November 2012 Archive

Arizona divorce: Can you get your ex-spouse’s SSI benefits?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 30, 2012

An Arizona divorce covers a myriad of issues, from property division to spousal maintenance and a host of other topics. One issue that arises in some divorce proceedings is the entitlement of an ex-spouse to the Social Security benefits of the other. This is an important area which should not be overlooked and could result in benefits payments from a spouse’s Social Security account over many years. However, like most governmental benefit programs, Social Security benefits come with their own rules and regulations which often cause confusion as the parties to a divorce attempt to determine how the benefits might apply to them.

The first important consideration is the length of the marriage. When a marriage lasts 10 years or longer, a possibility exists to collect Social Security under the account of an ex-spouse. The Social Security Administration requires that the marriage lasted at least 10 years, which is determined by the date of the final order of divorce. In those instances where the length of the marriage qualifies, an ex-spouse can collect up to half of their ex-spouse’s benefits. If they qualify for benefits on their own, they can only collect the difference between their benefits amount and one half of any higher benefit amount due the ex-spouse.

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Arizona divorce: Who gets access to kids’ health, school records?

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 22, 2012

Parents filing for divorce in Arizona typically have to confront a wide range of issues when it comes to child custody. Aside from deciding how custodial responsibilities will be divided, issues such as visitation and child support must be addressed. One related topic that is sometimes overlooked in a divorce is the legal right of a parent to access medical and health records concerning their child.

One father discovered that obtaining access to his son’s medical records was no walk in the park. Early on in his divorce, the father learned that the mother had made medical decisions concerning the child without his input or consent. Specifically, she had apparently filed a do not resuscitate order with the boy’s doctor without disclosing her action to the father.

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Man arrested for owing $1.6 million in back child support

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on November 16, 2012

Whether in Arizona or another jurisdiction, it is a federal crime to leave the United States for the purpose of avoiding the payment of child support. One man from a northeastern state allegedly fled the country six years ago to skip out on child support and other marital obligations. When he recently returned, federal officials were waiting for him at the airport with an arrest warrant.

The case has made national news because it has been reported the man owes approximately $1.6 million in overdue child support payments. That sum is said to be the highest amount of outstanding child support owed throughout the country. At the time he left the country, he was reportedly making $280,000 annually as an anesthesiologist, owner of several pain management clinics and owner of a phone-card company.

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Child custody in Arizona complicated by foreign citizen parents

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Child Support on November 9, 2012

A new law being proposed in another state may be of interest to some readers in Arizona. The child custody proposal, if passed, could affect divorcing parents where one of the parties is a foreign citizen. Such couples are increasingly common in our state and across the nation.

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Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher divorce drags on with no agreement

On behalf of admin of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC posted in Divorce on November 1, 2012

Arizona readers may be aware that the announced divorce plans for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have dragged on for almost a year now. It was reported that, on the weekend of his sixth wedding anniversary last year, Ashton had a one night stand with another woman. In Nov. 2011, Demi announced she was pursuing a divorce. Currently, Ashton is rumored to be dating his former “That ’70s Show” co-star, Mila Kunis. All signs point to the fact that Ashton and Demi have moved on, and yet there is still no sign of any formal divorce filings.

Some observers of celebrity breakups are asking what the delay is all about. There is no outward indication that the couple is considering reconciliation. Rather, some say the snag has to do with money. In view of the fact that Ashton made a reported $24 million last year, money may well be at the root of it all. Understandably, any high asset divorce negotiation involves a number of delicate financial matters. In the case of Ashton and Demi, there is no mention that a prenuptial agreement exists.

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