Time Again For That Dependency Exemption Thing

by Annette Burns on February 2, 2016

Tax time is here, and once again I’ll note that you MUST have a Form 8332 executed by the custodial parent (the parent who has the children at least 50% of the time) in order to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return, even if you are POSITIVE that the dependency exemption […]

What To Call a Stepparent; Who Chooses?

by Annette Burns on January 30, 2016

When Mom and Dad don’t live together, and one or both parents enter a new relationship, it’s common for a child to have other significant adult figures in their lives. What should a child call the new stepmother/ stepfather?     What if the child is calling him or her “Mom” or “Dad”?    What if the parent […]

Arizona Family Law in 2015

by Annette Burns on December 30, 2015

So what happened in family law in Arizona in 2015? Well, a few things. 1. Parenting Coordinator Rule change. The original parenting coordinator rule came into effect for the first time on January 1, 2006. Before that, there was no such thing as parenting coordination in Arizona. The rule has been slightly modified a couple […]

Custody and parenting time myths, Part II

by Annette Burns on October 7, 2015

Here’s part 2 of 2 on custody and parenting time myths. Since we argue a lot, sending messages through the children is the best way to communicate. Using your children as a messengers is always a bad idea.  It’s harmful to them, and it’s usually strictly forbidden in your court orders (because judges know how […]

Custody and parenting time myths, Part I

October 5, 2015

Here are some custody and parenting time myths most family lawyers hear about and have to dispel.  This is part 1 of 2, the first five:   The kids get to choose who they live with as soon as they are 12 (or 14, or whatever). False. I’ve always wondered where this myth started, because […]

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Everything in Mediation Remains Confidential, Unless One of Four Specific Exceptions is Met

September 30, 2015

ARS §12-2238 is Arizona’s mediation statute, and it provides: B.   The mediation process is confidential. Communications made, materials created for or used and acts occurring during a mediation are confidential and may not be discovered or admitted into evidence unless one of the following exceptions is met: All of the parties to the mediation […]

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PC Training in Domestic Violence and Child Abuse – Update September 2015

September 28, 2015

This is an updated post from one I did in July 2014.    I get asked all the time about how a parenting coordinator or other court-appointed professional can get the domestic violence and child abuse training that is required by Arizona statute. The statute is Arizona Revised Statutes 25-406C.   It requires that any person who submits […]

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Parenting Coordinator Rule Changes in Arizona

September 8, 2015

This year in Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court convened a committee to review the parenting coordination rule, Rule 74, ARFLP, and make recommendations for changes. That Committee met several times and received numerous comments from parenting coordinators, attorneys, organizations, judges, and the public, particularly public users of parenting coordination services.   After sorting through the comments […]

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Trial Court is Limited in the Ability to Discipline Children for Not Seeing a Parent

August 24, 2015

A Maine court has rejected a trial judge’s attempt to order specific punishment for children if they refused to visit a parent.  Violette v. Violette, Maine, July 30, 2015.  Because the trial judge felt that Mother was not strict enough on the children, the court ordered that if a child refused to visit with Father, […]

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Custody Evaluators: Please STOP Including These Holiday Provisions in Your Recommendations! (Part 2 of 2)

August 17, 2015

This is a continuation of the previous post which asks that custody evaluators change some Parenting Plan provisions that cause problems for the parents.  Many of the problems stem from holiday definitions that require the parents to have extra exchanges of the children (exchanges that can’t be done through school).   When parents have trouble at […]

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