We know you have questions. We have your answers.
*These responses cover most but not every scenario. If you have additional questions or want to discuss your individual case, feel free to contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten P.L.C. We are here to help you.
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My son was arrested in Arizona, and he's only 15. He'll definitely go through the juvenile court system, right?
It's a common misconception that all minors will be tried in juvenile court. Although the AZ juvenile court system was designed to handle minors under the age of 18, it's not always as simple as that. For example, minors under the age of seven are not usually tried at all, although you may be held liable as a parent. And some minors may be transferred into the adult court system and tried as an adult, depending on considerations such as the severity of the crime and the appearance of the minor when speaking with the judge. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for judges to transfer minors between the ages of 15 and 18 to the adult court system.
If you aren't sure what to expect in your child's Arizona juvenile offense case, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000. We want to help you understand your child's rights so that you can better protect his or her future.
Is it possible to adopt a child in Arizona if I am a grandparent of the child?
Yes. In fact, although there are unique challenges to relative adoptions in Arizona, many of these cases are treated less formally than other types of adoption. Under Arizona law, certain relations (such as grandparents) do not need to be certified, although the biological parents generally must terminate their parental rights. In certain Arizona counties, a "social study" may be necessary before an adoption by a relative.
Although it seems counterintuitive, adoption in AZ by a stepparent or cousin is not generally considered adoption by a relative. Such an adoption has a different set of rules.
If you have questions about adopting a child in Arizona, schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Maricopa County family law attorney at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 888-929-5292. For additional answers to your questions, order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What impact will it have on my divorce given that Arizona is a community property state?
Arizona is one of several states that are considered community property states. That fact alone will have a big impact on how your property is divided following a divorce.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-211, “all property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife.” Yet, there are some exceptions. For example, if the property was a gift to one spouse or it was obtained as part of an inheritance, it is considered separate property. Also, for the most part, any property that was acquired before the marriage will be viewed as separate property in the eyes of the court.
The courts typically focus on distributing the property equitably, but it is important to understand that it is not necessarily the same as evenly. An experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer will be able to further explain how the court looks to divide property and debts.
For more information, order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. You can also call our office for personalized answers to your questions. We can be reached at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
How are debts divided in an Arizona divorce?
Just like property and assets have to be divided in an Arizona divorce so do community debts. These debts might include bills and other financial obligations that were acquired during the marriage.
The court will determine which spouse is responsible for each community debt. While the court will not use marital misconduct as a factor when deciding how the debts will be divided, it will consider “excessive or abnormal expenditures” of the community property.
Once a court order is in place regarding the allocation of debts, it is considered binding on the spouses. However, that doesn’t mean that either spouse is relieved of liability for the debts. The contract between the creditor and the couple will still be in effect.
You can learn a lot more about how debts are divided in Arizona by ordering a FREE copy of the informative guide, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
For additional questions or advice about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form. We represent families throughout Maricopa County.
Do I need a Phoenix criminal lawyer if I have been accused of unlawfully discharging a firearm?
Yes. The unlawful discharge of a firearm is considered a criminal offense in Arizona. Therefore, don’t expect the prosecution to go easy on you. They view weapons charges as serious offenses and will try to make sure you pay for your alleged crime.
An experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer will be able to review the details of the allegations, as well as the circumstances, to build a strong defense on your behalf. An attorney will be able to explain your legal rights and help you get your charges either dropped or lessened.
If you have been accused of unlawfully discharging a firearm, don’t wait to talk with an attorney. You don’t want to do or say something that could make your situation worse. For a free case evaluation or to find out how you might be defended, contact the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
For more information about Arizona weapons offenses, read our article, What to do if You Have Been Charged with an Arizona Weapons Offense. You should also order our free book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.
Can a grandparent get a court-ordered visitation? What are the factors under Arizona law?
Being kept from your grandchildren is heart wrenching. When a couple divorces, it doesn’t just impact the spouses and children. Grandparents are often affected and sometimes denied access to their grandkids. If you have not been able to see your grandchild following his or her parents’ divorce, you can enforce your rights under the law.
Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-409 addresses grandparent rights. According to the law, you can pursue visitation rights that are ordered by the court. The court will evaluate whether the visitations would be in your grandchild’s best interests, by considering the following factors:
- Your historical relationship with the child
- Whether the visitation will impact the child’s customary activities
- Why you might have been denied visitation
- What could be motivating you to request visitation
If one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, the court will also consider “the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.”
Read more in our article, What are Your Rights as a Grandparent in Arizona?
To find out how to start the process of enforcing your rights as a grandparent, contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: Handling Tough Issues in Tough Times.
How are Arizona paternity cases handled? My childs father is denying paternity.
Paternity is important when it comes to child support and custody matters. In Arizona, the court may order testing to establish paternity. The law reads: “The court, on its own motion or on motion of any party to the proceedings, shall order the mother, her child or children and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing.” (Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-807)
Genetic testing is used to determine the probability that a man is the biological father of the child. State law doesn’t leave a lot of room for speculation. According to the statutes, the tests must show a 95 percent likelihood of paternity. Keep in mind that the test can be utilized to not only prove paternity, but to show that someone is not the child’s biological father.
If genetic testing reflects paternity, a court order may be given naming the child’s legal father. Once paternity has been determined, court orders may be obtained for child support and custody.
You can learn more about Arizona paternity cases in our article, Establishing Paternity in Arizona: Find Out The Steps Involved.
If you have more questions regarding paternity or other family law matters, feel free to contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
When should an Arizona prenuptial agreement be used?
A prenuptial agreement often doesn’t conjure up the most positive feelings. However, it can be extremely beneficial in the event of divorce or death.
In Arizona, prenuptial agreements are ideal for couples who possess substantial assets, earn high salaries or have children from a prior marriage. If you are wondering if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you should talk with an experienced Arizona family law attorney.
When a couple makes the decision to create and sign a prenuptial agreement, they are taking a big step in determining how to handle financial matters, if they are to arise. They are also taking great measures to ensure that personal and business assets are protected.
For more information or a free case evaluation, contact the Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a complimentary copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: Handling Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Should I talk to the police if I am being investigated for armed robbery in Arizona?
If you have been accused of robbery in Arizona, it is not a charge you should take lightly. If you are found guilty, you could be facing many years in jail.
It is important that if you are being investigated for robbery that you do not talk to the police. You have probably heard the phrase, “you have the right to remain silent.” This is more than just a saying. It is your right under the law. If you are being questioned, you need to clearly state that you are invoking your right to remain silent. Then, you should call a Phoenix criminal lawyer.
At the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC, one of our experienced Arizona criminal lawyers will be able to explain your rights under the law and the possible defense applicable in your case. You can reach us by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know. It will answer many of your questions regarding criminal cases in Arizona.
Who must give consent for an adoption in Arizona?
Arizona law is very specific regarding who will need to provide consent for adoption. According to the statutes, the birth mother must give her consent to the adoption. The birth father will also need to provide his consent if he was married to the birth mother at the time the baby was conceived, currently has the adoptive child or if he has established paternity.
If the child has been placed with a guardian or agency for adoption, that guardian or agency will need to provide consent to the adoption. The child’s consent will also be considered if he or she is twelve years or older.
There are also many circumstances in which parental consent is not needed. It is best to talk with an experienced Arizona adoption lawyer who will be able to explain consent in more detail.
For legal advice or additional answers to your questions, feel free to contact the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also read our article, 7 Common Questions Asked About Arizona Adoption, which will provide more insight into Arizona adoption.