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Ryan Hardy
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Ryan Hardy’s Answers

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  • Can ANY attorney represent a family law case? Or do they need to specialize in it?

    My ex boyfriend is going for full custody. He has an attorney, I do not. His attorney has made numerous mistakes on documents that have been filed. Laura Taylor, lawyer, claims the practice of public finance, exempt finance and estate planning.

    Ryan’s Answer

    As long as she is licensed in Arizona and is in good standing with the State Bar, then, yes, she can represent your ex boyfriend. Her making numerous mistakes may give you the opportunity to highlight those issues in a latter trial.

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  • Is there any way i can get full custody but still grant him with visitation?

    My husband left me when i was 4 months pregnant, when he left he said he was too young to have a kid and he did not want the baby, after that he came back wanting the rights of a father. I am now 7 months

    Ryan’s Answer

    First, it is important to recognize the public policy of the state of Arizona. Under the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), it is the "declared public policy" that "absent evidence to the contrary it is in the child's best interest":

    1. To have substantial, frequent, and meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents.
    2. To have both parents participate in decision-making about the child. A.R.S. 25-103(B).

    As such, it is possible to seek full custody (or what is referred to as "sole legal decision-making"), but you will have to show that there is "evidence" that you should have sole legal decision-making.

    It is important to note that the "policy" does not create a "presumption" to where you have to overcome a burden of proof. If that were the case, it would be even more difficult to be awarded sole legal decision-making. However, you still need to show sufficient evidence that demonstrates it is in your child's best interest that you be the sole legal decision-maker and/or that Father should have limited/restricted visitation.

    You should also be aware that even if you both share joint legal decision-making, this does not necessarily mean equal time will be awarded. This is especially true with newborn children- it is very common to see visitation gradually increase for one parent as the child gets older in those cases. You can still be the primary residential parent, and seek a more limited parenting time schedule for the Father in the beginning.

    Ultimately, though, there are likely facts in your case that we on this board are unaware of, and it would be prudent for you to seek out expert advice regarding your situation.

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  • Can my wife keep my daughter from me?

    My wife of over 10 years and I ended our relationship about a year ago because she was unfaithful. I am still saving up for the divorce because I know she will cause problems and likely refuse to sign so I am saving for a lawyer as well. She does ...

    Ryan’s Answer

    I know you are saving up to file for divorce. However, you are at a point where you shouldn't wait any longer. Even if you can't afford an attorney full-time, there may be some limited scope options available with attorneys, or you can go to the self service center. In essence, there are two underlying issues here as to why you should file as soon as possible. First, she is withholding time from you with your daughter which is not in the child's best interest. I am aware you clarified that you have actually seen her in the last year, but I am presuming that you are seeing her far less than "frequent and meaningful" contact as required by Arizona public policy.

    The second concern is the pending CPS investigation and the fact that the child has been around a convicted felon. This issue needs to be discussed in court as soon as possible.

    Likely, you will need to file a Petition for Dissolution as well as a Motion for Temporary Orders (ask for an expedited hearing). Based on the facts you described, it sounds as though you should be doing it sooner rather than later.

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  • Can I the father get emergency custody?

    A 2-2-5-5 order was established July 2015. Since is was a confusing schedule the mother of my daughter n I come to an agreement for my daughter to be at each home for a week. Well since the mother of my daughter kept complaining about everything ...

    Ryan’s Answer

    Based on the facts you described, I would be surprised if you would be granted Emergency Orders. You have to show that the child is in imminent physical or emotional danger, and I am dubious the one scenario you listed would be enough. To get a better idea of whether a Modifcation of current order should occur, you would benefit from a consultation. You should note that typically you cannot modify custody/parenting time orders until 1 year has elapsed from the time of the orders. However, if there has been a violation of parenting time orders, then you may do so within 6 months. If it is an emergency issue, you can file for a Modification at any time.

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  • Can you represent my husband in court for an emergency injunction? would this be costly?

    Needing to gain Full-custody of child ASAP! Mother has several warrants out in several counties along with having the child homeless for who knows how long. She will say whatever you want to hear to make things okay between you. There are several ...

    Ryan’s Answer

    The first question I have is whether the Emergency Motion has already been filed, and whether there is already a hearing date set. If no filing, you need to begin there. These can be granted immediately, if, via your pleadings, you can show the Judge that the child is in imminent and serious danger. If granted immediately, you would retain temporary emergency custody over the minor child until a hearing is set. The hearing usually is held within a ten day period of the filing.

    If it is not granted immediately, often the Court will still set a hearing date shortly thereafter. That said, it is wise to have a contingency plan. You should also file a Motion for Temporary Orders along with the Emergency filing in case it is denied.

    As far as cost goes, it really depends, and each attorney will have different cost structures. You should call a few until you settle with someone you feel most comfortable with. Many of us offer free consultations, and you should take advantage of getting a couple free consultations.

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  • What are our options at this point?

    A current court order exists for child visitation. The mother refuses to follow the order. Police were called to enforce order and mom states she refuses to follow the court order and will continue to refuse.

    Ryan’s Answer

    I agree with the above attorneys regarding the need to file a Petition to Enforce. I would also add that if there is continued violation of parenting time orders, this may also serve as a sufficient reason to Modify the parenting time orders. Under A.R.S. 25-411, you can Modify 6 months after an Order for visitation has been entered IF violations are occurring. I recommend speaking with a family law attorney to discuss both of these options in your case.

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  • Best solutions for child starting school

    When discussing primary residence due to child getting ready to start life going to school, is it better to come up with a parenting plan(schedule) or just stick to discussing school. We DON'T live in same town, about 35-40 mile difference, joint ...

    Ryan’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I think because of the distance between the two of you, an equal parenting time schedule will likely be very difficult to continue, and a modification may need to be filed regarding parenting time. It makes little sense to have the child switch back and forth between schools (as you noted as something she wants done in your comment below), and it also is likely not prudent to have the child go to a school 10 -15 minutes away from her if there is a school that is closer.

    If she is arguing the child should go to school closer to her (but 10-15 miles away), and you are arguing the child should go to school close to you (and right near your house), I think you already have one fact in your favor to be the primary residential parent if the case is litigated.

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  • How and what do I file with the courts to get a warrant for his arrest for non-payment of child support?

    My ex owes over $7000 in child support and has just returned to town after 2 years wanting to try to be a dad. He hasn't seen our daughter, because he couldn't produce 6 clean ua's. I want to get a warrant for his arrest, and the courts now have h...

    Ryan’s Answer

    The above posters are correct in that you can file a Petition to Enforce and for Contempt for Child Support. The Judge would likely set a purge award, and he could face incarceration for failure to pay as well. Of course, that is what you "may" do. You could also start by writing a letter or attempting to settle the issue with him, especially if you are trying to balance the child support issue and trying to reintroduce him into your daughter's life.

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  • Am I at risk of having to pay alimony?

    Getting a divorce: I married in medical school and my wife worked during this time. This funded our living expenses but not my education. Now as a family medicine resident I am working and she is getting her pHD (I am funding our living expenses b...

    Ryan’s Answer

    The first step is determining whether she would even qualify for spousal support pursuant to A.R.S. 25-319(A). Under that statute it goes through four factors. The first two have to do with whether she has sufficient income/property to meet her reasonable needs or if she is able to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment. Considering she is getting her pHD, it is quite likely the first two factors won't apply.

    The third factor is whether she contributed to the "educational opportunities of the other spouse. Even though she didn't pay for your "education" she still paid for living expenses while you were in school and it could be argued she contributed to your educational opportunities in doing so. Likewise, it appears you could make a similar argument.

    However, that is just to determine if she or you would qualify for spousal support. Next, the Court would go through a series of 13 factors that would determine the amount and duration. There is no guideline or calculator to determine this amount, and it is very arbitrary. Spousal support is very difficult to predict and the facts can be relatively fact-sensitive.

    For example, the length of your marriage is relevant, the education you both have is relevant, the standard of living, etc. There is a lot to consider. Based on a simple reading of the small amount of facts you presented, it doesn't seem like a case where spousal support would be at issue, but more facts would have to be known to give you a better idea. Further, she may not even seek spousal support and it may end up being a non-issue altogether.

    Many firms on here, like mine, offer free consultations and it would be wise to consult with an attorney to get more information.

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  • I'm looking for some help to re-file for child support? And seek my options If i should or not?

    I'am a mother of a 3 year and I pay her father child support $91 a month. When we first added the child support calculations his lawyer and mine didnt add in all the work bonus that he makes because they said it doesn't count. My lawyer told me th...

    Ryan’s Answer

    It is important to note that under the Guidelines, when handling "bonuses" it states as follows: "Each parent should have the choice of working additional hours through overtime or at a second job without increasing the child support award. The court may, however, consider income actually earned that is greater than would have been earned by full-time employment if that income was historically earned from a regular schedule and is anticipated to continue into the future."

    Based on the above, the Court MAY consider bonuses that are regular and historically earned. However, the caveat is the use of the word "MAY". Courts are not required to add the bonus income into the child support calculation, but they may do so if it meets the factual scenario described above.

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