Learn About Rule 2b Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure in Arizona

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Divorce and other family law cases are subject to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure in Arizona. One such rule you may hear in a divorce or other family law case is Rule 2b. So, what is Rule 2b and why should care about that particular rule. Rule 2b was added to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure to allow people in a divorce to opt out of the Arizona Rules of Evidence.

The Arizona Rules of Evidence contain very specific requirements relating to what a person in a divorce must do to introduce evidence at a trial. Many people are unfamiliar with those requirements.

That creates problems with people who want to testify at their trial or present documents as exhibits during a divorce or family law trial. The Arizona Supreme Court, therefore, created Rule 2b in the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure.

Rule 2b provides that all relevant evidence is admissible in a trial without adherence to the strict requirements of the Arizona Rules of Evidence. This means a party in a divorce case may introduce evidence without laying a foundation for that evidence and may even testify about what other people have said about either party or their children.

The only exception to this is if the probative value of the evidence sought to be admitted is outweighed by unfair prejudice, confuses the issues in the case, will create undue delay in the case, is a waste of time, needlessly presents cumulative evidence, lacks reliability, or was not timely disclosed to the other party to the case.

By filing a timely Rule 2n notice, either party may require strict compliance with the Rules of Evidence and, thus, require a party to a divorce or family law case to lay a foundation for exhibits and the testimony of all witnesses. The following is a copy of Rule 2b:

Rule 2. Applicability of Other Rules
A. Applicability of Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. The Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure apply only when incorporated by reference in these rules. In 2016, the Arizona Supreme Court adopted comprehensive amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, which took effect on January 1, 2017 (the “2016 amendments”).
Cross-references to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure contained in these rules, or in any Comment to these rules, or in the accompanying Correlation Table, are to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure as they existed before the 2016 amendments.
B. Applicability of Arizona Rules of Evidence
1. Upon notice to the court filed by any party at least forty-five (45) days prior to hearing or trial, or such other date as may be established by the court, any party may require strict compliance with the Arizona Rules of Evidence, except as provided in subdivision 2(B)(3). If a hearing or trial is set upon less than sixty (60) days prior notice, the notice provided for in this paragraph will be deemed timely if filed within a reasonable time after the party receives notice of the hearing or trial date.
2. If no such notice is filed, relevant evidence is admissible, provided, however, that the court must exclude evidence if its probative value is outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, undue delay, wasting time, needlessly presenting cumulative evidence, lack of reliability or failure to adequately and timely disclose same. This admissibility standard replaces Rules 403, 602, 801-06, 901-03 and 1002-1005, Arizona Rules of Evidence, except as provided in subdivision 2(B)(3). All remaining provisions of the Arizona Rules of Evidence apply.
3. Regardless of whether a notice is filed under subdivision 2(B)(1):
a. Records of regularly conducted activity as defined in Rule 803(6), Arizona Rules of Evidence, may be admitted into evidence without testimony of a custodian or other qualified witness as to its authenticity if such document (i) appears complete and accurate on its face, (ii) appears to be relevant and reliable, and (iii) is seasonably disclosed and copies are provided at the time of disclosure to all other parties and
b. Any report, document, or standardized form required to be submitted to the court for the current hearing or trial may be considered as evidence if either filed with the court or admitted into evidence by the court.
C. Applicability of Local Rules. To the extent these rules are inconsistent with local rules, the provisions of these rules shall apply.

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Chris Hildebrand

Chris Hildebrand

Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about Rule 2b of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure in a divorce to ensure everyone has access to information about community property laws in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and child custody attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce.

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