Written by Canterbury Law Group

Order of Protection Used to Stop Domestic Violence

The Scottsdale attorneys at Canterbury Law Group help survivors of domestic violence utilize legal protection options to defend themselves from further abuse, including obtaining an order of protection. An order of protection is long term, typically for one to five years, and in extreme circumstances, for up to a lifetime. A victim can also renew the order of protection if he or she still feels threatened by his or her abuser.

An order of protection may include many different provisions, including:

  • No Contact Provision – Prohibiting the abuser from calling, texting, emailing, stalking, attacking, hitting, or disturbing the victim
  • Peaceful Contact Provision – Permitting the abuser to peacefully communicate with the victim for limited reasons, including care and transfer for visitation of their child
  • No Contact Provision – Prohibiting the abuser from calling, texting, emailing, stalking, attacking, hitting, or disturbing the victim
  • Stay Away Provision – Ordering the abuser to stay at least a certain number of yards or feet away from the victim, his or her home, job, school, and car. The stay-away distance can vary by state, judge or the lethality of the situation, but is often at least 100 yards or 300 feet
  • Move Out Provision – Requiring the abuser to move out of a home shared with the victim
  • Firearms Provision – Requiring the abuser to surrender any guns he or she possesses (about 2/3rds of states) and/or prohibiting the abuser from purchasing a firearm
  • Counseling Provision – Ordering the abuser to attend counseling, such as batterer’s intervention or anger management

Order of protections may also include children, other family members, roommates or current romantic partners of the victim. This means the same no contact and stay away rules apply to any other listed individual, even if the direct harm was to the victim. Some states allow pets to be protected by the same order, as abusers may harm pets to torment their victims.

If you’re in need of protection, call us today to start the process of filing for an order or protection. Or if you have been recently served with an order of protection, and you feel wrongfully accused, you need to speak to a lawyer immediately. Delaying your response to an order of protection only makes it more challenging to have it quashed by a judge in court later. 480—240-0040. www.canterburylawgroup.com

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Legal Trends in Divorce

Divorce has been around for centuries, but it is by no means a stagnant concept. Similar to nearly everything in life and the law, divorce has changed with the times and will continue to do so. The family attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are on the forefront of these evolving divorce trends.

1. Decreasing Marriage Rate – Less Divorces – Contrary to popular belief; the divorce rate in the United States is declining. After peaking in 1980 with 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women, aged 15 and older in the U.S., the rate has been going down ever since. In 2009, there were 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women. However, what’s really happening is that there are fewer marriages overall as more couples are choosing to live together instead of get married. Fewer marriages translate into fewer opportunities to get divorced—and that equals declining divorce rates.

2. Increase in “Grey divorce” – Although the overall divorce rate is declining, the 50+ age group is seeing a dramatic rise in marital breaks. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, which coined the term, “the divorce rate among adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010.” In fact, one in four people getting divorced today is 50 or older. The growing phenomenon even has a name to describe it: “the grey divorce revolution.” One possible explanation for the increase in divorce in older couples is the fact that there are simply so many baby boomers out there. Another factor could be that second and subsequent marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages—and those who have had several marriages are often older in general.

3. Mandatory Divorce Classes – While state laws vary greatly regarding divorce from no-fault provisions to “cooling off” waiting periods, nearly all states now offer courses or seminars to divorcing couples, especially those with children, according to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. In many states, attendance is mandatory before a court will grant the divorce of parents in particular. Such classes may include meetings with a therapist, watching videos, or role-playing.

Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them. Delay may result in limiting your options. Every situation is unique and the Scottsdale attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are well equipped to provide you with the tools to make the best decision that suits your particular situation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Understanding Orders of Protections and Restraining Orders

The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have extensive knowledge on protective orders and restraining orders. If you’re in need of legal protection, there are some details you need to understand before moving forward.

Orders of protection and restraining orders are two options for people being threatened with imminent injury or who are being physically abused. The two orders are similar in whom they protect but are also different in how long they are good for and the penalties for violation.

Orders of Protection – A court issues orders of protection to victims of domestic violence. Orders demand that an abuser stop threatening, stalking or physically assaulting the victim. Orders often demand that an abuser also stops contacting the victim in any form, including in person, by phone or by e-mail. Orders of protection are in force for at least one year, but can be extended for longer durations as the court sees fit. Orders of protection can be renewed upon request to the court. Parties seeking to overturn or “quash” the orders have a right to a live evidentiary hearing within 10 days of filing their objections to the court.

Restraining Orders – A restraining order is issued by a court to protect someone from threats or physical abuse. Restraining orders are different from orders of protection because restraining orders can also include provisions for property, child support, spousal maintenance and child custody when these are issues arising during a divorce or separation. Restraining orders are good for a fixed period of time set by the court, determined on a case by case basis, usually at least six months, but sometimes for several years. Extensions are available, but must be requested and approved before the initial orders expire.

Cost – No filing fees are charged for orders of protection and restraining orders. Additionally, because these orders are important to victims’ safety, the government bears the cost for serving the orders on abusers.

Penalties for Violation – The main difference between restraining orders and orders of protection is the penalties for violation. If an abuser violates a restraining order, he or she will only face a civil contempt allegation and may be required to pay a fine. However, if an abuser violates a protective order, criminal charges can be filed by the local prosecuting attorney, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending upon the circumstances of the violation and the number of violations already against the abuser.

If you’re being threatened or abused, there is a legal solution. In contrast, if you have been wrongfully charged or accused with false allegations of harmful abuse, we can also help quash the orders. Contact the team at Canterbury Law Group to begin the process today. Time is usually of the essence in these matters.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Same Sex Divorce in Arizona

The Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group can help same sex couples navigate divorce. Whether you are considering filing for an Arizona same sex divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them.

Same sex marriage in Arizona means that lesbian and gay couples are guarded by identical benefits as heterosexual married couples. In fact, gay couples have the legal right to obtain a divorce in Arizona and attain the same protections and responsibilities under the state’s domestic relations laws for division of property and debt as heterosexuals, including Arizona community property laws. Arizona’s community property system is designed to provide a more fair distribution of assets and debts at divorce, including the possibility of spousal maintenance.

One unique issue for lesbian and gay couples is determining the length of the marriage, which can be crucial for calculating spousal maintenance and / or the division of retirement benefits. For example, a couple may have entered into a civil union in State A, later received a domestic partnership designation in State B, and finally gotten married in State C. In a situation like this, the questions become: When did the marriage begin, and where? Ultimately, the first date and place where they had a valid marriage is the legal date which will be used.

Currently, the LGBTQ community is still waiting for legal clarity on custody issues in divorce, which includes child custody and adoption. Sometimes there are children of a prior heterosexual relationship that one of the parties brings to the marriage. Other times the couple decides to have their own child or children, using options such as sperm donors or donor egg and surrogacy if the couple is male.
Contrary to popular belief, a non-biological parent does not automatically gain the status of a legal parent merely by virtue of being married at the time of the birth. Neither, unfortunately, does Arizona currently have a provision for adding a second mother or second father to a child’s birth certificate, which can be important for some legal purposes as well as genealogy or simply personal satisfaction. They also would have no rights regarding caring for the child or children should the other parent die or otherwise be incapacitated.

However, now that same sex marriage is recognized in Arizona and throughout the country, a step-parent adoption proceeding is an option to address this problem. For more on these issues, consider Canterbury Law Group in Scottsdale, AZ as your go-to legal problem solvers. 480-240-0040.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Shared Holiday Time After Divorce

Divorced families with children may face some hardships during the holiday season because of parental custody and shared holiday time. At Canterbury Law Group, our Scottsdale divorce attorneys help navigate the difficult custody process with the ultimate goal to make the situation as clean as possible for everyone involved, especially the kids.

Here are some common ways that parents divide and share holiday time:

  • Alternate holidays every other year. You can assign holidays to each parent for even years and then swap the holidays in odd years. With this arrangement, you won’t miss spending a holiday with your child more than one year in a row.
  • Split the holiday in half. You can split the day of the holiday so that your child spends part of the day with each parent. This arrangement requires planning and coordination because you don’t want your child to spend holidays traveling all day.
  • Schedule a holiday twice. You can schedule time for each parent to celebrate a holiday with your child. For example, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the child on Dec. 23th and the other parent on the 25th.
  • Assign fixed holidays. You can have each parent celebrate the same holidays with the child every year. If parents have different holidays that they think are important, each parent can have those holidays every year.

Some holidays have special considerations because both parents usually want to spend time with the child on or near the holiday. We have the following recommendations for such situations.

  • Your child’s birthday: You can schedule a short visit for the parent who doesn’t have the child on the birthday, give both parents birthday time in the schedule, or the parents can alternate having the birthday.
  • 3 day weekend holidays: These holidays include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Parents can alternate the 3 day weekends, split the weekends, or give the Monday holiday to the parent who already has the weekend.
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day: Usually your child spends every Mother’s Day with the mother and every Father’s Day with the father.
  • Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend: One parent can have Thanksgiving Day and the other parent can have the weekend, you can give both parents time on Thanksgiving and on the weekend, or parents can alternate having Thanksgiving and the weekend.
  • The Christmas holiday season: One parent can have Christmas Eve and the other parent can have Christmas Day, one parent can have Christmas and the other parent can have winter break, you can make New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day into one holiday and the parents alternate having it.
Written by Canterbury Law Group

More About Orders of Protection

As top Scottsdale divorce attorneys, the team at Canterbury Law Group receives many questions about Orders of Protection. Here are some common questions and answers for people looking for more information. If you’re in need of protection, contact Canterbury immediately – time is of the essence in these matters and any delays can be held against you by the court.

1. How can an order of protection help the victim? In an order of protection, a judicial officer can order:

  • The abuser not to commit any of the offenses included as domestic violence
  • The abuser to have no contact with you or with anyone else named in the order (this could include telephone calls, texts, letters, messages through someone else, personal contact, etc.)
  • The abuser to stay away from your residence, place of employment, and school or those of anyone else named in the order
  • One party to have exclusive use of a home shared by you and the abuser (if there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuser may cause you physical harm)
  • Law enforcement to accompany a party to a shared home to get his/her belongings
  • The abuser to turn in any firearms in his/her possession to law enforcement and not possess firearms
  • The abuser to stay away from and not harm any animal owned by you, the abuser or a minor child in either of your homes (and award you care and custody of the animal)
  • Other relief that is appropriate and necessary for your protection and the protection of anyone else specifically named in the order
  • The abuser to complete a domestic violence offender treatment program or any other program deemed appropriate by the court (as part of a final order)

2. In which county can I file for an order of protection? As an Arizona resident, you can file for a domestic violence protective order in any superior, municipal or justice court in any county in Arizona. The only exceptions are that:

  • If two courts are located within a one mile distance, then one court can be designated as the court which issues protective orders;
  • If you have filed an action for divorce, separation, paternity or annulment with the superior court (involving the same person from whom you want protection), then you need to return to the superior court to request an order of protection; and
  • If the defendant is less than 12 years of age, only the juvenile division of the superior court may issue the order or injunction.

If you have questions about your finances and / or bankruptcy, call us today to schedule a consultation at 480-240-0040 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Obtaining Your Legal Time Off

At Canterbury Law Group, we receive many seasonal calls regarding employees and time off. Under federal law, an employer typically cannot make work-related decisions based upon an employee’s religion. Therefore, an employer has to give its workers some time off from work to exercise their religion and celebrate holidays. Employers may face crucial legal problems for refusing time off.

Example – There are many religious-based holidays that may interrupt the usual work schedule. Popular holidays are Christmas and Chanukah, and many employees find it easy to enjoy these days. However, sometimes, an employer doesn’t agree with a certain religion or holiday, which becomes a problem.

Recently, a former sales manager of a Bath and Body Works store in Connecticut filed a discrimination lawsuit under Title VII. She claims she was terminated because she took vacation time to celebrate the Wiccan New Year. According to lawsuit, her previous management at the company allowed her to use her vacation time for this holiday for the last six years, but new management opposed. The employee claims she was directed that she would need a new career if she took the time off. When she returned, she was immediately terminated. The employee is suing for back pay and other money damages.

The Law – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) is the major federal discrimination law. This means that it is illegal for employers to treat workers differently because of certain characteristics, such as sex and race. It also bars discrimination based upon religion. Therefore, employers can’t make it harder for employees of a certain religion to get hired and / or promoted or give them better or worse working hours than workers of other religions. They also can’t terminate workers based upon their religious beliefs.

Violating Title VII may bring large fines and other costs associated with the case. An employee who is improperly refused time off or fired because of his religion may be able to get his job back and get paid for the time he was out of work.

Use Caution – Employers need to be careful when it comes to refusing time off for religious-based holidays. Vacation time can’t be refused simply because the employer doesn’t believe in the holiday or religion. However, legitimate business reasons are another story. For a retailer, the holidays may be the busiest time of the year, and so a full workforce may be required. A holiday may also happen to fall at a time when a large project needs to be completed. In these situations, it is possible to limit an employee’s time off.

If you are an employee or employer and have questions about legal time off, call us today to schedule your consultation at 480-240-0040

1 5 6 7