Frequently Asked Questions
What is Arizona Fathers’ RightsTM? How can you help me?
Arizona Father’ Rights (AZFR) is a Membership-based, not-for-profit organization. We are an all volunteer organization and operate as a support group. Our leadership and membership consists of Fathers just like you, so we know what stresses and concerns that you are juggling in your own cases. We do not discriminate based on Gender and we have some women who are members. We can assist you by helping you to learn to navigate the Family Law system within the County Courts in Ariona. We also teach you the basics of legal research and legal terminology so that you can learn to represent yourself in court. We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years. We function based on two principles:
1) Two Heads are Better than One
2) Knowledge is power
The best way to get started is to come to our monthly General Meetings. Click here to learn more about our meeting schedule.
How do I join AZFR?
You can join AZFR from the following page on our site: Join AZFR
I have never accessed the forum before. Why am I banned from the public forum?
Our public forum is intended to be free and open to the public. However, we have had quite a bad experience with Russian Spammers. We have had to ban these spammers through various mechanisms to avoid the forum being overwhelmed by hundreds, if not thousands of spam postings (I will refer to them these spammers as “those who shall remain nameless aka: TWSRN” who simply love to waste people’s time by spamming their sites. Once TWSRN gain access to the forum, then TWSRN use their privileges to spam everyone on the forum by sending out broadcast e-mails to everyone who is signed up on the forum. In the interest of avoiding this nasty situation we have taken the only sensible measure, which is to ban all TWSRN. As they most often spoof other people’s IP addresses when spamming our site, you were probably banned as a side-effect. If you have been banned and wish to access the forum, send your name, home address, telephone number, email address and IP address to firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be un-banned. Please place the phrase “Please Unban me” as the subject of your message.
Thank you, AZFR
Why must I log on to the PUBLIC forum?
Our public forum is intended to be free and open to the public. However, when we did not require log-ons to the forum, we were instantly slammed by thousands of messages from Russian Spammers (I will refer to them as “those who shall remain nameless aka: TWSRN” who simply love to waste people’s time by spamming their sites. Once TWSRN gain access to the forum, then TWSRN use their privileges to spam everyone on the forum by sending out broadcast e-mails to everyone who is signed up on the forum. In the interest of avoiding this nasty situation we have taken the only sensible measure, which is to require you to sign up and log onto the forum in order to post messages.
What is the first step?
Your first step should be to join Arizona Fathers’ Rights or a similar Fathers’ Rights organization in whichever part of the country you live, or wherever you have a family law case. Many people will advise you to hire an attorney as your first step. You may even be pressured into consulting with an attorney because friends and even family will tell you the old saying, “A person who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client.” Don’t be pressured by friends or family. The opposite may be equally true: a person who is represented by an attorney in court is a damned-fool client. The first step is not terribly complicated. There are two basic scenarios: 1) If you are married, then you will be filing either a petition for divorce or you will be replying to your soon-to-be-ex’s petition; or 2) if you were never married, then you will be filing a paternity action. In either case, don’t file until you’ve thought things out carefully. Ideally, you should have attended a few Arizona Fathers’ Rights meetings and Law Library sessions before you initiate a family court case. Remember: Knowledge is Power!
Must I have an attorney to get a divorce in Arizona?
No. The law does not require you to hire an attorney. AZFR typically recommends that most fathers learn to represent themselves in court. Not everyone is cut out for self-representation, but surprisingly, many father have found it straightforward to plead their own cases in the Superior court. In fact, the State Supreme Court has acknowledged that as many as 80% of all parties in Family Court proceedings appear without attorneys. A self-represented litigant is referred to as a “pro per” or “pro se” litigant.
What happens if me or my spouse cheated on the other partner?
Arizona is a no fault divorce state. That means that neither party needs to prove fault on the part of the other spouse. The court therefore will not be concerned with the infidelity of either party during the marriage. My spouse said that she will not agree to a divorce, can I still obtain a divorce? Yes. The Courts do not require that both parties agree to the divorce. Either party may petition for divorce and the Court will adjudicate so long as one of the parties is seeking a divorce, and again, there is no need to prove fault by the other party.
Is the filing or granting of my divorced or filing of my paternity action a matter of public record?
Yes. Documents filed with the court such as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a final decree or a Petition for Paternity are accessible by the general public. In addition, scholarly researchers often find the data managed by the clerk of court to be useful in their research and may use these records for their scholarly pursuits. IMPORTANT: knowing that these documents are public record documents, you are well advised to censor anything from the documents that you file that you would not want other people to know (for example, your employer, your children). There are certain pieces of non-public personal information that the court requires and cannot be censored from your filed documents. The only way to keep information in a particular filing confidential is to move the court to seal the record. Please keep in mind just because you move the court to seal a record, doesn’t mean that the court will grant your motion.
What is a resolution management conference?
The designated purpose of a resolution management conference is to allow the court to work with the parties in a non-adversarial setting to determine how far apart the parties are in regard to resolving the matter without the need for a trial. If one party is particularly unreasonable in their demands, it may not be possible to settle; however, this is also a good opportunity to document the position statements of the other party, which is extremely useful information to have documented in the event that the case does proceed to a trial.
My ex and I reached a verbal agreement and it’s worked for years. Now she’s reneging on the agreement. What should I do?
When it comes to family court a verbal agreement is not a solution. It is not enforceable and what’s worse still is that if you only have a verbal agreement or even an agreement signed by the parties but not endorsed by the court, the other party can legitimately sue you for back child support and very likely obtain an award, even if you were providing financial support during the time of the alleged agreement. Verbal and even written agreeements that are not backed by the authority of the court are actually more problematic than you can posssibly imagine. If it’s not ordered by the court, you cannot enforce it and any financial agreement can be challenged after the fact. It’s remarkable the number of people who come to AZFR indicating that they’ve been providing for their children for years at great expense and then wind up getting a judgment against them for tens of thousands of dollars for back child support. This is simply a risk that no one in their right mind should take. Verbal agreeements and written agreeements that are not lodged with the family court are entirely worthless!