7 commonly asked questions about adoption

Aug 17


Deciding to adopt a child is unfamiliar territory and it helps to go into the process with a basic understanding of how it works. Every situation is not the same, but there are some aspects that are in common with many adoptions. Take a look at these answers to seven commonly asked questions about adoption to expand your knowledge on the subject and decide if it’s the right option for you.

What do I need to do to start the process?

The general process of being approved to be an adoptive parent begins with finding an agency to conduct a home study. You can choose between a public or private agency.

What information do I provide?

Before you can be approved to adopt you’ll need to provide a variety of information. This includes answering many questions about parenting beliefs, your background, family structure, education, employment, finances and everything else relevant to your situation.

Can I adopt if I’m single?

Being single is not a reason to be denied to adopt. It can be a bit more difficult, but it’s not impossible.

How much does it cost?

Adoption costs are far from static. The amount you’ll pay depends on the agency you’re working with, fees for things such as applications or a home study and costs such as traveling to the destination where the child is. The unfamiliarity can be eased with assistance from an Arizona family lawyer.

How long does it take to get a match?

This is something else that isn’t the same for every situation. It depends on your availability, preferences for age, and location. Expect the process to take a minimum of six months to get going and a couple years if you’re looking to adopt an infant.

What is the difference between open and closed?

A closed adoption keeps information about the birth parents private with no communication between them and the adoptive parents. Some open adoptions do provide contact on a regular basis.

Is there a support network?

A support network is available for both adoptive parents and children after placement. Counseling offers social, educational and support activities.

It is beneficial to seek services from a Scottsdale family attorney once your make the decision to adopt. The Law Office of Attorney Hope E. Fruchtman can guide you on the process and ease your concerns. If you have questions about adoption, do not hesitate to contact a family attorney who can help you.

How does child support work?

Aug 01

a child support
Parents who establish a custody order for the first time often wonder how child support works. The State of Arizona
created a child support formula that applies to all custody orders in the state. The formula takes the circumstances of the case into account to calculate what parent should pay support and how much they should pay. Usually, child support lasts until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. Child support always ends at age 19, even if a child is still in high school.

The child support formula considers the income of the parties and the amount of time that the child spends with each parent. This isn’t always as simple as it sounds, so it’s important to work with a Scottsdale family attorney on your case. At the law office of Attorney Hope E. Fruchtman, we help deserving clients examine their child support case so that their order correctly reflects the true situation. It’s not always easy to know what counts and what doesn’t count for purposes of calculating child support. Parents are also not always honest about their income, but a skilled and experienced Arizona divorce attorney can demand information from the other parent and conduct an investigation to help the court arrive at the true income of the parties.

In addition to income, a child support order also takes health care into account. If one parent provides health insurance for the child, the other parent pays for part of the child’s share of the premiums. Childcare expenses and childcare tax credits are also accounted for in the child support calculation.

The courts can take special circumstances into account. If a child attends a private school, the court can add child support payments for a share of the tuition. Where a child has special needs or extraordinary talents, the court can take related expenses into account, too.

Child support is a mathematical formula, but it isn’t always that simple. Honest mistakes and hidden incomes can result in an incorrect child support calculation. Working with an experienced attorney can help you avoid errors that result in an incorrect calculation of support.

New Marriage with Children Involved?

Jul 17

new marriageA new marriage is a major experience. When children are involved, it can be even more of an adventure. Not only have you made a commitment to your new spouse, but to their child as well. Suddenly, you have an opportunity to share in all the joy and growing pains of parenthood. As exciting as this phase of life can be, there are also challenges involved with raising a non-biological child. The key is to educate yourself on any potential obstacles as soon as possible. Here are a few examples of these obstacles and how to be prepared.

Medical Needs
It is important for children to see a doctor regularly in order to monitor growth and development. This can be difficult for a new spouse. In order to include the child on your work insurance, you must show that you are legally responsible for them. You could also face this problem in the event of an emergency. Without the proper authority, hospitals will not allow you to make certain medical decisions. Consider speaking with a Scottsdale AZ. Family attorney about your options.

Biological Parents
If your new spouse has a child from a previous relationship, you must consider the other biological parent. The level of their involvement can be a blessing or a significant roadblock. The other parent may not support your presence in the child’s life. This objection could even lead to custody disputes. Generally, these arrangements will have been previously addressed by the courts or an Arizona divorce lawyer. However, you should prepare for a petition to review if the other parent is unhappy.

Despite any struggles you may face in a new marriage, this is not an impossible situation. You and your new blended family can have a wonderful life together. There will be birthday parties, holidays, vacations, and so much more to share. When the time comes that you need a lawyer, legal experts, like those at the law office of Attorney Hope E. Frutchman, can guide you through the process. They will also represent your best interests. The ultimate goal is to encourage a safe and happy home for everyone in your family.

Divorced With Kids? Where should they go to school?

Jun 06

kids getting on school bus
A divorce can be devastating for all family members, especially for the kids of the divorcing couples because their lives are affected in many ways. One issue that comes up during divorce proceedings is the dispute over where the kids will attend school after the parents go their separate ways. Children whose parents are going through a divorce often fear that they will be separated from their teachers, classmates and friends. Kids also worry that they will bounce around or attend different schools each year.
The question remains, who gets to decide where the kids will attend school after divorce? Our Scottsdale divorce attorney at the law office of Hope E. Fruchtman will advice you and offer you the best answer for this question depending on the custody order. In most divorce cases, the decision of where the kids attend school is decided by the facts of the case. In the situation where one parent has sole legal custody, he or she has the right to pick which school the kids attend without the advice of the other party. Alternatively, when both parents share joint custody, they have to agree on the various issues about the kids i.e. the schools that they attend.
If the joint custody plan does not handle the issue of which school the kids attend, the parents have to agree in mediation, on their own, or through a divorce attorney who will file a motion in court for the judge to decide. It is also important to note that the presiding judge retains the authority to make special stipulations that are in the best interests of the kids; these factors include commuting time, desires of the children and parent, proximity to custodial parent among others. If you are worried how a divorce may alter your rights to make key decisions on behalf of your kids, it is a good idea to let our experienced divorce attorney guide you through the divorce process.

Importance of Parenting Time

May 19

parenting timeThere are numerous studies that outline the importance of a child receiving access to both parents. Removing one parent from children when they provide a healthy, loving relationship can prove detrimental to the overall wellbeing of the child. However, in the event of divorce, parents often attempt to obtain full custody of their child, for one reason or another. It is in the best interest of not only both parents but of the children as well to receive access and time with one another. This can go along way in improving the overall quality of life for each individual.

In the event of divorce and child custody, a parent needs to go after the very best representation possible. Hope E. Fruchtman is one of the top Scottsdale family law attorney provides in all of metro Phoenix. So, no matter the case, when it comes to family time and parental representation, this is the attorney parents need to turn to.

As nearly 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, there are often children involved. Unless the couple has put of having children or they are early on in their marriage (or on the flip side, decades into it), child custody is one of the most important battles anyone will fight.

Hopefully, parents can agree on equal time with their children. This way, parents have the ability to connect with their child and spend the same amount of time with them. However, when this agreement is not possible, it can become an incredibly nasty endeavor for both parties. To avoid this kind of issue and to make sure a parent receives what is best for not only them but their child, Hope E. Fruchtman is able to help. The attorney can provide assistance in all forms of family law around Scottsdale.


What are the top 3 reasons for an annulment?

May 12

reasons for an annulmentThe reasons for an annulment differ from state to state, but the state of Arizona has some basic requirements on what constitutes an annulment. The provisions for a marriage annulment in Arizona are found in title 25, chapter 3 and article 1 of the Arizona code. The act for a marriage annulment in the state of Arizona is concise and ascertains the ability of the court to pronounce the marriage void if the grounds and conditions for an annulment are present. There are a number of reasons that can be used for a marriage annulment in Arizona, but they need a high degree of proof; generally, you have to use the services of a family law attorney to secure the annulment. The top three grounds for an annulment include;
Mental Illness

When an individual marries while mentally ill, insane or lacking mental capacity, then such a person could not give legal consent to marrying, therefore, there may be grounds for an annulment. A mentally ill person lacks the legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract because a marriage requires contractual intent. The determining factor is the person’s mental state at the time of marriage not before or after marriage.

When one party deliberately distorted facts and information for the purpose of swindling the other party into marriage, then the marriage can be annulled on fraud grounds.

When an individual was drugged, under the influence or intoxicated at the time of marriage and was unable to comprehend the meaning and consequences of marriage, then the marriage can be annulled under Arizona law.
Parties should understand that with annulment, both parties give up their rights as married persons including the right of inheritance and succession, community property, and spousal maintenance. When you need help with annulment in Arizona, contact our Scottsdale divorce attorney at The Law Offices of Hope E. Fruchtman.

Arizona Spousal Maintenance Explained

Jul 22

divorce couple with judge, Spousal Maintenance

Seeking alimony? Let the Law Office of Hope Fruchtman represent you in family court.

Spousal maintenance or alimony, as is sometimes called, is a discretion of the family court. While making such an award, the court looks at various factors, one of which is the length of a marriage. There are higher chances of spouses from lengthy marriages filing for alimony receiving their request than those from shorter marriages. The other factor given consideration by the court is the monthly earnings of both spouses. However, the overriding factor given the upper hand by the court is the ‘reasonable needs’ presented to the court by the requesting spouse. If you want to know whether your needs are acceptable before the court contact a Scottsdale divorce attorney to clear any grey areas concerning the matter.

In Arizona, a request for spousal maintenance goes through two stages. First, the court examines how valid the request is. If it is satisfied that indeed the requesting spouse deserves it, the court moves on to the second stage, where it seeks to establish or determine the amount of support as well as the duration of support. In the event of divorce, it is vital to seek the services of an experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer for guidance.

At the first stage, the court looks for various factors validating a request for alimony. It will examine whether the spouse lacks sufficient property to support their ‘reasonable needs’. If a spouse is not self sufficient through employment or is the custodian of a child or children who restrict him/ her from seeking employment, he/ she has sufficient ground to claim for alimony. Other factors include contributed towards the education of the other spouse or a long stay in the marriage to an age that doesn’t permit employment.

In establishing the amount and duration of support, the court looks at quite a number of factors, including living standards established in the marriage, the duration of the marriage, contribution to the other spouse’s earning ability, the earning abilities of both spouses and ability of the other spouse to meet the ‘reasonable needs’ of the requesting spouse, among others. Get in touch with a Scottsdale family law attorney to familiarize yourself fully with the law before applying for alimony.

Can I Be Denied Parenting Time if my ex does not Pay Child Support?

Jul 08

Parenting time

Parenting Time affected by child support.

If you asked a Scottsdale family law attorney to define for you what parenting time means, he/ she would explain to the effect that it refers to the time a parent can be with his/ her child. During this time, only the designated parent can be with the child as the other parent waits for his/ her turn.

If one parent denies the other parenting time for some reason or another, the parent denied parenting time has the right to seek legal assistance from the court for parenting time. At this point, getting legal assistance from an experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney can prove to be very timely. To address the issue of lost parenting time, a court can order that the parent denied parenting time be compensated with more time with the child/ children.

Basically, you are entitled to parenting time, whether your ex pays for child support or not. The law provides for parenting time access of a child by both parents, making it illegal to deny any of the parents the right to parenting time. When a custody order is issued, it prioritizes the child’s interests for consistent and stable access to both mother and father, hence the reason why it grants unlimited parenting time to both parents.

Why the Law Supports Parenting Time as well as Child Support

The law recognizes that children need quality parenting time, which gives them the irreplaceable bonding opportunity with their parents. Not only that, children deserve to feel and enjoy parental love and tap from the wealth of guidance that only parents can offer. According to the law, parenting time cannot be exchanged for for child support.

It is important to consider parenting support and child support as disjoint court orders. Each of the two orders have to be treated with seriousness it deserves. Each of them attract separate repercussions when they are ignored or disregarded.

If you have any parenting time issue, a Scottsdale divorce lawyer can guide you through the legal process pertaining the same so as to ensure children receive the care and attention they deserve.


My ex was abusive. Can he/she still gain custody of our child?

Jul 01

When a judge is making a decision on child custody in a divorce case, the best interests of the child or children are put first. This is the case both in matters of legal and physical custody. In prioritizing the best interests of a minor, domestic violence is taken very seriously. Arizona courts do not get custody to a parent in cases where one party has been proven to be violent. In fact, parents cannot be given joint legal custody if it has been established that there was violence in a home where minors lived.

Abusive Ex

If your spouse was violent while children were present, contact Hope Fruchtman.

In making a decision about child custody where domestic violence has been reported, Arizona courts consider;
-ruling from other courts if they are any,
-medical, police and child protective services reports,
-records from domestic violence shelter records,
-testimonies from witnesses.

If a court examines evidence and finds that a parent has been violent against the other parent, the court has to make a legal assumption that it would not be in the best interests of a child to give custody to the abusive parent. The abusive parent can also not be given parenting time which is what visitation is called in Arizona. This is until the parent can convince the judge that visiting the child will not put them in danger or interfere with their emotional development.

If the judge is convinced, conditions will be set for parenting time as follows;
-that parenting time is done in a protected place such as the lobby of a police station,
-that the visits are supervised by a state agency,
-that another family member or member of the household can supervise the visits under specific conditions,
-that the abusive parent cannot possess or consume alcohol or drugs during the visits or 24 hours before a visit.
-overnight visits are banned,
-that the abusive parent pays a bond to ensure a child is returned safely,
-that the address of the child and the other party is not revealed to the abusive parent,
-that the abusive parent meets the costs for the parenting time if any, and
-that any other condition needed to ensure the safety of the child and the other parent is set and accepted by the abusive parent.

Parental rights termination
A court also has the right to terminate the rights of a parent. This is in cases there is a history and pattern of domestic violence. In such cases, the child’s relative, physician, foster parent, Arizona Department of Economic Security or licensed welfare agency can go to court and file a petition for the rights of an abusive parent to be terminated. If a court grants the petition, then the abusive parent will lose all their rights; they will lose both legal and physical custody of a child.

If you spouse or partner is abusive, a Scottsdale divorce attorney can find and present evidence of the same. A proficient Scottsdale family law attorney will help you get the protection that you and your child or children need.

Premarital Agreements: Are they always valid?

Jun 28

prenuptial agreement

Discuss your prenuptial agreement with a family law attorney today!

Prenuptial agreements are entered into by a prospective couple contemplating marriage. The agreement is usually effected when the marriage finally takes off. The purpose of this agreement is to settle various issues that arise in the event of divorce, separation or death of either spouse. These issues include division of property, property distribution and child support, among others. To make easily enforceable, the law provides a written and signed agreement. A well versed Scottsdale family law attorney can expound it further for your benefit.

One may wonder whether the prenuptial agreements are really practicable. Yes, they are, if they are signed within the laid down legal guidelines. However, if vital aspects of such agreements are missing, they become void, hence difficult to enforce. That’s why it is advisable that seek the advise of a Scottsdale divorce attorney on the practically of such an agreement and what it takes for it to stand the test of time. He will definitely mention to you various factors that can make a prenup agreement invalid. They may include the following.

If you detect fraudulence in such an agreement, you have a ground to file for its voiding. Fraudulence occurs when one of the supposed spouses fails to disclose all the required details concerning wealth and property, among other aspects of the agreement. Moreover, if any of the spouses signed the agreement under duress, or was coerced, or was mentally incapacitated at the time of signing the agreement, it can be declared invalid.

Improper filing of papers is the other reason for invaliding a prenup. Some couples simply fail to be careful with legal provisions for such an agreement. They end up doing a shoddy work on the agreement. An agreement also loses validity if it contains ridiculous provisions or is very lopsided. Signing prenup agreements without proper legal representation further complicates matters.

If you don’t want to find yourself in a disadvantaged position, seek help from a Scottsdale divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Hope. E. Fruchtman to guide you through the legal implications of such an agreement. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.