>> ryan: we are with judd nemiro. judd isa divorce attorney in phoenix, arizona. today, he’s going to some answer some questions relatedto father’s rights. with that said, judd, we’re just going to go in to the first questionthat was asked. i am about to go through a divorce. i have two children. what can i doahead of time to ensure i receive at least partial custody? >> judd: thanks ryan. this is a question ireceive a lot from some of the men i represent. just a quick note in arizona, they use a term"legal decision making" for custody and i will only use that term here as well as custody.that basically means the ability to make religious, medical, and educational decisions for yourchildren. i think this question is also talking
about some parenting time, which is amountof time you could spend with your kids. now, when you have two children, it’s going todepend on their ages, given how much time you will typically get as a father. if youcurrently are living with your children and you have some time, you are almost guaranteedto get at least partial custody or partial parenting time on the decision-making. mostlikely, you will receive joint legal decision-making. the only things that can keep you from receivingpartial custody or if you have what we call fitness problems, and that is history of oneof these, or current issues about one of these following things; child abuse, neglect, molestation,felony, misdemeanors, drug or alcohol abuse and domestic violence issues. if none of thoseis present, a father that has been consistently
in the childrenï¿½s life going through divorcecan expect to at least receive partial custody. and what i find is that, in that situation,most of the time the minimum amount of parenting time a father will receive would be everyother weekend and then one night per week. but typically, if a father has been involvedin the childrenï¿½s life, he is going to receive equal parenting time. that’s also going tobe dependent on the age of the children. if the children are very young, typically thejudges are not going to give the father equal parenting time. they prefer to have the childrenspend more time with the mother. as they get older, the father should be able to get equalparenting time splitting the week or month equally with the other parent. so if there’ssomething you can do to make sure that you
receive at least partial custody, it’s startavoiding trouble with the law. if you are using drugs or alcohol then you need to stopthat immediately. do not engage in any type of violence with the other party. you needto make sure that you are considering any evidence that could be used against you byyour wife that she may try to use to show to your child and try to paint you as beingthe bad father. >> ryan: okay. all right. the next questionwas, will my income level affect access to my children? >> judd: that is an interesting question.generally, income level is only related to child support. i think the only time yourincome level would affect access to children
is if, for example, you are not leaving inthe same area. most of my clients are in phoenix, so if i have a client that lives out of state.then, what are my travel costs? the client simply cannot afford to travel from otherstate, fly with the children or make trips on a regular basis into phoenix to see thechildren, then that is going to affect the amount of time they can see their children.but just making more or less money is not going to affect any sort of parenting timeorders or legal decision making custody orders. it’s not supposed to factor in but of courseif you have more money, you can hire a more expensive lawyer. and you will typically getbetter results with that and there are some not directly related things but secondaryrelated type of issues.
>> ryan: all right. next question we have,i have a custody agreement with my ex-wife, which i would like to change. is this possible? >> judd: the way it works in arizona is thatyou can modify custody, parenting time or the legal decision making only after one yearfrom the previous order. the court wants to prevent people from going back immediatelyafter getting an order if they don’t like it. so you can modify one year after the lastone has been made. in order to do that, you need to show the court that there’s been asubstantial continuing change on the minor child’s life and how you define that is reallyup to you. the judge is going to define that based on their discretion has it been a substantialcontinuing change. typically, a substantial
continued change is if the child is now atschool so logistically the parentsï¿½ old plan does not work or one of the parents hasmoved so there is a need for a change. i often see that one of the parents is now in prisonor one of the parents is now in relapse and they are addicted to drugs or they are analcoholic. those are typical substantial continuing change i see that make me want to go backand modify custody in her case. it’s definitely available. there’s also some exception thatwhen you are applying and there are these; if the child is currently in physical danger,you can request an emergency modification of the custody or parenting plan arrangement.one of the parents has not been following that parenting plan very well, after six months,then you can request the court to modify,
besides that, you have to wait for a year. >> ryan: okay. all right. and the final questionwe had was, i was notified by an ex-girlfriend that i might be the father of a six-year-oldboy. she has asked me to take a paternity test. what are my options? >> judd: good question. if a mother, for example,i see lots of situations where the mother and the father had a very short relationshipor are not in a relationship at all but they did have a kid out of their action. the motherhas not attempted to collect child support and the father has been out of the child’slife for six years. he didn’t realize he had a child or he realized he had but he had questionsabout paternity, if he’s actually the father.
this is a situation i see very often. basically,a mother, all she needs to do, and this typically happens because they requested assistancefrom the department of economic services for child support. before someone can be in thehook for child support, the department needs to prove that they are the father but anyother situation a mother can go and file something in the court and have the father serve ifshe thinks that he is the father. now, in both of those situations that i mentioned,father has the right to receive the genetic test. for my clients, i always recommend thatthey get a genetic test because they do not want to be on the hook for child support for18 years if they are not the father. they also don’t want to establish relationshipwith the child and investing a lot of time
and effort with the child that was not biologicallytheirs. so those are the options that they have, they do have to respond to [00:08:11.26]but they definitely want to take a genetic test to ensure that it is absolutely theirchild. i guess with this question, it is pretty clear. it suggest that the father have noidea that there’s a 6-year old boy out there that maybe his [00:08:30.00] >> ryan: all right. well, judd thanks foryour time. if you have any additional questions for judd, you can actually post questionsunder the youtube comment section. he’s agreed to come back to you with answers directlyonline. with your questions are more private in nature or quite personal or if you do notwant to post them you can also reach out to
him directly. thanks for your time judd. >> judd: thanks ryan. if anyone has any questionsabout the things i have mentioned here about family law in arizona. you can give my officea call. it can be seen on the screen, it is 602-237-5323. you can email me and add meat firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also walk in to our office. the are many ways to contactus if you have any questions. >> ryan: thanks judd.