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Reasonable Fees

Spousal Maintenance Basics

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 23, 2011

In Arizona alimony is called spousal maintenance. Judges are given plenty of discretion when it comes to determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance in a divorce. Therefore, it is often difficult to determine what a particular Judge will decide when it comes to spousal maintenance. The Judge must first decide whether a spouse should receive any spousal maintenance. The court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse if the spouse seeking maintenance meets any of the following…

Auto Purchase before Bankruptcy can be High Risk

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 17, 2011

As part ofbankruptcy preparation it is not unusual for people with older vehiclesto consider thepurchase of a new vehicle. A new vehicle willbe needed soon in any event and obtaining serviceable transportation before bankruptcyoften makes sense.Clearly, a post-bankruptcycredit score will not support a vehicle purchase. Sensible or not, this has become a high risk behavior. Bankruptcy Trustees do notlike this practice. They have been checking to see if the new car loan lien was properly perfected at least 30 days…

Annulments

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 4, 2011

An annulment is a means to get a legal determination that a marriage was not valid, and the parties in fact were never legally married. Annulment is not necessarily buyer’s remorse. Often, people mistakenly believe that if you have only been married for a short amount of time, you can get an annulment. However, annulments are not based on the length of the marriage. You could only be married for one day and have to seek a divorce because you…

New Arizona Child Support Guidelines

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 21, 2011

On June 1, 2011, the new Arizona Child Support Guidelines went into effect. The major difference in the new guidelines is that the schedule of basic child support obligations has been increased due to increases in cost of living since the 2005 guidelines were established. For people filing for divorce going forward, these new Guidelines will apply. If you already have an existing child support order, you may be able to modify your existing order. However, you must file with…

Protective Orders

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 13, 2011

Protective orders (i.e. order of protection or an injunction against harassment) frequently come up within family law cases. Here is a quick primer on whatthey are and how they work. What is an Order of Protection? An Order of Protection is an Order issued by a Judge to provide protection from physical harm caused by a family member or household member. To issue an Order of Protection, a judge must find that domestic violence has occurred and that you have…

Lis Pendens Issues In Arizona Real Estate – Part III

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 7, 2011

The lis pendens itself is not a lien, but it often has a similar effect on the property it is recorded against and, many court battles have been fought over the appropriateness of a lis pendens in the first place. However, to be sure, A.R.S. § 12-1191(A) is not a license to litigants to freeze their opponents’ real property and may be subject to abuse. In fact, A.R.S. § 33-420(A) states that, one who: causes a document asserting claim…

Duties of Trustees

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 22, 2011

The duties of a Trustee (including initial trustees and successor trustees) are numerous, but first and foremost, the Trustee is a fiduciary and is charged with implementing the trust he/she oversees. As a fiduciary, that means that the Trustee owes certain duties to the beneficiaries of the Trust and must act only in their best interests (i.e. the Trustee cannot act in a self-interested manner). “Implementing the trust” means that the Trustee must be absolutely familiar with the terms of…

Lis Pendens Issues In Arizona Real Estate – Part 2

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 14, 2011

Most debates about when a lis pendens is appropriate center around whether the underlying lawsuit truly “affects title” to real property as is required by A.R.S. § 12-1191. Some Arizona Courts have interpreted this statutory language broadly, meaning any lawsuit to determine rights “incident” to title will permit recording of a lis pendens. Other Arizona Courts have interpreted the term “affects title” more narrowly. For instance, a recent decision determined that a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) exceeded its rights to file…

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 9, 2011

I was pondering the power of divorce the other day. You don’t normally think of divorce as powerful, but consider the changes that it makes in people’s lives. The former spouses are forced to leave what was their home to find new places to live. The belongings that they brought into the marriage are either gone or worn from use and not as nice as they were. The items that the couple bought or received as gifts have to be…

Lis Pendens Issues In Arizona Real Estate – Part 1

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 1, 2011

Are you seeking to buy or sell real property in Arizona that a third-party is or may be claiming an adverse ownership that is disputed? Or, are you claiming an interest in a real property that someone else disputes? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then your next step should be to determine whether a legal action has been filed that affects title to the subject real property. In Arizona, a filing with the County Recorders…