Unauthorized Relocation of Children in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”
Posted on : January 24, 2016, By: Christopher Hildebrand
Unauthorized Relocation of Children in Arizona
In Mangan v. Mangan, John V. Mangan (Father) filed numerous petitions and motions regarding the failure of Deborah J. Mangan (Mother) to follow court orders providing for him to exercise his court-ordered parenting time. After a petition for post-decree mediation, a petition to enforce parenting time, enforcement hearings, a petition to modify parenting time, custody and child support, and a motion to take possession of the children by force, Mother finally appeared telephonically for a return hearing on April 8, 2010. She had failed to appear for many of the prior hearings.
Temporary orders were issued requiring the parties to participate in a Parenting Conference, requiring Mother to provide Father with access to the parties children by telephone in addition to in-person parenting time, and ordering the exchanges of the children to occur in Flagstaff, Arizona. A status hearing was set for May 14, 2010, and a final trial date was set for August 2, 2010.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On April 20, 2010, Mother filed an accelerated motion to transfer child custody jurisdiction, pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, based on her argument that the children had been residing in New Mexico since April 2008. In the motion to transfer, she challenged the family court’s jurisdiction. The court denied the motion. The court noted that the mere passage of time could not undermine the Court’s home state jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”).
At the temporary orders status hearing on May 14, 2010, the court issued various temporary orders to ensure Father received his court-ordered parentieng time. By the end of August 2010, the court had conducted two additional hearings concluding by reaffirming Arizona as the home state of the children, declaring the court had not relinquished its jurisdiction over the children, denying Mother’s motions and petitions, ordering joint legal custody with Father having primary residential custody, and awarded attorney fees to the Father.
In June 2010, Mother filed for an Order of Protection and made allegations of abuse and improper conduct against Father. She made allegations that he failed to pay child support and made misrepresentations to the court. She sought increased child support and sanctions. The Order of Protection was quashed on June 25, 2010, due to a lack of evidence. On appeal, Mother argued that the family court erred in their decision that Arizona retained jurisdiction over the matters at hand. The Arizona Court of Appeals finds no error in the decision of the family court regarding jurisdiction. Mother herself designated Arizona the “home state” when filing for divorce.
Child Custody Jurisdiction in the Case
Unauthorized Relocation of Children in Arizona.
She and the children moved back to Arizona two years later. She invoked the jurisdiction of the Arizona court system when it was convenient to her. Mother did not seek to utilize the provided statutory mechanism to request relocating with the children. Instead, she left with the children, evaded service, was found in contempt by the Arizona family court judge for failing to appear and failing to adhere to the custody and parenting time agreement. While in New Mexico, Mother and the children continued to relocate and continued to be found in contempt of court by the Arizona judge. This signifies a “significant” connection with the state of Arizona. Additionally, Father resides in the state of Arizona. He pays child support from employment in Arizona, he provides health insurance through his Arizona employer, and he has kept in touch with the families of the children’s friends in the Phoenix area.
While evidence exists in New Mexico in connection the children’s care, protection, training, etc. It also exists in Arizona. Father asserts (and Mother does not dispute) that no other court has sought jurisdiction over the children. Mother did not seek to invoke jurisdiction in the New Mexico court system. She actually utilized the Arizona court system regarding the children on a number of occasions.
The mother may not use her unauthorized conduct (i.e., moving the children to New Mexico without the consent of Father or the Court) that resulted in time spent out of state with the children to undermine Arizona’s home state jurisdiction. The Arizona Court of Appeals finds that the family court did not err when it concluded it retained exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over the child custody orders. The Arizona Court of Appeals, therefore, affirmed the family court’s child custody orders.
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