Just east of Phoenix, where the well-known Cohen Family Law practice is located, is the city of Mesa, a city built on a bed of natural and archaeological history. Out of all of Mesa’s many wonderful parks, the most astonishing is the Mesa Grande Cultural Park, home of a gigantic, ancient ceremonial mound. Surrounding the mound are artifacts of the Hohokam people who inhabited the region from 1100 to 1400 CE. Nearby, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the only natural history museum in the broader Phoenix area, exhibits dinosaur skeletons as well as a Hohokam village filled with tools, crafts, utensils and other cultural evidence of the rich life of a people whose name translates into “those who have vanished.” This mythic name seems appropriate for a culture that apparently disappeared as spontaneously as it appeared. To add to the mystery, the Hohokam, when they arrived so many centuries ago, already had developed a sophisticated system to irrigate their crops, the first ever seen in America.
Points of interest abound in Mesa: the Mesa Grande ruins; the i.d.e.a. Museum which caters to curious youngsters eager to create art and explore science with hands-on exhibits; The Mesa Arts Center for the performing and visual arts, the largest comprehensive arts campus in the entire state; and the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum, where visitors can not only observe, but ride on historic warplanes.
As we all know, any place that humans dwell, no matter how fascinating or historically significant, is bound to have its troubles as well as its pleasures. Unfortunately, anywhere people love and bear young, they also argue and complain. Before marriage and divorce were legal processes, they no doubt already existed as concepts. In Arizona, as throughout the country, there is a need for legal professionals like Mitchell E. Cohen, who specializes in matters of family law. If you find yourself in need of legal counsel concerning one of the following areas, don’t hesitate to contact the office of Mesa Family Law where you can be assured of first-rate service at reasonable cost:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property
- Parenting time
- Severance of parental rights
Each of these areas is complex in its own right. Taken together, as in many cases they are, they can become overwhelming, particularly because each area is likely to involve a high level of tension. As an adept mediator as well as a vigorous litigator, Mitchell E. Cohen is able to handle family matters diplomatically until or unless advanced courtroom strategies become necessary.
If you require a family law attorney in or around Mesa, Arizona, Mitchell E. Cohen is fully prepared to take your case. We are so convinced that you will be impressed with his competence and compassion that your initial consultation is free of cost. Once you have met him and heard how efficiently he presents you with viable options, we are certain you will want to have him on your team.
In order to give you a clear idea of how he approaches family law, we are going to focus here on the intricacies of parental rights and responsibilities, that is, how he handles paternity, child custody, child support, and parenting time.
Paternity in Mesa
For centuries, paternity was difficult to prove. While it was generally assumed that the husband of the wife who conceived and gave birth during the course of the marriage was the father of the child, there have always been cases in which there was suspicion, or direct evidence, that this might not be the case. Prior to DNA evidence capabilities, such questions were unresolvable, leading to dissent, divorce, violence, disputed matters of substantial inheritance, and even disturbances in claims of royal lineage. Now, even though we have DNA evidence at our disposal, to determine,with almost 100 percent certainty, who the father of a particular child is, there are still complications.
One might assume that in this day and age, when genetic material is available to prove familial connections, spousal rights would be no longer be arguable, but this is, unfortunately, not the case. As science leaps ahead of legality and ethics, there are many gray areas in coming to conclusions about spousal rights. Disputed paternity can still lead to serious disputes and violence. This is especially true when a married woman gives birth to the child of a man other than her husband. If this information has been kept secret for years, and the only “father” the child has known is the husband of his or her mother, the pain caused by a DNA test can be immeasurable to parent and child.
Modern Dilemmas in Mesa
The modern era has supplied us with complications our ancestors never dreamed of, such as:
- Same-sex marriages in which one of two female parents carries a baby conceived in vitro
- Same-sex marriages in which one of two male parents donate the sperm
- A surrogate mother bears the child having been impregnated by sperm from one of two male parents
As you can surmise, if parents in any of these, or other, complex circumstances experience discord and dispute parenthood, the resulting problems might have stumped King Solomon. The best time to consult with a thoughtful family law attorney like Mitchell E. Cohen, is before contemplating your entrance into such an entangled arrangement. If you are already confronting the confusion and distress of such a situation, it is crucial that you have a keen attorney on your side.
Although Arizona no longer uses the term “custody”, there are still two types of child related issues, legal decision making and parenting time. Generally speaking, barring any strong legal argument to the contrary, legal decision making (known as custody in other states) is awarded jointly to ensure that both parents have a say in major decisions about their child’s education, religion, and medical care. Parenting time or “physical custody”, on the other hand, is frequently disputed. At times, when parents live in close proximity to one another and each can provide the child with comfortable living space and adequate presence in the child’s life, equal parenting time is a good option.
Though both parents would frequently like to have equal parenting time, sometimes one lives too far from the child’s school, friends, extracurricular activities, or healthcare professionals for equal parenting time to be practical. Other reasons unequal parenting time may be awarded include one parent’s problematic work schedule or frequent need to travel for business. It is also possible that the child has special needs better served by being with one particular parent, or when leaving the child in the home he/she has resided in previously is considered a more stable solution. Child-related issues should always be determined so that the best interests of the child are served. When sole parenting time is awarded, the noncustodial parent will usually still have regular parenting time with the child. Unfortunately, child custody arrangements are often a bone of contention, so it is essential to have a forceful, well-informed attorney, like Mitchell E. Cohen, to make sure your parental rights are protected.
Even in cases in which equal parenting time is awarded, the incomes of parents are rarely identical, so one parent usually has to pay at least some child support to even the playing field. Because the factors used to calculate child support depend on both the parents’ incomes and the child’s financial needs, each parent needs legal counsel to stand up for his or her best interests. In too many cases, noncustodial parents do not keep current with their child support payments so it is important to have legal protection in case you have a child support agreement that has to be enforced. On the other hand, there are circumstances in which the paying parent has good reason to miss one or more support payments — such as serious illness, injury, or loss of job. Whichever side of the table you’re on, having a knowledgeable family lawyer at your side will help ensure that you are treated fairly.
Mesa, Arizona Family Law Attorney
If you reside in Mesa, Arizona and are experiencing the trauma of making decisions that will affect you and your children during and after a marital split, you can feel confident in turning to Mitchell E. Cohen for advice and guidance. He has the insight, legal prowess, and empathy to bring your problems to a successful conclusion and will remain on your team if difficulties recur.
Please don’t hesitate to call our office or fill out a contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you.