Continuing on the topic of the court’s authority when it comes to therapy, this post discusses the court’s overall authority to get involved with it:   Can the court order a parent into therapy?  Can a parenting coordinator?  Can the court order a child into therapy over the objections of one or both parents?   Can the […]

Two of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted issues in family court in Arizona today are the family court’s authority to (a) order a child’s therapy or medical records sealed from a parent, often called either “safe harbor” or “safe haven” therapy; and (b) order a parent or a child into therapy or therapeutic intervention.  [Writer’s […]

Retroactive Modifications Add Up to Headaches

by Annette Burns on March 4, 2019

The Court of Appeals decision in Amadore v. Lifgren was partially discussed in this January 7 blog post, but I didn’t mention the court’s other holdings regarding modifications of child support and spousal maintenance.    While the trial court had modified the Father’s spousal maintenance and child support obligations, the retroactive dates the court used in […]

Try To Stop A Custody “Battle”

by Annette Burns on February 9, 2019

I don’t often just post a link here, but I’m traveling this week and this article truly struck me as advice that so many of us could use. If every parent could spend some time considering and following the advice in this article, less time and money would be spent with the court system, attorneys, […]

Rule Changes: Rule 6, Change of Judge as a Matter of Right

January 28, 2019

Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure for Family Law Cases (notice of change of judge) has changed pretty dramatically.   Previously, the change of judge procedure was identical to that in the Rules of Civil Procedure. The family law rule simply said “See Rule 42, Rules of Civil Procedure”.  This is no longer the case. […]

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Legal Decision Making and Court’s Authority to Make School Choice is AGAIN Clarified: Nicaise v. Sundaram

January 25, 2019

[originally posted MARCH 2, 2018, updated January 21, 2019]        Nicaise v. Sundaram, Arizona Supreme Court, No. CV-18-0089-PR Last March (2018) the Arizona Court of Appeals issued its decision in Nicaise, defining that a trial court’s authority to direct parental decisions was very limited.   That holding remains in effect as good law in Arizona.  But on […]

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What Do I Need to Know About the 2019 Family Law Rules Changes? (Part 1 of several)

January 14, 2019

The Rules changed on 1/1/2019, so how extensive were the changes?   There are a number of substantive changes to cover, and this article in the  Arizona Attorney in January covered some of those.  There was extensive restyling, meaning that the language and wording in many rules was changed and (hopefully) simplified.   Some renumbering occurred, mostly […]

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2018 Cases Wrapped Up: Amadore and Davis – and the new Rules

January 7, 2019

Amadore v. Lifgren.   (2018)  While this case involved the modification of spousal maintenance and child support retroactive to the date of filing for modification, and discussed how to handle the overpayments made as the result of the retroactive reduction in those amounts, I found the most interesting holding in this case to be that the […]

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New Case Limits Application of Hays v. Gama: Johnson v. Provoyeur

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 […]

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Help Your Client Be More Comfortable With Mediation

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 […]

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