October 2011 News: The Phoenix Family Law News Blog

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October 2011 Archives

Kim Kardashian Divorce 101: AZ Annulments, Alimony and Prenups

The much-hyped fairy tale romance involving Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries is reportedly coming to an end just 72 days after it became legally official, reports CBS Los Angeles. Along with the gossip surrounding the reasons for the dissolution, Kim Kardashian's divorce provides a veritable treasure trove of considerations Arizona couples should take into account when deciding on marriage and divorce.

First, news reports have stated that neither Kardashian or Humphries will be seeking an annulment although they have only been married for less than three months. Under Arizona law, a couple can file for an annulment if the marriage is considered invalid for such enumerated reasons as misrepresentation, concealment of disease, or inability to consummate the marriage. In an annulment, a marriage is treated as if it never existed.

FBI Child ID App Helps Parents Find Missing Children

As the family of Jhessye Shockley deals with the disappearance of the five-year-old girl, it’s not hard to imagine that Phoenix families are simultaneously hoping that she returns and that they never have to face that horrible scenario with their own children.

Although you can never keep your children 100 percent safe, the FBI has entered the mobile world and created a free smartphone app with the purpose of “putting safety in your hands,” reports azfamily.com.

Mesa Man Charged with Child Abuse for Beating Daughter over Haircut

A Mesa man with a history of domestic violence has been charged with one count of child abuse for allegedly beating his daughter because she cut her hair, reports ABC15 News.

Wilson Yazzie, Jr. is accused of whipping his daughter with an extension cord, as well as smacking her face with an open hand on Saturday. In his defense, the 38-year-old claimed he became upset because she cut her hair, which is against his family's religion.

Methadone-Drugged Toddler in Phoenix Hospital; CPS Takes Siblings

A young boy is recovering in a Phoenix hospital after nearly dying from a methadone dose on Sunday, reports The Arizona Republic. Phoenix police believe the toddler had methadone to soothe the pain in his gums and teeth.

The two-year-old toddler was rushed to the hospital after going into full cardiac arrest. Phoenix Fire Department officials said the boy was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat when paramedics arrived at a Motel 6 on Black Canyon Highway. Although his condition has been improving, medical personnel are monitoring him for long-term side effects.

Life After Domestic Violence Cases: Resources for Victims

The relationship between eighteen-year-olds Monique Cota and Eric Coulter was allegedly a violent and turbulent one, but Cota was making plans to stop the abusive cycle and move on to a better life. Cota, however, would not be able to escape with her life. Coulter was subsequently charged for her murder, and the Cota family lost a beloved daughter.

Unfortunately, Cota's tragic end is not atypical in domestic violence cases. Danger and violence typically follow domestic abuse victims for years after the relationship may have ended, reports azfamily.com.

Missing Jhessye Shockley: Child Abuse Comes to Light?

As authorities continue to search for five-year-old Jhessye Shockley, the spotlight has begun to also focus on Jhessye's home environment before she disappeared. Some of Jhessye's relatives are speaking out about allegations that the little girl may have been abused and speculating why Child Protective Services (CPS) took her siblings from her mother's home after she went missing, reports ABC15 News.

A cousin of Jhessye's told ABC15 she had no doubt that the girl's mother, Jerice Hunter, abused her.

"At our functions, and get-togethers, Jhessye was not herself," Lisa Vance said. "I've seen marks that led me to believe she was being abused in Jerice's home."

Boyfriend Accused of First-Degree Murder in El Mirage Toddler Death

El Mirage police have recommended a first-degree murder charge against a man accused of causing the death of a toddler, reports The Arizona Republic.

Twenty-one-year-old Gregory Kyle Amador is facing serious accusations after his girlfriend’s two-year-old toddler died over the weekend of head injuries. The boy was discovered unresponsive on Thursday.

The toddler’s injuries were ruled non-accidental by Boswell Hospital doctors, and he was taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, according to The Republic. Unfortunately, the young child died from his serious injuries on Saturday.

El Mirage police recommended upgrading the charges to murder on Monday.

Chandler Police: Domestic Violence Relationship Ended in Murder

An eighteen-year old woman is dead after an abusive domestic violence relationship with her boyfriend allegedly ended in murder, reports The Arizona Republic. Sadly, her mother reportedly told Chandler police that she was making plans to leave an increasingly violent relationship.

Eighteen-year-old Eric Coulter is in custody on a $1 million bond and faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of his late girlfriend, Monique Cota. Coulter allegedly shot Cota above her left eye during a disagreement in the Coulter family home, according to Chandler police.

Coulter's family also quotes him as saying, "It was an accident. I killed Monique. I killed Monique. I shot her in the head. I'm going to jail," The Republic stated.

Valley Police Implement New Guidelines for Domestic Violence Cases

In an effort to standardize procedures for prosecuting abusers and treatment for victims of domestic violence, Valley police officers will be implementing a new set of guidelines for domestic violence cases, reports The Arizona Republic. The new guidelines were created just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The comprehensive list of guidelines addresses everything from Valley police officers' initial response to domestic violence calls to how victims should be treated during the investigation and prosecution processes. Authorities hope that standardized procedures will encourage domestic violence victims to report crimes and help law enforcement respond appropriately to domestic violence cases.

Arizona Birth Rate Drops: Economy to Blame?

The child population in Arizona has been increasing over the past decade, but the terrible economy may be putting a damper on the baby-making business.

A reported released by the Pew Research Center shows that the Arizona birth rate has dropped, and it could possibly be the Arizona economy that's to blame, reports the Tucson Sentinel.

"It just isn't a good time to take on an additional expense," said Tom Rex, associate director of the Center for Competitiveness and Prosperity Research at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business.

AZ Amber Alerts: Can You Use Them to Fight Family Abduction?

The AMBER Alert system is a national program that quickly and widely disseminates information about child abductions. Amber Alerts, which stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response,” has been a useful tool for authorities to gain valuable information that can lead to the recovery of an abducted child.

The AMBER system uses various media outlets to inform the public about information about the abduction, including a description of the child and the suspected abductor, the vehicle’s make and model, and the license plate number. However, can parents or family members use this valuable resource in the event of a family abduction?

Man Arrested on Aggravated Assault Charges for Grandmother Beating

Mesa resident Kurtis Brian Palmateer was arrested on aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating his grandmother because she didn't make his dinner and her dog was annoying him, reports KPHO. In another strange twist, Palmateer was the one who called 911 and reportedly confessed to the crime.

The 22-year-old hit is suspected of hitting his 65-year-old grandmother several times in the face with his fists, knees and feet, according to authorities. Luckily, she escaped to the bathroom, when Palmateer, for unknown reasons, called the emergency hotline.

Man Allegedly Robs Gilbert Bank to Make Alimony Payments

A man allegedly told police that he robbed a Gilbert bank in order to afford his monthly alimony payments to his ex-wife, reports The Arizona Republic.

Donald Bruce McKay was arrested last Tuesday morning minutes after reportedly holding up US Bank employees at gunpoint for $2,312. According to a police report, McKay allegedly committed the robbery to "pay his bills and spousal support," The Republic reported.

As of August 31, McKay reportedly owed his ex-wife, Mary McKay, $2,600 in alimony payments, according to The Republic. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge had ordered Donald to pay $650 a month in alimony payments for four years. Because he was unemployed, he turned to a life of crime in order to meet the judge's orders, according to police.

Top Five Legal Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Before you pop, or say yes to, the big question, there are a few things you should know about your intended that have significant legal and personal consequences for you and your partner. Below, we've listed the top five legal questions you should ask before getting married.

1. Are you willing to sign a prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is not just for celebrities and rich people. It can potentially save both you and your spouse from a financial migraine just in case you decide to split. Prenups set in writing exactly how you'd like your property divided in the event of a divorce or death. Although it's not the most romantic way to start off a marriage, the sad likelihood of divorce makes it almost a necessity to have your interests defined sooner, rather than later.

Ex-NBA Player Isaiah 'J.R.' Rider Arrested on Probation Violation

Ex-NBA champion Isaiah "J.R." Rider was arrested in Arizona on Tuesday for a probation violation that may be tied to a 2010 domestic violence charge, reports TMZ.com.

Rider reportedly blew off his probation requirements, such as attending court-mandated domestic violence classes and completing 90 of the required 100 hours of community service, according to court documents. He is currently residing in a Maricopa County jail on a no-bail hold, TMZ reported.

End Your Marriage, Throw a Divorce Party?

Under Arizona divorce law, getting a divorce is much easier than it used to be. Typically, a couple only has to show a court that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," and voila! Marriage over.

The emotional side to coping with divorce, however, is not as simple. When it's your heart that is "irretrievably broken," it will take more time to repair it than the time required to file a divorce. However, some divorcees have decided not to bemoan their new single status and, instead, are throwing themselves a "divorce party" to celebrate their new lives, reports CBS Los Angeles.