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Grant L Stratton

Grant Stratton’s Answers

10 total

  • I need to divorce with my husband for 3 years I told him we should divorce due to emotional abuse...We have two young children

    Grant’s Answer

    You can ask the Divorce court to award the marital home as temporary orders and if there has been domestic violence the court can award the marital home as part of an order of protection. The latter is faster although it means entangling two different courts in your divorce proceedings which adds some extra steps.

    For more information I would set up a consultation with an attorney.

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  • Do I have to take my son to visit his father in another state because school is out for the Corona virus?

    Grant’s Answer

    I also largely agree with my colleges. I wanted to add that as this situation evolves, so might the answer to this question. Internationally some countries have instituted quarantines, required their citizens to shelter in place, and there are some states that have talked about instituting a travel ban or authorized the local public health authority to institute one if it becomes necessary. If there's a public health or governor's order in your state that DIRECTLY conflicts with your parenting plan, you are for sure going to need to talk to a Family Law attorney about it.

    You may also want to start talking now to the other parent about your plan for if this happens, how to maintain the parent child relationship to the extent possible. Think about what you would want the other parent to offer you if a quarantine goes into effect when the child their home, and start from there.

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  • "Will I get into trouble for saying these things"

    Grant’s Answer

    Under Arizona criminal law, a "threat" requires that you say you will do immediate harm to a person or property. The threat has to be not conditioned on a future event, and has to be imminent i.e. "I'm coming to your place right now" vs. "Next month when I can afford to come down there I'm going to....""

    On the other hand, our harassment statute is vague. One of the problems is that it uses the word to define itself, which can lead judges into a sort of "I know it when I see it" mentality.

    This is more true in injunction against harassment actions--there is no guarantee a judge doing an injunction against harassment has any criminal background, and in those kinds of hearings judges err on the side of caution.

    Bottom line, I don't think you've done anything wrong. But it's possible that the person might try to get an injunction (court order) telling you not to contact them anymore. That's the worst I see possibly coming out of this.

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  • Do I really have to fly to Arizona to take care of this

    Grant’s Answer

    You might want to consult an Arizona attorney before making any deals, but there are procedures for a plea by phone / plea by mail. You can also request to appear by phone but allowing you to do so is entirely in the discretion of the court. Generally you are not allowed to appear by phone for trial because that just sets the court up for an appeal, and I don't know a judge that likes to get a notice of appeal.

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  • Spousal maint is part of a signed rule 69. Can I start wage garnishment to collect?

    Grant’s Answer

    You will need to get an income withholding order signed by the judge and sent to your husband's employer to finish this process. After that the withholding should take place without any more work on your part.

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  • Can my daughters fatherget full physical custody without serving me court documents. He's constantly threatening me through text

    Grant’s Answer

    I would say, first of all, that it seems like there is a lot to unpack here so you will likely want to consult with an attorney to get a detailed consideration of your situation and get an answer specific to your situation.

    Two things you might want to consider between now and then. If his texts are repetitive and hostile or he has threatened physical harm to you or to damage something you own, you might be able to get an order of protection as a stopgap to get the inappropriate text messages to stop until you get the custody part worked out.

    Second thing is, you should be careful about what you say to him in text. If a custody battle is really upcoming, what you say may be used against you, and if you come to an agreement you later regret, it may be enforced by the court.

    Again, go consult with a lawyer. It sounds like this is going to continue to escalate until family court orders can be entered.

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  • Chance that custody can change after little to no improvement from the other party?

    Grant’s Answer

    This sounds like a case that could really go either way depending on who your judge is, how each side presents themselves in court, what the complete history of her drug / alcohol testing looks like, and what the child says in the child interview.

    If you are concerned about the possible outcome, I would at least schedule a consultation with an attorney to advise you how to present your case in it's best light.

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  • How I find out if my spouse filed for divorce?

    Grant’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I notice you marked that you are from Tucson. If the divorce is happening in Tucson, then the public access website for the Pima County Superiior Court is called AGAVE web. Just search google AGAVE Pima County Superior Court and then do a search by name. If he has filed, the case will come up.

    Alternatively he has to serve you with (provide you with formal notice of) the initial paperwork from filing before the divorce can be heard by a judge.

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  • Is there a way to get injunction to stop litigation in family court after decree has filed?

    Grant’s Answer

    There's two possible ways to approach this:

    The standard way would be that a petition for modification of child support requires there to be proof of a substantial change in circumstances. If she hasn't alleged one, you might try a motion to dismiss.

    But what I think you are really asking about is the vexatious litigants list, a remedy in Arizona that prevents a person not represented by a lawyer from filing new cases without the express permission of the presiding judge. But you have to prove that the other person is using the courts for the purpose of harassment or for other outrageous conduct. Specifically you have to prove at least one of the following (taken from A.R.S. 12-3201):

    (a) Repeated filing of court actions solely or primarily for the purpose of harassment.
    (b) Unreasonably expanding or delaying court proceedings.
    (c) Court actions brought or defended without substantial justification.
    (d) Engaging in abuse of discovery or conduct in discovery that has resulted in the imposition of sanctions against the pro se litigant.
    (e) A pattern of making unreasonable, repetitive and excessive requests for information.
    (f) Repeated filing of documents or requests for relief that have been the subject of previous rulings by the court in the same litigation.

    My thought is that a court will likely impose other sanctions like having them pay your court fees to defend the action first, and will put a person on the vexatious litigants list only as a last resort. I wouldn't ask for this unless the court has first sanctioned the other party at least once already in some other way.

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  • Can a detective make you leave your house? If you haven't been arrested or charged.

    Grant’s Answer

    Nothing you have said so far suggests that a police officer has the right force your father-in-law to leave the home. Short of an arrest, or a warrant to search the home, he can refuse to leave.

    However, there may be some merit in considering having him live in a separate residence until the investigation is over. The reason for this is that if there are children in the home, and the police or a child safety worker determines that there is some basis in fact for the report, they could consider removing the children in your home in order to protect them. This could involve criminal or juvenile dependency cases against you and/or the mother of the children for failing to protect them. I believe that's what the officer was getting at, even if it may have been phrased inappropriately.

    You should also keep in mind that although you and your father in law may refuse to have either police or child safety workers enter your home or interview you, Arizona law allows child safety workers in some instances to interview children without parental consent, generally if they are believed to be the victim of child abuse or are the sibling of a child believed to be a victim.

    Because of that, the decision about whether or not to cooperate with an investigation and what the limits on your cooperation should be if you choose to do so is extremely fact sensitive. If there is any question in your mind that something may have happened, it will be important to get an attorney's advice regarding how to interact with police and child safety workers going forward.

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