Child Protective Services (CPS) is an Arizona agency mandated under ARS §8-802 for the protection of children alleged to be abused and neglected. “Alleged” is a very important term, and every allegation of abuse or neglect must be investigated by CPS. While most allegations are ultimately dismissed as unfounded or unsubstantiated after a brief interview with the parents and/or the child, other allegations are in fact substantiated.
Archive for 2010
Many of us see the family-law battles of the rich and famous play out daily in newspapers and tabloids. This week we see Charlie Sheen’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, entering a rehab facility to deal with an addiction that according to sources close to her, she has dealt with for many years.
Wow, you thought you had a high child support order. Mel Gibson was recently ordered to start paying the mother of his child an additional $15,000 per month, bringing his child support order up to $20,000 per month.
I recently represented a Father in a contested child custody case where the primary issue in dispute was the religion of the parents. The Mother argued that because Father’s religion was so doctrinally different from hers, the child would be “harmed” by being exposed to the two conflicting religions.
While most of us would like to assume that the best person to provide care for a child is one – if not both – of that child’s parents, this simply is not always the case. Take, for example, a parent who means well, but who is challenged with debilitating mental health issues. Or, similarly, take a parent who struggles with a chronic chemical dependency. A child under the care of such a parent could very well be unsafe, and could possibly benefit from the parenting of somebody who is better equipped to act as a parent.
Marriages do not end because spouses are getting along too well. And, a marriage that ends in dispute many times leads to a legal battle that only increases the amount of conflict and stress felt by all parties. Unfortunately, Arizona divorce law is designed to be adversarial in nature. When one spouse is pitted against the other in an adversarial proceeding , the parties many times overlook the possibility of reaching common ground and mutually acceptable positions.
Those of you who have an active Arizona child support or spousal maintenance case may have noticed a change in the Arizona Support Clearinghouse fee structure. On March 18, 2010, Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2011, a bill that addresses the budget issues currently facing the State of Arizona. The support clearinghouse fee increase is part of that bill and the fee increase went into effect July 1, 2010.
In a recent blog, I discussed Orders of Protection and how to obtain one if you are a victim of domestic violence. But what is considered an act of “domestic violence”? Some forms of domestic violence are obvious, such as hitting, pushing, or otherwise physically striking another person. Other forms of domestic violence may be less obvious, such as verbal threats, intimidation, harassment and stalking.
Did you know that in Arizona, just listing a father’s name on a birth certificate is not sufficient to establish paternity? If a child’s parents were not married when the mother became pregnant or when the child was born, that child has no legal father until paternity is established. This can become a serious issue for couples who never marry but have children together.
Orders of Protection (also sometimes referred to as restraining orders) prohibit one person from contacting another. They are used many times in situations of domestic violence and/or abuse. To obtain an order of protection in Arizona, the abusive party must have one of the following relationships with the person who is seeking the Order:
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