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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I want to modify my final custody order but I have moved to a new state. Can I have the order modified in new state?

Custody order was finalized in Florida, but I now live in Arizona. I want to modify my custody order here (Phoenix). Is it possible to modify it here without having to go to the originating state where the order was set?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 24, 2021

Maybe.

The statute you are dealing with is called the UCCJEA. "U" stands for "uniform" because it has been adopted by all 50 states so that child custody and jurisdiction is (theoretically) handled the same regardless of which state the child is in. The state that has...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My ex wife, who has custody of our 3 kids is moving them out of state without my consent.

Our court paperwork says she needs my written consent but she seems to think that because there has been a lapse in my child support payments, due to me switching jobs and trying to set up wage garnishment for months now (because the last time I tried to mail in my child support obligation it got... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 24, 2021

Arizona law requires a 45-day notice, in writing, of intent to move out of state. Your parental rights are not directly tied to whether or not you are current with child support.

Child custody matters across state lines (and it sounds like there are three or more states involved in this...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Arizona on
Q: When encountering a no trespassing sign does the act of trespass begin after passing the sign or before

if you are homeless and sitting on a curb in front of a fenced property where a sign is posted are you in violation of trespassing by just being near a sign or do you have to cross onto that property/pass the posted sign. Extendedly, if you are homeless and you are sitting on a curb/sidewalk... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 23, 2021

Theoretically the trespass would occur when a person or objects breaks the plane over the imaginary property line. If the sign is directly over this line, then a person or object would have to extend onto the property past the sign before the actual trespass could be said to have occurred. If there... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Arizona on
Q: Is there Legal action I can take to prevent my father from stopping me from seeing my grandmother?

I have a video of him starting an argument with me and intimidating her while he was drunk the last time I had visited her. She says that anytime I come over in the past he treats her horrible. He is very abusive and aggressive towards her. She is handicapped in a wheelchair and had her leg... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 15, 2021

If he is being abusive to your grandmother, you can make a report to adult protective services. If she is dependent upon him, there will need to be other family members willing to step up and do the things she has been counting on him to do.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Can my plea deal be reversed if I violate the terms of my supervised probation?

I plead guilty to a plea agreement that dropped my indecent exposure (F6) charge to a disorderly conduct (M1) charge and dismissed two other indecent exposure charges (M1).

I plan on completing my probation I was sentenced to without issue however if I were to mess up and violate and have... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 12, 2021

If you violate probation, you would be required to complete the underlying sentence suspended suspended when you were placed on probation. Your plea deal will not be undone.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Can my coparent prevent me from moving?

So I'm co parenting right now, we have nothing legal, nothing on paper and no court documents, everything is verbal. I'd like to move to a different town, nothing would change regarding my job because i'd transfer, or regarding my kids, i'd have them the same days I do now, only... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 8, 2021

As long as you are not crossing any state lines, there is little she can do in Court to prevent you from moving or punishing you if you do so against her wishes. You really should attempt to negotiate an agreement with her if you can. Especially if you are not looking to go to Court. Maybe offer to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can a child choose to live with dad. Even though he is on supervised visits issued by a judge.

2 years ago dad was put on supervised visits because he is an alcoholic. The mother began to let the kids go with their father without supervision and without going back to court. Now the 14 year old child wants to live with dad. Is that possible?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 3, 2021

I'm having a sense of deja vu with this question. Possible? Almost anything is. Advisable? That depends on whether dad is still an alcoholic. If dad is still an alcoholic, mom lets the 14 year old go live with him, and anything happens to the child; mom could face both civil and criminal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can a child choose to live with dad. Even though he is on supervised visits issued by a judge.

2 years ago dad was put on supervised visits because he is an alcoholic. The mother began to let the kids go with their father without supervision and without going back to court. Now the 14 year old child wants to live with dad. Is that possible?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 1, 2021

Possible? Almost everything is. Advisable? Probably not unless dad is a year sober. Legal? You have already set a precedent by allowing variations from the court order. If dad petitions the court, he could possibly get more visitation than the current order but it is much less likely that he would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Federal Crimes for Arizona on
Q: What if cops took my cell phones & illegally erased videos (evidence) from my phones WITHOUT A warrant
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 1, 2021

Illegal? Absolutely. Can you prove it? Maybe. It would require a previous backup to show what was there and a forensic examination of your phone to determine what was removed and when. You would need to be able to show that when the file was erased the phone was in police control.

The...
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