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Arizona Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: should my 90 plus year old grandmother who clearly is senile be able to change my grandparents will

my sister brought her to lawyer and cut everyone out except her and her new husband My grandmother was in her late nineties and didnt recognize anyone in the family so how could she be able to redirect all thier original wishes for thier estate. Is this legal or just moraly wrong,the parties in... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 25, 2020

Hire a will contest attorney to challenge the will on the basis of lack of capacity and maybe also undue influence. A will given while the testatrix lacked testamentary capacity is void, but you have to prove it. If nobody contests it when it is presented to the probate court, it will be admitted... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My boyfriend pays child support for his other two kids but we have one together now what should I do?

He pays 208 a week for his 2 kids for his previous marriage. We are not married but we now have a child together. I also have three kids from my past relationship. I don't receive child support for them because the father and I just share them equally. The problem I'm having is I have to pay almost... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 24, 2020

You need to IMMEDIATELY ensure you are unable to get pregnant. Then the two of you need to figure out how to increase your household income. I would suggest you upgrade your boyfriend but, with four children from two different fathers, your dating pool is likely extremely limited. At this point,... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Filed for divorce , ex-husband has lawyered up and I don't understand these papers given to me just that he wants all.

I'm really looking for a pro-bono Family lawyer to assist me if possible with these papers that I have filed and now have a lawyer from Ex sending me. Sorry I don't have any money.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 14, 2020 has a lot of helpful information and is easy to navigate. Although it is not your state, is another great source of information. If you are near Tucson or Phoenix, you can check with the law schools and see if they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Arizona on
Q: No father present in any aspect of child's life. How to get adopted by stepfather?

My three year old son has never had his father in his life. He is not listed on the birth certificate & he has my last name. Father has never paid a dime in child support or provided any emotional or physical support. I will getting married soon and we are expecting another child. Can my husband... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 10, 2020

Two things could complicate your attempts to have your fiance from adopting your eldest: if you were married to the sperm donor at conception, at birth, or anytime between; or paternity has been previously established. You are still going to have to explain to a judge why the male who was present... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I want to file a divorce from my husband of 42 years but can’t afford to hire a lawyer.

I found out that he is having an affair with the wife of my cousin. He admitted the affair started either 1985 or 1989 and continued on till November 2019 but I know they are still talking Jan 17, 2020

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 23, 2020

If you and your husband have no minor children and your assets are not complex, you may be able to navigate the process without an attorney. Visit for all the forms you will need to file. If you open a business or have substantial assets, the process will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a child custody order for supervised visits from Louisiana,how do I get the state of Arizona to recognize the it
Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters answered on Jan 14, 2020

We would need to "domesticate it", which means filing a certified copy along with required documents. It is a very simple process.

More importantly, are you hoping to enforce it here? Modify it here? If so, we would need to discuss jurisdiction issues as well as modification issues and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a dcs case in arizona and it's super complicated...

I gave birth at home. It was planned, my second all natural birth. She came at 37 weeks just like my previous daughter. She was pink she cried she nursed she pooped. We went to sleep when I awoke she was not breathing. Called 911. Was told at hospital she had died. Then I was held in the room where... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 14, 2020

First, I cannot imagine what you are going through. I wish you the strength to weather this storm, the patience to deal with the government bureaucracies, and the resiliency of spirit to bounce back from this ordeal when you reach the other side.

Unfortunately, unless you can afford an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: I’m dating a 18 year old and I’m 17 and my parents want to put him in jail can they do that?

Me and my boyfriend were dating for three months prior to him turning 18. Recently, we were at my house and were messing around play fighting and he accidentally damaged my room causing my mom to believe that he hits on me. I dismounted the allegations and she now wants to end my relationship and... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 9, 2020

First, if he ever DOES physically, emotionally, or mentally abuse you; leave and do not look back. You deserve better. Period.

You ARE considered a minor in Arizona, but the fact that he is less than 2 years older than you and under the age of 19 makes it almost certain the prosecutor would...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My child's father and I have never been to court or have any orders on custody or visitation. Can I move to CA?

My mom's company in CA is expanding and she wants me to work for her. I have experience in her company's line of work as well.

Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters answered on Jan 3, 2020

The easy answer is yes, you can. However, it would be a good idea to have an experienced Family Law attorney review your situation BEFORE you move. There is much to think about in deciding whether to move before or without filing any proceedings, or filing before you move. There can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: If I leave my baby's mother and move out, will I be able to see my child?

Our son is still under a year old, me and the mother have been living together but have recently decided to break up. I have been wanting to move out because living with an ex is hard, but haven't because I am scared that I won't be able to see my son once I leave. I wouldn't take him with me... Read more »

Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters answered on Jan 3, 2020

If we were helping, we would be approaching Mom right away to demand access. We would also be filing right away. She does not have the right to unreasonably restrict your access, and if she does so, she herself could suffer repercussions.

Do not allow yourself to miss irreplaceable...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I’m a minor who married in California. Does me being married make me emancipated? Is my marriage valid in Arizona?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 3, 2019

The answer to both your questions is most likely yes. I would advise you to speak with a local family law attorney knowledgeable in emancipation to clarify the specifics of your situation, but, generally minors are considered emancipated once they marry and Arizona law requires recognition of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: i have sole custody and want to move out of the state, can father contest?

the judge gave me sole custody, so father has no parenting time, arizona's laws are unclear on sole custody with moving versus primary parenting.

John R Gaertner Jr
John R Gaertner Jr answered on Dec 2, 2019

If you have sole legal custody and Father has no parenting time, you may be able to move out of state. More information is needed but worth speaking to an Arizona Family law attorney. Most initial consultations are free.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Native American Law for Arizona on
Q: What do I put on a motion for a telephonic hearing in the navajo nation court on November 15? Do I have time?

The court hearing is up in window rock, and I live in Phoenix. I need to get my kids to school that day, and there isnt enough time for me to get there in time at 10 am, on top of the fact that I dont have a way to get there. I just found out a telephonic hearing was possible, but now there is... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 3, 2019

The Clerk of Court cannot provide legal advice, but yours is more of a logistical question. They may be able to assist you without filing any paperwork. That is where I would start. Hopefully another attorney with experience with the tribal court will see your question and provide a more informed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I missed family court Friday, thought it was this Monday

Going in first thing Monday morning to get this handle. Frist time missing a court date, notice on line where is isurrance of warrant issued, what should i do and not sure if i am going to jail.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

If you show up first thing Monday morning and tell them you are there to quash a warrant they should be able to assist you with getting that handled. Dress your best, be respectful and apologetic. Going to jail is a very remote possibility if you appear to be a responsible person who just missed a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I missed my family court date friday which i thought was this monday. I'm going in to the court first thing monday

Not sure what to do, i just know i need to do something

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

First stop: the Clerk of Court. Tell them what happened and ask them how you can petition the Court for another date. If this is the first time you have missed a court date and the judge did not enter a default judgment against you, it should not be a huge deal. I would make sure to apologize to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Military Law for Arizona on
Q: What rights do I have to keep and maintain my children's military dependent ID cards?

My ex is no longer active duty due to medical issue & works on base as a civilian maintaining his military benefits & ID for both of our children age 14 & 15. Through him, our children have TriCare Insurance & their doctor is on base. I have court orders granting me full primary physical custody... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 24, 2019

Is there any reason you could not get duplicate identification cards? I would go to where the ID cards are issued, explain that your ex-husband is infantile, and request they make duplicates to eliminate one source of your ex's tantrums.

If option A is not possible, you might ask the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: How does a father get on a birth certificate if mom is dead in arizona

My boyfriends 4 year old sons mom died 2 years ago. My boyfriend is not on the birth certificate because she changed it with out his knowledge. I paid for a dna test and it is his baby. Now were stuck on how to get my boyfriend on the birth certificate without her. Again we live in arizona. Thank... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 24, 2019

The process is called "adjudicating parenthood." If you are in Maricopa County, you may use the forms found at If you are outside Maricopa County, you may be able to find similar forms on your county court website. You may also use the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: During a divorce in az Are premarital assets considered community assets after a joint bankruptcy?

Married 12/26/17

Bankruptcy filed 12/03/18

Bankruptcy complete 3/19/19

Diane L. Drain
Diane L. Drain answered on Sep 21, 2019

You should talk to your bankruptcy attorney because the answer depends on certain facts.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Arizona on
Q: is it considered spousal abandonment when one spouse who is the caregiver to the other that is an ailing veteran without

Leaves without informing and intentionally not telling them they petitioned for divorce.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 19, 2019

Likely not. You must be married to be guilty of spousal abandonment. The divorce would terminate the obligation to support the spouse. Additionally, the statute is focused on financially abandoning the spouse. In this instance it appears you are referring to the emotional support and assistance... Read more »

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