DUI on Marijuana – DUI Drugs – ARS 28-1381

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Facts on Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Arizona, Medical Marijuana DUI or Recreational

In the state of Arizona, driving under the influence of marijuana (cannabis) is a crime according to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 28-1381. Under this statute, the mere presence of the THC compound and metabolites associated with cannabis in your bloodstream is grounds enough for a DUI charge, whether or not the person in actual physical control of the vehicle itself appears or behaves in a manner consistent with being intoxicated in any way.

That’s because the state of Arizona is, as compared to many other states in the US, relatively strict about its overall DUI laws. In other words, the reason you can be charged with a DUI for marijuana in Arizona is because you can be charged with a DUI here if you are driving under the influence of any drug or any type of alcohol.

Look at it this way: if a substance has the ability to impair the functions of the human body, it is a substance you can be charged with a DUI for in the state of Arizona.

But Medical Marijuana is Legal in Arizona, Right? Yes, But Not Always When You’re Operating a Vehicle

While it is certainly true that medical marijuana is legal in Phoenix and throughout the state of Arizona, using it by way of smoking, vaping, or by way of edibles and then driving is against the law. However, similar to prescription drugs, lawful marijuana use before driving can be legal if you are not impaired and the levels of THC in your system are low.

In Arizona, since there is no per se level of impairment for THC, the defense of lawful use of Marijuana can prove difficult and is best suited for an experienced DUI defense attorney.

… Read more


About Arizona DUI Laws

In the state of Arizona DUI laws and penalties have become increasingly more serious over the years, and now include mandatory ignition interlock installation for all convicted DUI offenders, even if that alleged offender was not over the Arizona blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit of .08%. That is to say, that being impaired by any degree can result in a DUI arrest in Arizona, even if your breathalyzer shows a zero BAC and the arresting officer simply decides that you’re impaired.

About The Law Office of Daniel Hutto

As a former felony prosecutor for the State of Arizona, Phoenix DUI attorney Daniel Hutto is very well versed in DUI Cases from both sides and uses his years of experience in setting up an aggressive DUI defense strategy. Whether it’s a misdemeanor DUI offense, Extreme DUI or serious felony such as an aggravated DUI with a child in the vehicle, our staff has the proven knowledge and success to provide you a professional and proven effective defense.

To start with your free legal consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your defense underway.


Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona – ARS 28-1381

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Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona – ARS 28-1381

A BAC of .08 may not seem very high at all, and unfortunately, can result in arrests for driving under the influence charges, oftentimes when the person driving is in actual physical control of the motor vehicle is very likely safe to do so. But because Arizona DUI laws associated with the legal BAC level are severe — usually only amounting in about one to two alcoholic beverages, depending on how much the person weighs, how long they have been drinking, and how much food they have consumed — it is not uncommon to be charged with a DUI offense in or around Phoenix, and the penalties are quite serious in most cases.

What it Means to Be Driving Under the Influence Based on AZ DUI Statute ARS 28-1381

In Arizona, according to ARS 28-1381, you are driving under the influence if you are driving or in actual physical control of the motor vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher within two hours of having driven, which is in some instances referred to as “per se driving under the influence,” and that essentially means that the person in actual control of the vehicle may automatically be arrested and charged with driving under the influence if his or her blood alcohol concentration level is at the level of .08 or higher.

On the other hand, a person operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .05 or less within two hours of having operated a motor vehicle may or may not be considered to be driving under the influence if that BAC level is between .05 and .08 within two hours of having been in actual physical control of said motor vehicle.

From there, it all gets very confusing for most everyday people who do not have an in-depth understanding of the law and science of DUI, and that’s why it’s crucial that you understand that a DUI arrest does not at all have to mean a DUI conviction. Because even if this is your first and only misdemeanor driving under the influence charge in Arizona or anywhere else, you may still receive very severe penalties under the law if you are not properly represented.

… Read more


About Arizona DUI Laws

In the state of Arizona DUI laws and penalties have become increasingly more serious over the years, and now include mandatory ignition interlock installation for all convicted DUI offenders, even if that alleged offender was not over the Arizona blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit of .08%. That is to say, that being impaired by any degree can result in a DUI arrest in Arizona, even if your breathalyzer shows a zero BAC and the arresting officer simply decides that you’re impaired.

About The Law Office of Daniel Hutto

As a former felony prosecutor for the State of Arizona, Phoenix DUI attorney Daniel Hutto is very well versed in DUI Cases from both sides and uses his years of experience in setting up an aggressive DUI defense strategy. Whether it’s a misdemeanor DUI offense, Extreme DUI or serious felony such as an aggravated DUI with a child in the vehicle, our staff has the proven knowledge and success to provide you a professional and proven effective defense.

To start with your free legal consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your defense underway.


DUI on Marijuana – DUI Drugs – ARS 28-1381

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Facts on Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Arizona, Medical Marijuana DUI or Recreational

In the state of Arizona, driving under the influence of marijuana (cannabis) is a crime according to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 28-1381. Under this statute, the mere presence of the THC compound and metabolites associated with cannabis in your bloodstream is grounds enough for a DUI charge, whether or not the person in actual physical control of the vehicle itself appears or behaves in a manner consistent with being intoxicated in any way.

That’s because the state of Arizona is, as compared to many other states in the US, relatively strict about its overall DUI laws. In other words, the reason you can be charged with a DUI for marijuana in Arizona is because you can be charged with a DUI here if you are driving under the influence of any drug or any type of alcohol.

Look at it this way: if a substance has the ability to impair the functions of the human body, it is a substance you can be charged with a DUI for in the state of Arizona.

But Medical Marijuana is Legal in Arizona, Right? Yes, But Not Always When You’re Operating a Vehicle

While it is certainly true that medical marijuana is legal in Phoenix and throughout the state of Arizona, using it by way of smoking, vaping, or by way of edibles and then driving is against the law. However, similar to prescription drugs, lawful marijuana use before driving can be legal if you are not impaired and the levels of THC in your system are low.

In Arizona, since there is no per se level of impairment for THC, the defense of lawful use of Marijuana can prove difficult and is best suited for an experienced DUI defense attorney.

… Read more


About Arizona DUI Laws

In the state of Arizona DUI laws and penalties have become increasingly more serious over the years, and now include mandatory ignition interlock installation for all convicted DUI offenders, even if that alleged offender was not over the Arizona blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit of .08%. That is to say, that being impaired by any degree can result in a DUI arrest in Arizona, even if your breathalyzer shows a zero BAC and the arresting officer simply decides that you’re impaired.

About The Law Office of Daniel Hutto

As a former felony prosecutor for the State of Arizona, Phoenix DUI attorney Daniel Hutto is very well versed in DUI Cases from both sides and uses his years of experience in setting up an aggressive DUI defense strategy. Whether it’s a misdemeanor DUI offense, Extreme DUI or serious felony such as an aggravated DUI with a child in the vehicle, our staff has the proven knowledge and success to provide you a professional and proven effective defense.

To start with your free legal consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your defense underway.


Court: Arizona must add option for same-sex parents to birth certificate forms

Same-sex spouses have the same parental rights as opposite-sex spouses under Arizona law, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled.

In a decision in which all seven justices at least partially agreed, the court said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage for same-sex couples requires the state to grant same-sex married couples all of the rights as opposite-sex married couples — including in custody sharing and financial child support.

“It would be inconsistent with Obergefell (the U.S. Supreme Court ruling) to conclude that same-sex couples can legally marry but states can then deny them the same benefits of marriage afforded opposite-sex couples,” the judges said in their opinion. “Legal parent status is, undoubtedly, a benefit of marriage.”

The case is part of ongoing efforts to reinterpret Arizona laws following U.S. Supreme Court rulings granting same-sex couples the right to marry.

It focused on parental rights and whether the state’s so-called “paternity” statute is about a marriage certificate or biology.

The Arizona statute addressing parental rights states that “a man is presumed to be the father of a child” if he and the mother were married within 10 months of a child’s birth — a period of time covering the gestational period.

Case details

In this case, Kimberly and Suzan McLaughlin married in California in 2008 and later moved to Arizona. Arizona recognized the marriage as retroactively legal following the Obergefell ruling.

The couple decided to have a baby via artificial insemination using an anonymous sperm donor. Kimberly got pregnant and they had a son in 2011. Kimberly worked outside the home as a physician while Suzan stayed home and cared for the boy, according to court records.

… Read more

Phoenix Criminal Defense, DUI & Family Law Firm

The Law Office of Daniel Hutto offers the guidance, aggressiveness and experience you need in a criminal defense attorney or family law attorney in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, and the rest of surrounding cities.

The Law Office of Daniel Hutto handles a wide range of Practice Areas including:

Because legal battles and criminal charges can be incredibly trying and stressful, many times people wait until the last minute to find and secure legal counsel. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead of waiting, know that you can trust the experienced and caring team at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto — we’re here for you every single step of the way.

We know this can be a scary and stressful time for those who have been accused and for their families, and that’s why we have worked so hard to put together the most compassionate and experienced law office team you’ll find anywhere in Arizona today. Give us a call. Begin the process of defending yourself today by dialing 602.536.7878 or or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com


Arizona Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers at Your Side

When You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Domestic Violence

Charges of domestic violence under Arizona Revise Statute (ARS 13-3601) can be levied against someone for a variety of issues that are often unrelated to violence at all, and can often have roots in other issues, such as child custody disputes, divorce proceedings, or simply as the result of the ending of a relationship in which one party felt they did not get fair treatment.

Regardless of the cause, being charged with domestic abuse is quite serious, and often, those who make such accusations are unaware of exactly how serious such allegations can be for the person whom they have accused.

If you have been accused of domestic violence or spousal abuse, you need to understand that the charges alone do not mean you have been convicted. That said, it’s critical that you have someone who understands the charges and what they can mean for your future on your side, because the penalties and lasting repercussions are serious, and can result in:

  • A criminal record
  • A jail or prison sentence
  • Fines and other fees
  • Ineligibility for a variety of jobs
  • A loss of certain education opportunities
  • Inability to own a firearm

Types of Relationships That Fall Under Allegations of Domestic Violence

Under Arizona’s Revised Statutes that talk about Domestic Violence, there are certain types of relationships between two people that qualify. They are:

  • If the Victim and Defendant are married or divorced;
  • If the Victim and Defendant presently (or previously) reside in the same household;
  • If the Victim and Defendant have a child (or unborn child) together;
  • If the Victim and Defendant are related (by blood, marriage, law, or court order);
  • If the Victim and Defendant have (or had) a romantic or sexual relationship.

Ultimately, Arizona’s outlook on relationships cover the majority of relationships, by definition. An example of a relationship where domestic violence would not apply would be between two individuals who are simply just friends, or acquaintances and do not reside in the same household.

Because of these definitions of relationships, it can become challenging for the prosecutor to prove the charge. This can work in your defense attorneys’ favor. Speak to your criminal defense attorney today and discuss the details of your case.

… Read more

The Importance of a Solid Criminal Defense Attorney On Your Side

Each and every charge of a crime can have everlasting effects. The smallest misdemeanor such as littering all the way up to felony first degree murder can include steep fines, jail or prison time, destroy relationships with family and friends and even prevent s/he from securing employment and a place to live.

About The Law Office of Daniel Hutto

As a former felony prosecutor for the State of Arizona, defense attorney Daniel Hutto is well versed in criminal allegations from the “other side” and use my prior knowledge in setting up an aggressive defense strategy. Whether it’s a minor misdemeanor offense or serious felony such as Murder, Aggravated Assault or Drug Sales, our attorneys have the proven knowledge and success to provide you a personalized and aggressive defense.

To start with your free legal consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your defense underway.


DUI on Prescription Drugs, Narcotics or Opioids

Lawful Use of Prescription Drugs and Selecting Your Driving Under the Influence Attorney in Arizona

The first and most critical step in defending yourself against an DUI conviction is finding a defense attorney who has the experience and understanding to make your DUI defense a winning one, that will help the court to see that the charges must either be dismissed or dramatically reduced.

To achieve this goal, your prescription drug DUI defense attorney will need to know Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381(D) and understand every nuance of you using your drugs as prescribed by your medical professional to show you were not impaired, and the best way to get started with that is to obtain free legal counsel through our complimentary and entirely free legal consultation.

During this time, your prescription Arizona DUI attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto will listen and ask you questions about your charges so that s/he can best understand precisely what happened. From there, our highly experienced and caring staff will work with your AZ prescription DUI attorney to iron out the details of your defense and prepare for your day in court.

Arizona Prescription Drug DUI Penalties, Fines, and Fees

Because Arizona has strict laws around any type of driving under the influence, and because prescription drugs are included under those laws and statutes, it’s important to understand the penalties, fines, and fees to the court that are associated with Arizona DUI law where prescription medications and other prescribed drugs are concerned.

If this is the first time being charged, your prescription DUI offense will be brought against you as a class 1 misdemeanor, as long as there are no aggravated offense factors in play.M/

A prescription drug driving under the influence charge in the state of Arizona will fall under the same rules and regulations as any other first-time misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, and the penalties will include:

  • Minimum 10 days in jail
  • A base fine of $250 that can be amended and added to until it amounts to as much as $2,500 in total fines and fees to the court
  • Potential probation for up to five (5) years as determined by the judge
  • Substance abuse education classes and potentially drug screening as ordered by the judge in your case

If this is your second DUI or third DUI conviction within a 84 month time span since your first conviction, the penalties and fines significantly increase. Call us immediately so we can go over the details of your case.

… Read more

About Arizona DUI Laws

In the state of Arizona DUI laws and penalties have become increasingly more serious over the years, and now include mandatory ignition interlock installation for all convicted DUI offenders, even if that alleged offender was not over the Arizona blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit of .08%. That is to say, that being impaired by any degree can result in a DUI arrest in Arizona, even if your breathalyzer shows a zero BAC and the arresting officer simply decides that you’re impaired.

About The Law Office of Daniel Hutto

As a former felony prosecutor for the State of Arizona, Phoenix DUI attorney Daniel Hutto is very well versed in DUI Cases from both sides and uses his years of experience in setting up an aggressive DUI defense strategy. Whether it’s a misdemeanor DUI offense, Extreme DUI or serious felony such as an aggravated DUI with a child in the vehicle, our staff has the proven knowledge and success to provide you a professional and proven effective defense.

To start with your free legal consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 or visit AzCriminalandFamilyLaw.com and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your defense underway.


Sun, 16 May 2021 07:31:23 +0000

 

Lawful Use of Prescription Drugs and Selecting Your Driving Under the Influence Attorney in Arizona

The first and most critical step in defending yourself against an DUI conviction is finding a defense attorney who has the experience and understanding to make your DUI defense a winning one, that will help the court to see that the charges must either be dismissed or dramatically reduced.

To achieve this goal, your prescription drug DUI defense attorney will need to know Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381(D) and understand every nuance of you using your drugs as prescribed by your medical professional to show you were not impaired, and the best way to get started with that is to obtain free legal counsel through our complimentary and entirely free legal consultation.

During this time, your prescription Arizona DUI attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto will listen and ask you questions about your charges so that s/he can best understand precisely what happened. From there, our highly experienced and caring staff will work with your AZ prescription DUI attorney to iron out the details of your defense and prepare for your day in court.

Arizona Prescription Drug DUI Penalties, Fines, and Fees

Because Arizona has strict laws around any type of driving under the influence, and because prescription drugs are included under those laws and statutes, it’s important to understand the penalties, fines, and fees to the court that are associated with Arizona DUI law where prescription medications and other prescribed drugs are concerned.

If this is the first time being charged, your prescription DUI offense will be brought against you as a class 1 misdemeanor, as long as there are no aggravated offense factors in play.

A prescription drug driving under the influence charge in the state of Arizona will fall under the same rules and regulations as any other first-time misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, and the penalties will include:

Minimum 10 days in jail

A base fine of $250 that can be amended and added to until it amounts to as much as $2,500 in total fines and fees to the court
Potential probation for up to five (5) years as determined by the judge in
Substance abuse education classes and potentially drug screening as ordered by the judge in your case
If this is your second DUI or third DUI conviction within a 84 month time span since your first conviction, the penalties and fines significantly increase. Call us immediately so we can go over the details of your case.

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DUI Defense

DUI while on Prescription Drugs in Arizona
Created May 16, 2021 at 10:45PM

Same-sex Marriage Law (Marriage, Divorce, Custody, and Adoption)

Same-sex Marriage Law (Marriage, Divorce, Custody, and Adoption)

In Arizona, same-sex marriage has been legal since 2014, when the state chose not to appeal a federal court’s decision that the state’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court followed in 2015 with its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the nation.

While marriage is the most common type of legal commitment in Arizona, people can still choose to register domestic partnerships in some cities in Arizona. Same-sex marriage law involving marriage, divorce, custody, and adoption remains an evolving body of law.

People who are encountering same-sex marriage law issues might benefit from getting help from an experienced family law and same-sex divorce attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto.


Same-sex Marriage Rights in Arizona

In Oct. 2014, a federal court declared the state’s statutory and constitutional prohibitions against same-sex marriage unconstitutional in its decisions in Connolly v. Jeanes, 73 F.Supp. 1094 (2014) and Majors v. Horne, 14 F. Supp. 3d 1313 (2014). When the state decided against appealing the court’s decisions, same-sex marriage became legal in Arizona. The U.S. Supreme Court followed with its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015, legalizing same-sex marriage in every state.

Additionally, Phoenix and Tucson both have domestic partnership registries that allow couples to register as domestic partners. Both same-sex and heterosexual couples can register as domestic partners in Phoenix if they meet the following criteria:

  • Live together in a Phoenix residence
  • Age 18 or older and competent
  • Not related to a degree that is prohibited under Arizona law
  • Not married or in a domestic partnership or civil union with a different person
  • Are in a committed relationship

Tucson’s domestic partnership law was changed to a civil union law. To register a civil union in Tucson, people must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Not related beyond what is allowed under Arizona law
  • Competent
  • Cannot already be in a domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage with someone else
  • Must live together and be in a mutually supportive relationship

Some important changes that people need to be aware of since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Arizona include the coverage by Arizona’s marriage laws in Arizona Title 25 and health insurance coverage. Same-sex spouses are now covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act for work-related leave to care for serious medical conditions.

Same-sex spouses also qualify for health insurance through their spouses’ employer-provided medical insurance, and they can now file joint federal and state tax returns.

Spouses might also need to change beneficiary designations on their 401(k) and life insurance plans from other to spouse. Same-sex married couples now enjoy any benefits that an employer provides to heterosexual married couples.

Some important changes that people need to be aware of since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Arizona include the coverage by Arizona’s marriage laws in Arizona Title 25 and health insurance coverage.


Same-sex Divorce in Arizona

While couples do not expect their marriages to end when they get married, some same-sex marriages do end in divorce.

A same-sex couple divorce proceeds through the same court processes as a heterosexual couple divorce. However, same-sex couples may have unique issues that may not be faced by heterosexual couples. For example, same-sex couples may have lived together for years before they married and accumulated substantial assets. Because the assets that each spouse brings into the marriage is considered his or her separate property, property division in a same-sex divorce may be problematic.

A same-sex couple divorce proceeds through the same court processes as a heterosexual couple divorce. However, same-sex couples may have unique issues that may not be faced by heterosexual couples.

Same-sex married couples might benefit from drafting postnuptial agreements that dictate how their assets will be divided and address spousal support to alleviate some of these types of problems if a divorce occurs.

Another common issue in a same-sex couple divorce case is spousal support. Like property division issues, couples may have spousal maintenance issues when they have cohabited for years before marrying.

While a couple may have been in a committed relationship for decades before getting married, the spousal maintenance laws may only look at the actual years of marriage rather than considering the period of cohabitation when determining whether spousal maintenance should be ordered, and what its duration should be. This issue might be addressed by an attorney during negotiations to try to secure a fair outcome.

Since same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, they also have a right to divorce. Couples who are residents of Arizona may divorce in the state even if they got married in a different state.

If you are in a gay marriage and want to get divorced, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer who keeps current with the laws that affect marriage, parental rights, and divorces of LGBTQ people. A gay couple divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can help you to understand your rights.

Negotiating a full settlement in a divorce is often the best outcome for people who are divorcing. When you work with a same-sex divorce lawyer, you might be likelier to reach a full agreement so that you can avoid costly litigation and obtain a fairer result.

In some cases, a full settlement may not be possible. If a settlement cannot be reached, a same-sex divorce attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto is prepared to litigate for you at trial.

Child Custody Rights in Same-sex Marriage Law


Child Custody and Parenting Time Rights for Same-Sex Parents

When a child is born to an unmarried heterosexual couple, establishing paternity is the step that will need to be completed to secure parenting rights for the unmarried father. Once paternity is established, the father can then pursue legal decision-making or parenting time by filing a petition with the court.

In a same-sex relationship; however, only one of the parents will have enforceable parental rights unless the other parent adopted the child.

Same-sex married couples who go through a same-sex divorce with children may have an easier time establishing their rights as parents. If the children were conceived during the marriage by the agreement of both parents, there will be a presumption that parental rights of both parents should be equally applied for the determination of legal decision-making authority, parenting time, and child support.

Many same-sex couples who decide to have children during their marriage use donor eggs or sperm, donor embryos, or a combination thereof. As long as both parents agreed to conceive a child as their shared child, they both should receive custody or parenting-time rights when they go through a same-sex divorce.

The most important consideration in any child custody case is what is in the best interests of the child. A same-sex divorce lawyer can help you determine the best approach to take when you are embroiled in a child custody dispute with your former same-sex partner.

Gay parent adoption, Same-sex parent adoption, LBGT Adoption


Same-sex Parent Adoption / Gay Adoption

There are several ways that you can build your family through a same-sex parent adoption in Arizona. The process that you should choose will depend on the circumstances of your particular situation.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, married same-sex couples have the same rights to adopt children together as other married couples. However, LGBT couples must be married to adopt a child together since second-parent adoptions are not recognized in Arizona.

Here are the adoption processes that are available to same-sex couples in Arizona.

Joint Adoptions for Married Couples

If you are in a gay marriage in Arizona, you and your spouse can go through the same adoption process that other married couples do to adopt a child together. You can complete an adoption by working with an adoption attorney or an adoption agency.

If you want to adopt a child as a married couple in Arizona, you will want to choose a child adoption attorney who will fight to protect your adoption rights as a same-sex couple. Some adoption professionals refuse to work with same-sex couples.

At the Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we are happy to help LGBTQ married couples as they go through the adoption process to build their families.

Stepparent Adoptions for Same-Sex Couples

If you have married someone who already had a child, you can become a legal parent of the child through stepparent adoption. If the child was not adopted by your spouse but was instead conceived and birthed naturally, you will need to have the child’s other parent’s parental rights severed.

There is a very specific process for terminating a parent’s rights before a step-parent adoption may occur. An attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can explain this process to you.

If your spouse adopted the child on his or her own, the process for completing a stepparent adoption will be the same as it is for heterosexual couples. You will need to be married for a minimum of one year and have lived with the child for a minimum of six months to avoid a social study during the adoption process.

Adopting a Child as a Single Person or as an Unmarried Couple

Unmarried couples in Arizona cannot jointly adopt a child. Arizona does not recognize second-parent adoptions in the state. If you want to adopt a child jointly as a couple, you will need to marry. After you marry, you can either adopt jointly or complete a stepparent adoption.

If you are a single person who wants to adopt, you can do so in the same way that straight single people can adopt children. You must be over the age of 18, complete an adoption home study, pass background clearances, and prove that you are capable of caring for a child.

If you can pass these requirements above, you should be able to adopt a child on your own, regardless of your sexual orientation or identity.


How has Gay Adoption Changed Over the Years?

Because of the political climate today, there is good reason to worry about the future of same-sex adoption laws in the U.S. and Arizona. This makes it important to complete a same-sex adoption as soon as possible to protect your rights to parent a child. There are also other concerns that you might have.

For example, some religious agencies might refuse to work with same-sex couples. You might also worry about whether a prospective birth mother would choose you to adopt as a same-sex couple. Many prospective birth mothers are open-minded and are happy to place a child for LGBT adoption.

Some agencies are more than happy to work with same-sex couples to help them find children to adopt.

There is a final consideration to keep in mind if you are wondering whether to adopt your same-sex partner’s child. If the child is the biological child of your partner or spouse, signing your name on the birth certificate does not automatically confer legal rights to you as a parent.

Your partner or spouse’s biological rights as a parent will be intact, but you will want to work closely with an attorney to ensure that your parental rights are also protected.

An attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can review your situation and help you to understand whether you should pursue an LGBT adoption of your partner or spouse’s child. He can also help you through the process of terminating the child’s other biological parent’s rights if that option is available to you in a stepparent adoption.

Regardless of the type of adoption process you want to complete, working with an experienced adoption attorney is crucial for determining the right steps to take.

https://azcriminalandfamilylaw.com/family-law/same-sex-marriage-law/
Created February 26, 2021 at 08:42AM

Spousal Support, Spousal Maintenance, or Alimony in Arizona

Spousal Support, Spousal Maintenance, or Alimony in Arizona

In Arizona, either spouse in a divorce can ask the court to issue an order for spousal maintenance. However, spousal maintenance or support will not be automatically awarded when it is requested. Instead, spousal maintenance will be issued in cases in which it is needed to help the lower-earning spouse to become financially independent by completing education or training.

Spousal maintenance is frequently ordered to last for a short period after a marriage ends. If a marriage lasted for 15 years or longer, it may be ordered for a longer period. If you believe that spousal maintenance might be at issue in your divorce, you might benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto.


Establishing Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

Judges have discretion about whether spousal maintenance should be ordered and in what amounts. There is no guarantee that spousal maintenance will be ordered in your case.

Under A.R.S. § 25-319, courts consider a variety of factors when they decide whether to grant a spousal maintenance request, including the following:

  • Whether the requester can meet his or her needs independently
  • Whether the requester cannot work because of caring for young children
  • Whether the requester can support himself or herself through work
  • Whether the requester provided support and avoided his or her opportunities so that the other spouse could complete his or her education or advance his or her career
  • Age of the spouses and the length of the marriage
  • Length of time that would be required for the requester to complete an education to get a better job
  • Each spouse’s future earning capacity
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the spouses during the marriage
  • Whether the payor spouse would be able to support himself or herself while paying spousal maintenance
  • Whether a spouse engaged in concealment, spoliation, or gave property away to keep the other from getting it in the divorce
  • Income differences between the spouses
  • Mental or physical conditions of both spouses
  • The jobs held by each spouse during the marriage
  • The requester’s employment skills

Under A.R.S. § 25-530, courts will not include veterans’ disability benefits that a spouse receives for service-related disabilities in the recipient’s income for determining spousal support.

Spousal maintenance is not designed to be punitive, and marital misconduct is not taken into account in determining whether to award spousal support. There are no guideline amounts for spousal maintenance payments.

If spousal support is ordered, the judge will determine the amount and duration that is fair under the couple’s circumstances.

Divorce Property Settlement


Length of Marriage for Spousal Maintenance

While Arizona law does not include a minimum duration of marriage for spousal maintenance awards, it is one of the factors that courts consider when deciding whether to award support. While it is technically possible for a spouse to receive spousal support, or alimony, after being married for a short time, it is not likely. If a court does order to pay alimony / spousal support following a short marriage, the order will likely only last for a few months.

The duration of marriage will also impact how long the paying spouse might have to pay maintenance and the amounts that he or she might have to pay.

However, most spousal maintenance awards do not last for longer than a few years. Maintenance might be ordered for a longer time when couples are ending lengthy marriages in which there is a large disparity between their incomes.

In rare cases, a court might order spousal support to be paid until the recipient dies or remarries, or the payor dies. This only happens when the requester is disabled or elderly, has been married for a long time, and is unlikely to be able to support himself or herself by finding a job.


Spousal Support vs. Child Support

Spousal maintenance is calculated separately from child support and is designed for different purposes. Spousal support is ordered when a spouse needs help to become self-supporting.

Child support is ordered to help to pay for a child’s upbringing and is in the best interests of the child. While spousal support is discretionary, child support is not. All parents must contribute to raising their children.

Spouses who are ordered to pay spousal maintenance and child support must comply with the orders.

If a spouse fails to pay child support or spousal maintenance, he or she may face civil and criminal penalties.

Like child support, spousal maintenance cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.


Disparity in Income and Spousal Support

Even if your estranged spouse makes more money than you, that does not mean that you will automatically receive spousal maintenance. Your judge will use his or her discretion when he or she decides whether to grant your maintenance request.

If you have already divorced and failed to ask the court for spousal maintenance in your divorce case, you will not be allowed to file a petition for spousal support.
The only exception to this rule is if you received your divorce from a court that could not obtain personal jurisdiction over your spouse.


Modifying Alimony or Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

In some cases, the financial circumstances of the payor spouse might change after a spousal maintenance order has been issued. If you have experienced a substantial change in your financial circumstances that make it impossible for you to pay your spousal maintenance, you can file for a modification of the amount under ARS § 25-327.

To win a modification request, you will need to prove that the change in your circumstances is substantial and ongoing.

If the court grants your modification request, the order will not cover any retroactive amounts that you owe. This means that you will still have to pay for your arrearages. This makes it important for you to file a modification request as soon as your financial circumstances change.

Divorce Property Settlement


Termination of Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

Termination of spousal maintenance is also explained here, under ARS § 25-327.

If you are the payor spouse who is ordered to pay spousal support, your obligation terminates automatically if your ex-spouse dies. You will also not have to pay spousal maintenance after your ex-spouse remarries.

If your ex-spouse marries someone else, you should notify the court to ensure that your spousal maintenance payments will terminate. If you are the receiving spouse, the payor spouse will not be able to end his or her spousal maintenance payments when he or she remarries.

However, if he or she dies, you will no longer receive spousal maintenance payments even if the ordered duration has not been terminated.


Moving Out of State with an Arizona Spousal Maintenance Order

If a court awards you spousal maintenance, your ex-spouse cannot avoid his or her obligation to pay it by moving out of state. Every state is required to give the judicial orders of other states full faith and credit under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.

Similarly, you cannot avoid your obligation to pay spousal support by moving to another state. A spousal maintenance order from Arizona can be enforced regardless of which state the payor spouse might move to.

You can have the order sent to your spouse’s new state to make sure the payments are garnished from his or her paychecks.


Enforcement of Spousal Maintenance Orders for Nonpayment

A spouse that fails to pay his or her court-ordered alimony / spousal maintenance payments can face criminal and civil penalties. Under ARS § 25-511.01, violating a spousal maintenance order is a class 1 misdemeanor.

A prosecutor will need to prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt for the person to be found guilty:

  • The court issued a spousal maintenance order.
  • The court’s order told the defendant to pay spousal support.
  • The defendant was notified of the order.
  • The defendant intentionally or willfully disobeyed the order.[/list]

Under A.R.S. § 13-707, a person who is convicted of criminal failure to pay spousal support may be sentenced to up to six months of jail time. There are also civil penalties for failing to pay spousal support. Under A.R.S. § 25-508, recipient spouses who have not received owed spousal support payments can file a petition to enforce the orders with the court.

After the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled. The recipient spouse can get copies of the payment records from the Support Payment Clearinghouse to prove the nonpayment if the payments were handled that way.

If they were agreed to in an agreement, you will need to provide other records showing the nonpayment.

If the court finds that your ex-spouse owes arrearages, a money judgment will be issued. You can then use the judgment to enforce the order in the amount of the arrearage with interest.

There are a variety of options to enforce a money judgment, including the following:

  • Property liens
  • Wage garnishments
  • Bank levies
  • Writs of execution
  • Attachments
  • Receiverships

The interest will continue accruing until the money judgment is satisfied. This type of judgment cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

If you are having trouble making your payments, you should talk to an experienced Arizona divorce attorney about modifying the spousal maintenance order instead of simply ending your payments.

https://azcriminalandfamilylaw.com/family-law/spousal-support-maintenance-alimony/
Created February 26, 2021 at 08:32AM

Grandparents’ Rights in Arizona

Grandparents Rights in Arizona

There are some situations in Arizona under which grandparents might need to seek custody of their grandchildren or adopt them. In other cases, grandparents might be prevented from seeing their grandchildren by the children’s parents.

Arizona law includes a statute that allows grandparents to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren even if a parent objects. Each of these types of situations will likely require the help of an experienced family law attorney.

The lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto are experienced in handling grandparents rights cases and can explain the options that might be available to you based on the facts of your case.


Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in Arizona

Under ARS § 25-402(B)(2), a person other than a parent, including a grandparent, may petition the court for parenting-time rights. To do this, they must follow the process as outlined in ARS § 25-409. Under this statute, when a grandparent files for visitation rights with a grandchild, the court may grant the petition if it finds that visitation with the grandparent would be in the child’s best interests, and when any of the following are true:

  • One of the child’s parents is deceased or has been missing for three or more months.
  • The child’s parents are unmarried, and the child was born out of wedlock.
  • The child’s parents have been divorced for three or more months.
  • If the grandparent has served in loco parentis, the child’s parents must have a divorce or legal separation case pending.

The court must find that visitation would be in the child’s best interests. In making this determination, the court must consider the following factors:

  • The child’s relationship with the grandparent in the past
  • The grandparent’s motivation for seeking visitation rights
  • The motivations of the parent who is denying visitation to the grandparent
  • How much visitation time is being requested, and the potential negative impact that it might have on the child’s regular activities
  • Whether there is a benefit to maintaining a relationship between the child and his or her extended family when a parent is deceased

In many families, grandparents develop special relationships with their grandchildren. It can be very difficult for a child and a grandparent when a parent prevents the grandparent from seeing the child.

Arizona recognizes that grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

If a court determines that granting visitation rights to a grandparent is appropriate, the visitation times will be ordered to happen when the child visits the parent that is the grandparent’s relative. If that parent is deceased, the court might order that the visitation occurs when the deceased parent would have had visitation time with the child.

Proving that a parent is deceased or that the parents’ divorce happened before the grandparent filed a petition for visitation will be straightforward. However, it can become more difficult when the parent who has custody of the child objects to the grandparent’s petition for visitation.

Getting help from the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can help grandparents gather evidence and present it in a way that supports the reasons for requesting visitation and that shows that receiving visitation would be in the child’s best interests.

Grandparents Rights


How a Petition for Grandparent Visitation Rights Works

If the child’s parents were divorced or had a paternity determination, the grandparents’ petition for visitation must be filed in the previous action. If no court case has previously been filed, the petition can be filed as to its own action in the county where the child lives.

If the child is placed for adoption outside of the home, any grandparent visitation will end unless the grandparent has petitioned for adoption or the adoption petition was filed by a stepparent.

After the petition is filed, the grandparent must serve copies of the petition and the affidavits that were filed in support to each of the following parties:

  • The child’s parent or parents
  • Any party who has legal decision-making authority over the child, or who has visitation rights
  • The guardian ad litem for the child, or the child’s guardian
  • An agency or person who has physical custody of the child, or who claims decision-making authority or visitation rights
  • An agency or person who has previously appeared in the original action

The parties who are served will have the opportunity to file objections to the grandparents’ petition. If they object, a hearing will be held so that the court may hear evidence and reach a decision.


Grandparents’ Custody Rights

When a child’s parents are unfit, the child’s grandparents might want to petition the court for decision-making authority for their grandchildren so that they can obtain legal custody. The court will deny this type of petition unless the court finds that each of the following is true:

  • The grandparents are serving in loco parentis for the child.
  • It would be harmful if the child were to be placed in the parent’s care who is requesting custody.
  • An order for legal decision-making authority has not been issued by the court within a year unless the child’s current environment puts him or her in danger of emotional, moral, physical, or mental harm.
  • A parent of the child is deceased, or the child’s parents are unmarried, or a divorce is pending.

If the court does not find that these factors exist, the petition for grandparent custody and legal decision-making authority will be denied.

A grandparent who is acting in loco parentis is serving in the role of a parent to the child. When a grandparent seeks legal decision-making authority for a child, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child to be placed in his or her parent’s custody.

To overcome this presumption, you will need to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it would not be in the child’s best interests to be placed in his or her parent’s custody. This will require you to have evidence that shows that your grandchild’s physical, moral, mental, or emotional well-being would be in danger if the court placed the child in the parent’s custody or allowed him or her to continue living with the parent.

If you are wanting to seek custody of your grandchildren, an attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can analyze the evidence that you have about your grandchild’s circumstances.

An attorney can advise you about whether you might be likely to succeed with your petition to obtain custody and legal decision making authority of your grandchild.


Grandparents’ Adoption Rights

If your grandchild is placed for adoption, any visitation rights that you have will terminate. However, if the person who has filed a petition to adopt your grandchild is your grandchild’s stepparent, and the stepparent is married to the child’s parent, a grandparents rights to visitation will not end.

If a child is placed for adoption by the state, however, your visitation rights will immediately terminate upon the completion of that adoption. If the child is later removed from the adoptive home, your visitation rights can be reinstated by the court.

Under ARS § 8-103, any adult in Arizona can petition the court to adopt a child, including the child’s grandparents. If your grandchild’s parental rights are terminated, you can file a petition to adopt your grandchild if you have previously filed a petition for legal decision-making authority. You must receive an order from the court granting you temporary custody of your grandchild.

Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, grandparents of children who are covered by the law have priority for adoptions.


Grandparents Rights When Children are Relocated Out of State

If you are granted visitation rights with your grandchild and the grandchild’s parent subsequently decides to relocate with the grandchild out of state, you might wonder whether you can prevent the relocation from happening.

In Sheehan v. Flower, 217 Ariz. 39 (App. 2007), the Arizona Court of Appeals held that grandparents who have visitation rights cannot prevent a parent with legal custody over a child from relocation to another state. In that case, the grandparent had cited A.R.S. 25-408 as a basis for contesting the relocation. However, the court held that the statute did not apply to grandparents.

Grandparents Rights in Arizona

There are some situations in Arizona under which grandparents might need to seek custody of their grandchildren or adopt them. In other cases, grandparents might be prevented from seeing their grandchildren by the children’s parents.

Arizona law includes a statute that allows grandparents to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren even if a parent objects. Each of these types of situations will likely require the help of an experienced family law attorney.

The lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto are experienced in handling grandparents rights cases and can explain the options that might be available to you based on the facts of your case.


Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in Arizona

Under ARS § 25-402(B)(2), a person other than a parent, including a grandparent, may petition the court for parenting-time rights. To do this, they must follow the process as outlined in ARS § 25-409. Under this statute, when a grandparent files for visitation rights with a grandchild, the court may grant the petition if it finds that visitation with the grandparent would be in the child’s best interests, and when any of the following are true:

  • One of the child’s parents is deceased or has been missing for three or more months.
  • The child’s parents are unmarried, and the child was born out of wedlock.
  • The child’s parents have been divorced for three or more months.
  • If the grandparent has served in loco parentis, the child’s parents must have a divorce or legal separation case pending.

The court must find that visitation would be in the child’s best interests. In making this determination, the court must consider the following factors:

  • The child’s relationship with the grandparent in the past
  • The grandparent’s motivation for seeking visitation rights
  • The motivations of the parent who is denying visitation to the grandparent
  • How much visitation time is being requested, and the potential negative impact that it might have on the child’s regular activities
  • Whether there is a benefit to maintaining a relationship between the child and his or her extended family when a parent is deceased

In many families, grandparents develop special relationships with their grandchildren. It can be very difficult for a child and a grandparent when a parent prevents the grandparent from seeing the child.

Arizona recognizes that grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

If a court determines that granting visitation rights to a grandparent is appropriate, the visitation times will be ordered to happen when the child visits the parent that is the grandparent’s relative. If that parent is deceased, the court might order that the visitation occurs when the deceased parent would have had visitation time with the child.

Proving that a parent is deceased or that the parents’ divorce happened before the grandparent filed a petition for visitation will be straightforward. However, it can become more difficult when the parent who has custody of the child objects to the grandparent’s petition for visitation.

Getting help from the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can help grandparents gather evidence and present it in a way that supports the reasons for requesting visitation and that shows that receiving visitation would be in the child’s best interests.

Grandparents Rights


How a Petition for Grandparent Visitation Rights Works

If the child’s parents were divorced or had a paternity determination, the grandparents’ petition for visitation must be filed in the previous action. If no court case has previously been filed, the petition can be filed as to its own action in the county where the child lives.

If the child is placed for adoption outside of the home, any grandparent visitation will end unless the grandparent has petitioned for adoption or the adoption petition was filed by a stepparent.

After the petition is filed, the grandparent must serve copies of the petition and the affidavits that were filed in support to each of the following parties:

  • The child’s parent or parents
  • Any party who has legal decision-making authority over the child, or who has visitation rights
  • The guardian ad litem for the child, or the child’s guardian
  • An agency or person who has physical custody of the child, or who claims decision-making authority or visitation rights
  • An agency or person who has previously appeared in the original action

The parties who are served will have the opportunity to file objections to the grandparents’ petition. If they object, a hearing will be held so that the court may hear evidence and reach a decision.


Grandparents’ Custody Rights

When a child’s parents are unfit, the child’s grandparents might want to petition the court for decision-making authority for their grandchildren so that they can obtain legal custody. The court will deny this type of petition unless the court finds that each of the following is true:

  • The grandparents are serving in loco parentis for the child.
  • It would be harmful if the child were to be placed in the parent’s care who is requesting custody.
  • An order for legal decision-making authority has not been issued by the court within a year unless the child’s current environment puts him or her in danger of emotional, moral, physical, or mental harm.
  • A parent of the child is deceased, or the child’s parents are unmarried, or a divorce is pending.

If the court does not find that these factors exist, the petition for grandparent custody and legal decision-making authority will be denied.

A grandparent who is acting in loco parentis is serving in the role of a parent to the child. When a grandparent seeks legal decision-making authority for a child, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child to be placed in his or her parent’s custody.

To overcome this presumption, you will need to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it would not be in the child’s best interests to be placed in his or her parent’s custody. This will require you to have evidence that shows that your grandchild’s physical, moral, mental, or emotional well-being would be in danger if the court placed the child in the parent’s custody or allowed him or her to continue living with the parent.

If you are wanting to seek custody of your grandchildren, an attorney at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto can analyze the evidence that you have about your grandchild’s circumstances.

An attorney can advise you about whether you might be likely to succeed with your petition to obtain custody and legal decision making authority of your grandchild.


Grandparents’ Adoption Rights

If your grandchild is placed for adoption, any visitation rights that you have will terminate. However, if the person who has filed a petition to adopt your grandchild is your grandchild’s stepparent, and the stepparent is married to the child’s parent, a grandparents rights to visitation will not end.

If a child is placed for adoption by the state, however, your visitation rights will immediately terminate upon the completion of that adoption. If the child is later removed from the adoptive home, your visitation rights can be reinstated by the court.

Under ARS § 8-103, any adult in Arizona can petition the court to adopt a child, including the child’s grandparents. If your grandchild’s parental rights are terminated, you can file a petition to adopt your grandchild if you have previously filed a petition for legal decision-making authority. You must receive an order from the court granting you temporary custody of your grandchild.

Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, grandparents of children who are covered by the law have priority for adoptions.


Grandparents Rights When Children are Relocated Out of State

If you are granted visitation rights with your grandchild and the grandchild’s parent subsequently decides to relocate with the grandchild out of state, you might wonder whether you can prevent the relocation from happening.

In Sheehan v. Flower, 217 Ariz. 39 (App. 2007), the Arizona Court of Appeals held that grandparents who have visitation rights cannot prevent a parent with legal custody over a child from relocation to another state. In that case, the grandparent had cited A.R.S. 25-408 as a basis for contesting the relocation. However, the court held that the statute did not apply to grandparents.

https://azcriminalandfamilylaw.com/family-law/grandparents-rights-arizona/
Created February 26, 2021 at 08:23AM