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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Hypothetical situation given in the details.

A girl experienced sexual abuse by her father as a baby. The mother of the baby found out but could not report or leave the father because she lacked evidence. With a long history of psychiatric issues the mother was afraid that her child would be taken from her and end up living with the father.... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 26, 2020

Mandatory reporting requirements are meant to ensure the safety of the child or vulnerable adult who could be abused or neglected. According to the facts you have provided, the child no longer exists (because they are now an adult). Without a potential victim, I would argue the duty to report does... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: When our parents were married our father had 2 kids with another women during the marriage.

both my parents are now decesed there was a will and trust neither are mentioned and now those sibling are contacting us. Do we let them know they are not included in will nor named in trustor just ignore? There really is no money just a little equity in the home once it sells. It does state in... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 15, 2020

This is not a family law question, just FYI. This should be asked in wills and probate to increase the chances of getting a better answer. The common sense answer is "don't be an a-hole, talk to your half siblings and explain things to them." The legal answer is, you should really... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: What is the definition of a Highway in citation # 28-955B

We were pulled over for unlawful muffler cutout or by pass and the citation says it is only a violation of traveling on a highway. The street we were pulled over on was Ajo way and Dodge Blvd defiantly not a highway

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 13, 2020

"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained by the federal government, the department, a city, a town or a county if any part of the way is generally open to the use of the public for purposes of conventional two-wheel drive vehicular travel.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Now 18, my parents are withholding my proof of Medical insurance, also won’t allow me the info to leave their plan.

Can they legally withhold my access to health insurance? It is not during open enrollment so I can not leave their plan or join another without a letter from their insurance company, which I have offered to handle myself. Yet , they still refuse to provide me the name of the insurance or group... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Apr 19, 2020

Check with Legal Aid and see if they can refer you to an attorney for assistance. Turning 18 should be a qualifying event to open enrollment for you. I cannot believe Medicaid will not allow you to enroll if you provide details of your situation.

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Sexual Harassment and Civil Rights for Arizona on
Q: A sexual assault happened to me in NY state over 5 years ago. However I currently live in Arizona. How do I report this.
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Apr 2, 2020

Unless the crime committed against you meets the criteria to be considered a rape, the statute of limitations has run on your case and charges may not be filed. NY has increased the SoL on rape to 10 or 20 years but sexual assaults are still either 3 or 5 depending on whether the crime was... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Do married minors have legal adult rights?

I am getting married soon for college housing and my mother is consenting. I am only 17. Will I get all legal rights?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 29, 2020

No. You will need to file for emancipation. Emancipated minors have all adult rights with the exception of the right to vote.

Start saving now for your first divorce. Divorces are expensive.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Social Security for Arizona on
Q: My wife (52 yrs. old) receives SSDI and lied to me about the backpay she received. I pay 90% of our bills. Is this lega

Is this legal? Last year she told me she received $25,000 which she promptly bought her a Cadillac Escalade but just saw her 2019 W2 she was hiding and her backpay was actually more than $49,000 after paying her lawyer and Medicare deduction. She completely kept me in the dark, even though I was... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 26, 2020

I am not an expert on SSDI and would highly recommend you consult with such an expert before considering any legal action. The back pay, when it was awarded, may have been classified as separate property. The Caddy, however, may be community property particularly if you are both on the title. I am... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: im 16 boyfriend 17. I might be pregnant and I want to keep it. Can my parents make me abort it or leave my boyfriend?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 25, 2020

No, they cannot make you get an abortion.

Yes they can keep you from seeing the irresponsible sperm donor.

Good luck. Teen pregnancy is a nightmare. You CAN go on and have a successful life, but everything is going to be 100 times more difficult. Your life will no longer be all...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Internet Law for Utah on
Q: Is it illegal if I use my neighbors address to sign him up for large amounts of junk mail over a long period of time?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 21, 2020

Yes. Grow up. Find a community service project. Stop being a drain on society.

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: If a 17year old boy has felony warrants will he have everything dropped when he is 18

Worried about him and his thinking right now he believes if he waits until a month before his birthday to turn himself in he will have a clean slate and only serve a month

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 16, 2020

Definitely not the way this works. He will continue to be treated as a juvenile after his 18th birthday because the offenses occurred while he was legally a juvenile. He will, however, have to face the full consequences regardless of being considered an adult.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Regardless of legal decision-making does parents still have rights to protect their child from mental abuse

My ex has full legal decision-making of my children my ex is also mentally abusing my children by alienated them against me I want to protect my children well beings by having a say so in their upbringing by taking them to counseling so they can have a healthy life not full of anger so is there... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 9, 2020

Parents should not disparage one another or attempt to interfere in the relationship between the children and the other parent. It definitely happens, but it should not.

The only way to "protect your children" would be to petition the Court for a modification of child custody and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for Arizona on
Q: Can my parents deny me medical treatment for mental illnesses?

I'm a 15 year old transgender and I want to take HRT, but my parents won't let me. Can my parents legally deny me access to Hormone Replacement Therapy? It is an urgent, serious, and time sensitive procedure, so is there any legal way I can get HRT without my parents consent?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 9, 2020

Everything is urgent, serious, and time-sensitive when you are 15 years-old. Likely doubly so for a transgender teen. Your post is also somewhat confusing because the headline discusses mental illness and the body of the question discusses being transgender. My understanding is that individuals who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: What defines a "loaded firearm" as it pertains to the transport or storage of a weapon in a personal vehicle?

I am located in Utah. I am doing research regarding the purchase of a firearm to keep in my personal vehicle, most likely a shotgun, for self-defense purposes.

Utah law 76-10-505 states that this may not be a loaded rifle, shotgun, or muzzle-loading firearm.

Utah law 76-10-502... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 9, 2020

Firstly, if you feel the need to carry a shotgun in your vehicle for personal protection; you should likely do one of two things: 1) find a better part of Provo to live in, work in, or frequent (whichever is the case when you feel you need that much personal protection or 2) seek therapy for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: As per my question I submitted, could you kindly call to set up an appointment to discuss my case. Thks.
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 6, 2020

The attorneys on this website are not allowed to solicit business when answering questions or provide contact information through the "Ask-a-Lawyer" platform. You should be able to gather enough information from the profile of the attorney who answered your question to determine how to contact them.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How can I get an arrest and written warning expunged from my record?

I was arrested and charged with failure to identify and written a warning for hitchhiking. Hitchhiking is legal in Arizona as the prosecutor found out during my pretrial conference. The charge was subsequently dismissed with prejudice. The prosecutor informed me she did not have the authority to... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 5, 2020

It is very nearly impossible to have an arrest record sealed in Arizona. You have to actually prove complete innocence / wrongful arrest. The hitchhiking may have been lawful, but merely having the failure to identify charge dropped does not mean you have a strong case to have the arrest record... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Traveling without kids

We have joint legal custody with ex. This year I have 3 month (12 weeks) off from work that falls during summer break from school from June to end of August. I want to travel to Europe during this whole time, last year I took the kids to Europe for 6 weeks with father permission, I wanted to take... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 5, 2020

The short answer is no, he cannot stop you from travelling without the kids. Since you would LIKE to have the children for your parenting time and he is not giving permission, it would be difficult to argue before a judge that you are not availing yourself of your parent time.

When I first...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I was just served a divorce petition and I'm not sure how to proceed. I can't afford an attorney.
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Mar 3, 2020

Your first stop should be the Court's self-help page. There you will find an explanation of the process and links to the forms you will need. The first step is to file an ANSWER. After that you will need to work on your financial affidavit and preparing your disclosures. If you have children... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My 8 year old granddaughter has lived with me for 6 years Her mom has mental health issues lives in a group home

She recently started dating a guy that has mental illness as well (Suicidal)and they want to live together the only way she can get an apartment by herself is if she has her daughter with her. How can I prevent that?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 25, 2020

If you are not already a court-appointed guardian for your granddaughter, you need to be.

This website - https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/media/3431/jg1z.pdf - should be helpful if you cannot afford an attorney and cannot find one to represent you without cost.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Arizona on
Q: I was told due to my case I'm not appointed to an free Attorney?? Assualt

He spit in my face aggressively took my cell, I (admit) threw a small wood sign at wall, he then punched me in my mouth..my mouth bloody, (I was 5 months pregnant)I then called 911on home phone he disconnected phone line, State is pressing charges on me??? I cant afford a lawyer. Been with this man... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 24, 2020

If you were charged with misdemeanor assault - DV, you are not entitled to a public defender because there is no jail time associated with the charges. There are agencies in Maricopa County whose mission is to assist women in leaving abusive relationships. Please seek the help of one of these... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My daughter recently moved from MN to AZ (<8mos). She lost her 4 kids to Dept of Child Services due to alleged neglect.

I was at her house the day she lost the kids, I flew in that day only hours before. The smallest one (1yr) fell off of the couch and hit her head and became unresponsive. A CT scan showed nothing out of the ordinary but a tox screen came back positive for Amphetamine. Since then the oldest... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 19, 2020

If you are going to remain unrepresented (not advisable, but not everyone can afford to hire an attorney), you may be able to speak directly with the Guardian ad Litem. If that is the case, I would recommend you attempt to do so. Depending on the likelihood of placement with the sperm donor or some... Read more »

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