Jay Hall's answer The state where your children have lived for the last six months has jurisdiction over child custody. If there isn't such a state, then it may be where the children were born. Once you identify which state has jurisdiction, you will need to file there to establish your parental rights.
Jay Hall's answer It sounds like Wyoming has jurisdiction over the child custody issues, so you would need to ask an attorney licensed to practice there. In Arizona, this situation would not warrant an emergency, but could justify modification. Emergencies are reserved for when there is imminent risk of irreparable harm to a child. If Wyoming offers temporary orders during the pendency of the underlying modification, that could be an option for you as well. I just can't speculate because I'm only licensed to...
Jay Hall's answer A parent's earning capacity is irrelevant to the determination of parenting time and/or legal decision-making. Your living situation may be a factor though if the home is too crowded to appropriately accommodate the children.
Jay Hall's answer Res judicata is an affirmative defense that precludes a claim. It's unclear what effect you believe it will have on the competing orders of protection, but no, it won't affect the orders of protection nor the ability to obtain a new one once a current order expires.
Jay Hall's answer It's unclear what you mean by custody. In Arizona, custody has been replaced by "legal decision-making" and "parenting time." The latter significantly influences the child support calculation. The more parenting time you have with your children, the less you have to pay in child support.
Jay Hall's answer Child support is calculated based on a standardized formula. It doesn't account for your bills because the child is prioritized above all other expenses. You can find the current (2015) Arizona Child Support calculator online to double check the court's math. If circumstances have changed since the order was entered that would reduce (or increase) child support at least 15%, you can file to modify.
Jay Hall's answer You'd need to ask a California attorney. I am not licensed to practice there but I can tell you that if the process is anything like Arizona, it sounds like paternity may have been established against you (no DNA test is required here). If so, it's going to be very difficult to undo it. You'll want to contact a California family lawyer for a consultation.
Jay Hall's answer When child support is established, it may be established retroactively for up to three years. So, yes, theoretically she could ask for back support for up to that amount of time. I'll warn you that the amount you pay is very little based on your limited parenting time. While you could try to offset retroactive establishment with what you've actually paid, you may still have a significant deficit. Additionally, the family court can treat those payments as a gift and not count them at all toward...
Jay Hall's answer Your spousal support is unrelated to child support. If you believe you have overpaid child support, you can pursue recovery, but it will not offset the obligation you owe in spousal support.
Jay Hall's answer Not on that basis, but you shouldn't worry. The initial appearance is likely a preliminary hearing such as a resolution management conference or a return hearing and you will not be prejudiced by not having an attorney.
Jay Hall's answer Yes, unrelated third parties can seek custody or visitation rights pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-409. These cases are extraordinarily complex and involve constitutional issues. The family friend should schedule a free consultation with experienced family law counsel.
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