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Arizona Family Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arizona on

Q: Do I need to appear for an ORA if I was never served

My ex doesnt want to pay child support so he wants full custody. I have been primary parent from the beginning. There is an ORA and I have yet to receive anything.

He states he doesn't know where i live but he picks our children up from our home every Thursday.

Why is there a date... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Aug 20, 2019

There are a couple of potential reasons how a date could have been set without you being properly served. The why is not relevant to the discussion. If you are aware of a court date, it is in your best interest to show up. You can argue that you have not been properly served but the court will have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on

Q: Our 16 yo granddaughter lives in Oregon is staying with us in Arizona. She want's to stay, where do we start OR orAZ

She has been in and out of CPS custody in Arizona 18 months, and a year or so in Oregon. There has been and is currently physical confrontations with her mother. She recently did a DNA test and found the man she called dad wasn't. She is afraid to return to Oregon because her "dad's" dad molested... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Aug 14, 2019

If she has been living with you six months, you may file in Arizona. If she has lived in Arizona less than six months, you would need to file in whatever state she last lived in for six consecutive months. If she has been back and forth repeatedly and not truly established a state of residence, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: Am I responsible for my deceased wife's debts in Arizona?

Mike Branum answered on Aug 14, 2019

The answer is the same as it is for almost every single legal question ever asked in the history of the law: it depends. If you and your wife entered into a debt together; in the absence of a clause forgiving the debt upon the death of either party, you more than likely are responsible for the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on

Q: In Arizona if the biological father has not had contact with child in more than a year does he still have rights?

Mike Branum answered on Aug 14, 2019

Until a court terminates his rights, a biological father retains them; so, yes, he does still have rights.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: My father was order to pay child support on my brother and I back in 1973, but he moved back to Puerto Rico.

My father abandon us, for years he got away with moving back and fourth to Camden, NJ to Puerto Rico so he would have to pay child support. Do I have any rights as his daughter.

Mike Branum answered on Aug 7, 2019

If he is residing in Puerto Rico, you are, unfortunately, out of luck. Puerto Rico's statute of limitations on collection of child support arrears is five years after the age of majority or emancipation. Since you and your brother both had to be alive in 1973 in order for your genetic donor (this... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: I have been raising my two girls for the passed five years with little to no help from their abusive father..

Now I would like to leave state and he is threatening me. I have a restraining order on him and he has charges for DV. Do I have the right to take them with me?

Rich J. Peters answered on Aug 1, 2019

Are there any Court Orders in place? IF SO, then Arizona does have a "relocation" statute which must be reviewed as compared to your situation. I would need to know more to determine whether such requires notice, etc.

If there are NO Court orders in place, then the relocation statute does...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: I have guardianship of my grand daughter in California, how do I get it in Arizona

Mike Branum answered on Jul 26, 2019

This website lays out, in detail, how to navigate the process. There are numerous court websites in Arizona (Maricopa's being one of them) that have many resources for those who need self-help legal services.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on

Q: Since I do not contest any of the orders in the petition, do I need to still file a response?

My husband had me served with a petition, but I do not contest any of the orders. We already have a final divorce decree being worked up.

Mike Branum answered on Jul 23, 2019

If you are absolutely sure you agree with each and every order in the petition, the only downside to not filing a response would be a delay in being able to file your consent decree. Your husband can file for default if you do not respond within 60 days. 60 days after that the two of you can file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: My ex of 13 yrs and father of 2 children never married. He moved out 2 mo ago.So far hes only given me $50 on groceries

He wants the kids 50% of the time starting aug 1st to avoid child support. I also just lost my job a wk ago. I need help with school uniform, kids shoes, and my daughters braces $100/mo plus groceries for my kiddos. Before we broke up I was the one who always provided for them which is why I... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 22, 2019

You likely can if you are willing to put in the work. I would recommend visiting to find the forms and guidance you will need to petition the Court for a child support order if filing in Arizona. If you are filing in California, you will need to look for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arizona on

Q: In Arizona. I signed an affidavit of paternity thinking I was father. DNA test says I'm not. I understand it's going to

be difficult. Mother also signed but was only 17 when signed. I called DES and they said that if you're old enough to have baby they accept.

Is this legally correct?

Hoping to void because of this.

Mike Branum answered on Jul 16, 2019

Under A.R.S. 25-812(E), voluntary acknowledgements of paternity not rescinded within 60 days of the last signature may only be challenged on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact with the burden of proof on you as the challenger. If you prevail, you will have no further obligation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: I married my soon to be ex husband after only dating 3 months ... and quickly found myself in a scary/abusive marriage

After being married for only 6 months I filed for divorce to get myself out of such a bad scenario. Now my ex is trying to drag me through the mud... as I filed for divorce over one year ago and its still dragging out when we weren't together that long at all. In Arizona he doesn't have a right to... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 12, 2019

Divorce can be brutal. My condolences; I have had a less than pleasant divorce myself but it sounds like your spouse is more hard-headed than mine was.

Bear in mind this advice is based on less information than your average Tweet. You mention being under oath, I am presuming you must have...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: Grandparenting rights/3rd party.

My daughter & 3yo granddaughter have lived with us for 10 mos in AZ & previously in CO for 16 mos. She left AZ abruptly 6/20/19 & is in Monroe LA. Granddaughter was thriving here & I am deeply heartbroken & concerned for the child's safety. Daughter has an open case w/ bio dad which is set for... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 11, 2019

Your granddaughter lived in Arizona for more than six months after leaving Colorado; Colorado will likely refuse to exercise jurisdiction. I cannot imagine the heartache you must feel having your granddaughter taken from your life in that way. I wish there was more that could be done for you but,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Arizona on

Q: How can I get my son back from DCS

DCS took my son from the hospital becuz he tested positive for drugs. But my girl friend tested negative. Then they brought up an old case that my ex wife and I had. And the grandmother tried to have my son placed with her but the case worker told her right from the start that she was denied all... Read more »

Rich J. Peters answered on Jul 10, 2019

Is your Court appointed attorney taking steps to deal with your concerns? Are you looking to hire private counsel?

I did not see any particular question that I can answer. I can say that my advice always in these situations is to bend over backwards to satisfy DCS that you are doing...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: Do I have to abide by a verbal parenting agreement devised by my wife’s?

Prior to our separation, my wife devised a parenting agreement to which I verbally agreed. She basically ignores the agreement as far as the days that I am supposed to have the kids and expects me to bend to her every whim. This is affecting my ability to work as a rideshare driver. She thinks... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 8, 2019

It is going to be difficult if not impossible to enforce a verbal parenting plan agreement. It would be in your best interest to file with the Court so you have an agreement you can actually enforce. I would recommend visiting the website for the specific county where you intend to file. There are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arizona on

Q: My grandson is 4 mo old. My son and his girlfriend went separate ways a month ago.

She wants child support which he is more than happy to pay. However, given the mean spirited nature of this girl, he wants things done through the court system, rather than her dictating an amount. Now she won't let him see his son until she "takes him to court". Can she keep Him from seeing... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 2, 2019

Unfortunately, without a previous child custody order, there is little to enforce. Fortunately, since there is not a previous child support order, he is also not required to pay anything. I would recommend he place whatever he is required to pay per the child support calculator in a savings account... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for Arizona on

Q: What will need to be done to get my two brothers out of mom's house when she passes, or before if needed?

My two brothers have lived with my parents for a number of years now. Dad passed a couple years ago, and mom is in failing health. They both have substance/drug problems, mental issues(?), and have been pampered/enabled their whole lives. Neither is self-sufficient, and would be homeless unless... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jul 2, 2019

You state that you are "POA / Executor." If by that you mean that you have full POA for your mother and her affairs then you should be able to undertake eviction proceedings against everyone in the house except your mother (sorry, the girlfriend is every bit as much a "resident" as your siblings if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: If I leave the house with my kids will it cost me in the divorce?

Do I have to continue living in the house until the divorce is final? Will the Judge see it as abandoning?

Mike Branum answered on Jun 21, 2019

In many cases it is actually advisable for one of the parties to leave the marital home during the divorce if the divorce is contentious. The children do not need to be exposed to the two of you fighting. The split is going to be hard enough on the children as it is; seeing their parents arguing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on

Q: Me and my daughter's father have a court order for him to have her on the weekends. At what age can she decide not to go

Rich J. Peters answered on Jun 21, 2019

There is no such age in Arizona when a child simply gets to choose. However, the Judge IS required to consider the child's desires, but this is only one factor of many. I often stress to my clients that we not only need to show the Judge what the child wants, but (perhaps more importantly) also... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Arizona on

Q: will I get 1/2 of the equity?


I am filing for divorce, we bought a house together under his name only after we had a foreclosure under my name. We were married a year after. we both have always paid 1/2 of the bills and even the down payment for the house was 1/2. we refinance and added my name 3 years ago. I do... Read more »

Mike Branum answered on Jun 20, 2019

In Arizona you are entitled to 50% of the community assets and responsible for 50% of the community debt unless you have evidence to clearly demonstrate why there should be an inequitable distribution.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Contracts, Family Law and Probate for Arizona on

Q: I was told by bank on phone inquiry I made about a checking account balance then they tell me I had a savings also mine.

I didn't have time for asking for the finding out more about some sort of account that I was beneficiary or some kind of account from a will. I didn't get the information about account number or any info about this account, just told on phone call to the banks 1800number, then I went to the bank... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 17, 2019

The bizarre story has all the markings of a scam in the making. Why? Because reputable banks do not just call people on the phone to discuss their bank accounts--especially if the person called has no idea they had the "accounts."

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