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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
3 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I have full physical custody & 50% legal in California I moved to Arizona 2 yrs ago can I open a case in az?

1 child moved here already mom won’t allow second child to move

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 29, 2021

If Mom and the second child remain in California, California will retain jurisdiction over both children if the previous order was issued by a California court. It is almost impossible to get a state to give up jurisdiction over a case if either parent or any child remains in the state where the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My son is 15 years old and i have a few questions i need some help with

My son is 15, my ex and i split up when he was 7 and he was spending time between the 2 of us, then one day he tells me if i want to see him again, to take him to court. I never did because my family advised against it, so i haven't seen him in years. Now, he got arrested in Utah and my ex... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 27, 2021

So many questions. Were you married? Is the ex on the birth certificate? Was there EVER a custody order entered by any court? How long ago was "one day"? Have you remained in communication with your 15 year old? Does he WANT to live with grandma or with you in Utah? Does grandma have a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: If both parents can agree that one of the parents should have sole custody. Can I just get something notarized?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 22, 2021

If you cannot afford an attorney, I recommend you carefully read and follow the instructions at https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/family/divorce-proceedings/.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Hello my oldest daughter is 12 years of age i also have a 10 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. Question is, it

Legal for my 12 year old to be home alone with the other 2 from 3 pm to 3to5 am

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 16, 2021

Utah Code Annotated 34-23-205 lists "baby-sitting" as a permitted occupation for minors 12 years of age or older, so the short answer to "is it legal" would be yes. The reasonableness of leaving minor children in the care of another minor is subjective and would be reviewed by... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: I’m at a loss as what to do. My ex and his wife are harassing me every day about what I can and can’t do with my kids.

My kids have been kept from me for 2 weeks then returned to me. I’m told what I can and can’t do with them on a daily basis. They won’t allow my 19 year old son to watch them when I need to work so now I’m not able to work as I have nobody else to watch them when they are with me. And our... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 14, 2021

Until the custody order is modified, the Illinois order remains the agreement between you two. Unless the order specifically empowers your ex to dictate who can provide child care, he has no authority to direct you who can and cannot watch your child(ren). If there is a right of first refusal... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Arizona on
Q: Child tax credit

My grandson lives with me. His mother claimed his on 2020 taxes. I will claim him on 2021. Mom and father are not married and are drug addicts, unknown addresses. How do I ensure I receive the child tax credit and she doesn't receive them? I do not have legal custody but he has lived with... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 13, 2021

Unless you have some form of legal custody of your grandson, I do not believe you are entitled to claim him on your taxes. You should consult a tax professional to be sure (accountant or tax attorney), but I am highly confident that you cannot claim your grandson on your taxes or get any kind of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: How to revoke a power of attorney?

How do I find a Pro Bono lawyer?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 12, 2021

To revoke the POA, you should destroy the original and any copies. You should also either execute a new POA which states all previous POAs are revoked. Alternatively, you could execute a document which specifically revokes the existing POA and entrust the original of that document to someone who... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Native American Law, Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: My son wants his stepfather to adopt him, but my son and I are Native American. Can we still file for ourselves in Utah?

My son and I are both members of a federally recognized tribe. We do not live on the reservation. I assume ICWA will apply, but as neither biological father or step father are Native American, I am sure my tribe would consent. Bio father has not contacted my son or paid child support in over 5... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 8, 2021

I agree with Mr. Barnes and would encourage you to hire a competent family law attorney if you are able. If you cannot afford an attorney, I would encourage you to move forward with the forms provided by the court system. If there is a box to check next to (10), don't check it. If there is not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Arizona on
Q: The person we had TEMPORARILY caring 4 our dog as we searched for a place to live, is trying to keep him. What can I do

Someone had been watching our dog as we looked for a place to live. Among other things, the pandemic prolonged the time it took to do so (4 months). Right before we were to contact the guy to get our dog, he randomly texted and said he killed the dog and threw him in the fire. Devistated, we... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 2, 2021

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as merely requesting a civil standby. I have not filed a case like this personally, but I believe you should be able to file a case in justice court instead of at the superior court level since all you are seeking is possession of the property (dog). The fees will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Paternity Mess

I have a rather unusual problem. I live in Utah and am the disconnected part of a polyamorous triad wherein the other two partners happened to get married before they explored polyamory. They happily have a child together and we all have been happy for about five years. Now I am having a child with... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 14, 2021

You are correct that you should list yourself as the father on the birth certificate. You need to voluntarily relinquish your parental rights and allow the husband to adopt the child. You need to understand that this will forever extinguish any legal rights you would have with the child (although... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: I have an in-home intervention w/court oversight with DCS. If I give my Brother guardianship will Dcs close the case
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 14, 2021

The short answer is no. DCS will likely keep the case open until they are confident there is no longer a concern that the child(ren) will be abused or neglected. Merely giving your brother guardianship is not extremely reassuring; particularly because it is your brother and DCS will likely consider... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Q: If I've run away from home and am living somewhere else unofficially can I contact my family? Can my dad take me home?

I ran away from home recently and DCFS hasn't really been over to tell me where I was going and what I was doing. They came over once to see if I had a place to go and a bed to sleep in, etc. The agent told the family I'm staying with that my father can legally take me home with him... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 11, 2021

There is no reason you cannot contact your family and for the sake of your future relationship with them, you should. Until someone else is appointed your guardian, you are emancipated, or you turn 18; yes, your father could take you home. As your parent, he has that right.

In order to be...
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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Utah on
Q: Can I get emancipated from a family that's abusive without legal consent from my parents? I'm 16

I've recently ran away from home because my dad has been abusive for years and I have gotten a bunch of support from my friends and my friends got me out of the house. I was in some trouble for another legal thing that I also need answers for. When I ran away I was talking with my local police... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 10, 2021

Utah Legal Services may be able to connect you with a local attorney who could help you pro bono (free). The short answer is "yes, you can be emancipated without your parents consent." You will need to show that you can actually support yourself and not rely on the family you are staying... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Internet Law for Arizona on
Q: Is this pediatricians encouraging parents to violate cp laws?

"Mink says pediatricians should ask parents to video-tape the episodes before performing invasive and often expensive tests that could be unnecessary."

Um.... Doesn't us code 2252 and 2251 prohibit people from recording their children engaging in these types of activities?... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 28, 2021

If a pediatrician asked a parent to videotape a behavior for diagnostic purposes, I believe a court would find such recording an exception to any law prohibiting such. If the person doing the recording was my client, I would ensure it is delivered to the physician as soon as possible after... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: My mom is keeping my kids from me and she has given both of them away to people i dont know what do i do?

I signed over custody of my kids to both my parents. My mom took my kids to Ohio and wont let me or my dad talk/see them. She gave my daughter to a family ive never met before and wejust got a message from a family friend saying she doesnt have chandler anymore. How do i find out where they are... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 26, 2021

If you relinquished your parental rights when you "signed over custody," you have no options. Without a lot more information, it will be difficult to provide you much useful guidance. I strongly encourage you to consult with an Arizona family law attorney. There are pro bono resources... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a 5-month old baby. I am not with her father. He uses drugs. We were never married. Does he have right

He is on the birth certificate. Can I have him removed?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 13, 2021

In order to have him removed from the birth certificate, you would have to terminate his parental rights. If he agrees, you could file a stipulated petition to have his rights terminated. The courts look upon termination of parental rights as a last resort. Without his agreement, it would likely be... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: is my drivers license no longer suspended after paying an old speeding ticket

my drivers license in nevada was suspended after not paying a speeding ticket i got in 2013. today i paid the ticket and it’s now paid off and no longer in warrant status. i now live in utah, after taking care of the ticket today is my license no longer suspended? i know i need to get my license... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 11, 2021

You will need to have your driving "privilege" reinstated in Nevada which will involve paying the reinstatement fee. Once your privilege has been restored in Nevada, you may apply for your Utah license.

Having lived in both states and dealt with both motor vehicle departments I...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Education Law for Arizona on
Q: My husband and I have a dispute about which school to send our child to. What happens in terms of legal matters?

If no one is willing to compromise, what will end up happening in terms of the law?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Apr 23, 2021

The first thing to do is review your divorce decree and/or child custody order. If one parent has sole legal custody, that parent decides where the child goes to school. This would be unusual. Joint legal custody is the norm. In some instances, however, a decree or order will indicate that the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I requested to have my judgement set aside and have been denied, for the reason ARS 13-907(E). I need assistance.

I have had no legal trouble before of after my judgement in 2013. In my plea agreement, the court was reduced to "non dangerous". Specifically 13-907 #2 the only "register" I had was enter into probation for the charges of aggravated assault, (non dangerous, non repetitive).... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 23, 2021

E. This section does not apply to a person who was convicted of a criminal offense:

1. Involving a dangerous offense.

2. For which the person is required or ordered by the court to register pursuant to section 13-3821.

3. For which there has been a finding of sexual...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Appeals / Appellate Law for Utah on
Q: I was convicted through plea bargain of a inchoate and principal offense. But there is a statue that says Utah 76-4-302

It’s prohibited to convict someone of a inchoate and principal offense. What can I do ?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 19, 2021

Ultimately the answer is "likely nothing." The time to dispute the contents of a plea agreement is prior to entering the plea agreement. The Court takes a lot of time to ask a lot of questions on the day the plea is entered. Questions like: "Have you reviewed the agreement?"... Read more »

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