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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: Does the minor have to file an emancipation petition in person? Or can a guardian receive it and fill it out at home?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Nov 17, 2023

Someone can assist a minor with completing a Petition for Emancipation, but the minor must be the one signing the Petition in the presence of a Notary. If a minor is not capable of completing a Petition for Emancipation, I would have serious concerns about their capacity to be found entitled to... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Personal Injury for Utah on
Q: I got into a situation defending a friend that was being beaten up I have charges being filed on me

I was visiting a friend and there was an argument between us and the neighbors . My friends boyfriend went outside and the neighbors started physically assaulting him. I went put to help him and one of them hit me from behind in the eye with a weapon. All of a sudden I hear gun fire and I pull... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 30, 2023

Your question has a long list of variables. You really do need to sit down with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can review your criminal history (if any) and the charges you are facing, and discuss the circumstances of your arrest to determine what the best course of action is in your... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Ex filed for reduced child support. He was making 88k a year, was fired twice, now makes 44k. Is his potential 88k/yr?

My ex husband just filed for a modification to his child support payment. He will pay nothing after this modification. He has been fired from multiple jobs in the last year. He originally made 88k when we divorced. Can I argue that his potential income is 88k, but that he is trying to earn less to... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jan 26, 2023

You can and you should argue that he is "willfully underemployed." He will need to explain the reasons for being separated from those jobs. If the Court determines he has the capacity to earn the 88k, they should leave the child support intact.

If you have not retained competent...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: Im wondering what an affirmative defense means in utah pertaining to an overdose and who can claim it and how

Im wondering if the person who overdosed can claim affirmative defense and how it works. Its 58-37-8(16) of the utah crimial code im wondering about. About a month ago i overdosed and i was arrested. Now im facing possesion charges. I dont have a lawyer so i have been trying to research as much as... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Dec 1, 2022

As Mr. Cramer has stated, you really need an attorney whether you qualify to have one appointed or whether you are able to retain private counsel. You can argue an affirmative defense, but that defense would be argued at trial and over 90% of criminal cases resolve before trial. Counsel will be... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: My husband hit my ex’s car window, now he’s being charged with disorderly conduct. Is getting an attorney worthwhile?

I was trying to speak to my ex husband about our children, and he disrespectfully rolled up his window while repeating, “I don’t care.” My husband approached the vehicle. He slapped the car window (open palm) to get my ex’s attention and asked him to listen to me. My ex then rolled the... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Nov 28, 2022

Consulting an attorney could be particularly important if the disorderly conduct charge carries a "domestic violence tag." There could be Second Amendment rights implications in the future under the federal Violence Against Women Act. A defense attorney may be able to negotiate a... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: If someone shot at your house and you took off after them and shot the person ? Why would you serve life for protecting
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Nov 22, 2022

Because you can only use deadly force to defend yourself from an active threat to your life. If you have to "take off after someone" you become the aggressor and could be found guilty of murder if your shooting them results in their death. A life sentence is the potential outcome of a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Arizona on
Q: hello what does exanoration of bond mean also surrender defendant

im just wondering what thos mean thats whats said on court dockets

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jun 11, 2023

Exoneration of the bond means the Court will advise whoever put up the bond that it has been released and the bond holder is no longer liable.

Surrender defendant means the defendant showed up.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Is it possible to obtain Legal Custody of a child that isn't yours, but that you've raised 50% of the time for 10 years?

I've got a friend that started dating a man (Father) that had a 6-month old child, conceived between him and a surrogate (Biological Mother). Shortly after the birth of the child, Biological Mother exited the equation... and my friend (Mother) entered.

She raised the child as her own... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jun 1, 2023

Your friend should discuss adoption with a competent Arizona-licensed family law attorney. It sounds like she has been filling the role of parent, she should seek to be legally recognized as the adoptive parent she is.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: What happens when you locate to a different state without other parents consent?

I'm currently in a relationship where I'm getting verbally and mentally abused and I'm not doing okay. I'm not sure at what point this will turn physical. I'm considering moving back to WI with our 3 month old baby to be in a better and safe environment. The thing is... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Sep 14, 2022

With all due respect to Ms. Sirlin, if you can prove that you are being emotionally abused, you have to do what is right for you and your child. With the slim set of facts you have presented, it sounds like your best course of action would be to relocate to Wisconsin and immediately file an action... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Can a parent relocate without the other parents agreement?

Live in Phoenix AZ and would like to relocate to Green Bay WI to be with family with my 3 month old. Can I relocate without the fathers permission? We have never been married nor separated, are only dating and each file as single.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Sep 14, 2022

This is an extremely complicated situation. Have you discussed the situation with the child's father? Your life will be much less likely to implode if you discuss the situation with him and have a written agreement allowing you to relocate. I HIGHLY recommend that if you are allowed to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Will an Acknowledgment of paternity cancel out court ruled severed rights?

I did not put my child’s fathers name on the birth certificate. I took him to court to have his rights severed. He was never in the child’s life. The judge agreed and severed his rights. I am now in need to have his name either on the birth certificate or have him sign an Acknowledgment of... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 18, 2022

I cannot imagine a scenario where the father's race would make a scintilla of difference UNLESS the father is associated with a Native American or Alaska Native tribe. THAT would make a huge difference and could cancel the Court's termination of parental rights if it was not considered... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Utah on
Q: I have 2 children with a man that I haven't seen in 4 years or heard from in 3 years, can I get his rights taken away?

I have 2 children with a man I was with over 5 years ago (we were never married), since then I have had 2 more kids and gotten married. We have no contact with my 2 oldest children's father and he periodically will pay some child support but still owes us thousands of dollars in back child... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 8, 2022

You could incorporate a petition to terminate the father's rights with a petition to adopt the two children if that is what your husband desires and the children are on board (if they are old enough to have a say). If your husband is not planning to adopt the children, there really is not a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: At what point will a judge enter a default judgment due to inability to serve?

My ex has been hostile and withholding her new physical address from me but all information she has provided constitutes custodial kidnapping. Tonight I received a text after requesting the address that I could have it once she was provided with information she wants (there is a clause in the... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 8, 2022

No, you do not yet have enough to seek a default judgment. Your next step is to request alternative service. I highly encourage you to find a qualified family law attorney in the jurisdiction where your child custody order was entered to assist you in this process.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: If I’m an addict still using and the father never used can dad take baby home
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 8, 2022

I presume you and the baby were tested if you delivered in a medical facility. If the baby tested positive, it is likely that CPS will take action against you. Depending on how chronic your dependence is, your parental rights could be terminated. There will be a legal process and you will have the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Arizona on
Q: Boyfriend signed me as Emergency contact in ER registration, but son was defaulted as medical poa. Pneumonia, Now what?

In Arizona, we live together for 8 years. Trust has no Medical POA. Only a will. We moved 3 mos. ago to mfg home in my name. Boyfriends IRA (I am beneficiary) and healthy checking. Balance. Revocable Trust dated 2017, attorney disbarred in 2018. No e-file.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jul 21, 2022

"Now what?" is a really vague question, but I am answering with the presumption that your question is "how do I make my boyfriend my medical POA?" You need to execute a medical POA and provide the hospital a copy.

You can find the form for the State of Arizona here:...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Can my husband be present during the drop off and pick up exchange with my ex?

My ex claimed he has an restraining order against my husband therefore my husband is not allowed at the drop off and pick up exchanges for the children. It has come to our knowledge that there is no restraining order nor injunction of harassment , we went to multiple courts where they can't... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jul 12, 2022

If your current husband has not been served with notice of a restraining order and your ex cannot produce proof of such an order being in place, there is no legal reason your husband cannot be present during custody exchanges.

I would suggest he remain in the vehicle and not interact with...
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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Advice on custody hearing from struggling single parent

My ex, who lives out of the country and hasn't made financial contributions in my child's upbringing, wants visitation and decision-making rights. Can I insist that if he wants visitation he should pay child support? Should I mention in the final hearing that I have a boyfriend who wants... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jul 5, 2022

There are so many variables. If there is any way you can consult with a competent family law attorney in Pima County, I suggest you do so. If your ex has not made any financial contributions and lives outside the US, I think you have a good case for limiting his visitation to supervised visitation... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Utah on
Q: Is a work safety policy that prohibits workers from leaving the building to go home or to the restroom legal?

When lightning is reported within a certain number of miles, employees are prohibited from leaving the building until no strikes have been recorded for 30 minutes. They are told they cannot go home if this happens at the end of shift and are also prohibited from using restroom facilities which are... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jul 1, 2022

So many issues.

"Is it legal?" is a loaded question. There is nothing specifically illegal about having a policy in place. Employers can make a policy about nearly anything and employees may choose to follow the policy, seek other employment, or ignore the policy and risk...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: I received a copy of a Motion to Set and Certificate of Readiness. Do I need to file a response?

I do not agree with what is stated in this motion, I am not ready & I cannot afford legal counsel.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jun 30, 2022

Yes. If you do not respond, the Court can set the matter for trial whether you are ready or not.

Do an internet search for "Arizona legal self-help." There are resources that may assist you in responding.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How do I proceed when arresting officers, public defender also judge are coercing/ bullying me and requests for change o

Change of lawyer are ignored and forcing me to stay with current lawyer who can't be trusted even. A little bit please help

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jun 28, 2022

You are entitled to representation. You are NOT entitled to different representation because you do not approve of the representative provided to you. Your option is to find a way to pay for private counsel. Otherwise, your lawyer is your lawyer unless a conflict of interest arises (conflict of... View More

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