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One Thing You Should NOT Be Focusing On At Your Child Custody Hearing


In this weeks video I want to talk to you about the one thing that you should not be focusing on when you go into court for your custody trial. This is a lesson I learned in a trial I had just last week. In this case my client had had pretty limited parenting time with his 2 kids a little more than a year. He went back to court and was asking the court to award him equal time.

This is a lesson I learned in a trial I had just last week. In this case my client had had pretty limited parenting time with his 2 kids a little more than a year. He went back to court and was asking the court to award him equal time.

Fortunately he emerged victorious. One of the things that emerged during the trial that became apparent was that the other party was very focused on being in opposition to my client’s request for more time with his 2 kids. And the reason why she was opposed is because it was going to negatively affect her.

When she got on the stand she talked about how bad for her for...

Trading Parenting Time With The Other Parent Especially When it Comes to Special Occasions


I want to talk with you about trading parenting time with the other parents especially when it comes to special occasions.   This issue comes up quite a bit in my practice and you know I thought it was worth making a video about.   So several years ago I had a client who had a little girl and it was his weekend with his daughter.   They had plans to go to the zoo and kind of at the last minute the other parent (mom) asked my client if he would trade weekends with her.

The reason that mom wanted weekends wanted on what would not normally be her weekend, is because her oldest son was coming home from the military after having been discharged for a few years.   So the son who was coming home was my clients daughters half sibling and my client was annoyed, one because mom is asking at the last minute but two because it was his weekend and he had plans.   So my client said no and what the other party did is she got her attorney and they...

Will a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Other Mental Illness Affect Your Custody Rights?


In this week’s video I’m going to talk about whether schizophrenia or any other major mental health diagnosis gets in the way of you having custody of your children.  The answer is no.  Just because you are diagnosed with something like schizophrenia does not mean that you are automatically going to lose custody of your children.

I’ve had cases in the past where my clients’ have had episodes that were quite serious and led to the reaffirmation of a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a new diagnosis of schizophrenia and they ended up with custody of the children. But the key is this.  In these cases my client actually followed the directions of their mental health professional.

They took the medications, they showed up for their appointment and they did everything to the tee.  They were highly motivated to keep custody of the children.  And they still have custody to this day.  And as a matter of fact the agreement entered into by...

Is Your Legal Standing as a Parent Being Ignored by Your Child's School, Daycare or Doctor?


What should a person do if a school, daycare or doctor is ignoring their legal standing as a parent.  The first part of the question is that I want to explore whether or not you really do have legal standing.  You may know you are the birth parent of the child but that does not necessarily mean that you have legal standing.   You need to look at the rules in your state.

In some states it is enough, if you are the father for example, the fact that you are listed on the birth certificate can convey legal standing.  It shows that you are the legal parent of the child. In other states, the fact that you are on the birth certificate may not be enough. 

Part two of what you have to look at is whether or not you have a court order for custody and parenting time.  Because for some schools, daycares and doctor offices the fact that you have a birth certificate which conveys legal standing or even the fact that you have a court order which says that you are...

Letting Things Go (On Your Own Terms) in Your Custody Case


My little girl is going to be seven years old next month.  I can't believe it and time is flying and I'm trying to figure out a way that I can squeeze the most out of every day with her.  But that's a whole other topic!  Last night my husband,  my daughter and I were talking about her seventh birthday party.   For all the years that she's been alive to this point we've always had her birthday party at our house.   We've invited family over and there's been lots of family and last year there was a bunch of kids. 

We had a Piñata and cake and food and it was a huge thing.  This year I thought that it would be fun to have the party at a pool and the reason is because one of my brother's friends is actually a beautiful mermaid who does tricks in the pool.   While my daughter still kind of believes and magic and fairy tales and mermaids and unicorns I thought it would be cool to do something a little...

Timing is Everything in Your Child Custody Case Especially When Filing Your Case

Timing in your case is everything especially when it comes to deciding when you're going to file it.   This comes up because late last year I had a case with a former client.  She came to me and she was worried because her ex-husband was threatening to actually remove the children from school.  This was because he was in the process of buying a new home that was 30 minutes away from my clients home and from the girl's current school and from his current home.  Because the parties reached an agreement many years ago that father would have the final say when it came to educational decisions, he has the power to remove the kids from school.

And by the way the parties agreement also was that she would have final say when it came to the kids’ medical major decisions.   So I guess they kind of thought it was fair but my client didn't foresee when she entered into that agreement that her ex might actually change the school and move it to a place...

Trying to Settle Your Custody Case Outside of the Courtoom


Over the course of 20+ years as a practicing attorney, I’ve taken a lot of custody cases to trial but I’ve also settled a lot of cases.  In fact more of the cases I’ve handled have settled outside of the courtroom. These cases usually get both parties the best results.  Settling on their own terms vs. having the judge tell them what they are going to do with their lives and their children.

Right now I am trying to help settle a case for a client that’s been going on for over a year.  There are a lot of issues including decision-making also known custody of the child as well as parenting time.   In the course of this year we’ve extended a number of settlement offers to he and his attorney.  He has not even responded to any of those settlement offers.  And what has happened is that we have had to go to trial a few times.  We keep thinking we are going to get the case done in one trial setting in several...

Sometimes We Struggle Unnecessarily As We Move Through Our Child Custody Case

There are times in life when we all struggle and sometimes there is struggle as you move through your custody case.  In fact I found myself fretting for a few weeks about what to do in a recent case.  I spent a lot of time struggling to find a solution for my client and overlooked one easy solution because I didn’t think it was possible.  It turned out it was. 

Back in August and September the parties had engaged in a full mediation session with a mediator who was court appointed.  They both arrived at a full agreement and in Arizona these agreements, if signed by both parties are called Rule 69 agreements.

They are binding in the eyes of the court and it’s very difficult to get out of it.   A week or two after they had signed this full agreement my client decided that he really didn’t want the agreement.  I thought uh oh, it’s really going to be hard to get out of this agreement.  I started searching for a ground...