In PO v. JS, the Hawaii Court of Appeals ruled that neither parent can waive or invoke a child’s patient-therapist privilege if the parents themselves are involved in litigation over the child.    The Father was attempting to assert the child’s privilege to prevent the therapist from testifying. The Mother called the therapist as a […]

Mandatory Mediation Clauses Thrown Out in Maine

by Annette Burns on July 25, 2016

It’s fairly common for a parenting plan or parenting time order to include a clause like this:   “If the parties are unable to reach an agreement regarding any change to this parenting agreement, they will request mediation either through the court or via a private mediator of their choice prior to bringing any court action.” […]

Facebook is Good Evidence

by Annette Burns on July 21, 2016

If you’re going to assert in court that you are having no contact with someone, it’s probably best not to have Facebook conversations going on with that person. In an Arkansas guardianship case, a mother sought to terminate her child’s guardianship (the child was placed with an aunt).  The guardianship was set up based on […]

Continuing from the 5/23 post on Jordan v. Rea, about how an Arizona court will choose a school if the parents can’t agree, this is Jordan’s discussion of how private school tuition factors into the decision. When choosing a school, the issue of including private school tuition in the child support calculation must also be […]

What Will the Court Do if We Can’t Agree on a School?

May 23, 2016

Parents with joint legal decision-making rights face this issue all the time.  What if the parents can’t agree on what school the child will attend?   This comes up when a child is first starting kindergarten, again when middle school is imminent, and again for high school. First, in Arizona, is this a decision the court will […]

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Telling the Children About Divorce

March 14, 2016

Here’s something family lawyers get asked all the time:   How do we tell the kids?   This HuffPost article addresses it in a pretty direct way, by age group.   At all ages, it seems that the things children are most concerned about is how the changes will affect THEM, so anything you can […]

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Domestic Violence and Abuse Trainings – current

February 24, 2016

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has several upcoming trainings that can help meet the DV and child abuse requirements for those issuing reports in court matters — see their events calendar here. More trainings are available at Unhooked Books, including A Trauma-Informed Approach to Child Abuse and Trafficking.

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Time Again For That Dependency Exemption Thing

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 […]

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What To Call a Stepparent; Who Chooses?

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 […]

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Arizona Family Law in 2015

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 […]

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