New Case Limits Application of Hays v. Gama

by Annette Burns on September 4, 2018

A 2003 case, Hays v. Gama has been cited repeatedly, and often incorrectly, for the proposition that a trial court cannot exclude evidence that would tend to add information about a child’s best interests, no matter how late that evidence is produced or whether it violates disclosure requirements.   That misuse of the Hays findings is […]

Help Your Client Be More Comfortable With Mediation

by Annette Burns on August 13, 2018

The purpose of this post is to give attorneys a template that can be provided to their clients prior to mediation, to make the client more comfortable during mediation and let them know what to expect.    The attorney will need to modify this form to reflect the actual type of mediation and mediator you’re […]

Equal Parenting Time Gets Another Boost from COA

by Annette Burns on July 31, 2018

As of today, July 31, 2018, we have new pronouncements from the Arizona Court of Appeals about equal parenting time.   (Hint:  They’re in favor of it.)    The findings don’t bode well for those parents who oppose equal time sharing arrangements (in cases where there are no provable parenting deficits) on the basis that “the children […]

Devices in Divorce: The Apps are Traps

by Annette Burns on July 6, 2018

Right now, if my partner threw me out of the house, I could make him crazy   I could turn on the speakers in three rooms of the house, delete everything he wants to record on TV, delete all his upcoming travel information, charge movies and special events to his account, turn the house alarm off […]

Paul E Part II: Quasi-Judicial Immunity for Court-Appointed Professionals

July 2, 2018

In a recent post, I discussed the Court of Appeals’ April decision in Paul E. v. Courtney F. and how it affects what a trial court can do in making decisions for children when the parents can’t.  A third aspect of that case involved the court’s ability to grant quasi-judicial immunity to a court-appointed therapist […]

Read the full article →

Court’s Authority to Direct a Parent’s Decision-Making is Limited

April 11, 2018

Paul E. v. Courtney F., was decided by the Arizona Court of Appeals, Div. I, on April 3, 2018. This important Division 1 Court of Appeals case defines provisions of legal decision-making, both joint and sole, and severely restricts the trial court’s ability to make decisions for a child’s best interests. The three primary takeaway […]

Read the full article →

What is Child Support Supposed to Cover?

March 21, 2018

Lawyers are commonly asked what the child support paid from one parent to the other is supposed to cover?  If Mother pays child support, the children should bring all their clothes, shoes and underwear when they stay at her home, right?   If Mother is receiving child support, shouldn’t she have to pay for 100% of […]

Read the full article →

Legal Decision Making and Court’s Authority to Make School Choice is Clarified

March 2, 2018

Jordan v. Rea regarding school choice can’t be relied on as authority that a superior court should be making school choice decisions when parents are unable to do this.    Nicaise v. Sundaram, (March 1, 2018, Arizona Court of Appeals, Div 1) explicitly states, finally, that “the court’s statutorily prescribed role is not to make decisions […]

Read the full article →

Cheat Sheet: What’s “domestic violence” under Arizona statutes?

February 21, 2018

In Engstrom v. McCarthy (January 9, 2018), the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding of domestic violence based on insufficient findings.    “It may well be that some of Father’s actions constituted domestic violence under the statute.  The court, however, relied on many acts that do not statutorily constitute domestic violence, and did […]

Read the full article →

Holidays and Divorce Guide for Coparents

November 29, 2017

Here’s a Holiday Guide for Coparents from that could be helpful. Why not drop an email to your co-parent and tell him or her what you have planned for Christmas presents and holiday activities for the kids—even if you don’t expect the other parent to reciprocate?  Why not be the bigger person and offer […]

Read the full article →