship. However, domestic violence is not a characteristic of a loving relationship. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of domestic violence and get out of the relationship before disaster strikes. It’s time to end the abuse by calling a Scottsdale divorce attorney to discuss your options. The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman is here for you.





How Divorce Affects Children

Oct 31

How Divorce Affects ChildrenWhat are the Affects on Children?

Divorce is a major life event that affects everyone in the family, especially the kids. While divorce is often necessary for the health and happiness of the family, it can take a toll on your children.


During and shortly after the divorce, your child may feel stressed about adjusting to the new family structure. Moving to a new home or adapting to having only one parent around is difficult, especially for kids who haven’t experienced much change in their lives before.

Trust Issues

Most young children want their parents to stay together, and they believe that their parents belong together. Divorce shatters this image, which can feel like a betrayal of trust. Kids may become more withdrawn from their parents during and after a divorce, or they may lash out in anger.

Behavioral and Psychological Problems

Children of divorced parents tend to display more behavioral and psychological issues than children whose parents are still together. Their grades may suffer, and they may be at a greater risk of dropping out of high school. Feelings of depression and anxiety are also common around the time of the divorce.

Not all children of divorced parents experience these issues, but they are still important problems to watch out for.

How You Can Help

The parents’ behavior during a divorce has a big impact on how the children react to it. During a divorce, the kids might feel like their parents don’t love them, so making sure your kids know they’re loved is essential.

Be straightforward about the divorce and explain your new living situation or schedule clearly. For example, if your children know that they’ll get to see their other parent every other weekend, it gives them some structure and expectations during a time of confusion.

Hiring an AZ divorce lawyer during the proceedings will also make divorce much easier on everyone in your family. When you have a lawyer who can handle the legality of the matter, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on helping your children through the difficult experience. If you want to get in touch with a Scottsdale divorce attorney, you can contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman.

5 things you should know about relocation

Oct 31

relocationWhen parents divorce, one of them may move away. Parents should learn about Arizona’s relocation rules, so that they can work with their Scottsdale divorce attorney to pursue their interests in the best way possible. Here are 5 things you need to know about relocation:

1. You can relocate before you file for divorce

There’s nothing to prevent you from moving with the children before you file for divorce. In fact, this might be necessary if there’s domestic violence in your home. However, it might affect when and how you can file for divorce. If you’re considering divorce or separation, contact the law office of Hope E. Fruchtman before you file, so that you can make a workable plan.

2. But you need permission after you have an order

Once you have an order in place, you absolutely need permission from the court in order to move with the children. Don’t make the mistake of asking for forgiveness instead of permission. The court can order you to return with the children, and you can even lose custody if you take off before a judge gives the green light.

3. You need a reason to relocate

When the court decides whether to grant your request, they look at whether the move improves life for the children. That means, you need to be able to show the court why life is better for the children if you can move. Your AZ divorce attorney can help present your case in the best way.

4. It’s hard to move in shared custody cases

In cases where the parents share parenting time roughly equally, the courts hesitate to approve a move. You need to have a compelling case for custody as well as for the move. Attorney Hope E. Fruchtman can help evaluate your case to see if you’re likely to succeed at a hearing.

5. The child’s opinion matters

Although the child doesn’t have final say in the matter, the court will take the child’s opinion into account. The child must be old enough to have an honest opinion. The court will also consider if a parent is coaching the child about what to say.