Child Custody Reform in Arizona and What It Means for Your Divorce

  • By Schneider & Onofry, P.C.
  • 08 Jan, 2018

YUMA, Arizona. According to the Washington Post , 20 states this year are considering bills that would promote shared parenting custody arrangements. As more parents take on active collaborative and co-parenting roles, the courts have been changing to reflect these trends. Research has also shown that shared parenting arrangements are healthier for children of divorce. Psychology Today reports that when families choose equal parenting scenarios, conflict is reduced and even when conflict remains high, the children’s ability to spend time with both parents serves to counteract the negative effects of conflict.

 

Children need strong bonds with both parents in order to grow and develop. As this research has become more well-known, courts across the country and governors are taking note. The Washington Post reports that the bills that promote shared parenting arrangements would encourage parents to choose shared or collaborative parenting scenarios. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that every parenting plan will involve a collaborative parenting arrangement, it means that the courts will begin from the point of view that shared parenting arrangements are the standard.

 

The push for equal parenting time has largely been promoted by “father’s rights” groups. The old custody model was one where the non-custodial parent, usually the father, would spend every other weekend and some holidays with the children, while the new model promotes a more active role for both parents, with more families choosing to divide time between both parents more evenly.

 

Women’s rights groups worry that the assumption of shared parenting time will hurt women who are in abusive or violent relationships. Indeed, women who are trying to escape the cycle of violence may find themselves forced to have an ongoing relationship with their child’s father. While protections need to be put in place for women trying to escape abusive relationships, the research does seem to indicate that shared parenting time is often what is best for the children.

 

Another concern is that women may not always have the same access to resources during a divorce to support their child custody claims. A father might use custody of the children to serve his financial and emotional gain during the divorce.

 

While the law doesn’t favor one spouse over the other when granting custody, traditionally and statistically courts tend to award custody to the mother more often than not. However, with child custody reform, this may not always be the case going forward.

 

So, what does this mean if you are getting divorced in Yuma, Arizona? Child custody questions can be some of the most emotionally challenging decisions you and your ex will make as you divorce. Consider speaking to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., divorce lawyers in Yuma, Arizona . Our qualified child custody attorneys can help you resolve your differences and find a custody arrangement that is best for your family. Decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind. Our firm can work with you to present the strongest possible case to result in the best possible outcome for your family. 

By Schneider & Onofry P.C. 09 Jan, 2018

YUMA, Arizona. America’s idea of medical malpractice and personal injury is changing. More women are becoming aware of their rights during childbirth and are fighting back when doctors fail to honor their wishes. In recent months, we’ve seen reports where doctors performed unwanted surgeries and other procedures on women during labor. According to QZ , one woman was forced to undergo an episiotomy even though she had told the doctor she did not consent to the procedure. At the end of the day, women in labor have the right to make a determination of what procedures are and aren’t done to them while they are giving birth. When a doctor ignores a woman’s wishes, he or she could be responsible for medical malpractice or personal injury.

However, for doctors working in communities where birth death rates and injuries are high, it can be difficult for doctors to do their jobs. According to the New York Times , doctors are reluctant to work in the Bronx where doctors see the highest complication rates during delivery and childbirth. High complication rates mean a greater risk for medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors. Some doctors refuse to work at the hospital because they will likely face so many malpractice lawsuits while working there that they may not be employable anywhere else.

In fact, when it comes to medical malpractice insurance, obstetrics and gynecologists face the highest insurance premiums. An injury to a newborn baby can result in life-long injury and life-long medical costs. In fact, the New York Times reports that medical malpractice insurance in the Bronx can cost as much as $196,000 a year.

The unintended consequences of medical malpractice in obstetrics is that doctors may be reluctant to work in the field in certain areas. Some rural areas may see a shortfall of qualified doctors. Some doctors can only afford to work at big hospitals where they have the support of a larger institution, while other doctors may choose to avoid the field altogether.

It is a delicate balancing act. Women have a right to be heard during their pregnancies and they have the legal right to refuse care. However, doctors also have a vested interest to protect themselves and they may struggle when a patient refuses care that they believe is medically necessary.

Poverty can also affect pregnant women before they even reach the care of a doctor. Malnutrition, housing insecurity, healthcare issues resulting from lack of continuous healthcare coverage, and the stress of living under the poverty line can all impact a woman long before she goes under the care of a qualified doctor. Some women may not seek prenatal care at all. In Bronx, 10.5% of babies born received no prenatal care. When doctors are concerned about malpractice and the hospitals’ coverage of malpractice, this can also impact the quality of care mothers may receive. We could be seeing a negative cycle at play, where the good doctors serve less at risk communities and the doctors who are hired are the ones who, for whatever reason, cannot work elsewhere. The communities may be served by the worst doctors.

At the end of the day, patients can suffer serious injuries if they don’t receive proper care during pregnancy and labor. Their babies can also suffer life-altering and life-long injuries if they are hurt during childbirth and delivery.

If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury at the hands of a medical practitioner, you have rights. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are personal injury attorneys in Arizona who work with individuals facing injuries due to a doctor’s medical decisions. Visit our firm today at https://www.soarizonalaw.com/clients/insurance   to learn more about your rights and options under the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Schneider & Onofry, P.C. 09 Jan, 2018

YUMA, Arizona. According to Bloomberg , among couples over age 55 who have adult children, 33 percent have stepchildren. As more people get divorced and remarried, the chances of having an extended family have also grown significantly. More of the people we consider kin are not always our biological parents or children. However, when families grow and change, individuals might struggle to understand their obligations to their stepchildren. In fact, some extended families report facing challenges when considering how to divide resources among biological and stepchildren. The children don’t have to be underage to be a challenge. Adult children can also pose challenges, especially if children need money for college or health care. Adult children may also struggle with the responsibility. Should you care for a stepparent the same way you’d care for a parent?

 If you are divorced and considering getting remarried, it is important to talk about your obligations to the step kids before you tie the knot. For example, divorced individuals may already have a responsibility to pay child support to support their biological children. Will a new spouse expect the parent to also support the stepchildren? In some cases, the boundaries are clear: a parent might choose to adopt his or her spouse’s children. In this case, the children will be legally considered his or hers along with all financial obligations.

 However, if this doesn’t happen, things can get complicated and confusing. For example, if you and your new partner are combining finances, it might be wise to talk about how money will be spent on children and stepchildren. What about child support payments?

 According to the Huffington Post , if you plan to be a part of an extended family, it is important to discuss financial matters early and openly. If you are planning to get married, but have child support obligations or if there will be stepchildren, it is important to discuss expectations about the children. For example, if the stepchildren come to you for money, how should this be handled? Will you be expected to pay for childcare? Do you expect your spouse to contribute to your children’s college fund? Does your spouse have to pay child support and how will that impact your budget? When both parents are the biological parents of the children, these questions are hard enough. When you have a blend of biological children and stepchildren, these questions can be even tougher.

 Finally, it might be best to put everything in writing, especially if you don’t plan to adopt the stepchildren. When everyone has a clear expectation going into the relationship, there is less likely to be confusion and conflict later.

 If you are thinking about getting remarried, if your new partner has children, or if you are struggling to balance paying for stepchildren and your child support, you may want to speak to a qualified divorce lawyer in Yuma, Arizona like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. Our attorneys can review your circumstances and help you find a solution that works for your family. Visit us at   https://www.soarizonalaw.com/ today.

 

By Schneider & Onofry, P.C. 09 Jan, 2018

 

YUMA, Arizona. According to Salon , individuals living with disability are more likely to be poor, and they are more likely to face additional costs than those who are able-bodied. To make research into poverty levels of disabled individuals more complicated, disability also carries many hidden costs. An individual may not be below the poverty line “on paper,” but after accounting for the additional expenses of disability, he or she may not have additional money to save or spare. If you or a loved one has suffered a sudden injury due to a car accident or due to medical malpractice, you and your family may be facing new questions about your loved one’s disability and ongoing care. The time after an accident can be stressful and challenging for all involved. However, it is incredibly important to consider some of disability’s hidden costs, especially when estimating damages or when seeking a settlement with insurance companies. Unfortunately, insurance companies may not always take into account the hidden costs of disability when estimating the value of a settlement or a claim.

 Individuals with disabilities may face more difficulties finding stable jobs or getting an education. In addition to these challenges, the costs of living with a disability can be high. Salon reports that having a disability can add thousands of dollars to the cost of living per year. Studies found that living with a disability can increase yearly costs anywhere from $1,170 to $6,952 per year. These figures don’t account for medical costs. For example, individuals may need to pay for assistive devices like canes or wheelchairs, many of which are not covered by health insurance plans. Individuals may need personal assistants or nursing care. Housing modifications and transportation must also be considered. This can increase the cost of living substantially.

 Currently individuals with disabilities can access healthcare plans regardless of their pre-existing conditions. Healthcare.gov offers resources for people with disabilities explaining the various healthcare insurance options available. Many disabled individuals may qualify for social security disability healthcare and payments. However, this coverage and money may still not be enough to help a person make enough money to live above the poverty line.

 Individuals who have been seriously injured in a car accident or due to medical malpractice have the right to seek damages to cover their lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. They have the right to seek compensation to ensure that they can continue to enjoy a standard of living that they once enjoyed, especially if their disability requires them to take time away from work, get work retraining, or leave the workforce entirely.

 If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, it is important to protect your rights. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are personal injury lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who work with individuals and families facing the financial, emotional, and practical challenges following an accident. Our firm can help you understand your rights, review your case, and help you understand the value of your claim. You are not alone. Visit our firm at https://www.soarizonalaw.com/ today.

By Schneider & Onofry, P.C. 08 Jan, 2018

YUMA, Arizona. According to the Washington Post , 20 states this year are considering bills that would promote shared parenting custody arrangements. As more parents take on active collaborative and co-parenting roles, the courts have been changing to reflect these trends. Research has also shown that shared parenting arrangements are healthier for children of divorce. Psychology Today reports that when families choose equal parenting scenarios, conflict is reduced and even when conflict remains high, the children’s ability to spend time with both parents serves to counteract the negative effects of conflict.

 

Children need strong bonds with both parents in order to grow and develop. As this research has become more well-known, courts across the country and governors are taking note. The Washington Post reports that the bills that promote shared parenting arrangements would encourage parents to choose shared or collaborative parenting scenarios. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that every parenting plan will involve a collaborative parenting arrangement, it means that the courts will begin from the point of view that shared parenting arrangements are the standard.

 

The push for equal parenting time has largely been promoted by “father’s rights” groups. The old custody model was one where the non-custodial parent, usually the father, would spend every other weekend and some holidays with the children, while the new model promotes a more active role for both parents, with more families choosing to divide time between both parents more evenly.

 

Women’s rights groups worry that the assumption of shared parenting time will hurt women who are in abusive or violent relationships. Indeed, women who are trying to escape the cycle of violence may find themselves forced to have an ongoing relationship with their child’s father. While protections need to be put in place for women trying to escape abusive relationships, the research does seem to indicate that shared parenting time is often what is best for the children.

 

Another concern is that women may not always have the same access to resources during a divorce to support their child custody claims. A father might use custody of the children to serve his financial and emotional gain during the divorce.

 

While the law doesn’t favor one spouse over the other when granting custody, traditionally and statistically courts tend to award custody to the mother more often than not. However, with child custody reform, this may not always be the case going forward.

 

So, what does this mean if you are getting divorced in Yuma, Arizona? Child custody questions can be some of the most emotionally challenging decisions you and your ex will make as you divorce. Consider speaking to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., divorce lawyers in Yuma, Arizona . Our qualified child custody attorneys can help you resolve your differences and find a custody arrangement that is best for your family. Decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind. Our firm can work with you to present the strongest possible case to result in the best possible outcome for your family. 

Share by: