Legal Thoughts by Thomas A Morton

caring, family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ

Friday, 14 August 2015 17:23

Six Rules for People Getting a Divorce

I have a lot of advice on my blog about the law and procedure of family law, but very little about how to get through a divorce in one piece, or at least without hitting the self destruct button on your personal life.  Here are six rules for people going through a divorce that I have developed over my years as a divorce lawyer.  More rules undoubtedly exist, and perhaps some of these rules can be combined into one rule, but these are the specific things that I see people do to themselves.  Finally, as with all rules, they may be a bit like the Pirate Code, according to Captain Barbossa of the Pirates of the Carribean movies: "...more like…
Thursday, 06 August 2015 16:57

How to Recover Uninsured Medical Expenses

One issue with which parents often struggle is how to give notice to the other parent of unreimbursed medical expenses for the parties’ children.  The Arizona Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue in an unpublished decision. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines require the parent seeking reimbursement from the other parent to give notice to the other parent within 180 days of incurring the expense.  The notice need not be in writing and need not include a receipt, unless the other parent asks for it. The parties in the appellate case operated under these rules until the court entered a modification order requiring the parent seeking reimbursement from the other parent to give notice in writing within 30 days of…
Thursday, 30 July 2015 16:13

Grandparents Visitation Rights in Arizona

Arizona law provides for grandparents (and other people who are not parents) to get a court order for visitation with a child.  When grandparents seek visitation with a child, they usually do so because their child (the parent of the grandchild) has passed away or has very limited time with the child, such as in the case of a parent who frequently deploys with the military, who lives across the country, or who has abandoned the child. The best route is usually for the grandparents and parents to talk to each other and come to an agreement for the grandparents to visit the child.  My first advice to either parent or the grandparents is to talk to the other parties…
Every Parent Has an Obligation to Support His or Her Children. Arizona law provides that every parent has a duty to provide financial support to his or her children until the children reach the age of majority.  In most circumstances, the age of majority for child support purposes is 18 years or when the child graduates from high school, whichever is later, up to the age of 19 years.  In the case of a disabled child who cannot provide for his or her needs and remains dependant on his or her parents for support, Arizona courts may order a parent to continue to financially support the child past the age of majority. Arizona Has No Statute of Limitation on Arrears.…
Many people go through a divorce, receive a money judgment against their former spouse for something other than child support or spousal maintenance, and then do not know what to do with it when the other former spouse does not pay the judgment.  Unlike a child support judgment or a spousal maintenance judgment, the State of Arizona will not help you enforce the judgment and you must do so yourself.  Different rules apply to different kinds of judgment, but this article is only about a regular money judgment, such as for property. The first thing you should do with a money judgment is record it with the county recorder.  Often, the best choice for your second step in collecting a…
Thursday, 02 October 2014 18:35

Please Vote for Thomas A. Morton, PLLC.

I have applied for a grant from Chase Bank.  I need 250 votes by October 17, 2014 for consideration.  I would greatly appreciate your vote.  You can vote for me here:   Hopefully, I can get back to my regular weekly blog with advice about family law, divorce, and bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona next week.  UNtil then, take care.   Thank you!
Thursday, 04 September 2014 16:50

Termination of Parental Rights Basics

Some of the most disturbing cases are termination of parental rights cases.  The power of our government to take a child away from a parent should disturb anyone.  However, what some parents do to their children is even worse.  The juvenile court must walk a fine line between protecting children and not violating parents’ rights.  Cases in juvenile court can be the most disturbing, but it is also where a lawyer can do the most to protect a child.  To illustrate the legal standards in terminating a parent’s rights, I summarized below a published Arizona appellate court decision from about four years ago. The trial court terminated Father’s parental rights regarding his two daughters because he was unable to discharge…
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