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Joan M Bundy

Joan Bundy’s Answers

754 total


  • Does a Durable power of attorney need to be witnessed more than just by the notary

    Joan’s Answer

    No. In Arizona both a Notary Public and a separate witness must sign all healthcare and financial powers of attorney. Perhaps there would be a way to do the two on separate days (one visitor at a time)? I'm just not sure. Best of luck!

  • Can I recant guardianship if a child if the parent is doing better?

    Joan’s Answer

    Yes. You should be able to file something with the court requesting to terminate guardianship (no idea though whether you have a temporary or permanent guardianship as you did not say). Regardless, it's not as final as adoption so it is possible the court will return the child to his biological parent if they can show that they are a safe and appropriate placement. Best of luck!

  • Is there a specific age in Arizona where a child can decline visitation with parent?

    Joan’s Answer

    I agree with my esteemed colleague and would add that the court typically applies the rule of sevens: 7 yrs old and younger, presumed incapable of giving reliable testimony (being subject to a "child interview," not testifying in court let's be clear); 8-13, rebuttably (possibly) capable; and 14+, presumed capable. You may want to ask the judge to order child interviews and/or a parenting evaluation, which will often include child interviews. Best of luck!

  • What can I legally do in this situation?

    Joan’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague that this is probably a school law/policy issue not family law. However, as to whether your ex can refuse to allow you to speak with your children, the question is it depends. If they're eating dinner and don't want to be disturbed, then yes. If they are playing in a sports contest, then yes. If he is not letting you have daily remote access--which is the norm in divorces and child custody establishment cases in Arizona--then we have a problem and you should go back to court to enforce the court orders. Best of luck!

  • How can i get my kids passports issued or renewed if the father dont agree to do it?

    Joan’s Answer

    Ask the judge to issue an order requiring him to sign whatever paperwork is necessary to renew the children's passports. This is a safety and security matter, not one that should be up for debate. Now whether you can actually go out of the country for a time with the children for a specific trip IS typically something that both parents have the ability to weigh in on, especially if there is joint legal decision-making as is typical. Still he cannot unreasonably withhold consent unless there is a reasonable fear you will kidnap the children and not return to the US. Best of luck!

  • I'm due to give birth. Unwed, father wants the baby to have his last name. How do courts decide these things?

    Joan’s Answer

    My understanding is that, in the vast majority of the United States (except for some Native American tribes), we use a patrilineal genealogy system. That means that children are traced through their father's line primarily. We could debate all day whether that is right or wrong, but it does mean that unless the parents can agree otherwise, the child generally will be assigned the last name of the father on the birth certificate, at the hospital at the birth, etc. If you guys can agree to some kind of hyphenated surname, that would be great. Barring an agreement, though, the father's surname will be applied. Best of luck with the birth!

  • I’m 16 I live with my aunt and she has custody of me can I move with my dad if I wanted to?

    Joan’s Answer

    I certainly can empathize with your predicament, and it makes sense that you would want to live with your father. He is your closest living relative, after all. However, it's not quite as simple as that. A judge has to decide what is in your best interests, based on all the possible options. It sounds as if your aunt has gone to court and requested and been granted at least some kind of guardianship/custodianship or something along those line, likely through juvenile dependency court. Unless it's turned into a permanent guardianship or adoption, it can possibly undone if your father is interested in stepping up and telling the court he can and wants to have custody of you instead. He would need to participate in the court case and show that he is stable enough to care for you full-time. I wish you the best of luck! Take care.

  • Can I be charged with animal cruelty in NYC for severely matted dogs?

    Joan’s Answer

    That does not sound like animal abuse, although it might be considered neglect. Regardless, a groomer is not a mandatory reporter like a veterinarian. Rest assured the best thing you can do for your pets right now is to take them to a groomer and help them be free of their "severe" mats. Or do the best you can at home to remote the mats and make them more comfortable in the meantime. Best of luck!

  • Is there a way to open my divorce case back up without having to file all over again?

    Joan’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear about your situation. However, it sounds like you are going to need to go back to court regardless if you want the court to reexamine or reconsider its decisions. Without more information about what went wrong, what you want fixed and how long it's been since your last court hearing, it is difficult to advise you further. Best, Joan

  • Does she deserve bah and why do i have to give it to her?

    Joan’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear about your situation. However, I do not presently handle any Pinal County cases. If you email me at [email protected], I will gladly send you a list of capable family-law attorneys who do practice there. Meanwhile, if I am understanding you correctly, you want to know whether your BAH (which I believe is a military abbreviation for Basic Allowance for Housing?) should count toward your income in determining child support and/or spousal maintenance. Is that right? If so, yes, it would count. Arizona is a no-fault state and the court does not penalize someone for infidelity or getting financial support from a new significant other. Best of luck! Joan