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April 2010 Archives

Can You Marry Your First Cousin in Arizona?

The state of Arizona has some strange marriage laws, including interesting laws regarding marriages between first cousins. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, marriage between first cousins is allowed in the Grand Canyon state as long as both spouses are age 65 or older or are unable to reproduce.

The state of Arizona, does however, prohibit marriages between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, half sisters and half brothers, aunts and nephews, and uncles and nieces.  Like most other U.S states, Arizona does allow for marriage between half cousins or marriage between second cousins.

Man Allegedly Stabs Wife After Hearing About Divorce

The process of divorce can be painful for some people, but some spouses are able to take the procedure much better than others. A recent story about a Phoenix man allegedly stabbing his wife to death, shows just how extreme a person's reaction can be when first hearing the news of a divorce.

AZ Family News reports that 58-year-old Dwight Wesley was riding in a car with his wife Delores Glover, when the two got into an argument. Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said that it was in the car that the woman told her husband that she wanted a divorce. Dwight Wesley then proceeded to allegedly pull out a knife and stab Delores Glover while she was driving.

Grounds For Annulment in Arizona

An annulment is a court procedure that dissolves a marriage and treats the marriage as if it never happened. This is a legal procedure that is different from a divorce in that an annulment declares a marriage void and is retroactive. The grounds for annulment often vary from state to state, but the state of Arizona has some pretty basic requirements on what can constitute an annulment.

AboutDivorce.org states that misrepresentation, concealment of a disease, concealment of crime, inability to consummate the marriage, and addiction to drugs are all legal grounds for annulment under the Arizona law. FindLaw states that most of these grounds are pretty common throughout most U.S states. And while an annulment may seem like a nice "get out of jail free card" if you're unhappy with a marriage, it's important to realize that there can be some consequences when getting a marriage annulled.

Woman Utters Frustration With Police in Child Abduction Case

An Avondale woman was recently reunited with her 10-year-old son after he had been missing for more than two years. She says that her son probably could have been found earlier, if police had taken her story about a potential child abduction case more seriously.

The Arizona Republic reports that the boy was abducted by his own father in 2007, after the father had told his wife that he was taking their son to visit his grandparents for two weeks in Guanajuato, Mexico. Yet the son and father never returned. The woman claims that Phoenix detectives didn't treat the case as a kidnapping because the boy's father was still married to the woman, when the son first disappeared.

The Larry King Divorce Could Get Messy

Larry King and his wife Shawn Southwick separately filed for divorce on April 14 after 13 years of marriage, but perhaps their family battle may have just begun. Family lawyers predict that the Larry King divorce could get ugly, mostly because of the amount of money that's at stake.

The Boston Herald reports that that Shawn Southwick is Larry King's seventh wife, and that their split will mark Larry King's eighth divorce. That's right; Larry King actually married and divorced one of his wives twice.

Yet when it comes to marriage, Larry King may not have learned anything from his previous divorces. His lawyer confirmed that the CNN television personality has no prenuptial agreement with Shawn Southwick. Larry King didn't feel that prenup would be necessary with this marriage and said that he really thought Shawn Southwick would be the woman that he would spend the rest of his life with.

Mesa's Domestic Partner Registry

There were once plans to establish a domestic partner registry in the city of Mesa, but The East Valley Tribune reports that those plans have been put on hold. This is because city officials anticipate new federal rules that will broaden the hospital visitation rights of unmarried couples.

Currently, the city of Phoenix already has a domestic partner registry, but proponents of domestic partnership registries feel that establishing a registry in Mesa would be a huge step for same-sex couples. This is because Mesa is considered to be a much more conservative city. The only other city in Arizona, other than Phoenix, that currently provides domestic partnership benefits is Tucson.

Modifying Child Support Agreements

In the state of Arizona, child custody agreements are subject to change and it's not all that uncommon for one party to request a change to the original child support order. A Phoenix family lawyer can often assist a person who is looking to modify a child support order.

FindLaw states that a substantial change in circumstances is a common standard for child support modification. For example, if a child has a significant change in expenses, such as the need for an orthodontist or health services that's not covered through insurance, increasing child support payments could be considered necessary. Changes in a parent's income can also be grounds for changing a child support order.

Family Lawyers Have Mixed Feelings on Arkansas Act 1

A circuit judge struck down a controversial Arkansas law earlier this month that banned unmarried couples from adopting. According to Arkansas News, the law known as Arkansas Act 1, infringed upon the fundamental right to privacy. A judge ruled that the law unconstitutionally burdened non-marital relationships and acts of sexual intimacy between adults by forcing them to choose between becoming a parent and having any meaningful type of intimate relationship outside of marriage. It in essence, banned unmarried adoption.

Arkansas Act 1 was approved by Arkansas voters in November 2008 through a ballot initiative, with a 57 percent to 43 percent margin. Same-sex couples, in particular, were targeted with the passage of Arkansas Act 1. This is because the state of Arkansas does not allow same-sex couples to marry. Since the law's passage, many family lawyers from all over the country decided to get involved and voice their opinions on the case. Unmarried adoption is becoming more and more common nationwide.

Lawmakers Vote Not To Extend Time of Divorce Waiting Period

Earlier this month, state lawmakers rejected the idea of making the process of divorce even longer, yet senators have given preliminary approval to an identical measure.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that The House voted 33-23 on April 6 to veto House Bill 2650, which would have allowed either party in a divorce to request an extension of the divorce waiting period up to 180 days. Republican Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, sponsored the bill and said that she was in favor of such a change because when homes break up, it often costs the state money. Other supporters of House Bill 2650 said that lengthening the process of divorce would encourage families to stay together.

Man Kills His Two Children During Child Custody Petition

Family lawyers have revealed that Andre Letev, the 39-year-old man who allegedly killed his two children last month, was going through a divorce with his wife and was in the middle of a child custody petition when the incident occurred. The Arizona Republic reported that the man was worried about his wife, Laurie Beth Leteve, moving to Florida and taking off with their two sons.

It seems as if the man was so worried about the outcome of a child custody petition, that he killed his own two children out of fear that he wouldn't be able to see them if they moved to Florida. The Scottsdale man has since been indicted on two-counts of first-degree murder in the killing of his five-year-old and one-year-old sons. He was booked into the Maricopa County jail and is to remain in jail without bond.