Legal Thoughts by Thomas A Morton

caring, family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ

Friday, 19 July 2013 11:50

Parents' Rights

Mothers and fathers concerned about their Arizona custody rights get a lot of bad information. This article will take some of the confusion and myth out of this area of family law and get parents who are going through custody cases off to a good start. People often believe that there is an obvious bias in family courts against fathers. That is silly. If such a bias existed, then joint legal decision making (joint custody) would not be by far the most common result and equal time parenting plans would not be so common. Parents should instead focus on the facts and evidence they need to support their position. 1. Equal parenting time The first question parents should ask is…
I often consult with people who did not hire an attorney to represent them during their family law case. Now that their case did not go so well, they are looking to hire an attorney to fix it. Usually, it is too late to do much. One of the most common complaints of people in such a situation it that the Judge did not look at their evidence during the trial. However, there is usually a clear reason why the Judge did not look at their evidence. The first and most simple reason that the Judge did not look at a self-represented party's evidence is that he or she did not move it into evidence. I have consulted with several…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:23

Setting Aside Default Divorce Decrees

Last year, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a decision regarding setting aside default divorce decrees. The case involved two parties who were both licensed attorneys who made several procedural errors. In its decision Duckstein v. Wolf, the Arizona Court of Appeals set forth some standards for trial courts in setting aside default divorce decrees. WHAT IS A DEFAULT DIVORCE DECREE? A default divorce decree is the divorce decree that the court issues after the default process. When the petitioner serves the respondent with divorce papers, either by a process server or by the respondent signing an acceptance of service (as was the case in Duckstein), the respondent has 20 days to file his or her response. If the respondent…
Friday, 31 May 2013 21:43

Prepare for a Divorce

Too many people are not ready financially when their spouse decides to file for divorce. If you suspect that a divorce is in your future, it is important to take certain steps to protect yourself and your financial future. Not only do you want to be ready financially, you want to protect yourself in the event that your spouse decides to play nasty, underhanded games, such as run up (or cancel) credit cards, drain the financial accounts, or hide financial accounts. Here is a short list of things that you can do to protect yourself. 1. Get to know your assets, liabilities and monthly living expenses. Many people have no idea of their monthly living expenses, debts or assets. While…
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:43

Arizona Legal Separation

Arizona recognizes legal separation. At least one party must be a resident of the state and both parties must agree to the legal separation. If one party objects to a decree of legal separation, the court shall direct that the pleadings be amended to seek dissolution of the marriage. Issues and Procedure in a Legal Separation The issues in a legal separation are the same as in a dissolution of marriage ("divorce"): spousal maintenance, child support, legal decision making, parenting time, property, debt, and attorney's fees and costs. The procedure is also the same. The only practical difference between a legal separation and a dissolution of marriage is that the parties are still legally marriage and therefore cannot marry someone…
In a letter dated April 29, 2013, the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education informed Thomas Morton that the Foundation had selected him as a 2013 recipient of the Top Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona award. The Foundation instituted the award to recognize attorneys who "have tirelessly given their time and expertise to assist Arizonans who would otherwise have no legal resources." The nomination for this award came from the Children's Law Center Volunteer Lawyer Program. The Foundation plans to publicly announce Tom's award in the July/August issue of Arizona Attorney, the publication of record of the State Bar of Arizona. Tom accepts pro bono juvenile court cases from the Children's Law Center, including guardianships, severances, and adoptions. He…
A paternity action establishes the paternity of a child born out of wedlock. It may also establish legal decision making (also known as custody), parenting time (visitation), child support, past child support, and the child’s name. A person filing a paternity action must do so in Arizona Superior Court. The fact that a parent, child, or both are not residents of Arizona does not bar the proceeding. The person filing the action may do so in the county of residence of the person filing, the respondent, or the child. The mother, father, guardian, conservator, "best friend," a county public welfare official or agency, or the State of Arizona may file a paternity action. The person filing the action may do…
Page 12 of 15

Contact Info

Thomas A. Morton, P. L. L. C.
2916 N. 7th Avenue, Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85013
(602) 595-6870

Call Today!

(602) 595-6870

If you have a legal issue but aren't sure how to handle it, call Thomas A. Morton, Attorney.

If you've got a problem, let's work together and determine how to help you!