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. 

Domestic Violence in Child Custody Cases

May 23

domestic violence

If you are leaving an abusive spouse, contact Hope today!

If you are proceeding with a divorce in the hopes of escaping an abusive situation, every step can feel like a potential land-mine. This becomes even scarier when children are in the picture. Abusive partners can threaten, guilt, or blackmail you to get their desires, and keeping them around perpetuates an unhealthy environment for the entire family. As the divorce goes forward, the separation of the abuser and you and your children is key. However, there are a few legal steps that must be taken to ensure the court sees what is best for the children.

Because court decisions regarding child custody and child support are made based on what is best for the child, it is key to show that the environment with the abuser is not healthy. Recording incidents of abuse is vital to this. Describe the location, the date and time, an account of injuries (including pictures or hospital statements). It can be difficult to relive these experiences, but ignoring them may mean that the court ignores them, too.

As the decision is made, the court will be considering things like whether the abuse was ever directed at the child, how much it affected the child, how often it occurred, and the criminal record of the abuser. Depending on the outcome, visitation rights can also be determined through this decision.

Leaving an abusive spouse is a dangerous situation. In addition to safeguarding your family by preparing emergency cash and supplies, finding experienced Scottsdale family law attorneys early on can be the help you need. At the Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman, we are dedicated to keeping you safe and setting you on the path to a better future for your family.

Keeping Divorce Gossip Contained

Apr 19


If you are seeking a divorce attorney, contact Hope today!

There’s no way to stop the word from spreading. The moment you tell one person about an impending divorce, the news will leak through all your social circles. Whether it’s your supposedly professional work environment, the seemingly pious church group, or your trusted friends and family, somehow everyone will be talking about it. Soon, you’ll find yourself fielding questions from well-meaning acquaintances.

When addressing these comments, it can be tempting to air your side so you don’t look like the bad guy. But every detail that you share will stoke the gossip fires and send another wave around the community. Questioners will also play on your emotions, offering solidarity and trying to connect with your experiences. Resist this! Keep an answer on your lips, such as, “It’s been challenging, but I’m getting by. Thanks for your support.” After answering, be sure to close the door for follow-up questions by asking them something specific that will distract them. An open-ended question like “How are you?” is not good; “Do you have any summer trips planned?” will give you follow-up topics.

Ultimately, though, divorce gossip will happen. The fewer details that you let escape, the sooner it will die down. However, you can’t always control what your spouse shares. If he or she is airing dirty laundry, accurate or not, remember that there’s no need to correct everything or mudsling in return. Your reputation will recover, especially if you keep your head high.
If you’re considering a divorce, contact a reputable Scottsdale divorce attorney to discuss your options. The Law Office of Hope E. Fruchtman is available for a consultation today.

Legal Help in an Annulment: Is It Necessary?

Apr 06

Annuled Marriage

If you wish to seek an annulment, contact Hope today.

Because of television and movies, a lot of people consider annulments the “less serious” version of a divorce. But it actually can be more difficult to secure an annulment than a divorce. This is because Arizona has “no-fault” divorce laws, in which a couple doesn’t have to state a reason for divorce. An annulment, on the other hand, has very strict guidelines to prove that a marriage never legally existed, such as bigamy, incest, age, mental or physical capacity, fraud, or force.

There are, however, advantages to annulments over divorces. The main one is that the law treats the marriage like it never existed. In many cases, property division isn’t even an issue. However, the longer your fake-marriage lasted, more complications (such as children) may arise. The disadvantages include the complexity of proving grounds and a short window of time.

If you have very clear proof that your marriage was not legal, such as bigamy, and no children, it can be a simple process. However, in many cases, you may need an experienced lawyer to help you prove grounds for annulment and then fight for child custody or alimony or other potential results of the case. Unlike many other states, Arizona even allows for property division after an annulment, so having a lawyer on your side can help you retain your property.

If you believe you have grounds for an annulment, contact the Scottsdale divorce attorneys at the law office of Hope E. Fruchtman today for a consultation.