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Important Changes to Arizona Family Law

January 2013

 

Most people are familiar with the terms “custody” and “visitation.” A new Arizona law that went into effect on January 1, 2013 changed how those words are used in Arizona family law. References in Arizona family law to “custody” are now “legal decision making.” Legal decision making is defined as the legal right and responsibility to make all non-emergency legal decisions for a child, including education, health care, religious training, and personal care decisions. (This now includes personal matters like haircuts and ear piercing.)

References in Arizona family law to “visitation” are now “parenting time.” Parenting time is defined as the schedule of time during which each parent has access to a child at specified times.
 

The new law also requires courts to adopt a parenting plan that maximizes both parents’ time with the child. Courts are forbidden to give a preference to one parent based on the gender of either the parent or the child.

When determining the proper parenting plan, the court must consider all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being.

Also, the court is now required to fine any party who lies to the court or intentionally delays court proceedings. Before the new law, fines for such conduct were optional.
 

The above explanation of the changes in Arizona family law is not an all inclusive list of changes. The explanation only briefly highlights some of the major changes. If you have questions about how the changes might impact you and your family, call Logan F. Boren at 480-844-8485.

Adoption Day

November 2012

 

National Adoption Day is November 17, 2012. Some people may be unfamiliar with National Adoption Day, so here are some answers to some frequently asked questions.


What is National Adoption Day?

National Adoption Day is an effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent loving families.

When is National Adoption Day?

National Adoption Day is the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year.

What is the purpose of National Adoption Day?

The objectives of National Adoption Day are to:
   
-    Finalize adoptions from foster care in all 50 states
-    Celebrate and honor families who adopt

-    Raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent, loving homes

-    Encourage others to adopt children from foster care

-    Build collaboration among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations

Has National Adoption Day been successful?

National Adoption Day has helped nearly 40,000 children find permanent loving families. Last year over 300 children in Maricopa County were adopted on National Adoption Day.


If you have questions about adoption or the adoption process, call Logan Boren today to discuss your options.

Adoption Tax Credit

September 12,2012

 

Do You Know About the Federal Adoption Tax Credit?

An adoption tax credit is tax credit offered to adoptive parents to encourage adoption. Section 36C of the United States Internal Revenue code offers a credit for “qualified adoption expenses” paid or incurred by individual taxpayers. The credit was made refundable in 2010, as part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. It was also credit increased by $1,000 to $13,170 as part of the act.

Qualified Adoption Expenses

Under US tax law, qualified expenses include: adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home), and other expenses directly related to and for which the principal purpose is the legal adoption of an eligible child. The adoption tax credit is per child, thus the credit doubles when adopting two children in the same year.

What is a Tax Credit?

This is a "credit" not just a "deduction." A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of federal tax, not a reduction of taxable income, such as with a mortgage payment.

Adopting Children with Special Needs

Parents who adopt a child with special needs (meaning a child who receives adoption assistance/adoption subsidy) can claim the full credit without documenting expenses.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=231663,00.html 

Parents will need to document the child has special needs, and this documentation can include the adoption assistance/adoption subsidy agreement, a letter from the state/county approving the child for adoption assistance/adoption subsidy, or a letter from the state/county child welfare agency stating that the child has special needs.

Limitations

To be eligible for the full tax credit, the adopting parent's modified adjusted gross income cannot exceed $182,520. The taxable income may reach $222,520, but it is gradually phased out when in excess of $182,520.[6]

Monthly Legal Tip:
September


Unable to pay your Child Support or Spousal Support
lost your job, disabled, incarcerated or not able to make court ordered payments. DO NOT DELAY the filing and service of your modification for support. WE CAN HELP!

Modifications and terminations are effective on the first day of the month following notice of the petition for
modification or termination unless the court, for good cause shown, orders the change to become effective at a different date but not earlier than the date of filing the petition for modification or termination.
Arizona Revised Statutes, 25-327.

We also negotiate settlements for past support owed to the payee.

Licensed in Arizona only. Available to negotiate out-of-state orders or assist out-of-state payors for Arizona orders.

Call today 480-844-8485.

© 2012 by Logan Boren, Attorney at Law

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