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Relocating Children in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”

Posted on : March 2, 2016, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Relocating Children in Arizona

Relocating Children in Arizona

According to Arizona law, parents are required by statute to wait a year before requesting a modification to previously issued order regarding legal decision making and parenting time. In Murray v. Murray, the Arizona Court of Appeals considered the application of this requirement to a parent’s request to relocate with the children when that relocation would affect parenting time or legal decision making for the parents. Kamen Rae Murray (Mother) and Sean Noel Patrick Murray (Father) were granted an order awarding both parents joint legal decision making over their children in 2009. The court subsequently issued another order modifying parenting time in January 2014. Pursuant to the modification, Mother and Father continued to share joint legal decision making, but Father’s parenting time was increased to six days every two weeks. A month later, in the month of February 2014, Father learned Mother intended to remarry and relocate with the children to the state of Nebraska. He filed a Motion to Prevent Relocation and Request for Attorney’s Fees and Costs.

The court granted Father’s motion in August 2014 ruling that Mother could not take the children to Nebraska. The mother then filed a Motion for Clarification and/or Motion to Amend Under Advisement Ruling, followed by an Expedited Motion to Allow Petitioner’s Witnesses to Appear Telephonically for Trial and a Motion to Enforce the Parties’ Agreement. Mother’s motions were denied and Father was awarded a portion of his attorney’s fees and costs. Mother appealed the judge’s rulings.

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
A Google User
A Google User
20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
A Google User
A Google User
21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
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14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
A Google User
A Google User
16:03 22 Nov 17
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
A Google User
A Google User
22:14 28 Jun 17
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
A Google User
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18:16 18 Sep 17
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
A Google User
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19:22 23 Aug 17
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
A Google User
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17:44 23 Jun 16
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
Bassam Ziadeh
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21:20 02 Apr 18
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Larry Flint
Larry Flint
21:53 27 Feb 18
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Sam Franchimone
Sam Franchimone
22:09 12 Sep 13

Child Relocation in Arizona and the One Year Rule

Arizona Child Relocation and the One Year Rule.

Arizona Child Relocation and the One Year Rule.

On appeal, Mother argued the superior court judge erred in his ruling that A.R.S. Section 25-411(A) prevented the relocation of the children less than a year after the modification order issued January 2014. Additional findings of the court were that even were the one-year restriction not to apply to the case, Mother did not prove to the court that the relocation of the children would be in their best interests.  The Arizona Court of Appeals reviewed the case to determine if the judge abused his discretion. After review, it found the superior court judge’s application of A.R.S. Section 25-411(A) to the case to prevent Mother’s relocation with the children was correct due to the fact that the one year waiting period to modify the prior legal decision making and parenting time order had not expired.

The move would have required that changes be made to the parenting time arrangements already established by the January 2014 order. It was also concluded that the move may have also required a change in legal decision making. Mother’s plan to move with the children to Nebraska, with Father continuing to reside in Arizona, would disrupt Father’s parenting time and impact his ability to participate in shared legal decision making over the children.

An Agreement to Relocate Children in Arizona

Mother also argued that the trial court erred when it denied her motion to enforce an alleged agreement she reached with Father that purportedly allowed her to move with the children to Nebraska.  She claimed the parties reached the agreement while Father’s motion to prevent the children’s relocation was pending before the court. Mother presented numerous emails and text messages as evidence of the alleged agreement. Father did not dispute he had agreed to allow the move, but he argued he did not sign any written agreement and, further, that the court should not enforce the alleged agreement because the relocation was not in the children’s best interests. The trial court ruled that the statements in the emails constituted settlement negotiations and were, therefore, not admissible as evidence, pursuant to Rule 408 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Rule 69 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure provide that an agreement between parties is valid and binding if it is in writing or recited by the parties on the record.  The Arizona Court of Appeals, therefore, concluded that the trial court’s ruling precluding Mother from presenting evidence of an alleged agreement between the parties in the form of emails and text messages was in error.  The appellate court also noted that Rule 408 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence only applied to the use of statements in settlement negotiations used to impeach a witness or prove or disprove the validity of a disputed claim, but not as in this case to prove the existence of a binding settlement agreement between the parties.

The Arizona Court of Appeals also concluded that the trial court’s erred when it made a finding that the move was not in the children’s best interests without first conducting a trial and hearing evidence on the issue.  The Arizona Court of Appeals, therefore, vacated the orders and remanded the case back to the trial court to conduct a trial on the issues.

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