Collecting Child Support Payments | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

When children are involved, a divorce settlement often becomes even more complicated and stressful. This is especially true in custody battle cases requiring the payment of child support. When child support is heavily relied on, but inconsistent, the custodial parent must take action to ensure reliable payments from the non-custodial parent. It is highly advised to work with an experienced attorney such as the family lawyer phoenix AZ locals have been trusting for years.

The Importance of Child Support

It is vital that child support payments are being made properly, because often times the parent with custody relies on that money to provide proper care and essentials for the child. Supporting a child requires the provision of adequate shelter, food, clothing, school necessities and medical care. Combined with other necessities and common expenses related to extracurricular activities for the child, child care becomes extremely expensive.

Unfortunately, many parents do not fulfill adequate child support requirements ordered of them. Whether by making late and inconsistent payment, or not paying child support at all, this can cause complications and even create dangers for the child involved.

Options for Enforcing a Child Support Order

In the case that the noncustodial parent is unreliable in making child support payments, the custodial parent has numerous options for enforcing the child support order. The custodial parent may first need to go to court and begin an enforcement action by proving he or she is entitled to the payments and did not receive them. To enforce the compliance of the non-custodial parent with the existing child support order, as well as collect unpaid child support, the child support agency may subject them to a number of enforcement tactics, such as:

  • Wage Garnishment: The agency will work with the employer of the non-custodial parent to acquire the payment from his wage/paycheck.


  • Tax Benefit or Refund Interception: The agency may take payments owed to the non-custodial parent by the government: such as in the form of a tax refund or social security checks – and apply it to the child support.


  • Liens and Attachments: The agency can place a lien for unpaid child support on real estate and personal property. They may also seize assets, like bank accounts and funds.


  • Credit Bureau Reporting: Since child support obligations are considered judgements, the agency may report child support information of the non-custodial parent to consumer reporting agencies.


  • License Suspension and Passport Denial: The non-custodial parent may have their license suspended or restricted in the case that they have not paid child support. In some cases, non-custodial parents who fail to comply with child support orders may be submitted to the Department of State, which has the authority to deny or restrict the person’s U.S. passport.


  • Jail Time: If all measures have been taken and the non-custodial parent still refuses to pay child support, the court may order him or her to serve jail time.

If you have had trouble receiving child support payments from the non-custodial parent, contact a family lawyer as soon as possible.

Hildebrand Law A special thanks to our partners at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Family Law.

Events That May Require Will Creation or Revision | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

 Creating a will doesn’t have to mean you are nearing the end of your life. In fact, the best time to create a will is when you are still rather young, and in good health. Though it may seem stressful, by creating a will early on, you are actually alleviating future stress from yourself and your loved ones. Creating a will is a way in which you can provide order and ensure safety and security for the future of those in your life. It can offer you peace of mind you weren’t even aware you needed. Consulting with an experienced professional such as the Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale AZ locals have been trusting for years.

There are major landmarks that especially call for the creation or revision of a will. Because a will can be revised at any time during your life, it may be easier managed by creating one early on. This ensures that:

  • You become gradually familiarized with the process
  • You only need to worry about adding to or revising the will as necessary, rather than all at once
  • If something were to happen early on, your existing assets and wishes would be in order

In any case, an estate planning attorney can help make the process very straightforward. Typically, you should meet with an attorney every five years, as well as in the event of a major milestone that may spur revisions or the creation of the will. These are listed below:

Assets and Investments

As soon as you have established assets or investments of significant worth, you should:

  • Meet with an estate planning attorney and, if you haven’t already, write a detailed will.
  • Clearly state in your will who you would like to inherit your assets, investments and estate.
  • Provide a detailed plan for how you would like them to be handled, especially in the case of recent large investments.
  • Meet with an attorney to revise your will for every newly acquired asset or investment.

These assets and investments may include real estate, cars and other belongings of great value. Without taking the proper measures, these assets could become a huge legal burden for your loved ones.


Marriage is another milestone that will require a will or revisions to an existing will, as you may gain assets or want to add your spouse to the will. In the event of an additional marriage, many states may require you to revise an existing will. Otherwise, your previous spouse(s) may be allowed to inherit your estate as if you never even had a will. The exceptions to this law are:

  • Your spouse is listed in the will along with exactly how much they will inherit.
  • You state in your will that your spouse is prohibited from inheriting your assets/investments.
  • Another arrangement is specified in a premarital agreement.


One of the most important milestones in life and specifically to the will process is ensuring your heirs and/or children receive your estate or assets, and are properly cared for.  Here are important steps you should take as a parent writing a will:

  • With an estate planning attorney, include your children in your will and specify what you intend each child to inherit.
  • If they are minors, they cannot legally own property, so you should set up a trust fund where your large assets would remain until your children reach the appropriate age to receive them.
  • Appoint, very carefully and with proper consideration, whom you would like to care for your children in the event that alternative guardianship is needed.

Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their insight into Estate and Probate Law.

Bill Doutt Joins Cannon Hadfield Stieben, LLC

Sam, Gordon, and Sara are pleased to announce that experienced Fort Collins personal injury lawyer Bill Doutt has joined the firm. New name, photos, and logo will be unveiled shortly, but we were too excited to wait. Bill can be reached at the office number (970) 689-3037 or at Or just stop by the office if you want to say hi.

What is Comprehensive Insurance? | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

There are several forms of auto insurance coverage available, as a car accident lawyer Harrisonburg VA trusts can explain,  but the three basic types of coverage are liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability coverage is typically required by law and it covers damage to another person’s property or injuries you cause in an accident. Collision coverage, meanwhile, pays the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle if it’s damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive insurance is an optional form of coverage that protects you against incidents other than collisions. This type of coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle and it comes with a deductible you need to pay when you make a claim, just like with collision coverage.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive insurance offers broad protection against damage that doesn’t result from a collision, including coverage against:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Storms
  • Flooding
  • Falling objects
  • Glass damage
  • Damage from striking an animal

This does not mean comprehensive coverage will cover everything, however. Towing, rental, and personal property protection are usually excluded from coverage.

Despite not covering absolutely everything outside of collisions, comprehensive coverage is valuable for many auto owners. Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports there are more than 1.5 million vehicle collisions with deer that cause over $1 billion annually in property damage. There are also around 700,000 reported cases of car theft per year. Comprehensive coverage can offer financial protection against these and other types of incidents.

Other Forms of Car Insurance Coverage

In addition to liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage (which are collectively referred to as “full coverage”), there are other forms of optional coverage you can add to your car insurance policy for additional protection. The following forms of coverage are can protect you if you are involved in an accident, especially those involving uninsured or underinsured motorists who are at fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UI/UIM)

About one in eight drivers have no insurance and nearly 30% lack sufficient coverage to pay for damages in an accident. This is why it’s important to have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to protect you. UM/UIM coverage offers liability coverage if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault uninsured or underinsured motorist. In the case of an underinsured motorist, your policy will pay for your damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limit.

Medical Payments Coverage

If you or someone else is injured in an accident involving your vehicle, Medical Payments coverage pays for medical expenses. Even if you have excellent health insurance coverage, this type of optional coverage can help passengers. Medical Payments coverage can also help if you do not have health insurance, your insurance does not pay for accidents, or your plan has low limits or high co-pays and deductibles.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Finally, PIP coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages if you are involved in an accident. This type of coverage pays out claims regardless of fault and it is often called “no-fault” coverage. PIP can pay up to 80% of your medical and other expenses in a covered accident and it can be especially beneficial if you do not have health insurance or you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

MartinWren, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into comprehensive insurance.

Why Hire an Attorney if Involved in a Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, one of the most important things to decide is if you should hire an Auto Accident lawyer such as the Car Accident Lawyer Orange County that locals trust. Dealing with accidents is not always clear-cut, and there are numerous variables that can affect the outcome of your case.  Many people believe their case is relatively small when there is small property damage, but that is not always the case.  A standard fender bender can easily become a six figure personal injury lawsuit.  It is often wise to obtain an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you are able to obtain an optimal settlement, have potential medical costs mitigated, and not be forced to deal with tough insurance companies and confusing court rules by yourself.

Lawyers are experienced and can reduce your stress by handling your case. This entails everything from obtaining the police report, sending a demand letter to the other party’s insurance, to appearing before a jury trial if necessary. A good lawyer can take a complex situation and make it simple for the client. Experienced lawyers put a figurative wall between you and the other side, so that you are not constantly bombarded with confusing paperwork, notices from the Court and deadlines. By having a lawyer, you are able to focus on healing while your lawyer can focus on your case.

Lawyers can help you navigate your medical care and expenses.  Attorneys are often very helpful in getting the client proper medical care.  Getting the right doctor can make the difference between fully healing or remaining in pain.  In addition, while your case is in litigation, your lawyer will often be able to help manage the medical expenses so that they are not overwhelming.  Although the medical bills will need to be repaid once the case settles, it is often much easier to manage at the end than during the throes of litigation.

Lawyers add value to your case and you will not get the same result if you are to do it by yourself.  Although a layperson can negotiate a settlement (and not have to pay for an attorney), they often end up with more money in their pocket when they use an attorney.  This is because a skilled lawyer will add more value to your case.   Lawyers are also proficient at dealing with stubborn insurance companies and are crafty in getting them to pay you full value for your case. Lawyers that have handled similar cases over and over are experienced in how to make your case as valuable as possible. Insurance companies are much more intimidated by an experienced lawyer rather than a layperson, and having a lawyer on your side is often financially in your best interest.

Bruno Nalu

Thanks to our partners at Bruno Nalu for their extensive insight into Personal Injury.



$2.6 Million Dollars Awarded in California Wrongful Death Case

A California family has received a $2.6 million settlement in a wrongful death case involving the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In early evening hours during the spring of 2012, 7-year-old Angelica Arreola left her Ritter Elementary School after-school program after getting an award for her improvements in reading and math. The little girl was walking with her younger sister and parents on a marked school crosswalk when a vehicle sped through the intersection and struck the family, killing her father and leaving Angelica paralyzed with critical injuries. The driver fled the scene of the accident and still has yet to be identified or charged in the case. In late 2016, the 7-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries from the accident.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the Department of Public Works to issue a $2.6-million payout to the family to settle a civil lawsuit brought by her mother and younger sister over negligence, emotional distress and wrongful death. A separate settlement of $600,000 in the same case was approved by the Los Angeles Unified School District last year.

According to the lawsuit filing, county employees had known that this particular crosswalk, which is situated at the intersection of Watts Avenue and North Santa Ana Boulevard, was dangerous and needed to be addressed. Despite this information, school officials still recommended the intersection as a path on a map that suggested pedestrian routes to the school. Drivers turning from nearby South Alameda Street, a road that is meant for traffic moving at high speeds, were often unaware of the school nearby and the need to slow down in the area. The street also lacked speed bumps and stop signs, and a driver’s view of the crosswalk and school signs were obstructed by foliage and trees. An amended complaint filed in this case also noted that the crosswalk had been the subject of concern at community and school board meetings in the years leading up to the incident.

Previously, the Department of Public Works completed a traffic study in that area that concluded that the county should install 25-mph speed limit signs and an all-way stop control. The department also recommended upgraded school warning signs for the intersection to make them easier for drivers to see. The upgrades and repairs raised by the study were supposed to be done by the end of January 2012 but were never set in motion until after the fatal accident that took the lives of Angelica and her father.

County officials have declined to comment on this case, but in a letter and case summary sent to the Board of Supervisors in July, county attorneys recommended the settlement because of the uncertainties and risks involved in a trial and the potential liability exposure a trial would bring.

If you’ve lost someone you love because of the direct actions or negligence of someone else’s driving, be sure to speak an experienced car accident lawyer Denver CO locals trust about your case today.

Richard Banta Law

A special thanks to our partners at Richard Banta Law for providing their expertise on Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Law.

5 Myths About Visitation Rights and Custody Arrangements

Child custody battles tend to be stressful and upsetting to the parents and the children involved. However, many of our child custody clients have preconceived notions about how the case will play out in court. Sometimes these myths can keep clients from challenging custody arrangements. They can also lead to a defeatist attitude or an invincible attitude. We have found that it is better if our clients know what to expect regarding visitation rights and custody arrangements. Consulting with an experienced legal professional such as the Child Custody Attorney Phoenix AZ locals trust is critical.

Myth #1: The Mother is Preferred and Usually Wins

The law doesn’t actually have a predilection these days towards the mother. While mothers can and do win custody battles, they lose just as often. The court wants to determine who can provide the best environment for the child. Judges recognize that both the mother and father should play an important role in the child’s life. Regardless of the final decision, the court typically seeks to award custody in such a way that both parents can actively participate in raising their children.

Myth #2: Sole Custody Is a Common Solution

It’s not. Sole custody is rarely a solution offered by the courts. While one parent might be granted sole physical custody and sole legal custody, the courts will almost always grant visitation rights to the other parent. Unless the parent has done something that severely challenges the court’s ability to see them as a responsible or caring human being, both parents will be awarded some form of visitation.

Myth #3: Once the Court Decides, Nothing Will Ever Change

We see many clients who are concerned that child custody arrangements and visitation rights will be set for eternity once they are decided by a court of law. This simply isn’t true. The court is well aware that situations change as do people. If there is a valid reason to change custody arrangements in the future, the court is willing and available to make changes. The permanence of a court decision is typically a few months at a minimum, but for young children in particular it is possible and likely that the court will update the custody and visitation arrangements if a parent requests an update.

Myth #4: Grandparents Cannot Gain Visitation Rights

The ultimate struggle over child custody and visitation rights is generally between the two parents of the child. However, grandparents often step in when one parent is incapacitated or cannot properly care for a child. In cases where both parents are incapacitated, a grandparent may even win sole custody of the child with limited visitation rights given to the two parents. If the grandparents feel that they need visitation rights in order to help the child properly develop and that they have legitimate fears about whether or not they will be able to see the child, courts may rule in favor of the grandparents and provide visitation rights.

Myth #5: Courts Care Most About the Parent’s Needs

Courts do not care most about the parent’s needs. Instead, courts care most about the needs of the child and what living arrangement will be in their best interest. The “best interests of the child” is considered the standard in family law courts. The child’s best interests are determined by looking at who can provide the best physical, emotional, and developmental support to the child.

For more information on custody arrangements and visitation arrangements, please contact us. We will help you find the arrangement that works for you, your ex-partner, and most importantly your child. We understand how difficult this process can be and we will be with you every step of the way.

Hildebrand Law


A special thanks to our authors at Hildebrand Law for their expertise into Family Law.

The Importance of Seeing a Chiropractor When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

When you’ve been involved in a car accident for which you weren’t at fault, you’ll likely want to explore your options for seeking compensation for injuries you suffered. One of the most common methods of recovering damages is by filing a personal injury claim. However, these claims aren’t automatically accepted, which is why it’s essential that you take some steps to increase your chances for a successful claim.

Recovering Damages

A personal injury claim is a type of insurance claim that’s filed against the at-fault driver who caused your car crash. If you sustained injuries from this accident, it’s possible for you to obtain a substantial amount of compensation to cover everything from your specific medical costs to wages you’ve lost during your time off of work because of your injury.

Proof of Injury

In order for your personal injury claim to be accepted, you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve received medical care, which is why it’s important for you to keep track of any medical bills you receive and documents that detail the extent of your injuries. Even if you believe that you haven’t been injured in a crash, injuries from a car crash can take weeks to show signs, especially if the accident involved whiplash. If you’ve sustained a serious injury that requires surgery, a chiropractor Gaithersburg MD trusts can help you significantly with your recovery.

The Importance of a Chiropractic Examination

There are many types of common injuries that aren’t always obvious immediately after an accident. However, they can be detected and treated by a chiropractor. If these injuries are left untreated, you run the risk of developing a severe chronic condition and it may not be covered by your insurance. A study administered by the Centers for Disease Control in 2012 shows that just under 7,000 people went to an emergency room for treatment every day due to a car accident. This underscores the importance of seeking detection and treatment of your injuries before filing a claim.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s essential that you see a chiropractor or doctor immediately. A medical professional will document your injuries. Keep copies of your medical records and copies of any bills associated with your injuries. They will need to be submitted with your claim.

Why You Should Seek a Personal Injury Attorney When Filing a Claim

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with the costs and hardships that come with recovering from an accident that wasn’t even your fault. By retaining a personal injury lawyer, you increase your chances of having your claim approved. Once you’ve retained a personal injury lawyer, they will be able to assist you in filling out your claim and obtaining any necessary documents.

While it’s possible for your claim to be approved without the help of a personal injury attorney, there’s a much higher likelihood that you’ll be successful with their assistance. An experienced personal injury lawyer should be familiar with what is necessary to receive maximum compensation for damages sustained in an accident.

Pain & Arthritis Relief CenterThanks to our friends and contributors from Pain & Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into chiropractic care after a personal injury.

Common Causes of Medication Errors

Medication errors are far from rare; it’s estimated that medication mistakes kill one person every day but cause injury to about 1.3 million people every year across the US. Medication mistakes can occur at any point in the distribution system, from repackaging and dispensing to administering, prescribing, and monitoring. Unfortunately, most medication mistakes are preventable, leading to millions of avoidable injuries and fatalities.

Avoiding medication errors requires vigilance on the part of pharmacists, nurses, doctors, nursing home staff, and individuals. The following are the most common types and causes of these medical mistakes and how they can be prevented.

Types of Prescription Errors

The most common types of prescription errors include:

  • Errors in drug preparation when the medication is improperly formulated
  • Improper method of dosing
  • Incorrect dosage scheduling
  • Omission errors or failing to give a scheduled dose
  • Prescription mistakes such as the wrong dose, quantity, form, method, concentration, or rate of admission or the wrong drug selection based on a patient’s indications or allergies
  • Fragmented care mistakes due to a lack of communication between medical professionals

What Causes Medication Mistakes?

Medication mistakes can happen anywhere. Older adults are at the highest risk of medication mistakes as they often take many prescription drugs, although prescription errors can affect anyone. Aside from errors by the patient, medication mistakes are most likely to happen at pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Many prescription mistakes are often due to:

  • Human error, such as being distracted while reading a drug name, insufficient knowledge of contraindications and side effects, typographical errors, lack of communication, or memory lapse.
  • A patient may be inadvertently responsible for a medication error by failing to inform the doctor and/or pharmacist of their full medical history and the drugs they currently take.
  • A doctor, pharmacist, or nursing home staff member may be responsible for the mistake if they overlook medical information, contraindications, drug interactions, or are otherwise negligent.

Preventing Medication Errors

Avoiding potentially dangerous prescription errors requires cooperation and communication between patients, medical professionals, and staff in nursing homes and hospitals. Ways to prevent these mistakes include:

  • Know the patient by checking name, date of birth, weight, age, allergies, and other information before administering medication. The use of barcode armbands can help reduce the risk of administering errors.
  • Know the drug. Doctors, pharmacists, and doctors should use accurate drug information. Even if a doctor prescribes a medication with the wrong frequency, drug, or dose, another medical professional in the chain — such as the nurse who administers the drug — can avoid a dangerous error.
  • Strong communication. If you are a patient starting a new drug, ask about what the drug should do, how long it will take to see results, the dose, possible side effects, what to do if you miss a dose, and if it will interact with other medications.
  • Accurate documentation. Medical professionals should maintain accurate records of drugs that are administered, including drug name, dose, time, route, patient response, and whether the patient refused.
  • Medication reconciliation, an important process that involves comparing a patient’s current prescription orders to all medications the patient is taking. This process can help prevent omissions, duplications, dosage mistakes, and drug interactions.

Prescription Errors and Medical Malpractice

Many medication errors are caused by medical negligence on the part of a pharmacy, doctor, nurse, or nursing home staff member. Doctors who prescribe medications have a duty to assess the benefits and risks of the drug against the patient’s health, the known side effects of the drug, and how the drug will interact with other medications the patient is taking. Pharmacists have a legal duty to correctly read and fill the doctor’s prescription. Nurses and care providers who administer drugs have a duty to provide the right drug in the right dose at the correct time and within accepted protocol.

If a medical provider fails in any of these duties, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim if you are injured as a result. Medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously complex, but an experienced personal injury lawyer Charlottesville VA trusts can help you investigate your case to determine if a medical provider’s negligence contributed to your injury, whether it was caused by a failure to warn, a dispensing error, or wrongful administration.

MartinWren, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

Should You Revise Your Will After Getting a Personal Injury Settlement?

A personal injury settlement is compensation awarded to a person who suffered a personal injury caused by another person or a company. In some instances, the personal injury award can be significant. Also, depending on the agreement, the settlement may be paid out as a lump sum or as a series of separate payments.

Regardless of how it’s paid out, if there will be funds left over after paying for your medical bills, you may wish to consider revising your will. However, there are several issues to consider before making your decision.

Relationship Changes

It’s not uncommon for a serious personal injury to leave the victim with long term or even permanent disability. The resulting condition can force drastic changes in the person’s life that might include structural changes to their house for easier access to the inability to return to the workforce. Sadly, debilitating injuries can also affect personal relationships– with partners, friends, and family members. This can change your view as to who should inherit your assets after you pass. On the upside, you may have a person or persons who enter your life as a result of your injury and who go to great lengths to care for you. As a result, you may want to include these caregivers in your will.

Legal Consultation

It is important to talk to a wills and trusts lawyer Scottsdale AZ relies on about updating a will to include personal injury settlement details. An estate planning attorney can review your situation, the terms of your settlement, and your final issues. After careful consideration, your attorney can then provide guidance as to how you may want to construct your will to reflect your final wishes. In addition, you may wish to ask yourself these questions when determining if you should update your will after receiving a personal injury settlement:

  • After your injury related costs have been covered by your settlement, do you have a sum of money left over? If so, you may wish to designate heirs for any monies left over after your passing.
  • Do you wish to add anyone to your will who you did not name in your current will?
  • Do you wish to remove anyone from your will who you had previously named?
  • Do you currently have ongoing medical care costs that will cease after your passing? Your settlement award might have been calculated to include costs beyond your life expectancy. In that case, your estate may end up with more assets than you had anticipated.

If you received a personal injury settlement award, you may wish to consider consulting an estate planning attorney about the possibility of revising your will.

Hildebrand LawThanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into estate planning and wills.