Family Law Glossary
Legal Decision Making Authority: Joint legal decision making authority refers to a parent’s authority to make decisions about their child’s life. This includes the child’s healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, and religious instruction. More often than not, parents share joint legal decision making authority over their child. It is very difficult to deprive a parent of their legal decision making authority.
Temporary Orders Hearing: Oftentimes, a divorce or custody proceeding can go on for many months, even years. As such, Arizona courts hold temporary orders hearings in domestic relations cases. These hearings set the “ground rules” throughout the course of litigation. Courts will make temporary orders regarding legal decision making, spousal maintenance, parental visitation, and child support. These orders do not necessarily reflect those which the Judge will enter following trial.
Spousal Maintenance: Spousal maintenance are funds which one spouse pays to the other. There are several factors a court may consider when determining if an award of spousal maintenance is appropriate. They are: 1) If entitled to an award of spousal maintenance, the court will also determine a monthly amount and the length of time which payments will last.
Arrears: Arrears is money owed that should have been paid earlier. In family law cases, this refers to backpay in either child support or spousal maintenance. It should be noted that failure to make such payments not only results in backpay, but also results in accruing interest.
UCCJEA: The UCCJEA refers to the Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act. This law primarily concerns itself with a State’s jurisdiction over a child. The act states that a child’s home state has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over a custody dispute. The child’s home state is the state in which the child has lived with a parent for 6 consecutive months. As such, if a child has not live in Arizona for at least 6 months, then Arizona does not have jurisdiction over them.
Custodial Interference: Custodial interference refers to one parent’s intentional obstruction of the parental rights of the other. More often than not, custodial interference occurs in the realm of parenting time. For example, a mother may intentionally withhold a minor child from their father with the aim and goal of depriving the father of the child’s presence. If this is in violation of a court order, it is a class 5 felony, in violation of A.R.S. 131302.
Parental Alienation: Parental alienation syndrome occurs when, “a child becomes an unwitting ally to the alienating parent,” and, “occurs when one parent campaigns successfully to manipulate his or her children despite the absence of legitimate reasons for the children to harbor such animosity.” 127 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 237, Proof Of Parental Alienation In Action For Modification Of Custody Of Child.
There are several elements in determining whether parental alienation syndrome exists. In relevant part, they are as follows: (1) campaign of denigration against the parent; (2) weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the depreciation; (3) presence of borrowed scenarios; and (4) manipulation of children’s schedules to preclude visitation. If there is parental in your case, it is necessary to retain an attorney.
Rule 69 Agreement: Such an agreement is a settlement between parties, usually short of trial. The Agreement may incorporate an or all all the issues presented in the petition and is freely entered into by the parties. The court accepts the Rule 69 agreement, and it is enforced as a court order.
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