Divorce Do’s and Don’ts

May 23

Divorce is a devastating life change that often involves more than the two immediate parties involved. While it is true that the estranged spouses go through turmoil as they determine how to rebuild without their former lovers, other family members in the circle also face challenges during the process of marriage dissolution. The changes of divorce become even more complicated when children are involved. Such is the reason why you should not attempt to navigate separation and impending dissolution without an attorney by your side. Attorney Hope Fruchtman of Fruchtman Law Firm can help you find your way through the system. scottsdale divorce lawyer

The Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce

When planning for marriage dissolution in Scottsdale, do:

  • Hire a skilled attorney who will fight for you in court
  • Work to keep a positive relationship with your former spouse
  • Focus on the bigger picture, which is your children (if involved) and ultimately moving forward from this experience

Along the same lines, you should refrain from doing the following when getting a divorce:

  • Reliving the past with your estranged spouse
  • Using the children (if a factor) as messengers
  • Adopt harmful habits such as alcohol and drug use in attempts to soothe the pain of dissolution

Why You Need A Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

Arizona abides by a no-fault divorce standard, which means that you only need to prove that the union is broken beyond repair for the request to be granted by a judge. Things can become troublesome when it comes to dividing property, though. Arizona technically goes by the 50/50 rule, which means that assets must be divided equally among the two parties. Such equality is not always the case, however, as property is sometimes hidden to avoid community sales. You may not be able to track down every portion of your estranged spouse’s estate. An attorney, however, works to gain access to such information.

Many soon-to-be divorcees invest in counseling to help them overcome the pain of divorce. Consider hiring Attorney Hope Fruchtman and her team at Fruchtman Law Firm. With a trusted and experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer on your side, you will be able to find a fair agreement and have the most successful case possible. Contact our office to schedule your initial consultation.

Legal Dependency Issues? Why You Need a Lawyer to Help

May 11

In a family law context, dependency issues refer to situations in which a child is considered unsafe with biological parents because the parent is abusing or neglecting the child or has an issue such as addiction that interferes with the ability to care for the child. While courts usually take the position that a child should be with biological parents when it is possible, exceptions are made when the child’s well-being is in danger.

A Scottsdale divorce attorney may have a background in dependency issues since this is an issue that may arise during child custody proceedings. Whether you are a parent who is facing an allegation of being unable to provide safe and adequate care for a child or a relative who hopes to remove a child from an unsafe situation, dependency issues should be addressed with the assistance of an attorney. It is important to seek legal custody in these types of cases so there is recourse if anyone tries to remove a child from the person who has that custody. Involving an attorney may also be important for creating documentation and a paper trail of abuse or neglect.

legal dependency issues

One parent might accuse another during a divorce of being unfit for custody because of domestic abuse. A Scottsdale divorce attorney may handle a case like this. Another situation might be one in which a child is removed from a parent’s home by Child Protective Services because of the parent’s drug addiction. The child might be placed with the other parent or with a family member pending further legal proceedings to assign custody. The Fruchtman Law Firm may be able to help a parent get supervised visitation and, eventually, more access to the child.

If a grandparent or another family member takes in a child who is unsafe in the parent’s home and does not get legal custody, the parent can take the child back at any time. Attorney Hope Fruchtman can advise family members who are in this situation about how to best protect the children in this situation and get legal custody if necessary. Contact our office today to speak to your trusted Scottsdale divorce attorney and determine the best option for your case.

Am I Eligible for Alimony?

Apr 25

Alimony is also known as spousal support or maintenance. This support is usually temporary. It is usually only awarded when the former spouse cannot make ends meet after the divorce. People may use spousal support to brush up on their education and get back into the job market. They may also use this money to raise their children. In some cases, alimony may be permanent if the spouse cannot support themselves due to a disability or age.

Factors That Affect Whether You Will Get Alimony Am I Eligible For Alimony?

Most states will take several things into consideration before they decide whether you can receive alimony. The court will decide whether you need spousal support. They will also have to decide whether your spouse is able to pay you.

What Information Will I Need to Give the Court


You will need to provide the court with a list of your expenses and income. Additionally, you will need to provide your spouse’s financial information to the court.

Age and Health

If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to work, then you may be able to receive alimony. In most cases, alimony is only awarded for 1 to 10 years. However, you may be able to get it for a longer period of time if you have a chronic medical condition. If you or your spouse is near the retirement age, then this will also be taken into consideration.

Employment and Education

You and your spouse’s work history and education will determine whether you can receive alimony. If you have been underemployed or a stay-at-home spouse, then you may be awarded alimony.

Other factors that may be taken into consideration including bad behavior of the spouse and the length of the marriage.

Family Law Attorney in Scottsdale AZ

If you have questions about alimony, contact our office today to speak to our trusted and experienced family law attorney in Scottsdale AZ. Attorney Hope Fruchtman has years of experience with these cases; she is prepared to help you have a successful case and determine if alimony is right for you.

What If My Ex-Spouse Wants to Relocate Custody?

Apr 12

It is not uncommon after a divorce for a parent to break the news that he or she is moving to a new town, city, or state. For many, it comes as a shock, and anxieties begin to grow over the stability and longevity of a parent-child relationship. A parent may ask him or herself, “How can I have a quality relationship with my child if they are hundreds of miles away or in another state?” family law attorney in scottsdale

A parent may feel betrayal and as if their child is being stolen away from them.  He or she is left with more questions than answers. However, a parent may decide to move for a myriad of reasons, including employment opportunities, a new partner, or simply the wish to start a new life. Regardless of the reasons for moving, if parents cannot agree on matters of custody, the decision will go to a judge.

In Arizona, a judge will consider several factors in deciding the outcome of a custody dispute, which generally revolve around the well-being of the affected child:

  • The child’s preference to move or stay.
  • The motives of the parents, either in support or opposing the move, in addition to discerning whether a parent seeks to profit financially from a move.
  • The child’s quality of life if he or she were to move; including the emotional and developmental challenges of having a long-distance parent or sibling.
  • The child’s stability after relocation.
  • Whether the relocation will allow for parenting time with each parent.
  • Anything else that the court sees fit.

Contact A Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Today

A move-away case is often the most stressful, agonizing, and difficult experience that a parent may face. As a distant move can endanger the future relationship between a parent and his or her child, one should consult a professional, knowledgeable, and practiced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law and who has experience protecting families. Attorney Hope Fruchtman has been serving families in her community as a Scottsdale family law attorney since 1995. Contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman today for more information on how to prevent an ex-spouse from relocating custody.

3 Steps in a Step-Parent Adoption

Mar 20

Step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption in Arizona. In most cases, these adoptions happen after one parent remarries and brings children with them to form a larger, new family. As the family bond grows, many step-parents feel the drive to make the bond official by adopting their new stepchildren. Step-parent adoptions can be a very straightforward process, although they can become complicated if the other parent does not consent. Our experienced family law attorney in Scottsdale can help you determine the best next step to take for you and your case. Here are the steps involved in this type of adoption in Scottsdale, Arizona:

#1. Acquiring Consent to Adopt step parent adoption
Both biological parents of the child must consent to the child’s adoption by the step-parent. The parent who is not in the relationship must relinquish his or her parental rights before the process can go forward. This requires filling out a Consent to Adopt form.

This step may be the hardest part of the process. A parent who has an active relationship with their child will not give up their parental rights. There are cases in which the other parent is not involved with the child or will be willing to sign the consent form.

#2. Petition for Terminating Parental Rights
It may be possible to file a Petition for Terminating Parental Rights if the other parent does not consent to the adoption. This step is only appropriate when there is a serious problem that interferes with a healthy relationship between the parent and the child. Common examples include a chronic drug or alcohol problem, sexual or physical abuse of the child, psychological abuse, or child abandonment.

#3. Petition to Adopt
The final step is filing the Petition to Adopt paperwork. A family law attorney in Scottsdale may help your adoption move forward quickly if the step-parent and the biological parent have been married for more than one year and both biological parents grant consent.

It’s usually recommended that you work with a family law attorney as the adoption process can be complex and difficult to navigate. A family law attorney in Scottsdale can guide you through the process and help you avoid mistakes that can delay the adoption. Contact The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman today to discuss your case.

Legal Separation: What is the Process?

Mar 20

The parties of a marriage in Arizona might have a variety of legal reasons why they want to remain legally married but become legally separated. In the context of the procedures involved in a legal separation, they are much like those in a divorce, but the parties must agree to legal separation. In a divorce, no such agreement is required; one party to the marriage can petition for a divorce with or without the consent of the other party. Due process of law requires a Petition for Legal Separation, service of it on the respondent and a final decree. A trusted Scottsdale family law attorney can help you determine if this process is right for you and your family.

Property Division and Custody legal separation
Much like in a divorce, certain property division issues might be agreed upon; others might remain an issue, such as division of assets and debts, spousal support, child custody, support, and visitation. On those issues, the parties can come to agreements through their mutual attorneys, go to hearing in court, or agree to mediate remaining issues. When a judge enters a decree, the financial and community property interests of the parties are terminated and final. Issues of child custody, support, and visitation are subject to change if the moving party can show changed circumstances.

Legal separation does not operate to allow either of the parties to remarry. A formal divorce decree must be entered for that purpose.

Converting a Separation Petition into a Divorce
A pending separation case can be converted into a divorce case on a routine basis. If the parties are already legally separated, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be filed, but it will bear the same case number as the separation case. The terms of the separation decree will be the terms of the divorce judgment.

If you or a loved one are struggling with your separation case and are in need of legal guidance, contact our experienced and effective Scottsdale family law attorney. Attorney Hope Fruchtman would be pleased to advise you on the finer points of legal separation as opposed to divorce. Contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman to arrange a case consultation today.

Paternity Issues? What to do Next

Feb 16

It is important that a child has a supportive environment during their development to ensure they grow to be both physically and emotionally healthy. Unfortunately, many families experience paternity issues that affect family relationships and, if left unresolved or ignored, can negatively affect the children and parents involved. Are you experiencing paternity issues and unsure of what to do next? If you live in the Scottsdale, AZ area and are unsure about your legal rights as a father or potential father, if you are a mother that is seeking support from the father of your child or determination of the father of your child, an experienced Scottsdale family law attorney can provide the guidance and the experience needed to resolve your paternity issues in a way that provides the most healthy and stable paternity situation for the child.

There are many different types of paternity issues that benefit from an experienced family law attorney, including creating a child support or child custody agreement, protecting the father’s legal rights to a relationship with a child, determining the paternity of a child, or contesting the paternity of a child. Contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman, a Scottsdale family law attorneyScottsdale family law attorney, to help you understand your paternity rights in the state of Arizona.

There are many benefits to using an attorney to help resolve your paternity issues instead of you going about it on your own. Paternity has both legal and financial implications, in that if a parent neglects their responsibilities towards their child or children, they could be subjected to legal and financial ramifications. The best option is to find an experienced family law attorney that understands the many complexities of changing family dynamics, the delicate nature of family relationships, and has proven success in the practice of family law in the state of Arizona to assist you with your paternity questions. Contact the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman for your paternity questions and let us help you decide what to do next.

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.