The Phoenix Family Law News Blog - Find a Phoenix Family Attorney

January 2011 Archives

A new policy came about last July in the state of Indiana that required unmarried parents to provide Social Security numbers in order to establish paternity, which would mean that illegal immigrants would have difficulties establishing themselves as parents of their own children. However, the Indianapolis Star reported that a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction this week barring this policy in the state.

District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the policy violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." The state's Attorney General's Office will now have to decide whether to appeal the ruling.

How Financial Infidelity Can Lead to Divorce

Financial expert Jean Chatzky and psychiatrist Gail Saltz recently discussed the issue of financial infidelity on The Today Show and how it can be destructive in a marriage. As reported by The Huffington Post, a study conducted by the National Endowment For Financial Education found that 58 percent of survey respondents conceal cash from their spouse. Thirty percent of spouses hide bills and 15 percent hide bank accounts.

People may have various reasons for hiding their money from a spouse, but studies show that financial infidelity generally has a negative impact on relationships. National Endowment For Financial Education found that 16 percent of marriages end because one or both spouses hide their finances from one another.

Changing A Child's Last Name After Divorce or Separation

A parent may want to legally change his or her child’s last name after the custodial parent goes through divorce or separation. The process of a child name change might sound simple, but can actually be very complex if both parents are not in agreement about the change of name.

People Magazine reports that the celebrity teen mother Bristol Palin from “Dancing With the Stars” is seeking to change the name of her 2-year-old son from Tripp Johnston to Tripp Palin. The 20-year-old mother who hails from Alaska recently moved to Maricopa, Arizona, so it is likely that she would be dealing with her baby’s name change and other family court proceedings in the Grand Canyon state.

Gay Marriage Will Remain Legal in Washington D.C.

The issue of same-sex marriage has become quite controversial across the country and throughout the state of Arizona over the past several years. While gay activists in the state are pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage, Arizona still has a constitutional ban on gay marriage because of a 2008 voter-approved ballot initiative.

In March 2010, America's capital passed the Marriage Equality Act, which legalized gay marriage in the District of Columbia. According to CNN, Bishop Harry Jackson tried to get an initiative on this year's voter ballot which would have overturned the District's same-sex marriage policy if approved.

Divorce Resource Conference to be Held in Tempe

The process of divorce can be stressful, which is why many people separating from a spouse often seek help and guidance. On Saturday January 22 and Sunday January 23, the connectedIn Divorce Resource Conference (cDRC) will be held at Fiesta Resort Conference Center, which will provide Arizona residents with resources related to the physical, legal, emotional and financial aspects of dissolving a marriage.

ABC News reports that attendees of cDRC will have the opportunity to interact with different local companies and gain insight about different legal services, insurance, housing assistance, childcare and more. The cost is $80 for admission into the conference. More information on cDRC can be found by visiting or by calling (480) 488-0221.

Seth Rogen Won't Sign Prenuptial Agreement Before Wedding

Actor Seth Rogen has plans to marry his fiancé Lauren Miller, but he says that he will not be signing a prenuptial agreement first. The Huffington Post reports that many people, including the actor's business manager, might criticize Rogen's decision not to sign a premarital contract. Let's not forget that celebrity Kelsey Grammer might have to give up $50 million to his wife Camille in a divorce settlement.

Yet Rogen seems to understand the risks of not signing prenup and has a different view when it comes to the financial aspects of marriage. He reportedly stated, "Marriage can be expensive and if I lose millions then it'll be the best millions I've spent."

Sergio Thomas Had Violent Record Prior to Daughter's Death

A 7-month old girl was killed last month from skull fractures and bleeding after the baby’s father allegedly beat his daughter when he was frustrated. The Arizona Republic reports that the father Sergio Thomas was arrested after he admitted that he accidentally killed his daughter , but many people in the community question why the man had custody of his daughter and 2-year-old son in the first place.

January Has More Arizona Divorces Than Any Other Month

ABC News reports that Phoenix family lawyers are often busy in the month of January because it is the most popular month to get a divorce. Records from the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services indicated that there were a total number of 23,140 divorces and annulments granted in the state in 2009. There were 2,121 divorces granted in January 2009.

Why exactly is there a spike in Arizona divorces during the month of January each year? Lawyers say that there are many reasons for this trend, including the fact that many people don't want to break up their family before the holiday season. Some people say that they cannot afford a divorce before the end of the year and others say that they're looking for a fresh start and the beginning of a calendar year.

Palin and Johnston to Discuss Visitation Before Move to Arizona

Rumors have circulated throughout the media that Bristol Palin and her two-year-old son Tripp will be moving to Pinal County, Arizona, as the 20-year-old mom recently bought a $172,000 house in the town of Maricopa. Yet ABC News reports that Bristol Palin will not be able to move without discussing visitation with her baby’s father Levi Johnston.

AZ Man Arrested in Hawaii For Breaking Child Custody Order

Diamond Lee Williams, Sr. was arrested in Hawaii after allegedly fleeing to the islands with his one-year-old son without the permission of the child’s biological mother. The Associated Press reported that this was a problem because the mother in this case was awarded full custody of the boy in their home state of Arizona.

The child was found unharmed after Arizona authorities notified Hawaii-based marshals that Diamond Lee Williams had left the state with his son. State officials in Hawaii now have protective custody of the child and the father will likely face charges of custodial interference in Arizona. Custodial interference is typically a felony crime under Arizona Revised Statute §13-1302, however, it can be treated as only a misdemeanor if the child is voluntarily returned without physical injury prior to arrest.