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Arizona Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: If both me and the dad have our own agreement will DES come after him for child support?

This is our first child and the dad has been paying me $100 every month and sometimes extra if he has it. Neither of us want to go to court and just want to keep our agreement while we aren't living together. This is really stressful for us cause we don't know if the state will take any... Read more »

Jay Hall
Jay Hall answered on May 25, 2020

If you or the child receive state assistance, it may try to recover a portion of the funds from the father. Your agreement will not supersede the state's interest. If neither of you receive state assistance, it is unlikely DES will intervene unless one parent requests assistance to formally... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: My ex girl of 14 years took my kids and moved from arizona to cali with only a week notice is it kidnapping

She charged me with domestic violence but I took it to court and won cause I wad the one beat up in the pictures and she didn't have marks and we have no court orders in place and im on my daughters birth certificate

Jay Hall
Jay Hall answered on May 25, 2020

No, this isn't kidnapping. Without enforceable orders in place, there really aren't many limitations on a parent's ability to travel with children. You should consult with a family law attorney to evaluate your options. The best course of action may be to file a petition to establish... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: I am seeking council on how to legally increase my parenting time to equal parenting time with my children?

Primary residence was granted to my children's father in August of 2018. I was ordered to have parenting time with my children only every other weekend. I was in graduate school at the time of the divorce to try to better myself and make a new life for my children and I which I believe hurt me... Read more »

John R Gaertner Jr
John R Gaertner Jr answered on Apr 28, 2020

It has been over one year from the last Order so you can go back and ask for equal time if there have been substantial and continuing changed circumstances. Most attorneys have free initial consultations so that additional details can be discussed regarding this matter.

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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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: How do I find out if my dad had a will? His girlfriend was his POA when he was alive and she doesn't communicate.

I believe he created a trust for my sister and I but we don't know anything about it. Is there a way to look up that info?

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Apr 8, 2020

One thing you can do is look up the home address at the Maricopa County Assessor's Office. It will tell you if the home is in the potential Trust. Here's a link:

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...
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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 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 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 - - 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 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... 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...
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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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