Divorce With Minor Children and Legal Decision-Making Authority

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | October 2, 2018

A divorce decree that involves minor children must address legal decision-making for those minor children.  Arizona defines legal decision-making as: “the legal right and responsibility to make all nonemergency legal decisions for a child including those regarding education, health care, religious training and personal care decisions.”  See A.R.S. § 25-401(3) Joint legal decision-making is a common parental authority agreement.  A.R.S. § 25-401(2) defines joint legal decision-making as: “both parents share decision-making and neither parent’s rights or responsibilities are superior except…

What Is A "Life Estate"?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 21, 2018

A life estate is an interest in real property that terminates upon the death of a specified person, usually the owner of the life estate. There are some terms that are unique to life estates. The owner of a life estate is often called a “life tenant.” The life tenant has the right to reside in the home for life or for so long as he or she may choose. Upon the termination of the life estate the persons who…

Communicating Religious Values in Your Estate Plan

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 6, 2018

Estate planning documents are designed to help and provide for families at a critical time, usually upon the death or incapacity of a family member. The typical estate plan focuses on financial needs. But religious needs and the communication of religious values are also important to many of us. Your estate planning documents can be an effective means to communicate your religious and cultural values to those close to you. This can be done in any number of ways. A…

Effect Of Military Benefits When Calculating Arizona Child Support

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 28, 2018

Military members typically receive many benefits for their service to our country. These benefits may be counted as income when calculating child support in Arizona. For instance, a military member may receive money for a housing allowance or the military member may receive free housing rather than a housing allowance.

In the Arizona Court of Appeals case of Patterson v. Patterson, the Court ruled that the value of military-provided on-base housing might be included in a parent’s income for child support calculations, based on the court’s determination as to whether the value of that benefit is significant and reduces the parent’s living expenses.

The court’s opinion relied on the language in the Arizona Child Support Guidelines which states that “income from any source” is includable as gross income. These guidelines also require the cash value of “other non-cash benefits” be counted as gross income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses.

VIDEO: Construction Defect Law

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 30, 2018

Cracks in your foundation, a leaking roof, water damaged walls, among other issues can all indicate the presence of serious defects in a home’s construction.  Fortunately, the law holds builders and contractors accountable to their customers, and in many cases, requires them to repair or pay for repairs to the home. Homeowners affected by construction defects have a number of options at their disposal.  First, they can seek help from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.  The Registrar may require the…

Divorce And Life Insurance

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 23, 2018

A Court in Arizona has just granted you spousal maintenance and child support in your divorce case. How can you ensure that your children will continue to be provided for in the event that your spouse dies before those obligations are fulfilled? One option is to require your spouse to obtain or maintain a term life insurance policy in an amount sufficient to fully cover the total financial obligation in the event of a death. In Arizona, an ex-spouse is…

Arizona Child Support Collection

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 12, 2018

Collection of Child Support is often difficult, but government, State and Federal, wants payment to be made and has provided a large amount of help. If a parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures to collect regular and past-due payments.

Prior to 2006, there was a three year statute of limitations for collecting on a judgment for child support arrears. The statute of limitations for collection of child support was eliminated in 2006. The following are some of the enforcement measures for collecting past due child support.

Guardianship And Conservatorships For Adults

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 11, 2018

As grandparents, parents or other family members grow older, they often get to a place where they need the assistance of others to make decisions regarding their persons or their property. At those times, when prior planning has not been accomplished or is not sufficient, Court intervention may be necessary in the form of a guardianship and/or conservatorship. A guardian is a person appointed by the Court to make decisions for a Ward concerning personal care issues such as healthcare…

Should I Reaffirm My Debt in Bankruptcy?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | May 23, 2018

When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have a car loan, a mortgage, or other secured debt for personal property, there is a good chance that the lender will send you a reaffirmation agreement to reaffirm the debt. Reaffirming a debt in bankruptcy means that you are agreeing to remain legally obligated to pay that debt, despite having filed a bankruptcy that would otherwise discharge it. Typically, it is not in a debtor’s best interest to reaffirm a debt…

How Do I Get A Conservatorship For A Minor?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | May 15, 2018

Acting as a conservator for a minor is a difficult but important task. A conservator must use the assets of the minor only for the minor’s support, care, education or benefit and never for the benefit of the conservator. If a conservator is misusing a minor’s funds in some cases they can be exposed to potential personal liability or court sanctions.

If you have a legal question, contact us. We can help.

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