Posts

Co-Parenting for the Holidays: Preparing for Your Holiday Parenting Time

As I type this blog post, there are thirty-one days until Thanksgiving and sixty days until Christmas.  In my experience as a family law attorney, these are two of the most sought-after holidays in terms of parenting time, but there are certainly a variety of holidays that many people hold near and dear in the coming months.  Sooner rather than later, parents should coordinate to make sure that plans are in place to ensure that the holidays go off without a hitch.  If you already have a court-ordered parenting plan, take a moment to review it; if not, take a moment to reach out to your co-parent to come to an agreement.  Here are some considerations to keep in mind while doing so:

  • If you have a parenting plan in place, make sure the holiday in question is actually included in your holiday parenting schedule. If it is not and you want it to be, you need to address that as soon as possible.
  • Make sure that the holiday is clearly defined.
    • For example, Thanksgiving may be defined as from Wednesday after school until Monday morning before school, or it could be much more limited in scope to simply be 8:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Thursday until 8:00 p.m. that evening.
    • If your parenting plan is based upon a Court form that consists of a series of checkboxes allocating holidays to one parent in even-numbered years and the other parent in odd-numbered years, your holiday schedule is not likely to be clearly defined. I have heard parents threaten to exchange children at midnight because one parent was assigned Christmas Eve and the other parent assigned Christmas Day with no designated exchange time.  Technically, that’s accurate, but who really wants to spend their Christmas holiday that way?
  • Make sure that it specifies which parent is responsible for providing the transportation. Keep this in mind when making plans about where to celebrate the holidays, g., whether you will celebrate at home or at a friend or family member’s house.  Cooperate with your coparent to make different transportation arrangements if it makes more sense.
  • Follow your parenting plan. If you are traveling for the holidays and want to have parenting time that differs from what is included in your parenting plan, secure an agreement to deviate from the Court order.  Be aware that your coparent may very well request accommodations in exchange, and it would be reasonable to cooperate.  Effective coparenting requires cooperation and give-and-take.

If you wait until much closer to the holidays, there may be little or no recourse for you should an issue arise; rather, you may be left addressing the matter after the fact.  While you may be entitled to some make-up parenting time or your attorney’s fees and costs, that won’t get you back the holiday parenting time with your children that you missed.  Whether you are a current client, former client, or new to Dodge & Vega, our office can assist you in making preparations for the upcoming holidays.  If you need help reviewing your parenting plan or reaching out to your co-parent, feel free to contact our office at (480) 656-8333.

If you have any questions about Holiday Parenting Time, then contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our firm and know your rights. 480-656-8333.

Written By:

Kevin Whitacre, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

Dodge & Vega PLC founded by Ben Dodge, attorney at law. Ben owns and manages a law firm of Affordable Arizona Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Personal Injury Lawyers. He is a nationally certified trial attorney, entrepreneur, endurance Athlete, and extreme Ultra Cyclist.

Ben Dodge, Esq.

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is.

Ben Dodge, Trial Lawyer and NITA Advocate

In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge Ben is one a very few lawyers trained in advance litigation skills through the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA) and has earned the designation as a NITA Advocate.

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@dodgevegalaw.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Child Support, Unemployment Benefits, and the COVID-19 $600 Emergency Unemployment Insurance Benefit

Many people have suffered severe financial distress as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you are one of those individuals, it is critically important for you to know what financial resources you may have available to you. You may be aware that Arizona has implemented an additional $600 emergency unemployment insurance benefit in an attempt to limit the financial impact of COVID-19 on individual families and the economy as a whole. However, it is also important for you to understand that this benefit is not without limitations.

In general, if you are ordered to pay child support and are a recipient of unemployment benefits, Arizona law provides that the Department of Economic Security (“DES”) shall deduct your child support obligation from the unemployment benefits. Specifically, DES shall withhold up to 50% of your unemployment benefits (A.R.S. § 23-789). The additional $600 benefit is also subject to the same 50% withholding standard. Below are some examples of how the withholding operates.[1]

  • COVID-19 Child Support Issues re Unemployment and Stimulus Money

    If your child support obligation is $250 and your unemployment benefit is $500, DES will withhold the $250 child support obligation because that is 50% of your unemployment benefit. You will receive the remaining $250.

  • If your child support obligation is $200 and your unemployment benefit is $500, DES will withhold the $200 child support obligation because it is less than 50% of your unemployment benefit. You will receive the remaining $300.
  • If your child support obligation is $500 and your unemployment benefit is $500, DES will only withhold $250 for the child support obligation because it may only deduct 50% of the unemployment benefit. You will receive the remaining $250. However, it is important to note that the remaining $250 of the child support obligation is still due and owing – your child support obligation is not satisfied in full simply because DES withheld funds for a partial payment of the child support obligation. In that case, you must manually make the payment of the remaining balance to the Arizona Child Support Clearinghouse (or other method if so ordered).

At Dodge & Vega, PLC, we are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects in the field of family law, and we are committed to keeping our clients informed and up-to-date with the most recent guidance available.

If you have any questions about new changes in Arizona Family Law, then contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our firm and know your rights. 480-656-8333.

Written By:

Kevin Whitacre, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

[1] Please note that these numbers have been selected for ease of use to demonstrate the general principle how the withholding is applied. Please also note that child support obligations are generally monthly in nature and that unemployment benefits are generally weekly in nature.

Dodge & Vega PLC founded by Ben Dodge, attorney at law. Ben owns and manages a law firm of Affordable Arizona Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Personal Injury Lawyers. He is a nationally certified trial attorney, entrepreneur, endurance Athlete, and extreme Ultra Cyclist.

Ben Dodge, Esq.

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is.

Ben Dodge, Trial Lawyer and NITA Advocate

In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge Ben is one a very few lawyers trained in advance litigation skills through the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA) and has earned the designation as a NITA Advocate.

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@dodgevegalaw.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Top 10 Tips For Co-Parenting

Are you tired of constant arguing and bickering with your ex about the kids, about their activities, about the parenting time schedule, about paying for the kids’ braces, about…everything really?

Or are you one of the lucky few yet to experience a breakdown in the co-parenting relationship and on the search for the secret of how to avoid such struggle?

No matter which boat you currently find yourself in, you are not alone! Arizona ranks as the state with the 13th highest divorce rate, and is 15% higher than the national average. But do not lament! There are a lot of co-parents out there and, lucky for you, many have successfully navigated the co-parenting waters and shared their experiences and tips with us. Here are our top #10 tips for effective co-parenting, in no particular order:

  1. Put pride aside and put the kids first. Center your decisions around what is best for your kids. They didn’t ask to be in this situation – and now it’s your job to advocate for them. One of the more common co-parenting squabbles we often see involve giving parental consent. It’s easy to automatically say “no” to anything your ex asks of you. I mean, they’re your ex for a reason. But is an automatic “no” the best decision for your kids? For example, let’s say your ex asks you to sign a permission slip to allow the kids to participate in afterschool painting classes on your ex’s “days.” If the kids want to do it, don’t hold back your consent out of spite because your mad at your ex. Let the kids paint!!

 

  1. Communicate – appropriately and respectively – directly with your ex (unless prohibited by court order). Both parents need to be aware of the kids’ schedule, routine, activities, appointments, etc. Be courteous in your texts/emails, business-like, and timely respond to message from your ex.

 

  1. Diffuse conflict. Do not communicate with your ex in an argument or when tensions are on high. Calm down and collect your thoughts first. Successful communication requires level heads and is not best done via a 2AM ranting text message

 

  1. Do not badmouth or bash your ex on social media. If other adults are involved, such as new spouses or older siblings, this applies to them too. Commit to positive talk around the children.

 

  1. Play nice and be nice – even when you don’t want to – and always when the kids are within eye or ear-shot. And make the child exchanges short and sweet – less opportunity to quarrel.

 

  1. Be patient. A successful co-parenting relationship takes time to nurture. Do not get discouraged if you still experience some bumps in the road. Co-parenting will challenge you.

 

  1. Learn to negotiate and compromise schedules. If you are flexible to your ex’s requests, chances are they will be more likely to be flexible to your requests. For example, your sister is flying into town next Friday and your kids haven’t seen her in years. But next Friday is your ex’s “day.” Do you think your ex will be more likely to switch “days” with you if you extended the same courtesy to them the last time they asked for a switch?

 

  1. Be on the same page. Strive for a unified parenting approach, with similar expectations and rules in each household (i.e., same bed time, homework rules, cell phone rules, etc.). Providing your kids with consistency, across both households, will increase their sense of security and safety, and overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Know when it’s time to seek outside input. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on big decisions, like school selection for next year, you may want to consider talking with your ex to a mediator. Mediators can be a great resource to settle these types of disputes without having to get the courts involved again, which we all know is a long and costly process.

 

  1. Practice empathy. Towards your kids and towards your ex. Try to put yourself in their shoes when navigating a sticky situation.

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Randi Partain, Senior Family Law Paralegal, Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq.

Ben Dodge, Esq., Affordable Arizona Family Law Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance Athlete, Ultra Cyclist

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@dodgevegalaw.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Scott Disick, Tristan Thompson and Travis Scott all have one thing in common; can you guess what it is? That’s right! None of them have court orders regarding Parenting Time or Custody! All three of these men have children with one of the Kardashian sisters, but legally have no way to enforce Parenting Time or Custody. What does this mean for Khloe Kardashian now that her and Tristan Thompson have split up? Well, the couple has been living in both Ohio and California since the birth of their daughter, True, and one of the first steps in filing for legal action in a family law case is determining what Court has jurisdiction over the matter. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is an act that has been adopted by every state except for Massachusetts. The UCCJEA sets forth the policies for what constitutes a court’s child custody jurisdiction in a family law matter. In order to determine which state has proper jurisdiction the UCCJEA uses the following factors:

  1. The home state of the child is one in which the child has lived in for six months immediately before the custody proceedings began. If the child is under the age of six months, jurisdiction falls to the state in which the child was born.
  2. If no single state has jurisdiction based on item 1, jurisdiction falls where the child and parent have significant connections other than residence. This may include extended family ties.
  3. If a state has jurisdiction as defined by provision 1 or 2, it may decline to exercise this jurisdiction if it wishes to do so by transferring jurisdiction to another state.

Determining which Court has jurisdiction could potentially become a confusing and complicated battle on its own. If Khloe decides to mimic the parenting styles of her sisters, she may choose to not involve the courts at all and hope Tristan is willing to co-parent without court orders. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and of course will be a huge part of the upcoming season of Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s which premieres Sunday, March 31st.

Find out more about your family law issue in a free consultation.  Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Andrea Cadillo, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

 

 

 

Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq., Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance/Ultra Cyclist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@dodgevegalaw.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Divorce and Taxes! Claiming Dependency Exemptions for Newly Divorced Parents

Tax season is in full swing! If you were recently divorced, there is a good chance this will be your first time filing individual income tax returns separate from your ex-spouse. Filing taxes is already pretty daunting for most, like me. But if you and your ex-spouse share minor children, there is also the added hassle of determining who is allowed to and supposed to claim the child(ren) on taxes this year.

As part of finalizing your divorce, the Court allocated the child dependency exemptions for income tax purposes between you and your ex-spouse. But how those exemptions were allocated varies depending on, among other things, each party’s proportionate share of the combined adjusted gross income. Typically, the Court will look at each party’s adjusted gross income and then allocate to each parent the exemptions(s) proportionate to their share of the combined adjusted gross income. The Court utilizes the Arizona Child Support Guidelines to determine each party’s adjusted gross income and the combined adjusted gross income. Follow the link below to the 2018 Arizona Child Support Guidelines for more information. As an example, let’s say the parties have one child, the Father earns $60,000.00 per year and the Mother earns $40,000.00 per year. The parties’ combined income is $100,000.00, with Father’s share of the combined income being 3/5 and the Mother’s share being 2/5. The dependency exemption would then be allocated using this fraction, unless the parties agreed otherwise, following a pattern that can be repeated in no more than 5 years. The Court could order that Father is eligible to claim the child in the first three out of every five years and Mother is eligible to claim the child in the final two out of every five years, or any other combination that provides Father the exemption three out of every five years.

So how do you determine if this tax season is your turn to claim the child(ren)? The first place to look is your Decree or most recent Child Support Order. There are other considerations to be aware of as well. Often times the Court will include in the Child Support Order a provision prohibiting a parent from claiming any exemptions if they were still behind on any court-ordered child support and arrears payments by December 31st of the year for which the exemption is sought. Yet other times the Court may order that the refund be intercepted and applied towards past-due child support. Unpaid medical reimbursements can also affect a party’s eligibility to claim dependency exemptions. It is important to carefully review your Child Support Order well in advance of April 15th. If you are unsure how to interpret your Child Support Order, call us at 480-656-8333 to schedule a free consultation.

http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/34/Forms/FamilyLaw/AOCDRS10H2018.pdf

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Randi Partain, Senior Family Law Paralegal, Dodge & Vega PLC

Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq., Attorney, Entrepreneur, Endurance/Ultra Cyclist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@dodgevegalaw.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Most of you readers out there in cyberspace probably have experienced family law issues personally, by listening to the experiences of a family member or a friend, or through your favorite television series or movie. The experiences of a family law attorney may be a mystery to you. Today, that changes. I present to you A Day in the Life of a Family Law Attorney. Imagine sitting in the chair in the photograph to the right, and experience the journey of a family law practitioner. The following is an example of what life as an Arizona family law attorney is like for me. Please note that names and certain identifying facts have been changed to protect the privacy of clients.

5:45 a.m. My alarm will not go off for another 15 minutes. However, my toddler son is crawling on top of my head. Looks like it’s time to start my day.

5:55 a.m. I glance at my inbox on my iPhone and skim the names of senders, subjects, and content blurbs. Okay, probably going to have a few fires to put out this morning. Client/Father in the Jones case expressing concern that Mother will leave Arizona with minor children, Client/Mother in the Michaels case emails me to notify me that Opposing Party/Father has violated the legal decision-making order by starting minor child on a medication without consulting with Mother and that Mother does not deem as necessary.

7:45 a.m. Make 45-minute commute to Southeast Court in Mesa for Resolution Management Conference (“RMC”) in the Jeffries case. I had gone back and forth trying to settle with the pro per opposing party/Mother in this case until 7:30 p.m. last night. No dice. I had to try — after all, I needed to try to come to a resolution for a Resolution Management Conference.

8:25 a.m. Arrive at Southeast Court. I know the drill. Throw my bag, file, and legal pad onto the conveyor belt at security. Walk through metal detector. Anticipate beep. As predicted, the detector beeps. Turn 180 degrees and face the door. Hold my arms out parallel to the floor before the security guard even asks. Guard takes hand wand and runs it along the perimeter of my body. I smile, grab my items, and go on my way.

8:30 a.m. Arrive outside of the courtroom. Wait for my client to arrive. A few moments later, both parties arrive. We cut to the chase. I ask opposing party/Mother if we can try to find some common ground. My client expresses his willingness to settle and desire to stop the bickering for the sake of the children. To my surprise, we work out a deal that both parties seem to be satisfied with. Wow. I guess putting in the extra hours last night and encouraging my client to negotiate with Mother has paid off. The agreement that they have come to is likely far better than what the judge would likely decide.

9:00 a.m. RMC commences. Judge asks me for an update. I triumphantly announce that the parties have come to an agreement. I feel like a mother whose child brought straight As home from school.

9:30 a.m. I leave court and head to the office. Tupac comes on the radio. Seems like good celebration music. I drive with one hand on the wheel and bob my head to the beat. Yes, lawyers listen to hip-hop too.

9:45 a.m. Arrive at office. I say hello to the team and briefly chat with Ben (my boss/founding partner/managing partner), Randi (my right-hand woman/family law paralegal), Dee (the glue that holds the office together/bankruptcy & personal injury paralegal), and Melissa (our legal assistant who brings way too many tempting treats to the office). We talk about our weekends and the Kardashians/Jenners.

9:50 a.m. Now time to get down to business. I meet with Randi to download her on the morning’s events. She gives me intel about what has been going on with our family law clients while I was gone. Believe me, a lot can happen in a few hour’s time. We prioritize our issues, including the ones from the emails that I skimmed earlier in the morning.

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I spend the remainder of my day checking my inbox, reviewing and signing letters and pleadings that need to go out a.s.a.p., reading my emails, and responding. I ensure clients that yes, we will notify the Court at the appropriate time of the opposing party’s violation of the legal decision-making order. Yes, we can file an emergency motion to stop Mother from leaving the state with the children.

1:00 p.m. I draft a motion requesting that the court permit my client Ms. Peters to serve her ex husband through alternative means since we believe that the ex is evading service. I reference relevant caselaw/statutes and explain our numerous attempts to serve our client’s ex.

1:30 p.m. Client meeting with Mr. Ambrose regarding his upcoming hearing. I remind Mr. Ambrose that he cannot talk to the children about his case or negatively about the opposing party/their mother or else he can get into trouble with the Court. I recommend that we try to negotiate with Mother because by negotiating, the parties have more control over what happens than they would if they left the issues up to a judge. It’s at least worth a try. Mr. Ambrose agrees.

6:00 p.m. The work day is over. I can’t help but glance at my work inbox on my iPhone. I’m working on that.

Many of us have experienced the dark side of divorce either personally or by witnessing a family member or friend’s experience (or, in my case, practicing law as a family law attorney). We have seen the fights over assets, spousal support, and children. We may wonder how two people who loved one another so much could get involved in such a nasty legal proceeding.

A Canadian couple who announced their divorce on Facebook has shown the world that, though sad, divorce does not have to be nasty. Their civil approach to divorce is quite possible, even in the messiest of divorce cases. If you find yourself wondering if this is possible for you, the answer is yes, you can have a civil and amicable divorce. Here’s how:

1. Remember that the end of your marriage does not mean the end of your life as you know it. Life can, and does, go on. Remind yourself that you are an individual capable of loving and being loved even after your marriage ends. Maintaining a positive attitude will help you to endure the divorce process better than having a negative attitude will.

2. If you have children, it is imperative that you refrain from speaking to them about your divorce case. You must also refrain from speaking to your children negatively about their other parent. Not only could doing so damage your children, even if your spouse is in the wrong, but doing so could also damage your legal position. Your spouse could use your negative communications about him or her in court.

3. Be civil with your spouse. I know this is easier said than done. You will not help yourself by allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Keep your communications with your spouse limited to what is necessary. If your spouse becomes combative towards you, be the bigger person and ignore their offensive communications.

As painful as the divorce process is, it is a temporary, finite process. Going through a divorce does not mean that you are a bad person, nor does it mean that you are a failure. Do yourself a favor by being mature and civil during your divorce proceeding. Your dignity and sanity will thank you.

Do you have any tips on doing divorce the right way? Feel free to comment below.