Top Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®

| Attorneys at Law Family Law Firm News | September 15, 2020

Martindale-Hubbell®   The Gold Standard in Attorney Ratings

Since 1887 “Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ recognize lawyers for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Individuals seeking legal counsel, as well as attorneys looking to refer a colleague, use these ratings to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer. An elite group of approximately 10 percent of all attorneys holds an AV Preeminent Rating, a designation trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.”1

AV Preeminent®   The Highest Peer Review Rating

An “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell® means that “the attorney had reached the highest of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.” The rating description continues, “This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.”2 This rating is given only to an elite group of approximately 10 percent of all attorneys, and is trusted worldwide.2

Dorian L. Eden Rated AV Preeminent®

Attorney Dorian L. Eden, Partner of Duenas Eden Law PLC, has been awarded this highest peer review mark by Martindale-Hubbell® for 8 years in a row (2012-2020).3 What this means for you as a client of the law firm of Duenas Eden is that you receive the highest attention, dedication and communication in your family law matter. Whether it be divorce, child custody, adoption, child support, spousal maintenance, same-sex legal matters or any other family law issue, our attorneys will work with you directly and stand by you in court for the best outcome in your situation.

At Duenas Eden Law, we are trusted and experienced family law attorneys serving the Chandler, Tempe and Phoenix area. Our Office in the Ahwatukee. Whether you live in Laveen, Ocotillo, Chandler, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert or San Tan Valley we can assist you in your family law case Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Duenas Eden remains open and available to help during these trying times. We are back in the office and offering videoconferencing appointments as much as possible. Per CDC guidelines, we are wearing masks and request that anyone visiting our offices do so as well. If you feel ill, please let us know and we will be happy to reschedule your appointment.

 

 

Sources:
1 https://www.martindale.com/ratings-and-reviews/
2 https://www.martindale.com/marketyourfirm/
3 https://www.martindale.com/attorney/ms-dorian-l-eden-2725295/

The service marks used in this article are used in accordance with the licensing description of Martindale-Hubbell®.
Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.


Custodial Interference

| Child Custody Family Law | September 1, 2020

Custodial interference can simply be annoying to downright criminal and dangerous. This article will share with you some of the examples of custodial interference as well as the legal statues.

What is custodial interference?

A.R.S. § 13-1302 (A) states:

A. A person commits custodial interference if, knowing or having reason to know that the person has no legal right to do so, the person does one of the following:

1. Takes, entices or keeps from lawful custody any child, or any person who is incompetent, and who is entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution.

2. Before the entry of a court order determining custodial rights, takes, entices or withholds any child from the other parent denying that parent access to any child.

3. If the person is one of two persons who have joint legal custody of a child, takes, entices or withholds from physical custody the child from the other custodian.

4. At the expiration of access rights outside this state, intentionally fails or refuses to return or impedes the return of a child to the lawful custodian.

Some examples regarding the above would consist of:

  • A parent refuses the other parent to see or have access to the child, prior to the official custodial court order.
  • A parent refusing to bring a child back from allotted and scheduled parenting time.
  • Refusing court ordered parenting time to the other parent.
  • Taking the child when it is not that parents time and specifically without permission of the scheduled parent.
  • Constant issues with bringing the child back in a timely manner after scheduled parenting time is over.

Who has custody when the child is born out of wedlock?

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1302 (B):

B. If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother is the legal custodian of the child for the purposes of this section until paternity is established and custody or access is determined by a court.

Is custodial interference punishable under the law?

The answer is an emphatic "yes". As mentioned in A.R.S. § 13-1302 (E):

E. A violation of this section is:

1. A class 3 felony if committed by a person other than the parent or agent of the parent or custodian or agent of the custodian.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 3 of this subsection, a class 4 felony if the child or incompetent person is taken, enticed or kept from lawful custody out of this state by the parent or agent of the parent or custodian or the agent of the custodian.

3. A class 6 felony if committed by a parent or agent of the parent or custodian or agent of the custodian.

4. A class 1 misdemeanor if the child or incompetent person is voluntarily returned without physical injury by the parent or defendant or the agent of the parent or defendant no later than forty-eight hours after the parent or defendant takes, entices or keeps from lawful custody the child or incompetent person.

Is there any defense regarding custodial interference?

Yes, and once again the statute shares when there may be defensible actions in a custodial interference case A.R.S. § 13-1302 (B):

C. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 if both of the following apply:

1. The defendant has begun the process to obtain an order of protection or files a petition for custody within a reasonable period of time and the order of protection or petition states the defendant's belief that the child was at risk if left with the other parent.

2. The defendant is the child's parent and has the right of custody and the defendant either:

(a) Has a good faith and reasonable belief that the taking, enticing or withholding is necessary to protect the child from immediate danger.

(b) Is a victim of domestic violence by the other parent and has a good faith and reasonable belief that the child will be in immediate danger if the child is left with the other parent.

D. Subsection A, paragraphs 2 and 3 do not apply to a person who is the child's parent if both of the following apply:

1. The person has filed an emergency petition regarding custodial rights with the superior court and has received a hearing date from the court.

2. The person has a good faith and reasonable belief that the child will be in immediate danger if the child is left with the other parent.

So when do I need to speak with an attorney?

We often suggest that it is always good to speak with a family law attorney regarding any custodial action that may require legal or court action. So no matter which side you may fall under, if there is any evidence that custodial interference is taking place we urge you to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss the best course of action.

At Duenas Eden Law, we are experienced and trusted family law attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Chandler, Tempe, Laveen, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Duenas Eden remains open and available to help during these trying times. We are back in the office and offering videoconferencing appointments as much as possible. Per CDC guidelines, we are wearing masks and request that anyone visiting our offices do so as well. If you feel ill, please let us know and we will be happy to reschedule your appointment.

Sources:
https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/01302.htm


Grandparent Rights in Arizona

| Divorce Family Law | August 18, 2020

There are a few reasons for grandparents to seek visitation or custodial rights over grandchildren. In this article we will focus on two main areas pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 25-409 regarding third party rights. These two areas will be "visitation rights" and "custodial rights".

Visitation Rights

Often times during a marriage that children are born into, the grandparents on both sides are typically welcomed in by both parents. This, for all intents and purposes, is a “visitation” to the minor grandchild. This is typically considered a normal event for most grandparents and is usually handled outside of the courts simply by the permission of the guardian(s) of the child(ren).

This permission of visitation may become strained or even revoked after the parents have divorced or by other events. At this point if it becomes necessary, the grandparent(s) can seek visitation rights by petitioning the courts. A.R.S. § 25-409 C states:

C. Pursuant to section 25-402, subsection B, paragraph 2, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for visitation with a child. The superior court may grant visitation rights during the child's minority on a finding that the visitation is in the child's best interests and that any of the following is true:

1. One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months. For the purposes of this paragraph, a parent is considered to be missing if the parent's location has not been determined and the parent has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.

2. The child was born out of wedlock and the child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

3. For grandparent or great-grandparent visitation, the marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved for at least three months.

4. For in loco parentis visitation, a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

Custodial Rights

Grandparents may also request custodial rights over the minor grandchild. This of course as well as much of A.R.S. § 25-409 is themed in the “child’s best interest” and the petitioning party must supply evidence of that statement. These custodial rights may include legal decision making for the minor grandchild and/or physical placement of the minor child.

A.R.S. § 25-409 A-B states:

A. Pursuant to section 25-402, subsection B, paragraph 2, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for legal decision-making authority or placement of the child. The court shall summarily deny a petition unless it finds that the petitioner's initial pleading establishes that all of the following are true:

1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.

2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making.

3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning legal decision-making or parenting time within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child's present environment may seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

4. One of the following applies:

(a) One of the legal parents is deceased.

(b) The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

(c) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, it is a rebuttable presumption that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent serves the child's best interests because of the physical, psychological and emotional needs of the child to be reared by a legal parent. A third party may rebut this presumption only with proof showing by clear and convincing evidence that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent is not consistent with the child's best interests.

D. A petition filed under subsection A or C of this section must be verified or supported by affidavit and must include detailed facts supporting the petitioner's claim. The petitioner must also provide notice of this proceeding, including a copy of the petition and any affidavits or other attachments, and serve the notice pursuant to the Arizona rules of family law procedure to all of the following:

1. The child's legal parents.

2. A third party who possesses legal decision-making authority over the child or visitation rights.

3. The child's guardian or guardian ad litem.

4. A person or agency that possesses physical custody of the child or claims legal decision-making authority or visitation rights concerning the child.

5. Any other person or agency that has previously appeared in the action.

E. In deciding whether to grant visitation to a third party, the court shall give special weight to the legal parents' opinion of what serves their child's best interests and consider all relevant factors including:

1. The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.

2. The motivation of the requesting party seeking visitation.

3. The motivation of the person objecting to visitation.

4. The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child's customary activities.

5. If one or both of the child's parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.

F. If logistically possible and appropriate, the court shall order visitation by a grandparent or great-grandparent if the child is residing or spending time with the parent through whom the grandparent or great-grandparent claims a right of access to the child.

G. A grandparent or great-grandparent seeking visitation rights under this section shall petition in the same action in which the family court previously decided legal decision-making and parenting time or, if no such case existed, by separate petition in the county of the child's home state, as defined in section 25-1002.

H. All visitation rights granted under this section automatically terminate if the child is adopted or placed for adoption. If the child is removed from an adoptive placement, the court may reinstate the visitation rights. This subsection does not apply if the child is adopted by the spouse of a natural parent after the natural parent remarries.

Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are a grandparent seeking visitation or custodial rights of your grandchild(ren) it is imperative that you consult with a trusted and experienced family law attorney. We are the family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, in Phoenix, Arizona. We will discuss with you the options and procedures to petition the court for your custodial or visitation rights. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Sources:
https://www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00409.htm


Military Divorce in Arizona

| Divorce Family Law | August 4, 2020

Thank You for Your Service

First and foremost Duenas Eden Law, PLC would like to thank all military veterans and their families for their incredible sacrifice and service to protect our freedom. In general the military creates a significant dynamic for its members that is different than the standard private civilian. This includes moving to different bases, in and out of the country, separating from other family and resources, as well as active deployment. If the service member is married, it adds an additional layer to this setting. For some spouses this dynamic becomes too much and seek for a dissolution of the marriage.

Service Members and Divorce

Divorce is any situation can be challenging both emotionally and physically. For active military members, navigating all the legal details and emotions can seem daunting. A good first step is to contact your local Armed Forces Legal Assistance office; however it should be noted that the military considers divorce as a “private civil matter to be addressed by a civilian court”1. As a result it is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney.

Divorce in Arizona

It should be noted that wherever the divorce is filed that states marital and divorce laws apply. As a result Arizona is a no-fault and community property state. Meaning there is no need to prove grounds for a divorce filed in AZ and the division of property follows community property law respectively.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

For service members the  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides protections and services such as providing a 90 day “stay” or postponement of civil court matters, in the which divorce proceedings apply. This allows for the uniformed member the time to prepare and arrange properly for proceedings. From the Military One Resource website it states: “Postponed civil court matters — If you cannot participate in a civil court action or administrative proceeding because of your military service, you can request a 90-day delay, or stay, in the proceeding. You are automatically entitled to this delay if you follow all of the requirements. The judge, magistrate or hearing officer can grant an additional 90-day stay. Proceedings may include actions for divorce, child paternity and support cases, and foreclosure proceedings. This protection does not apply to any criminal court or criminal administrative proceedings. “2

 

Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Once again as divorce is considered a private civilian matter, having an experienced divorce and family law attorney representing you is very important. This becomes even more critical when children and assets, including military benefits and pensions, are involved. If you or your spouse is seeking a divorce in Arizona, contact us  to arrange a private consultation.

We are the Attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, in Phoenix, Arizona. We will work with you one-on-one as your lawyer to help and guide you in your divorce. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

 

Sources:

1. https://www.militaryonesource.mil/financial-legal/legal/family-legal-issues/managing-the-divorce-process

2. https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/relationships/relationship-challenges-and-divorce/servicemembers-civil-relief-act


Attorneys Amy Duenas and Dorian Eden

| Attorneys at Law Family Law | July 20, 2020

Attorney Amy Duenas

Amy Duenas is an Arizona native, born and raised in the East Valley.  Upon graduating from high school, sh attended the University of Arizona, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a major in Business Economics. Amy then attended the University of Denver College of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate. She also had the opportunity to serve the Denver community by working in the University of Denver College of Law Student Law Office, Family Law Clinic. Upon graduating from law school, Amy returned home to Arizona to be near her family and to take the bar exam. Attorney Amy Duenas was admitted to the practice of law in 2003, and since that time has devoted her practice to Family Law, as she feels that is where she is best able to help others with difficult transitions in their family lives.

Amy loves living in Arizona, and enjoys all that the State has to offer and to balance to her life she explores the State, and spend time with her family.

Areas of Practice
Dissolution of Marriage • Legal Separation • Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time • Child Support • Juvenile Guardianship • Adult Guardianship • Adoption

Litigation Percentage
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions
Arizona, 2003 • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2004

Attorney Dorian L. Eden

Originally from the Chicago area, attorney Dorian L. Eden graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During college, she decided to explore and expand beyond my Midwestern roots, spending summers working as an intern in Washington, D.C. and clerking for judges in Phoenix and Sacramento. Dorian returned to the Midwest for law school, attending Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she graduated cum laude. As an attorney, Dorian is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; per rated for highest level of professional excellence. After shoveling one too many driveways in the Midwest, Dorian packed up the day after graduation and began driving to Phoenix, where she has lived ever since. Dorian began her legal career at Tiffany & Bosco, P.A., first as an associate and then as a partner. She then moved to The Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, PLLC. In 2012, Dorian decided her clients would be better served if she had her own firm. For five years, Eden Law Office, PLLC operated in Ahwatukee. Duenas Eden continues to provide exceptional service to their clients.

Dorian loves Phoenix, the desert and all the great outdoor activities Arizona has to offer. She enjoys hiking and running and is very active in the community and has served on the Ahwatukee YMCA Board of Managers since 2013.

Areas of Practice
Family Law • Divorce • Spousal support • Guardianships/Conservatorships • Personal Injury

Litigation Percentage
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions
Arizona, 2002 •  U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2002 •  U.S. District Court District of New Mexico

Together we are the Family Law Attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, PLC

Our entire practice emphasizes a successful, personalized attorney-client relationship. To that end, it is important for you to feel comfortable with your attorney. We spend time learning about your goals and your concerns.  That way we can create a strategy together to help you through this process.  Family law is a difficult area of law to navigate and often what seems fair or right is not realistic in Arizona. Our Office is located in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Divorce

| Divorce Family Law | July 15, 2020

Dissolution of marriage, otherwise known as divorce, can be a complex matter in a seemingly simple request; to legally end a marriage. This complexity consists of many factors including emotional, financial and familial. In this article we will discuss these 3 main areas.

What is divorce?

As stated above, divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage contract. Arizona is considered a “no fault” state. This means that there is no need to prove fault, such as adultery or infidelity, to request a divorce. Since marriage is a legal agreement filed with the state, divorce also requires similar legal filings in order to officially and legally bring about the end to a marriage.

 

Emotions in a Divorce

It goes without saying in most divorce proceedings that there is a significant amount of emotion tied into the matter. Emotions on both sides such as anger, hate, animosity, guilt, jealously and even love can cause disruptions in the process. This is why it is imperative to have an experienced divorce lawyer represent you in your divorce. Not only will the attorney prepare and file all the necessary legal paperwork, they are able to be a clear minded and clear emotional advocate seeking the best outcome for you.

 

Financial Factors or Assets in a Divorce

Arizona is a community property state. This simply means that while the spouses are married all the “commingled” assets and debts belong equally to both. So in a dissolution of marriage these assets and debts are divided among the parties. Separate property, being considered as assets or debt acquired by a spouse prior and separate from the marriage, is still considered sole owned by one of the spouses and will not be considered for division. However this separate property can have liens placed on them by a judge in order to secure payment of assets that are not easily liquidated or disposed [A.R.S. § 25-319(e)].  Also one thing to keep in mind is that the division of community assets are not always an exact 50/50 split, many factors including valuations and debt may cause a slight shift one way or the other. In fact if an agreement is not met between the divorcing spouses regarding assets, the judge ultimately has the final say.

With regards to assets and other obligations in the event of a divorce, pre-planning with a pre or even post-nuptial agreement can ease the transition in a divorce especially among assets. But it should be noted that this is a set up well in advance and in agreement with both spouses prior to a dissolution of marriage on how the assets and other obligations will be handled in the event of a divorce.

 

Children in a Divorce

As with many marriages, children are often born and/or raised during this time. It is typically not even a consideration when couples begin their families that they may eventually divorce, and this is where the complexity enters. Most often both parents love and want “what’s best” for their children; however that idea may not always be the same in the minds of the individual divorcing parents. “Joint custody”, “sole custody”, “parenting plans” and “child support” now enter the conversation and for parents that have differing beliefs of “what’s best” for their child, this becomes forefront in much of the emotion and argument. This is prime example of the need for an experienced family law attorney. Your attorney will seek for the best outcome in the child custody proceedings and will help guide you through the best plans and course of action.

You Are Not Alone

For some, divorce is difficult and may feel like you are left all alone; you are not! We will be your attorney, advocate and friend in this difficult time. We are the Attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, in Phoenix, Arizona. We will work with you one-on-one as your lawyer to help and guide you in your divorce. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Arizona

| Alimony / Spousal Maintenance Divorce Family Law | July 9, 2020

What most understand as “alimony” or “spousal support” is called “spousal maintenance” in Arizona. Spousal Maintenance issues can form a roadblock for a divorcing couple, both before and after entry of the decree. In this article we will share a little regarding what spousal maintenance is as well as the necessity of having an experienced family law attorney on your side.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Generally speaking, spousal maintenance is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce.1 This financial support is to provide a "safety net" for the spouse unable to provide sufficient income for his or her needs after the divorce.2 It should also be noted that spousal maintenance is separate from child support payments and includes eligibility and computation factors.

What is the Eligibility for Spousal Maintenance?

In Arizona A.R.S. § 25-319 proposes factors that contribute to the eligibility and computation of the maintenance. Below are the factors directly from the statute as of the publication date of this article:

A. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

1. Lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for that spouse's reasonable needs.

2. Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient.

3. Has made a significant financial or other contribution to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning ability of the other spouse.

4. Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.

5. Has significantly reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.

B. The maintenance order shall be in an amount and for a period of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering all relevant factors, including:

1. The standard of living established during the marriage.

2. The duration of the marriage.

3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.

4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.

6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.

7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.

8. The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.

9. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse's ability to meet that spouse's own needs independently.

10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.

11. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

12. The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.

13. All actual damages and judgments from conduct that resulted in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or a child was the victim.

C. If both parties agree, the maintenance order and a decree of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation may state that its maintenance terms shall not be modified.

D. Except as provided in subsection C of this section or section 25-317, subsection G, the court shall maintain continuing jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance for the period of time maintenance is awarded.

Seasoned Legal Representation Pursuing Your Fair Treatment

We will work with you to analyze your spousal maintenance situation. Among other things, we can help you with:

  • The 4-part spousal maintenance qualifying test
  • 13 factors considered how much spousal maintenance is awarded and for how long
  • Modifications
  • Enforcement

We are the Attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, in Phoenix, Arizona. We will work with you one-on-one as your lawyer to help you get the fair treatment you deserve when spousal maintenance is at stake, whether you receive it or pay it. In doing so, we place the emphasis where it belongs: On resolving conflict. We will work together to find the best solution for your needs, whether that solution means negotiation and settlement (as it often does) or going to court where necessary to protect your rights. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Sources:

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alimony

2 https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/alimony/

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00319.htm


Orders of Protection and What do they Do?

| Family Law | July 2, 2020

Why would you Need a Protective Order?

First and foremost protective orders are available to those that are, or may be, a victim of domestic violence. What is domestic violence? "A person who uses threats, harasses, molests, stalks, attacks, batters or strikes an intimate partner, family members, or his or her children is committing domestic violence. People from all ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience domestic violence. A person who is experiencing domestic violence has a legal right to seek relief from the courts by getting an Order of Protection. A person who is seeking protection from harassment but who does not meet the relationship requirements for an Order of Protection may ask the court for an Injunction Against Harassment. In the State of Arizona, domestic violence includes a variety of abusive acts in combination with specific relationships. The crimes and relationships are found in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3601."1

Types of Orders of Protection

In Arizona there are two types of protective orders. Below is information directly from phoenix.gov regarding protective orders 2:

Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection (A.R.S. 13-3602) is a court order to seek protection from a person you live with, now or in the past, or is an immediate family member. Examples of a requested Order of Protection would be filed against:

  • Your current or former spouse
  • Someone with whom you live or have lived
  • Someone with whom you are having a romantic or sexual relationship
  • One party pregnant by the other party or someone with whom you have a child in common
  • Your relative, or your current spouse's relative (contact the Court for specific relatives)
  • One of the parties is a parent, grandparent, in-law or sibling

Injunction Against Harassment

An Injunction Against Harassment (A.R.S. 12-1809) is a court order to seek protection from a person other than someone you live with, a person with whom you have no relationship, or a current or former non-family member. Injunctions Against Harassment can be issued for individuals and workplaces. To have an injunction granted or issued:

  • The defendant must have committed acts of harassment in the last year
  • There must be at least two specific acts of harassment committed

Types of Harassment and Domestic Violence

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Harassment
  • Aggravated Domestic Violence
  • Child or Vulnerable adult abuse
  • Criminal Damage
  • Criminal Trespass - first, second or third degree
  • Crimes Against Children
  • Custodial Interference
  • Disobeying a court order
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Endangerment
  • Harassment
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Surreptitious Videotaping
  • Threatening and Intimidating

What A Protective Order Does

  • Prohibits a person from coming near a home, work site, school, or other locations listed on the court order
  • Provides you with legal recourse for one year if the person who is served violates the order

What It Does Not Do

  • Does not resolve landlord/tenant disputes
  • Does not change custody or visitation orders
  • Does not guarantee your safety

What to do Now?

If you feel you are in immediate and eminent danger call 911. If you feel that there is no immediate danger and would like to discuss your options with a qualified family law attorney, we invite you to give us a call to schedule a consultation: (480) 285-1735. We are the family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, PLC. We will consult, guide and advocate on your behalf in your family law matter. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Sources

1 https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/33/DV/AOCDVPO1H.pdf (page 1)

2 https://www.phoenix.gov/court/protection-orders

Additional Information:

Things You Should Know About Protective Orders booklet (pdf)

 

 

 


Post Divorce Issues and Changes

| Alimony / Spousal Maintenance Child Custody Child Support Divorce Family Law | June 26, 2020

Divorced…Now What?

If you have gone through the divorce process, we are sure you are ready for it to be “over”. For some, the final signing and filing of the divorce papers mean that chapter can now be closed and you can move on. For others, the legal needs and issues will still continue. This may be regarding child custody issues and support changes or even spousal maintenance (alimony) matters, among other modifications and provisions.

Child Custody Issues

Even after the initial child custody agreements or court orders have been issued, there may be a need to review and update those agreements throughout the dependents life. Sometimes the updates are simply, but other times you may need to speak with an attorney and have representation for the best outcome. This may involve updates as the child(ren) get older or even extra provisions for special needs children.

On the other hand there may be updates to you or your ex-spouse’s life that may require post-divorce changes regarding child custody. These issue range drastically; everything from moving out of state, to the parent’s mental health and criminal/legal behavior. But the most common in post-divorce child custody issues is the “enforcement” of child support and/or custody schedules. With these we will consult with you and advocate in court on your behalf if the need arises.

Spousal Maintenance

Depending on your post-divorce situation, you may receive or even have to pay spousal maintenance (alimony). As with all legal matters, the specifics of your case will be different than others. No matter which side of the equation you are on, there is always the inevitable variable of “life”. Disability, significant income increase or decrease, business ownership income, general economic and job related instability and turmoil, among many other factors may require further updates, changes or advocacy.

 

Continued Relationship and Guidance

Things change; sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. Having a continued relationship with your family law attorney is paramount to navigating though the many diverse post-divorce issues that you may face. We, are the family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law. We will consult with you, assist and continue to advocate on your behalf for the best outcome in your “post-divorced life”. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Child Custody is Like Fashion

| Child Custody Family Law Legally Speaking | June 17, 2020

Child custody is only like fashion in that old styles are rearing their heads.

Joint-Custody

Historically, some divorced parents shared joint custody, and some had sole custody over the children. In 2010, the laws were amended to create a presumption that parents sharing joint custody was in a child’s best interest. This became the norm with virtually all co-parenting relationships involving joint custody (now called legal decision-making). One parent having final decision-making authority in the event of a parental disagreement. Sole legal decision-making was typically reserved for cases involving significant domestic violence or substance abuse issues.

Sole Legal Decision-Making

Fast forward to March 2018, when the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that final decision-making authority was essentially the same as sole legal decision-making. Now, in the event of significant parenting disagreements, parents are facing the possibility of one parent having the full authority to make all decisions about the children.

What Changes?

For parents that can get along well enough for their children’s sake, this change doesn’t mean much. However, for parents who are repeatedly in conflict, they face the very real possibility that one parent is going to lose out on being able to decide such things as children’s schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.

This is not the only major change to the laws. It seems almost weekly that a new appellate case ruling is issued impacting at least one aspect of family law. This is in addition to new limitations on issues judges are able to address, the significant tax changes regarding child tax dependency, and the taxability of spousal maintenance.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

An experienced family law attorney helps protect legal rights involving important things like children and money. At Duenas Eden, the bulk of our practice is family law. Have questions about your particular situation? Call us for a consultation (480) 285-1735. Our knowledge and experienced family law attorneys can discuss the recent changes that may have a significant impact on you. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the February 2019 edition of Ocotillo Living

About Duenas Eden Family Law Attorneys

| Attorneys at Law Family Law Firm News | June 9, 2020

Family law involves so many different things: child decision making (custody), parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, dividing property and debts. Those are the things most people think of, but it also involves co-parenting, trying to navigate significant changes to laws, domestic violence, court, mediation, and special needs children.

Family Law

Amy Duenas and Dorian Eden handle all types of family law cases, including divorce cases, establishing parental rights when parents were never married, dividing businesses, guardianships for special needs children, guardianships for adults, annulments, and adoptions. Each case is incredibly unique and requires its own approach. They regularly meet with and talk with their clients about preparing for what may happen, navigating a difficult and changing situation, and answering questions because, for most people, involvement in a family law situation is a new experience.

A Brief History of the Firm

Duenas and Eden first met more than a decade ago as opposing counsel on a case, and they were both with different firms. In 2012 they met again, this time each of them as new sole practitioners starting their own law firms. They were lucky enough to have their offices across the hall from one another in an executive suite.

Quickly becoming good friends and each other’s sounding boards on legal issues, and knowing that they tend to approach cases in a similar manner, they decided to partner up in 2017. This has allowed them to grow their practice, serving more clients and addressing legal needs that individually they could not before. For example, Amy handles adoption and dependency cases, areas Dori tries to avoid. Dori handles personal injury cases, something Amy also tries to avoid. Together, they can offer those practice areas to all of their clients.

Real People, Helping People Through Difficult Times

The two explain that family law is constant fighting between parties, with the courts, and with inexperienced lawyers who are dabbling in family law thinking it’s an easy area to pick up. They say, “We tend to balance each other out and help reduce stress loads. We laugh a lot and share funny memes with one another. We are two very real people who genuinely enjoy helping people through a very difficult time.”

 

Duenas Eden Law, PLC

We are Amy Duenas and Dorian Eden, Attorneys at Law. Duenas Eden Law will help guide and represent you in your family law case. We understand and know how to navigate the complexities of family law matters and will stand by you and with you. Our Office is located in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

 

The above article was adapted from the original “Sponsor Spotlight” in the April 2019 edition of Ocotillo Living 


June is LGTBQ Pride Month! (Family law & Same-Sex Legal Matters)

| Family Law Same-Sex Marriage | June 4, 2020

The History & 50th Anniversary

“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as ‘Gay Pride Day,’ but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the ‘day’ soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.  The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

“In 1994, a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the LGBTQ community during LGBT History Month.

“June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions. The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.” 1

The above was taken directly from the Library of Congress’s website about the LGTBQ Pride Month: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/

LGTBQ and Family Law

With Arizona finally recognizing same-sex marriage on October 17th, 2014, the scope of family law has increased among the LGTBQ community. This opened up the rights to same-sex spouses to receive the same benefits under the law that were previously only reserved for spouses of the opposite sex. This also extends to the realm of family law services such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, child custody and child support as well as spousal maintenance (alimony) among same-sex individuals. Another area that became more readily accessible was child adoption. “In September 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled that same-sex spouses have the same parental rights as opposite-sex spouses under state law. Basing their ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges and Pavan v. Smith, the court concluded that married same-sex couples have the right to list both their names on their child(ren)’s birth certificate(s).”2 This has also created precedence for other items such as non-biological fertility and surrogacy among same-sex couples; although such cases are not as cut and dry.

Duenas Eden Law, Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Same-Sex Legal Matters

As mentioned above, the recognition of same-sex marriage in the state of Arizona makes it easier for LGTBQ couples or individuals to seek and receive legal representation in family law matters. We, the attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, understand same-sex legal issues and will work with you on your family law matters. We will help guide and represent you in the process. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

 

Sources
1 https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Arizona#Adoption_and_parenting


What is Family Law?

| Alimony / Spousal Maintenance Child Custody Child Support Divorce Family Law | May 28, 2020

Family law is an area of practice surrounding the legal actions and decisions within family relationships. These most often include divorce, child custody and adoption, child support matters, spousal maintenance (alimony) requests, pre-nuptial and post nuptial agreements, among others. The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, PLC focus only on family law matters. This is important when choosing an attorney, as this allows for all the experience and knowledge of the lawyer to be hyper focused on your specific family law need. We won’t go into great detail in this article regarding each of these individual cases, but we will share with you some of the common matters within the following areas.

Divorce

Marriage has been paramount in human relationships for a long time; however for many and diverse reasons, couples may seek to dissolve their marital union. This becomes much more involved when assets are mingled, children are born into the marriage, ownership of businesses are being considered, infighting and contention, etc. Currently Arizona is a “no-fault” state when it comes to a divorce. That means that there is no need to prove fault, such as adultery, to request a divorce. The main caveat to the “no-fault” stance in Arizona has to do with “Covenant Marriages”. A covenant marriage is considered in Arizona when spouses undergo special pre-marital counseling to help strengthen their marriage bond. As a result the courts may consider “fault” in these cases.

Child Custody & Adoption

Commonly child custody follows a divorce proceeding when the two parents simply cannot be able to act as the 100% custodial agents to the child(ren) together. When considering child custody it is important to speak to an attorney to help mediate and guide in the best result for the child(ren). Family law attorneys also assist in legal adoptions and parental rights not connected with divorce or even marriage for that matter.

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance

With regards to child support in Arizona, the financial needs and resources of the child as well as the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent, among other factors, are taken into account [A.R.S. § 25-320(D)]. With regards to spousal maintenance, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse and the term limit based on a list of qualifications as found in A.R.S. § 25-319.

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-marital agreements, also know as “pre-nups”, are legal agreements drawn up between potential spouses prior to being legally married. Post-marital agreements, otherwise know as “post-nups”, are legal agreements between spouses after entering into a legal marriage. In both cases these agreements typically revolve around the rights to assets or property in the event of the dissolution of a marriage. Often assets in the agreements can include; investments, inheritances, debts, spousal maintenance and high value assets.

 

Consult with the Experienced Family Law Attorneys at Duenas Eden Law, PLC

There are other specific matters and cases within the discipline of family law. Consult with the experienced family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law to see if we may be able to assist you. We will listen and help guide you for the best outcome possible. We will then stand by you and advocate on your behalf. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Parenting Plans and Older Children (Divorce & Child Custody)

| Attorneys at Law Child Custody Family Law | May 21, 2020

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2020!

Truly 2020 is a year for the history books and for years to come school children will be studying the events that you and your children have been apart of. Although for many, the traditional graduation ceremonies this year will be completely different than years past, but one thing to remember is that those graduating this year have accomplished something wonderful and should be celebrated. A caution we often share with parents is that this time is about your child, not you or your ex-spouse. Let them shine in their moment, especially during this historic era.

From Teenager to “Adult”

Depending on the age of your child(ren) when you first implemented your parenting plan, many things and situations may have changed for your child. Often times when those that divorce with younger children, parenting plans and support needs focus on the relatively near future. A good parenting plan looks deep into the future, but sometimes those plans, formal or informal, miss certain things with your child’s future activities, aspirations or even health.  The teenage years of a child, help mold and guide their adventure into adulthood, and proper support and communication, mediated or unmediated, between parents make a big difference in the success of the child in those formidable years.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Whether you are considering a divorce or need to discuss options regarding a parenting plan or child support, contact the trusted and experienced family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law. We will listen and help guide you for the best outcome for you and your children. We will then stand by you and advocate on your behalf. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Why Can’t You Just Get Along? (Divorce, Child Custody & Family Law)

| Child Custody Divorce Family Law | May 14, 2020

I would like to take my child(ren) out of state to Disneyland

“The Court is in receipt of Mother’s Motion for Permission to Travel Out-of-State with children. It is sad that such a motion has to be written, let alone ruled upon…. The Court cannot think of any good reason why any parent would refuse to agree in writing for his or her children to go to Disneyland…It just got a little more expensive to get happy. If in fact Father has refused Mother’s travel requests, then Father’s refusal for the sake of refusal is nothing more than a Mickey Mouse litigation tactic, and just plain Goofy.” In re the Marriage of McCreery FC2012-093275, Minute Entry dated 06/06/2013, page 1.

This ruling is funny. The Judge, clearly annoyed with the situation, makes numerous references to a parent’s refusal to allow his minor children to travel to Disneyland – presumably just to “get back” at the other parent. The Judge in this case attempted to inject some humor in a situation. The ruling went viral. It’s been all over Facebook. My paralegal told me she saw it before I showed it to her. I’ve shown it to multiple networking groups, my husband and anyone else I think could use a good laugh. But, it’s also a serious and sad reminder of the issues family law attorneys and judges deal with every day.

Are you really thinking about the child(ren)?

I’ve heard eloquent speeches by judges, mediators, attorneys and even clients and the gist of it is “Why can’t [you/he/she] just think about the child[ren]? It’s not about [us/him/her]. It’s about the child[ren]!”

Parents frequently say that to me. But, is it really? Are parents really putting their children’s best interests ahead of whatever animosity exists between the parents – that led to the breakdown of their relationship?

Children should not be involved in a relationship breakdown. They want to love both parents. They deserve to love their parents without hearing how bad the other parent is. Judges do not like to hear people badmouthing the other parent. Are there some really bad parents out there? Of course! There are people who make us all think – there’s no requirement, no class, no license required to become a parent?! But, for most of us, we try our best, we’re pretty good on most days although could use some improvement on others. When you start thinking of how to “get back” at someone though, you’ve lost sight of a child’s best interest. It’s just plain “Goofy.” Id.

So remember, the next time you want to object or fight the other parent, a judge may someday issue a ruling in your case. And it may go viral. Do you want the world to read that you’re engaging in a “Mickey Mouse litigation tactic?” Id.

Duenas Eden Law, PLC Experienced Family Law Attorneys

If you are involved in a decision making (child custody) or parenting time dispute with someone, call an experienced family law attorney to discuss your case.

The lawyers of Duenas Eden Law we are trusted and experienced attorneys focusing on family law including; child custody cases, divorce, child support, spousal support, same-sex legal issues other family law matters. Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and servicing the Ocotillo Community and the entire Chandler area, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the August 2013 edition of Ocotillo Living

When Should I Create an Estate Plan?

| Attorneys at Law Family Law | May 6, 2020

The answer to this is you should have one already.

Most people put off the creation of an estate plan. Obviously it’s uncomfortable to think about passing away. Although, if you ask those same people they will likely have fairly strong thoughts about what should happen to their assets when they die!

Life-Changing Events

From a lawyer’s perspective, when should you create an estate plan? I suggest whenever you have a life-changing event: getting married, having a child, getting divorced. Why? Because big events are what make us think about “what ifs.”

Marriage is generally a happy time. Having a child is generally a happy event. But what about events that might not be so happy, such as a divorce or a partner break-up?

Divorce

If you are in the middle of a dissolution of marriage proceeding that is not the time to make changes to your will, trust, or beneficiaries. You can do so before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage or after the decree is entered, but not during.

Once a dissolution is finalized the last thing you want is to potentially leave your ex-spouse the portion of your estate you fought so hard to keep. This is when you need to look forward and think about the future. Do you have children you want to name as beneficiaries? Parents? Siblings? Working with an estate planning attorney is an important “loose end” to tie up after the decree of dissolution of marriage is filed. After the divorce you followed through on dividing up the retirement accounts. Shouldn’t your heirs receive the same attention?

Duenas Eden Law, PLC Attorneys at Law

The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are trusted and experienced lawyers focusing on family law including; divorce, child custody cases, child support, spousal support, same-sex legal issues other family law matters. Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and servicing Ocotillo and the entire Chandler area, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the June 2012 edition of Ocotillo Living

I Do… (But I want to protect my assets!) – Pre-Nuptial / Post-Nuptial Agreements

| Divorce Family Law | April 30, 2020

Protecting Assets in the Event of a Divorce

Considering that many people are waiting to get married or getting married for a second (or third or fourth) time, there may be assets that someone has that s/he wants to protect in the event of a divorce. I doubt that most enter into a marriage thinking it will not last. Applying logic and the odds, it is a good idea to define in advance, when the couple is happy and in love, how assets and liabilities will be handled both during the marriage and in the event of a dissolution.

Arizona is a Community Property State

In the absence of a premarital or post-nuptial agreement, community property law applies in Arizona, which generally provides all assets accumulated during the marriage are presumed to be for the benefit of the community consisting of the husband and wife. Arizona Revised Statute 25-201, et seq. are the laws that allow couples to abrogate or limit the applicability of community property law and define how income, assets and debts will be paid. Not all couples want to eliminate community property law and instead want to set pre-defined limits about spousal maintenance, such as whether any will be paid and if so the amount, and division of assets and liabilities. This is permissible as well, provided that pre-marital or post-nuptial agreements regarding spousal maintenance do not result in one party needing to utilize state assistance.

Rules for a Pre- or Post-Nuptial Agreement

There are fairly straightforward rules for a pre- or post-nuptial agreement to be valid. The parties must be entering into the agreement freely and voluntarily and without any undo threats or coercion. Timing of the agreement may be considered, but is not necessarily going to invalidate an agreement. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. If one party has an attorney, then both parties should have attorneys, and one attorney cannot represent both people. For some reason there is a common misconception that one attorney is able to represent both. Despite the relationship status at the time an agreement is entered, the parties have differing interests and it is a conflict of interest for one attorney to represent both.

In addition to those requirements listed above, each party must make a fair and reasonable disclosure to the other of all known assets and liabilities. The agreement must not be unconscionable at the time that it was entered, meaning that it is to be fair and equitable and not punish one party or completely deprive one party of assets and liabilities.

I mentioned post-nuptial agreements earlier in this article. There is not a lot of law in Arizona concerning the validity of post-nuptial agreements. Generally, attorneys follow the same requirements for a pre-marital agreement, but there is no guarantee that a post-nuptial agreement will be valid at this time.

Family Law, Divorce and Same-Sex Legal Matters

If you are considering a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, it is important to talk with an experienced family law attorney. At Duenas Eden Law, PLC, we regularly assist clients with such issues. The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are trusted and experienced lawyers focusing on family law including; pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, child custody cases, child support, spousal support, same-sex legal issues other family law matters. We are family law lawyers servicing Laveen, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the July 2014 edition of Ocotillo Living

Pregnant Man Denied Divorce…

| Divorce Legally Speaking Same-Sex Marriage | April 22, 2020

Did I catch your attention with the title and lure you in? Keep reading…

This is an interesting case! It is not often that there are rulings from a family law case in Maricopa County that leads to national headlines. However, on March 28, 2013, the Maricopa County Superior Court did just that when it ruled that a man, who was born a female and gave birth three times after receiving a birth certificate declaring him to be a man, could not divorce his wife.

In a very detailed and lengthy opinion, the court found that the parties failed to prove that they had a legally recognizable marriage under Arizona law. The full case opinion is In Re the Marriage of Thomas Beatie and Nancy J. Beatie, FC2012-051183.

 

The Details

Thomas, as stated above, was born a female. He began undergoing hormone treatments as part of a sex change to become a man, but abandoned such treatment before it would have eliminated his ability to bear or carry a child in his womb. He underwent a medical operation as part of his sex change, but it was revealed that the surgery was a double mastectomy. Thomas obtained a new birth certificate listing his sex as a male, but the court noted that Thomas never disclosed he would still have the ability to become pregnant. While Thomas presented an affidavit from one of his doctors explaining that he had undergone medical procedures, no discussion of the extent of those procedures was provided to the state issuing the new birth certificate.

After obtaining a new birth certificate listing his sex as a male, Thomas and Nancy married. They then went on to have three children, all carried by and born to Thomas.

 

The Findings

The Maricopa County Superior Court denied the dissolution of the parties’ marriage, finding that they were never legally married and thus there was nothing to dissolve. In Arizona, a marriage [was] legally defined as being between a man and a woman [prior to October 17, 2014].  In deciding that Thomas was not a man, under a plain meaning of the term man, the only decision the court could make was that the marriage was not valid because it was not between a man and a woman.

Where does this leave Arizona? Almost certainly with the Arizona Court of Appeals hearing the case. In fact, there has already been a notice of appeal filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals. Will this case have an impact on same-sex marriages or cases involving couples cohabitating? In my opinion, it likely will not. This case involved a very narrow legal issue asking whether the marriage between Thomas and Nancy was valid under Arizona law. In deciding it was not, the court declined to accept either party’s arguments of social policy, instead focusing solely on interpreting the laws of Arizona. This begs the question then – had Thomas not born a child, would anyone have questioned the legitimacy of the birth certificate?

 

Family Law, Divorce and Same-Sex Legal Matters

Although the above case was a unique one, with the current recognition of same-sex marriage in the state of Arizona many still have questions regarding such matters. Consult with an experienced family law attorney that listens to your case and your needs. The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Same-Sex Legal Matters, Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law Lawyers servicing Laveen, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the June 2013 edition of Ocotillo Living

A Pet-Sharing Agreement? (Divorce & Personal Property)

| Divorce Legally Speaking | April 14, 2020

 
 
These days it is common to know someone who shares time with his or her children. We call it a Parenting Plan in Arizona. It defines when the children will be with mom and when they will be dad.

What about the non-human members of our family?

What about our dogs, cats and other animals that hold such special places in our hearts? These may be the kids before we had kids,or the kids after the kids grew up and moved away, or maybe they are the “kids.” Regardless of the circumstances, pets move into our hearts and don’t leave. When a relationship fails, the idea of not seeing a pet again can be gut wrenching.

Pets are considered personal property in Arizona. That means that just like a couch or car or flat-screen television, in a dissolution of marriage case, someone will receive the dog or cat and someone won’t. I recently was involved in a case where one of the biggest hurdles to resolution was the dog. The husband and wife did not have a lot of money or assets, but they each spent a lot of money and time arguing over the dog. I kept reminding my client that from a financial standpoint it was not worth the money spent in attorney’s fees to argue over the dog. As a lawyer, that is the cost-benefit analysis we have to go through with our clients. As a person, I was the one who kept making an appointment to euthanize my dogs, and then canceling it, because even though I had two very sick near-death dogs, I couldn’t bring myself to actually say it was time. It is the classic logic versus emotion pull that family law attorneys have to deal with on a daily basis.

 

Time-Sharing with Pets

I have negotiated and argued on behalf of my clients for a petsharing arrangement. I have seen more people share time with pets when they have human children and the pets go back and forth with the kids. But, it does happen where parties ask for a time-sharing arrangement for the pets.

Any time-sharing arrangement for pets should be clearly defined. Specific days and times should be delineated. Clarity is necessary if someone wants to be able to enforce the timesharing. With pets, in my personal (not legally backed by anything other than my opinion) view, they don’t need to see the other person as frequently as children. Thus, it may be easier on the parties to have fewer exchanges. It may not be necessary to exchange a couple of times a week. Once a week or less may be sufficient for exchanges.

 

Pet Expenses?

The other consideration is sharing the pet’s expenses. Pet food is one thing, and in and of itself isn’t cheap. But what about medical expenses? Are the parties going to equally share in those expenses? Are the parties going to agree to communicate and consult with each other regarding the animal’s emergency and non-emergency medical care? What about the end of life decision? The parties have to have a clearly written contract between them to address these issues. As with human children, addressing those difficult topics before a disagreement arises is key.

 

Listening to Your Needs to Resolve Your Case

Part of any dissolution of marriage case involves dealing with dividing personal property – even those things that you may not consider to be personal property. If you are going through a dis- solution of marriage or have questions about personal property items, please contact an experienced family law attorney.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law Attorneys servicing Laveen, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the February 2014 edition of Ocotillo Living

How to Talk to your Children about Divorce

| Divorce Legally Speaking | April 8, 2020

Children are very Inquisitive

“Does Timmy have two dads?” “Does he have two moms?” Have you heard these questions from the mouths of young children? If so, perhaps you have struggled with how to discuss a dissolution of marriage with your children and explain about friends’ families. Or, maybe you are concerned about discussing your own situation with your children. Maybe the question you’re getting is “Why doesn’t mommy live with me all the time?” or “Why do I have two homes?”

Little children are great at asking questions about anything and everything.  Sometimes parents have the answers, but oftentimes they don’t.

 

The So-Called “Non-Traditional” Family

While, I am not a child psychologist or counselor, I see this situation over and over as a family law attorney. If this is your situation, meaning if you are the one with a so-called “non-traditional” family, generally children will respond to the situation as it is presented to them. If this is the new norm and they are okay and loved by all, they will usually be okay. If one parent complains to the child about the child having to go to the other parent’s house, the children are likely to respond in kind.

Most children’s counselors that I talk with discuss that the parents, whether they are together or not, need to present a unified front to the child. A child should not ever be told why the parent’s marriage ended. Children do not ever need to know and should not be involved in their parent’s dissolution of marriage. Children need to know that there is a team of people working to create the very best situation for them – whether it is a team comprised of just the parents or a team of parents and a counselor or psychiatrist. In discussing with counselors, most also opine to me that children should never be told to decide where they want to live. A child’s view of the world is very different than an adult’s. If a child says that s/he wants to live with mom or dad, is it because they think they won’t have to attend school or do homework at that parent’s house? Is it because one parent has more video games than the other? Or, in cases of teenagers, is one parent more lenient with curfew than the other?

 

Having concerns about what is okay to say?

Talk with a child counselor. They are a wealth of information, even if your child does not ultimately see that counselor.Having concerns about what is okay to say? Talk with a child counselor. They are a wealth of information, even if your child does not ultimately see that counselor.

And if it’s your child’s friend who has the blended family, then in my humble opinion, it’s fine to say, “Yes, Timmy has two mommies, two daddies and two houses. Everyone is different and let’s remember that Timmy loves all of his parents!”

 

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you have questions about talking with your children about your particular situation, consult with an experienced family law attorney.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law Attorneys servicing Laveen, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the March 2013 edition of Ocotillo Living

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