Custodial Interference

| Child Custody Family Law | September 1, 2020

Custodial interference can simply be annoying to downright criminal and dangerous. This article will share with you some of the examples of custodial interference as well as the legal statues.

What is custodial interference?

A.R.S. § 13-1302 (A) states:

A. A person commits custodial interference if, knowing or having reason to know that the person has no legal right to do so, the person does one of the following:

1. Takes, entices or keeps from lawful custody any child, or any person who is incompetent, and who is entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution.

2. Before the entry of a court order determining custodial rights, takes, entices or withholds any child from the other parent denying that parent access to any child.

3. If the person is one of two persons who have joint legal custody of a child, takes, entices or withholds from physical custody the child from the other custodian.

4. At the expiration of access rights outside this state, intentionally fails or refuses to return or impedes the return of a child to the lawful custodian.

Some examples regarding the above would consist of:

  • A parent refuses the other parent to see or have access to the child, prior to the official custodial court order.
  • A parent refusing to bring a child back from allotted and scheduled parenting time.
  • Refusing court ordered parenting time to the other parent.
  • Taking the child when it is not that parents time and specifically without permission of the scheduled parent.
  • Constant issues with bringing the child back in a timely manner after scheduled parenting time is over.

Who has custody when the child is born out of wedlock?

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1302 (B):

B. If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother is the legal custodian of the child for the purposes of this section until paternity is established and custody or access is determined by a court.

Is custodial interference punishable under the law?

The answer is an emphatic "yes". As mentioned in A.R.S. § 13-1302 (E):

E. A violation of this section is:

1. A class 3 felony if committed by a person other than the parent or agent of the parent or custodian or agent of the custodian.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 3 of this subsection, a class 4 felony if the child or incompetent person is taken, enticed or kept from lawful custody out of this state by the parent or agent of the parent or custodian or the agent of the custodian.

3. A class 6 felony if committed by a parent or agent of the parent or custodian or agent of the custodian.

4. A class 1 misdemeanor if the child or incompetent person is voluntarily returned without physical injury by the parent or defendant or the agent of the parent or defendant no later than forty-eight hours after the parent or defendant takes, entices or keeps from lawful custody the child or incompetent person.

Is there any defense regarding custodial interference?

Yes, and once again the statute shares when there may be defensible actions in a custodial interference case A.R.S. § 13-1302 (B):

C. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 if both of the following apply:

1. The defendant has begun the process to obtain an order of protection or files a petition for custody within a reasonable period of time and the order of protection or petition states the defendant's belief that the child was at risk if left with the other parent.

2. The defendant is the child's parent and has the right of custody and the defendant either:

(a) Has a good faith and reasonable belief that the taking, enticing or withholding is necessary to protect the child from immediate danger.

(b) Is a victim of domestic violence by the other parent and has a good faith and reasonable belief that the child will be in immediate danger if the child is left with the other parent.

D. Subsection A, paragraphs 2 and 3 do not apply to a person who is the child's parent if both of the following apply:

1. The person has filed an emergency petition regarding custodial rights with the superior court and has received a hearing date from the court.

2. The person has a good faith and reasonable belief that the child will be in immediate danger if the child is left with the other parent.

So when do I need to speak with an attorney?

We often suggest that it is always good to speak with a family law attorney regarding any custodial action that may require legal or court action. So no matter which side you may fall under, if there is any evidence that custodial interference is taking place we urge you to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss the best course of action.

At Duenas Eden Law, we are experienced and trusted family law attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Chandler, Tempe, Laveen, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Duenas Eden remains open and available to help during these trying times. We are back in the office and offering videoconferencing appointments as much as possible. Per CDC guidelines, we are wearing masks and request that anyone visiting our offices do so as well. If you feel ill, please let us know and we will be happy to reschedule your appointment.

Sources:
https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/01302.htm


Post Divorce Issues and Changes

| Alimony / Spousal Maintenance Child Custody Child Support Divorce Family Law | June 26, 2020

Divorced…Now What?

If you have gone through the divorce process, we are sure you are ready for it to be “over”. For some, the final signing and filing of the divorce papers mean that chapter can now be closed and you can move on. For others, the legal needs and issues will still continue. This may be regarding child custody issues and support changes or even spousal maintenance (alimony) matters, among other modifications and provisions.

Child Custody Issues

Even after the initial child custody agreements or court orders have been issued, there may be a need to review and update those agreements throughout the dependents life. Sometimes the updates are simply, but other times you may need to speak with an attorney and have representation for the best outcome. This may involve updates as the child(ren) get older or even extra provisions for special needs children.

On the other hand there may be updates to you or your ex-spouse’s life that may require post-divorce changes regarding child custody. These issue range drastically; everything from moving out of state, to the parent’s mental health and criminal/legal behavior. But the most common in post-divorce child custody issues is the “enforcement” of child support and/or custody schedules. With these we will consult with you and advocate in court on your behalf if the need arises.

Spousal Maintenance

Depending on your post-divorce situation, you may receive or even have to pay spousal maintenance (alimony). As with all legal matters, the specifics of your case will be different than others. No matter which side of the equation you are on, there is always the inevitable variable of “life”. Disability, significant income increase or decrease, business ownership income, general economic and job related instability and turmoil, among many other factors may require further updates, changes or advocacy.

 

Continued Relationship and Guidance

Things change; sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. Having a continued relationship with your family law attorney is paramount to navigating though the many diverse post-divorce issues that you may face. We, are the family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law. We will consult with you, assist and continue to advocate on your behalf for the best outcome in your “post-divorced life”. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Child Custody is Like Fashion

| Child Custody Family Law Legally Speaking | June 17, 2020

Child custody is only like fashion in that old styles are rearing their heads.

Joint-Custody

Historically, some divorced parents shared joint custody, and some had sole custody over the children. In 2010, the laws were amended to create a presumption that parents sharing joint custody was in a child’s best interest. This became the norm with virtually all co-parenting relationships involving joint custody (now called legal decision-making). One parent having final decision-making authority in the event of a parental disagreement. Sole legal decision-making was typically reserved for cases involving significant domestic violence or substance abuse issues.

Sole Legal Decision-Making

Fast forward to March 2018, when the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that final decision-making authority was essentially the same as sole legal decision-making. Now, in the event of significant parenting disagreements, parents are facing the possibility of one parent having the full authority to make all decisions about the children.

What Changes?

For parents that can get along well enough for their children’s sake, this change doesn’t mean much. However, for parents who are repeatedly in conflict, they face the very real possibility that one parent is going to lose out on being able to decide such things as children’s schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.

This is not the only major change to the laws. It seems almost weekly that a new appellate case ruling is issued impacting at least one aspect of family law. This is in addition to new limitations on issues judges are able to address, the significant tax changes regarding child tax dependency, and the taxability of spousal maintenance.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

An experienced family law attorney helps protect legal rights involving important things like children and money. At Duenas Eden, the bulk of our practice is family law. Have questions about your particular situation? Call us for a consultation (480) 285-1735. Our knowledge and experienced family law attorneys can discuss the recent changes that may have a significant impact on you. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the February 2019 edition of Ocotillo Living

What is Family Law?

| Alimony / Spousal Maintenance Child Custody Child Support Divorce Family Law | May 28, 2020

Family law is an area of practice surrounding the legal actions and decisions within family relationships. These most often include divorce, child custody and adoption, child support matters, spousal maintenance (alimony) requests, pre-nuptial and post nuptial agreements, among others. The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, PLC focus only on family law matters. This is important when choosing an attorney, as this allows for all the experience and knowledge of the lawyer to be hyper focused on your specific family law need. We won’t go into great detail in this article regarding each of these individual cases, but we will share with you some of the common matters within the following areas.

Divorce

Marriage has been paramount in human relationships for a long time; however for many and diverse reasons, couples may seek to dissolve their marital union. This becomes much more involved when assets are mingled, children are born into the marriage, ownership of businesses are being considered, infighting and contention, etc. Currently Arizona is a “no-fault” state when it comes to a divorce. That means that there is no need to prove fault, such as adultery, to request a divorce. The main caveat to the “no-fault” stance in Arizona has to do with “Covenant Marriages”. A covenant marriage is considered in Arizona when spouses undergo special pre-marital counseling to help strengthen their marriage bond. As a result the courts may consider “fault” in these cases.

Child Custody & Adoption

Commonly child custody follows a divorce proceeding when the two parents simply cannot be able to act as the 100% custodial agents to the child(ren) together. When considering child custody it is important to speak to an attorney to help mediate and guide in the best result for the child(ren). Family law attorneys also assist in legal adoptions and parental rights not connected with divorce or even marriage for that matter.

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance

With regards to child support in Arizona, the financial needs and resources of the child as well as the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent, among other factors, are taken into account [A.R.S. § 25-320(D)]. With regards to spousal maintenance, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse and the term limit based on a list of qualifications as found in A.R.S. § 25-319.

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-marital agreements, also know as “pre-nups”, are legal agreements drawn up between potential spouses prior to being legally married. Post-marital agreements, otherwise know as “post-nups”, are legal agreements between spouses after entering into a legal marriage. In both cases these agreements typically revolve around the rights to assets or property in the event of the dissolution of a marriage. Often assets in the agreements can include; investments, inheritances, debts, spousal maintenance and high value assets.

 

Consult with the Experienced Family Law Attorneys at Duenas Eden Law, PLC

There are other specific matters and cases within the discipline of family law. Consult with the experienced family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law to see if we may be able to assist you. We will listen and help guide you for the best outcome possible. We will then stand by you and advocate on your behalf. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Parenting Plans and Older Children (Divorce & Child Custody)

| Attorneys at Law Child Custody Family Law | May 21, 2020

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2020!

Truly 2020 is a year for the history books and for years to come school children will be studying the events that you and your children have been apart of. Although for many, the traditional graduation ceremonies this year will be completely different than years past, but one thing to remember is that those graduating this year have accomplished something wonderful and should be celebrated. A caution we often share with parents is that this time is about your child, not you or your ex-spouse. Let them shine in their moment, especially during this historic era.

From Teenager to “Adult”

Depending on the age of your child(ren) when you first implemented your parenting plan, many things and situations may have changed for your child. Often times when those that divorce with younger children, parenting plans and support needs focus on the relatively near future. A good parenting plan looks deep into the future, but sometimes those plans, formal or informal, miss certain things with your child’s future activities, aspirations or even health.  The teenage years of a child, help mold and guide their adventure into adulthood, and proper support and communication, mediated or unmediated, between parents make a big difference in the success of the child in those formidable years.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Whether you are considering a divorce or need to discuss options regarding a parenting plan or child support, contact the trusted and experienced family law attorneys of Duenas Eden Law. We will listen and help guide you for the best outcome for you and your children. We will then stand by you and advocate on your behalf. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.


Why Can’t You Just Get Along? (Divorce, Child Custody & Family Law)

| Child Custody Divorce Family Law | May 14, 2020

I would like to take my child(ren) out of state to Disneyland

“The Court is in receipt of Mother’s Motion for Permission to Travel Out-of-State with children. It is sad that such a motion has to be written, let alone ruled upon…. The Court cannot think of any good reason why any parent would refuse to agree in writing for his or her children to go to Disneyland…It just got a little more expensive to get happy. If in fact Father has refused Mother’s travel requests, then Father’s refusal for the sake of refusal is nothing more than a Mickey Mouse litigation tactic, and just plain Goofy.” In re the Marriage of McCreery FC2012-093275, Minute Entry dated 06/06/2013, page 1.

This ruling is funny. The Judge, clearly annoyed with the situation, makes numerous references to a parent’s refusal to allow his minor children to travel to Disneyland – presumably just to “get back” at the other parent. The Judge in this case attempted to inject some humor in a situation. The ruling went viral. It’s been all over Facebook. My paralegal told me she saw it before I showed it to her. I’ve shown it to multiple networking groups, my husband and anyone else I think could use a good laugh. But, it’s also a serious and sad reminder of the issues family law attorneys and judges deal with every day.

Are you really thinking about the child(ren)?

I’ve heard eloquent speeches by judges, mediators, attorneys and even clients and the gist of it is “Why can’t [you/he/she] just think about the child[ren]? It’s not about [us/him/her]. It’s about the child[ren]!”

Parents frequently say that to me. But, is it really? Are parents really putting their children’s best interests ahead of whatever animosity exists between the parents – that led to the breakdown of their relationship?

Children should not be involved in a relationship breakdown. They want to love both parents. They deserve to love their parents without hearing how bad the other parent is. Judges do not like to hear people badmouthing the other parent. Are there some really bad parents out there? Of course! There are people who make us all think – there’s no requirement, no class, no license required to become a parent?! But, for most of us, we try our best, we’re pretty good on most days although could use some improvement on others. When you start thinking of how to “get back” at someone though, you’ve lost sight of a child’s best interest. It’s just plain “Goofy.” Id.

So remember, the next time you want to object or fight the other parent, a judge may someday issue a ruling in your case. And it may go viral. Do you want the world to read that you’re engaging in a “Mickey Mouse litigation tactic?” Id.

Duenas Eden Law, PLC Experienced Family Law Attorneys

If you are involved in a decision making (child custody) or parenting time dispute with someone, call an experienced family law attorney to discuss your case.

The lawyers of Duenas Eden Law we are trusted and experienced attorneys focusing on family law including; child custody cases, divorce, child support, spousal support, same-sex legal issues other family law matters. Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and servicing the Ocotillo Community and the entire Chandler area, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the August 2013 edition of Ocotillo Living

Keeping the Kids Busy While at Home

| Child Custody Family Law | March 20, 2020

Schools Closed and Kids are at Home

With the recent COVID-19 precautions, many of our children are home from school. This can cause some anxiety for children and parents alike. We will share with you some ideas to help in this uncertain time.

Your Parenting Plan

No matter your marital status, if you have children you need a parenting plan to handle emergencies and unexpected situations such as this. For separated and divorced parents this may be an especially trying time to balance work and finances, caring for your child(ren), the health and safety for you and your child(ren) as well as honoring specific child custody agreements and parenting plans. With regards to the legal and family law issues that may arise, we strongly advise you to speak with our attorneys to help guide you in this time and assist in matters if legal advise and action is necessary.

Keeping Your Child(ren) Busy While at Home

We will share with you some ideas on how to occupy your child(ren)’s time, focus and energy while they are now “stuck at home”.

  • The ever Infamous School Work

    • With kids out of school, during what would normally be considered a normal school schedule, many school districts and teachers are providing “at home learning” packets or study guides to assist in keeping the students up-to-date and help re-enforce what they have already learned.  Some schools and teachers are even working “virtually” with classes as well as providing online materials and resources.
  • “Spring Cleaning”

    • Your child(ren) could assist in cleaning and organizing around the house. This could be as simple as your child(ren) going through their room and cleaning, organizing and throwing away old and unimportant items. Creating a “Spring Cleaning Bingo Card” can help turn it in to a fun game.
  • In-Home Scavenger Hunts

    • This is good activity for young and old children alike. Whether the items are hidden or commonly found around the house, this can be a fun activity together or independently.
  •   “Recess Time”

    • If possible, go outside. Being cooped up at home can create a bit of anxiety for both adults and children. Some call this “Cabin Fever”. Be sure to schedule some “recess time” to get outside.

Share with us some of your Ideas on our Facebook Page

Let us and others know what is working for you and share your ideas on keeping yourself and your child(ren) busy during this time. Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/duenasedenlaw/ to share your ideas.

If you are in need of Legal Advice or Assistance in this time, we are Available

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all. We are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law and Child Custody Lawyers servicing Ahwatukee, Laveen, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert.


What’s a Parenting Plan? (Family Law, Child Custody)

| Child Custody Divorce Legally Speaking | March 4, 2020

Avoid Disputes

Don’t involve the police in parenting exchanges. Do not go to court every time there is a disagreement with the child’s other parent. A parenting plan is designed to try to do all of those things, and more. A well thought-out and well-drafted parenting plan will become a very helpful document to parents in a situation where a child spends time with both parents.

 

What Should a Parenting Plan Address?

Specifically, a parenting plan should address daily parenting time, such as when little Johnny or Susie will be with mom and when the child will be with dad. Details are important – such as the days of exchanges, times of exchanges and where exchanges occur. Things such as who may transport the child and who is supposed to drive for parenting time are things that people often spend a lot of time and money fighting over. Many people use school as the exchange location to avoid having to see one another.

 

Holidays

Holidays are another important issue to discuss. Each family has holidays that are more important to them than others. If a holiday or specific day is important, it should be addressed. This includes defining the time of the holiday – i.e., is Thanksgiving just on Thursday for a specific time or does it encompass the entire weekend from Wednesday after school until Monday morning when school starts again? If a holiday is not important, it does not need to be discussed. Many parents try to limit changes to the parenting schedule and may not include every federal or state holiday in their plan.

 

Extracurricular Activities

How are extracurricular activities going to be divided? It may seem like a great idea to share equally in all extracurricular activities until the other parent decides to sign a child up for an expensive activity or one to which the other party objects.

 

Take the Time to Talk with a Family Law Attorney

Time spent discussing parenting plans is usually well spent. Few relish in the thought of returning to court to address issues that were not appropriately described the first time. Although it may be very difficult to imagine the child spending a holiday or regular day with the other parent, it is worse to be arguing over a particular holiday days or hours before the holiday begins. Take the time to talk with a family law attorney to discuss the importance of a detailed parenting plan.

If you would like do discuss further, please contact the Family Law Attorneys at Duenas Eden Law, PLC. We are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law and Child Custody Lawyers servicing Ahwatukee, Laveen, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the October 2012 edition of Ocotillo Living

The Downside of Social Media (Family Law, Divorce & Child Custody)

| Child Custody Divorce Legally Speaking | February 24, 2020

Facebook Leads to Bigamy Arrest

The headline read something like that a few years ago in the newspaper which, being a divorce attorney, caught my attention. A man had been married, separated from his first wife, changed his name, moved and a few years later married a second time. If you are on Facebook, you know that it will suggest people you may know based on location, friends, groups, etc. Apparently, Facebook suggested to wife #2 that she “friend” wife #1 because they may know each other. Somehow wife #2 realized this was wife #1 and then discovered it was not ex-wife #1! The police were called and husband now faces bigamy charges. Oh, the powers of the internet and social networking.

Facebook creates relationships and, apparently, destroys others. In this age of social media, people are finding long-lost loves and friends. I am hearing more and more people say, “Facebook ruined my marriage.”

Can Your Social Media be Used in Court?

Arizona is a no-fault state, meaning that under the law, a spouse does not need to prove that they are entitled to a divorce. Wrongdoing (such as an affair) during a marriage rarely is considered by the court, except in certain circumstances. However, Facebook entries are becoming increasingly relevant in child custody cases, such as when one parent is trying to prove the other has a drinking problem. What may seem like an innocent/ funny status update of “out with friends at the bar until 3 a.m., so drunk I forgot to take out my contacts before I passed out” or something similar may be used against that parent in court. Or, of your 500+ “friends” one may try to take advantage of an empty house when you say, “heading to the airport to leave for the Bahamas for 2 weeks!” Be careful of what you post and when you “check-in” places – it’s like leaving your garage door open with a big sign that says, “I’m not home, come take what you want!”

Bottom Line – Social Media is Not “Private”

Facebook [or any other social media] is not private. Even with privacy settings, if it’s posted online, what you post or who you friend may come back to haunt you!

 

When to Talk with an Attorney?

If you are facing a divorce or child custody case and have questions, contact the Family Law Attorneys at Duenas Eden Law, PLC. We are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. Divorce and Family Law in Ahawatukee, Laveen, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the May 2012 edition of Ocotillo Living

Child Custody Questions: Who Gets to Enroll the Kids in School?

| Child Custody Legally Speaking | February 18, 2020

Child Custody and School Enrollment

We know it may seem early for such a question, but with notices already going out to prepare for school enrollment for next year, we felt this is a very important question to get on early. We hear comments like: “She moved to a new district,” “I don’t like his home school,” “We have to enroll the child(ren) in school for the fall and I don’t know who gets to do that,” “I want to change schools.”

 

Child Custody; Sole or Joint

Generally, there are two types of custody – sole and joint. Sole means that one person has decision-making authority over big decisions that the court designates, such as education, nonemergency medical care and religion. Joint custody means that the parties share in that decision-making process, with the intention of the parties actually talking, listening, respecting one another and coming to a decision together that is in their child’s best interest. Do I sound cynical? Perhaps it’s because for many people, if they could talk, listen and respect one-another, they wouldn’t be involved in a custody battle to begin with!

Then there is a hybrid – joint custody with one parent having final decision-making. Here, the parties are supposed to talk, listen, respect, etc. and then one person ultimately has final say. So based on the above, who enrolls the child(ren)? It depends. Attorneys are famous for using those two words. It depends on the custody, primary residential parent, where have the children historically attended school, and where the parents live, among just some of the considerations. Again, the best way to determine your status is to contact a qualified family law attorney to discuss your individual circumstances.

 

Talk with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, are getting divorced or simply unsure of who has the legal authority to enroll your child or children in school for the upcoming school year, then you need to talk with an experienced family law attorney.

At Duenas Eden Law, PLC we are qualified and experienced attorneys focsing on Family Law including; Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. Serving Maricopa County including Phoenix, Ahawatukee, Laveen, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Trust the Family Law Attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, PLC. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the July 2012 edition of Ocotillo Living

Sole Versus Joint? What Does Decision-Making Mean?

| Child Custody Legally Speaking | December 23, 2019

Custody Laws in Arizona

I wrote an article a few months back about the changes to Arizona Custody Laws. In summary, in family law cases “custody,” as it was formerly known, no longer exists. Now, divorced or non-married parents have either joint or sole decision-making about big decisions involving their minor children – typically things such as non-emergency medical care, education, religion and well-being issues. The family law judges start with the presumption that joint decision-making, meaning both parents are able to participate in making such important decisions, is in a child’s best interest. They do so because Arizona law requires such a presumption. See A.R.S. § 25-103(B)(2). But, there are exceptions to every rule and certainly cases where joint decision-making is not feasible and one parent is then granted sole decision-making authority. This is not common and typically limited to circumstances where there has been significant domestic violence or significant substance abuse issues, just to give a few examples.

Sole, Joint and Final Authority Decision Making

As family law judges and practitioners work on implementing the new laws (which really have been in effect since 2010), I am increasingly finding that judges are telling parents that sole decision-making does not mean that decisions are made to the exclusion of the other party. One judge recently stated that he views sole decision-making and joint decision-making with one parent having final authority to make decisions as meaning virtually the same thing. Other judges seem to be agreeing with this sentiment. This means that the parent with either sole or final authority to make decisions must first consult with the other parent and ask for his or her input on whatever the particular issue at hand. And only in the event of a disagreement may the parent with the authority to make the decision do so. For most parents, that probably seems like a no-brainer. You talk with the other parent of your children and try to come up with an agreement on how to handle a particular situation – just like people often do when they are together. Yet, in my line of work, I regularly see cases where judges have to tell parents that they have to at least make a good faith attempt to discuss the situation with the other parent because this is in a child’s best interest. It is these cases where parents are not thinking about what is in a child’s best interest, but rather, how are they to retaliate against the other parent. Judges see this too and generally are quick to spot when this is a problem.

Big Decisions

There are many examples of parents making big decisions about their children under the auspices of “sole” or “final” decision making authority. This inevitably causes the parent who was left out to feel as though the other parent does not value his or her input as a parent and if one parent does not value the other, then are they also expressing that to the children? There is, to some extent and in certain cases, validity to these concerns. This is quite possibly the reason why many judges order joint decision-making, even when it is clear the parents do not and cannot get along – because to give one parent authority will be to the other parent’s detriment. Judges get used to seeing essentially “repeat offenders” – those parents who will almost always have some issue pending before the court. They do not typically like making decisions about other people’s children, but if the

Consult with a Trusted Family Law Attorney

We understand that child custody and decision making is an important issue. The Lawyers at Duenas Eden Law, PLC listen to you and the decisions facing you and your children. We are trusted Family Law Attorneys focusing on Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Divorce, Spousal Support, Same-Sex Legal Issues and other Family Law matters. Serving the Phoenix metro area including Ahawatukee, Laveen, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

Family Law Attorney in Phoenix / Ahwatukee Dorian Eden
By Dorian L. Eden
Originally published in the June 2014 edition of Ocotillo Living

Top Rated Attorney in Phoenix, AZ Ahwatukee - AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble