This show aired on May 28, 2017. It was hosted by David Enevoldsen and co-hosted by Shelley Rosas, an associate with the Family Law Guys. David and Shelley discussed various hypothetical family law fact patterns using super heroes and sci-fi themes to explore family law topics. The show was done on the same weekend as the Phoenix Comicon. Specifically, the show looked at fact patterns involving Joker and Harley Quin (characters from the Batman storyline—dealing with parenting time, legal decision-making, and domestic violence), Berry Allen and Iris West (characters from the Flash storyline—dealing with prenuptial agreements), Ash and Misty (characters from the Pokemon storyline—dealing with division of property in a divorce), and the Black Knight (a character from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail—dealing with an issue of grandparent rights).
Headlines on this show looked at the lawsuit by Brandon Vezmar against a woman over the cost of movie tickets for a date gone wrong and the announcement of divorce between Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor.
Did You Know
This show’s Did You Know looked at underage marriage, the legality of marrying minors in Arizona, motivations for marrying a minor, and statistics related to divorce and marriages of minors.
Announcer: Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona Family Law Firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce, and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage to [inaudible 00:00:39] the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married or going through divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon here on KFNX. If you want to know more or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys call 480-565-8680, that's 480-565-8680.
Announcer: The discussions and information provided in Family Law Report are intended to be general in nature and are not directed for any individual circumstances. No attorney-client relationship is being formed through this program. If you need legal advise your particular circumstances can vary from what is presented here, and you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your state.
Announcer: Welcome to the Family Law Report, the show that explores issues related to marriage, divorce and children, hosted by David Enevoldsen, a privacy family law attorney in Arizona. Now here is your host.
David E.: Hello everyone, welcome to Family Law Report. I'm your host David Enevoldsen here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. Here on Family Law Report we talk about all the current topics of family law, and that can range everything from what's happening in the political arena to just the basic stuff like how to work through the nuts and bolts of a divorce or other custody matter or something in the family law universe. I'm a practicing attorney and I work in the area of family law. When I say family I mean anything related to marriage, divorce, fights over custody of children, child support, grandparent rights, prenups, anything in that realm. I'm partner at a law firm here in Arizona called Family Law Guys, and we focus principally on helping divorcing parents avoid getting screwed out of time with their children. We have offices here in the Phoenix area, and while we don't practice outside of Arizona if you want to call and schedule an appointment to talk about your case, you can call us at 480-565-8680 or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com.
On today's show I'm joined by my co-host Shelley Rosas, who's here. Thanks for coming, Shelley.
Shelley Rosas: Good afternoon, David.
David E.: It is afternoon, that's like the first time I think you've said afternoon and not morning.
Shelley Rosas: Instead of morning.
David E.: Yes. Today we're going to be talking about ... I'll explain this a little more in-depth in a few ... We're going to be talking about basically family law hypos, but couched in a sci-fi or superhero theme as an homage to the Comic Con that's going on, and I'll explain that in a little bit, but first we're going to hit our headlines. I love this first story. Anytime you go on a date it's a gamble of course, as I'm sure you know.
Shelley Rosas: Yes, far too well.
David E.: There are great potentials for reward, you could have a great date or things could be terrible and it all could go-
Shelley Rosas: Lots of red flags.
David E.: Horribly awry. Well, we have a great example that hit the press of a date that went completely awry. Brandon Vezmar, a guy from Austin, Texas went out on a first date with a woman named Crystal. When they went out they saw The Guardians of the Galaxy 2, saw it in 3D, so it starts off well. Brandon in the traditional way buys Crystal's ticket, he spends $17.31 on the ticket, and then during the movie Crystal starts texting her friend. She pulls out her phone, Brandon starts getting irritated, he asked her to stop, she doesn't. Finally, he suggests that she go out on the hall, and then maybe come back if she really needs to text right now so it's not distracting everybody. She says, "I'll be right back," she walks out to the hall and then never returns. Now Crystal had taken Brandon to the theater, she was the one that driven apparently, and she leaves, never comes back, he of course gets upset, so he leaves.
He ends up contacting her family and saying, "You should reimburse for the cost of the ticket," and she just ignores him. He sends her messages, she just completely blows him off because she just wants nothing to do with him at this point, she thinks he's crazy. Incapable of tolerating this apparent offense he filed a suit in small claims court for the sum of $17.31 as damages.
Shelley Rosas: Because it was the total costs of the date?
David E.: Because that was the cost of the ticket for this 3D movie. In his complaint he wrote that, and I quote, "While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant's behavior is a threat to civilized society." Apparently Brandon spent $121 just in filing, which seems intuitive to me, because you're going to have to pay the filing fee, you're going to have to hire a process server, you're going to have to do all these fairly expensive stuff way more than the value of the $17.31. Now presumably you could get all that back by way of an order, because very often in small claims court you'll get your filing fee as part of the judgment, and then you'll get the process server fees or whatever [inaudible 00:06:11], but looking at the numbers here clearly this was about principle. In his head he felt so wronged by this texting incident that he filed suit.
The whole thing ended apparently when Inside Edition got the two of them together, and Crystal just agreed to pay this, and the Brandon in turn agreed to dismiss the suit. This has in turn sparked a bunch of controversy apparently, because people all over the place are coming out on the side of either one of these two, and they're arguing in favor that one or the other was right. Brandon has people arguing in his favor because they're saying that this is someone who has taken a stand against people's rude behavior in the movie theater, because all these people just do whatever they want and they go out there, and they are texting and distracting everyone else, and being obnoxious. He was actually called a hero on several sites, that he's standing up against all these horrible behavior.
On the other side of the fence there's quite a few people coming out saying that this is representative of male entitlement, that's the buzz phrase I saw several times. That basically he didn't get her to behave the way that he wanted, and he decided he had to put her in her place, and demonstrate that she had to be subservient and lash out. I was mind-boggled by the whole thing. One of the reasons that I like the story is that it seems so representative of what we see in the family court all the time. People get hung up on the principle of it or the concept or they can't let that other person prove that they're right, and this in my opinion happens in both men and women. I don't think this is just a male thing, I think this is both sides of the fence.
Shelley Rosas: Then they pay 10 times.
David E.: They pay 10 times that.
Shelley Rosas: 10 times the amount they would ... a divorce would cost on principle.
David E.: I had once an argument in open court, where some people wanted to go to trial over essentially a hummingbird feeder. They were ready to pay the attorneys ridiculous amounts of money to go forward and litigate this, when it didn't have to be. I mean it's stupid, go to Walmart and buy another hummingbird feeder, but this principle I think gets people hung up. Now at its core if you think about what's being said here, in terms of what he is trying to effectuate, he is trying to supposedly take a stand, prove that he's right, tell all the other people out there that are texting in movie theaters that we're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior or some such thing. The problem in my mind is that's not what's going to happen at all.
Basically he's going to create a whole bunch of running around for nothing. She is not going to walk out of this, no matter how it ends, whether she's ordered to pay it and some judge says, "You're a horrible person, you should never have texted. You're going to pay his filing fees, plus the $17.31 for the ticket, whether that was how it ended or whether it was some other mechanism, she is not going to walk out of this experience going, "You know what, that's right. I shouldn't text in a movie theater," and that was a completely rational thing to say. She's going to walk away forever thinking that he's a crazy person.
Shelley Rosas: Isn't the issue more that she left the theater and left him there?
David E.: Well, I think that was maybe at its core, that's not what was being presented.
Shelley Rosas: He didn't enjoy his date not just because she was texting in the theater but ...
David E.: Well, it kind of sounds like on the other side of the fence she was getting this he's a crazy person vibe, and she is freaked out, decides, "I'm just going to bail."
Shelley Rosas: I'd tell my daughter to leave.
David E.: I mean, maybe she felt that he was-
Shelley Rosas: Absolutely.
David E.: I mean this is a person who was willing to go file suit over $17.31, who knows how he would behave, and maybe that's-
Shelley Rosas: That's exactly why-
David E.: There were other kind of crazy vibes coming off when they were in the midst of the date, she just wanted to get away because she was getting freaked out. I don't know.
Shelley Rosas: That's exactly why I would tell my daughter to leave, if you feel like you're there with a crazy person go home.
David E.: Right. I guess my core point is rather than, and this we see in the family law universe all the time, where I feel like I'm constantly telling people, "Okay, just let this one little thing go," or, "Choose your battles," or, "Let's not fight over this one particular thing that doesn't really make any sense. I realize your upset, you're never going to convince this other person that you're right no matter what the judge ends up saying, and if you go to a court it's a total roll of the dice very often with things like this." Imagine this has gone-
Shelley Rosas: As we're finding out more and more.
David E.: Yes, we've had some of these experiences where I feel like I've got a rule down, and then you find a judge that has a slightly different understanding of that. I mean that's not an attack on the judge in my mind, because the judges are very frequently trying to do the best that they can, but there's a lot of subjectivity in some of the stuff that we're dealing with litigating, and that's-
Shelley Rosas: That's a discretion for the judges.
David E.: There's a lot of judicial discretion, and you don't always know how it's going to come out. The moral of the story in my mind from this, is to ensure that you choose your battles very carefully and choose your motivations for what you're trying to take to court, because like I said, this particular scenario wasn't actually litigated to the point where it got in front of a judge, as I understand it, but had it, I could see this going in either direction. I can see a judge saying, "This lawsuit is ridiculous, I'm throwing this out, other side is going to have to pay fees for it." On the alternative I could see a judge coming in, in support of this whole text message mantra and attacking back the other way. You don't know what would have happened, and really what are you fighting over $17?
Shelley Rosas: My bet would be a judge may just give the $17 and dismiss the rest.
David E.: Very possibly.
Shelley Rosas: You went on principle, but you lose on money.
David E.: Right, I'm going to go off my soapbox on this one. In other news there is ... another celebrity divorce has hit, apparently Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor have announced that they are getting divorced. They got-
Shelley Rosas: Well, that's kind of sad.
David E.: I know. They got married back-
Shelley Rosas: That's really sad.
David E.: In 2000 in Hawaii, they met while filming a pilot for the show Heat Vision and Jack. They have two children, they have a 15-year old daughter, Ella, and 11-year old son Quinlin, and they have just announced after their 17 year marriage that they are separating. This one was actually kind of surprising to me, I didn't expect this, but another celebrity divorce, and as I've said very often in the past, I very much like watching the celebrity divorces, not necessarily because they're gossipy but because I feel they're very reflective of everyday problems and the stuff that we see on a day to day basis. All right, we're going to take a quick break. I'm attorney David Enevoldsen, joined by my co-host Shelley Rosas, when we return we're going to be talking about sci-fi and superheroes right after our Did You Know?. If you want to call in and ask any questions, you can do so at 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned into Family Law Report on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX.
David E.: Welcome back to Family Law Report. I'm David Enevoldsen, your host, attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona Law Firm here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. I'm joined today by my co-host Shelley Rosas, who works for the same firm as myself. If you want to reach out and schedule an appointment with us, Family Law Guys, you can do so at 480-565-8680 or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions or share your thoughts, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX, and we are going to do our Did You Know?, and then we're going to talk a little bit about sci-fi and superheroes, and how that can intersect with family law.
First on our Did You Know? today ... on Did You Know? we always do some sort of trivia or little known fact about the family law universe or some of this digital thing from the past, statistics, sometimes we just do quizzes. Today I wanted to talk about underage marriage, and I don't think everyone realizes that you can have minors get legally married in the United States, in fact, most states actually recognize it. In Arizona in particular, if you were under the age of 18 you can get married. Now there's a couple of specific conditions, not very stringent ones if you're between 16 and 18, basically you just need the consent of your parents. That's it, you can get married if you're 16, 17, 18, well, 18 obviously, but 16, 17 you can get married as long as you've got the consent of your parents. Now if you are under the age of 16, the statute, which is ARS 25-102 if you care about it, says that you have to ... What? You're looking at me funny now.
Shelley Rosas: Because you always tell me not to use the numbers, just to talk in generalities, because people don't know it.
David E.: Well, I like numbers, I often run to them. If you're under the age of 16 then you have to have both the consent of your parents and the approval of the superior court judge. There also has to be premarital counseling, the judge has to find that the marriage is in the best interest of the child. Under 16 you got quite a few more requirements, but if you're in that 16, 17 realm then it's much easier, you just got to get your parents to sign off on it. Now this brings up some questions about, in my mind, whether or not that's a wise move.
I think I have a suspicion as to what the primary motivator would be to do this, but I was looking at a study from 1995, it was conducted, in which they looked at some data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at 10,847 people in its tally. In this study they found that 59% of marriages that were under the age of 18 ended in divorce within 15 years, whereas only 36% of the people in the study that were divorced ... that were 20 years old ended up getting a divorce. There's a pretty significant disparity in terms of when people were getting married, in terms of how likely they were to get a divorce after that. A pretty significant, about roughly two-thirds of the people getting married as minors were getting divorced in essence. That calls into question in my mind the propriety of, or the wisdom I guess of, not necessarily propriety, the wisdom of making a move where you're getting married as a minor. Now the ... what were you going to say?
Shelley Rosas: I was going to say I think it's interesting too because it always comes back to the state's interests in creating stable marriages, which are supposed to create more stable society, right? More stability for children.
David E.: Sure.
Shelley Rosas: Of course the ages vary by state to state, by jurisdiction, but I think it is interesting that a "handful of states" have allowed parties younger than 15 or 16 to marry without parental consent if the female is pregnant.
David E.: Right.
Shelley Rosas: Which is-
David E.: Which brings out one of my concerns. Now there's a couple of reasons I think this can pop up. Let me circle back to that thought. There was ... I noticed in the press recently that there was an underage marriage that had hit, and this was coming out of ... it was a Somalian marriage. There was a woman in Southern Somalia that had a family that was living in this pretty impoverished situation. There was a drought going on, and the family had a 14-year old daughter named, I'm not going to pronounce this right but Zainab, and mom needed money because she wanted to move the family to the border of Ethiopia, where there was this international relief agency giving out food and water that would help them with the drought. She marries off her daughter, this 14-year old daughter for a $1000 dowry, then they used the money to relocate so that they can get food and water from this relief agency.
There was this marriage, in this particular incident there was a marriage. Just to follow-up with the story there's a marriage celebration, a couple runs offs. Zainab, the wife, the 14-year old kid stays with the new husband for three days and then runs away. She goes back to the family, her husband comes following after, starts demanding repayment of the dowry, he is of course angry. It end up hitting the press, and there was a somewhat happy ending to the story, in that this Italian aide group comes in, they generated the $1000 to give back so that the daughter could end up going back with her family, but the point in my mind of this particular story, was that it seemed illustrative of one of the things that you could be having one of these underage marriages were, which I think historically was not so much modern times, but clearly we're seeing in some more desperate places, was just to get money. You could essentially sell off your daughter.
Now I think personally, my suspicion is that one of the other major reasons you would have it in the US, because again it's recognized all over the country is that it could be a defense to a criminal action if somebody's looking at some sort of statutory rape situation. Say for example you have an adult who goes and sleeps with a minor, impregnates that minor, all of a sudden everybody's freaking out and going, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to end up in prison," this guy that impregnated the minor. I think the defense to that is to, if you can get the parents onboard with it and marry the kid before it goes anywhere. If you can immediately marry the child now all of a sudden you've circumvented that, because in our statute ... I've actually read some situation ... You're looking at me funny. I read a few situations where this is the case.
Shelley Rosas: It's like the post-act repair.
David E.: Well, yeah, it is the post-act repair, but it is a defense under ARS. I'm going to say now their number, ARS 13-1407D, it specifically says that, "A defense to sexual misconduct with a minor is that you were married at the time the offense occurred." If you could presumably ... Now I know as a technical legal matter that wouldn't remedy it, but as a practical matter, in terms of gathering evidence, how are you going to prove if it was right about the same time that you get ... if you get married immediately, if you can get onboard with consent of the parents, immediately get married, nobody's really going to know the difference as a practical matter. I think sometimes this is also a defense to sex abuse and statutory rape type situations and trying to-
Shelley Rosas: I would have never thought about that.
David E.: Trying to avert someone getting thrown in prison as a function of that. It can be the dowry thing, it could be this, I don't know what the mechanism is. It doesn't sound like it's a very healthy way to go, but interestingly enough it is all still legal.
Shelley Rosas: Is it healthy to not have parents have the consent?
David E.: What do you mean?
Shelley Rosas: Well, I just think if in some jurisdictions underage or minors can get married, if the female is pregnant that doesn't necessarily sound healthy either. Just circumvent the parents because she's pregnant.
David E.: I don't think you're circumventing the parents because you still have to get their consent.
Shelley Rosas: No, that's what I ... I don't think-
David E.: Are you saying there's other jurisdiction?
Shelley Rosas: In some jurisdictions.
David E.: Well, I don't know about the other jurisdictions. I'm talking specifically about Arizona.
Shelley Rosas: In some jurisdictions the consent is not required if the female is pregnant.
David E.: Okay. Well, I'm not familiar with those specifically, but-
Shelley Rosas: But I find that stunning.
David E.: Regardless, it still raises this question above and maybe this is kind of this vestigial idea of you have to do what's right and marry the person with the shotgun wedding kind of situation.
Shelley Rosas: Well, and it's supposed to promote stability, and the question is, "Does that promote stability?"
David E.: Well, on the statistics that we have we're seeing it indicates exactly the opposite, because two-thirds of these, roughly two-thirds of these underage marriages are ending in divorce. You're really just lining your child up for failure if that's what's happening.
Shelley Rosas: Because marriage and pregnancy at the same time is twice as much.
David E.: That also makes sense. You've got someone who is not only not emotionally ready for this commitment, but now all of a sudden if you're coupling on the pregnancy component of that, as anyone that's had a child I think is aware, it amplifies the stress tenfold, and it's just if you're not prepared emotionally and handle all that you're just setting yourself up for disaster. Anyway, that is our Did You Know? for today and now we're going to jump in to our main topic, which as I said earlier is we're basically going to be doing some hypotheticals.
Now this is all spawning out of Comic Con, because Comic Con is this weekend. If you don't know what Comic Con is it's basically, as a friend of mine describe it, nerd Christmas. Basically it's just this gigantic convention in which people show up, there are celebrities that come. There's a massive vendor hall sorts of people selling stuff are there. People dress up in costumes for their favorite sci-fi or superheroes. They have contest and parades and displays and games. It's just a huge event. It's all sci-fi oriented, it's all superhero oriented, there's just a mix of all sorts of things like that. What we're going to do is we're going to create a few hypos, because Shelley love hypos, and-
Shelley Rosas: We're also going to point out that David went to Comic Con and I did not.
David E.: I'll be returning later today.
Shelley Rosas: He'll be returning.
David E.: If you're there-
Shelley Rosas: David wrote the hypos.
David E.: Meet me up.
Shelley Rosas: I'm finding them out as we go.
David E.: Shelley's kind of coming in cold here, but basically what I'm going to do is take a framework, make the assumption that Arizona law applies to each of these, and then each of them is going to be a fact pattern that's set around some sort of sci-fi or superhero set-up. It will be themed in terms of Comic Con-ish stuff, but it will be family law application. Makes sense?
Shelley Rosas: Perfect sense.
David E.: All right. We got a few of these and each of them is designed to have a different principle in place, and they shouldn't be-
Shelley Rosas: Too difficult for me, David.
David E.: Too difficult, because I know you're coming in cold here. Don't stress out too much, and if you're at home and you want to find ... contribute your own position on this, feel free to do so. All right, we're going to do this right after we come back from the break. I'm Attorney David Enevoldsen, joined by my co-host Shelley Rosas, when we return we're going to be talking about the sci-fi and superhero factual patterns that I talked about. If you want to call in and ask any questions, you can do so at 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned in to Family Law Report on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX.
Speaker 4: Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona Family Law Firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce, and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage to [inaudible 00:28:38] the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married or going through divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon here on KFNX. If you want to know more or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys call 480-565-8680, that's 480-565-8680.
David E.: Welcome back to Family Law Report. I'm David Enevoldsen, your host, attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona Law Firm here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. I'm joined today by my co-host Shelley Rosas, who works for the same firm as myself. If you want to reach out and schedule an appointment with us, Family Law Guys, you can do so at 480-565-8680 or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions or share your thoughts, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. Now today we are going to be talking about superheroes and sci-fi buried into family fact patterns. The first one up, Shelley, are you ready for this?
Shelley Rosas: I am.
David E.: All right, starts with Joker and Harley Quinn.
Shelley Rosas: Good Lord.
David E.: Are you familiar with them?
Shelley Rosas: Yeah.
David E.: They have a child named Lucy. Lucy is four years old. This is actually based on something. I didn't just make that part up. By the way all of these fact patterns I spent some fair amount of time, like I'm trying to figure out what I was talking about and getting some details that were [inaudible 00:32:02], and I took some liberties of course according to conformities.
Shelley Rosas: Are they married?
David E.: No, they're not married.
Shelley Rosas: Okay.
David E.: The Joker and Harley Quinn have a dispute over who should be caring for Lucy, this is the part where I took liberties, and who should have parenting time with Lucy, and have legal decision-making. Joker currently has her, physically has Lucy, and he is refusing to hand Lucy over to Harley Quinn, who is asking to have Lucy. Fearing some sort of nonlegal resolution, because these two have a history of being criminals, Batman jumps into the equation, intervenes and forces both Joker and Harley Quinn to resolve this dispute by way of the Arizona Court System. The following things are pieces of information that we have, fact patterns ... factual information that you can prove, like there is definitive proof of each of these things. Number one, Joker has a nice place, he lives in a hideout called the Ha Hacienda, which has a room in it that Lucy could have that's all her own. She has her own bed, a nice set-up, it's a pretty nice hideout, lots of things there, plenty of food. She can be well-cared for there. Point number two, Joker has previously tried to kill Harley Quinn-
Shelley Rosas: Good Lord.
David E.: He has got a couple of things that he's down. One is he tried to shoot her off in a rocket. She survived. She figured out how to reconfigure the rocket and bring it back to Earth safely.
Shelley Rosas: Did he intend to kill her by shooting her off in a rocket?
David E.: Yes, he did.
Shelley Rosas: That can be proven?
David E.: Yes, so assume that this can be proven. On another occasion Joker gave Harley Quinn some flowers and hid in the flowers a bunch of TNT, it had a bundle of TNT with the intention of blowing her up, and here again, Harley Quinn narrowly avoided her bad fate here. She discovered the TNT and threw it away before it could blow up. She shrugs off the incident as ... her rationalization is basically that Joker has commitment issues, she expressly says this.
Shelley Rosas: Which he clearly does.
David E.: Well, yeah, clearly.
Shelley Rosas: But okay, we won't go there.
David E.: Harley Quinn, here's another fact, Harley Quinn has zero money to care for Lucy. She previously, her last kind of employ she worked as a psychiatric intern, in part working with Joker, but she is not currently employed in any legal fashion at any rate. Using these particular facts and no other information, unless you have some other piece of information you want to contribute about Joker and Harley Quinn, they come to you, Batman drops them off in your court, you are the judge. What happens with respect to parenting time and legal decision-making? By the way, just as a quick aside, parenting time is in essence one of the major questions you're looking at when you have children, that is essentially where is the child when? If you have a parenting plan that could look something like a week on-week off, you could have every other weekend for one parent, and the rest of the time for the other. Legal decision-making is who gets to make legal choices about the child, what school does the kid go to? Doctor does the kid go to? That sort of thing. They come to your court, you're the judge, what-
Shelley Rosas: I'm going to predict as a judge only based on the provable facts and we'll start with legal decision-making because that's the easy part. In this particular case there's going to be a bar basically to joint legal decision-making because of the attempted murder on Harley Quinn, that's clearly domestic violence against the mother. It's going to preclude any joint legal decision-making agreement, and it's going to throw this into a one or the other. We'll have [inaudible 00:35:38] legal decision-making and clearly it's not going to be the party that tried to-
David E.: We're assuming they are not agreeing to anything because there's some dispute.
Shelley Rosas: Well, they don't have to agree.
David E.: Well, you just said legal decision-making agreement.
Shelley Rosas: Okay, I'm sorry, I take back the agreement part, but the judge is going to find still legal decision-making for Harley Quinn, even though she doesn't have money and she's not employed, and so legal decision-making to Harley Quinn. Now caveat here on Joker having any parenting time would be, and I don't have this in the facts, that he's probably completed some kind of independent mental health exam, and he is now not unfit. If he's not found unfit, which isn't in the fact pattern, he will have parenting time with the child.
David E.: You think that he will, even with the DV situation?
Shelley Rosas: I do.
David E.: Really?
Shelley Rosas: Only if on the caveat that he's been through some kind of independent mental health exam-
David E.: I see what you're saying.
Shelley Rosas: And has been found to be fit, now if these are the only facts and he's clearly unfit because we've got a conviction or some kind of actual criminal findings of these attempted murders-
David E.: Well, I'm saying there's no criminal findings, but there is a factual finding.
Shelley Rosas: Well, even if there's a factual finding I think he's going to get parenting time.
David E.: I think you may have parenting time, but the statute talks about the judge being able to put into place, and you maybe will be right-
Shelley Rosas: It might be supervised by an agency.
David E.: Right, when you have a situation with domestic violence, legal decision-making, you are kind of shut off their automatically by statute, but there's also a provision on the statute that talks about that the judge can put in measures to ensure that the child is safe. It's possible that it could, like you said, be a supervised parenting time.
Shelley Rosas: And graduate to an unsupervised parenting time based on ...
David E.: I think Batman would be the perfect ... supervising on this. We'll have like Batman sit there and watch Joker to ensure that the time ... that Lucy is safe.
Shelley Rosas: What was the third prong to this question?
David E.: There was only two prongs.
Shelley Rosas: Okay.
David E.: There was a, they come in looking for parenting time and legal decision-making, and what the.
Shelley Rosas: The other thing is you said that Joker has the child and he's refusing-
David E.: Correct.
Shelley Rosas: To give Harley Quinn time or the child, which also is going to play against Joker, because the judge is going to be looking at which and best interest analysis, which parent is more likely to allow continuing and healthy contact with.
David E.: That's correct, and just to explain that a little more, basically when you are in a vacuum if you ignore the fitness issues or the attempted murders-
Shelley Rosas: Which we clearly have here.
David E.: Domestic violence and I think we all know that Joker's a little bit crazy so he may have some problems with the sanity component of this, but in a vacuum taking all those things aside the court is supposed to do what's in the best interest of the child. There's a series of ... There's 11 factors under all these and other numbers ARS 25-403 Sub-Section A. If you care about those numbers, I like numbers, and that's one that's going to be permanently burned into my brain. One of those, that the court is supposed to look at is, which parent is more likely to encourage frequent meaningful contact with the child and the other parent. That would be another component of this analysis, as you just pointed out, I think.
Now one other thing I want to highlight out of this fact pattern is this DV dynamic, because this really strikes me looking at the comics. The Joker and Harley Quinn thing is just this blatant [inaudible 00:38:51] situation, where is completely hung up on him. She rationalizes all of his behavior. He does the craziest things up to the point of attempting to murder her repeatedly, and when explaining why he very often says, "Because he has feelings for her and he doesn't like that, so he wants to kill her." She just rationalizes it off. She brushes it off as though, "Oh, he's just got some commitment issues or something." That is just a screaming domestic violence situation.
It's a little bit bothersome to me, but at any rate it's one that we've seen, not necessarily to that extreme a level, but it is certainly a situation that you see where someone is in an abusive situation. Sometimes it is physical abuse, sometimes it's just severe emotional abuse, sometimes it's screaming at the other person repeatedly, and everyone just kind of rationalizes it. The abuser will say, "Well, this is just how it is," or, "This person deserves it for some reason," and then the abused victim will just brush off as though this is, "He is just having a bad day," or, "He has commitment issues," or whatever the thing is. Anyway, that's our Joker and Harley Quinn fact pattern. Next fact pattern involves Barry Allen and Iris West. Do you know who they are?
Shelley Rosas: Someone's parents.
David E.: Well, Barry Allen is the Flash.
Shelley Rosas: Okay, no, I don't.
David E.: Iris West is-
Shelley Rosas: This is why you go to Comic Con and I don't.
David E.: All right, Barry Allen and Iris West, they've decided they're going to get married, which they end up doing, and we're going to have to split this one because we're going to have a commercial break in just a second, but Barry decides the two of them should get a prenup, and so they talked about it a month before the wedding. She agrees, she says, "Yeah, let's get a prenup, no problem." The two of them get caught up in wedding planning and then the day of the wedding suddenly Barry realizes that he didn't ever pulled together the prenup. He reminds Iris using a text message.
He then, being the Flash it's just three minutes before the wedding is about to take place, he runs off using his Flash powers and generates the prenup, runs back, has two minutes to spare, hands it to Iris, she says, "Oh cool," signs up on it. They have a notary there, they sign off on the prenup. Let's assume that the prenup has full disclosures, there's asset and debt schedules on the back. They've got their tax returns, everything. Iris isn't complaining about it right now.
Shelley Rosas: They've been discussing it for a month.
David E.: They've been discussing it for a month. Let's fast forward a little bit, is there anything that this prenup can be challenged on down the road? Hold that thought, don't answer yet because we are going to jump to a commercial break in your end just a second.
Shelley Rosas: I can't even say absolutely.
David E.: That's right. I'm Attorney David Enevoldsen, I'm joined by my co-host Shelley Rosas, when we return we will be talking more about our sci-fi and superhero fact patterns and how they apply to family law. If you want to call in and ask any questions, you can do so at 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned in to Family Law Report on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX.
Speaker 4: Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona Family Law Firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce, and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage to [inaudible 00:42:06] the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married or going through divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon here on KFNX. If you want to know more or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys call 480-565-8680, that's 480-565-8680.
David E.: Welcome back to Family Law Report. I'm David Enevoldsen, your host, and attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona Law Firm here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. I'm joined today by my co-host Shelley Rosas, who works for the same firm as myself. If you want to reach out and schedule an appointment with us, you can do so by calling 480-565-8680 or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions or share your thoughts, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. Today we have been talking about Comic Con-related stuff, basically sci-fi and superhero fact patterns in family law sort of motif.
Right before we went to break we talked about a fact pattern in which Barry Allen and Iris West are getting married, and Barry Allen is the Flash, he runs off, gets a prenup, kind of at the last second, even though they talked about it a month beforehand, Iris his bride to-be signs off on it, and the question was is there any problem with this prenup? Can it be challenged later on? I guess the question is, can it be challenged later on, and if so, on what grounds?
Shelley Rosas: Absolutely, it could be challenged, and if I were the attorney bringing that challenge it would be for how voluntary was the consent and-
David E.: Explain.
Shelley Rosas: The execution of the agreement, just because of the time period before the wedding and how quickly it was written and put together, and also the inability of the parties, especially the party being presented with the agreement that didn't draft it to get legal advice or legal counsel, because you need some time to do that, obviously more than just a couple minutes. That's where I would challenge that prenup.
David E.: I would be inclined to agree with it.
Shelley Rosas: However, that being said if they've been discussing this thing for a month and they both were advised and aware that they could seek legal counsel and all of those things, and they waived it in writing, and they're both happy to sign it, it's possible it's not going to be a problem.
David E.: I would agree. Now I'm interested in whether if you reversed this analysis. Let's say that it was Iris who presented this to him at the last second, and the Flash is the one that got this three minutes before. Does this change the analysis? Because now all of a sudden the Flash has the ability to run off and do everything at light speed so-
Shelley Rosas: He could go get the legal counsel.
David E.: If we end up in court later on this challenge is he okay? Is Iris okay? Because now he presumably would have had plenty of time because he's the Flash.
Shelley Rosas: But he's less likely to be successful in his challenge.
David E.: I don't think you're going to find this particular thing in court here but-
Shelley Rosas: No, these are hilarious.
David E.: This was the fact that I was stuck on. The classic problem that I always think of with the prenups is kind of the stereotypical situation in my mind is you have this component in the analysis looking at sort of coercion or duress in terms of the signing, particularly if there had been no discussion whatsoever beforehand. Say you've got this huge wedding and everybody's in from out of town, you spent tens of thousands of dollars on it, and family's flown in from everywhere. Everybody's brought you gifts, and then all of a sudden your spouse runs up to you right beforehand and says, "Hey, here is the prenup, sign it or everything's off."
Shelley Rosas: But I've seen that be perfectly okay with the judge.
David E.: I have too.
Shelley Rosas: I've seen it.
David E.: Which goes back to-
Shelley Rosas: I've seen it.
David E.: I know you have, but what I'm saying is if we look at just sort of a vacuum for a second and assume that fact pattern, that can be problematic because under the statute you can have a situation that is coercive in that. You could have an extreme pressure to say, "Oh my gosh, if I don't sign this everything's off." Now that said, and this goes back to the theme I had a little while ago of you walk into a courtroom and the judge is making the decisions for you, there is so much subjectivity and so many different things, even if you think you know absolutely what's going to happen. We've seen so many incidents where you go in and it's just it's a roll of the dice. You have no idea what you're going to end up, and sometimes even if you know for sure that you are legally on point if the judge makes an error, and I'm not saying that this is necessarily because the judge is intentionally violating law or whatever, but in order to appeal that it's such an involved process that it's really often not worth it.
Shelley Rosas: It's so expensive.
David E.: Because you can spend ridiculous amounts of time and money, and it's just insane to have to get up there.
Shelley Rosas: I'm going to say one more thing, when I say I've seen it with the judge, I've seen it with a short amount of time, I've never seen it with just a couple of minutes in the Flash, I've seen it with a couple of days or within a day, but never within minutes.
David E.: Well, I don't think we've had the actual Flash.
Shelley Rosas: No, we haven't had the Flash.
David E.: Okay, write this one down, here is my next fact pattern. Ash Ketchum, you know who he is?
Shelley Rosas: No.
David E.: He's in Pokemon. He gets married to Misty. They don't sign any prenups.
Shelley Rosas: Ash, Misty, okay. No prenup.
David E.: Now before marriage Ash had a Pokemon named Pikachu, he acquired Pikachu before marriage. Misty had a Pokemon before the marriage named Psyduck. Before the marriage Ash also purchases a Magikarp, but he takes out a loan to get the Magikarp. During the marriage Ash is earning a paycheck and he uses his paycheck to pay off the loan on the Magikarp, and during the marriage Misty finds a Staryu.
Shelley Rosas: What is that?
David E.: It's a Pokemon.
Shelley Rosas: Okay.
David E.: Oh my God, you're hopeless?
Shelley Rosas: I am hopeless.
David E.: How do you not know these things?
Shelley Rosas: Because I don't have time for this.
David E.: Now with all of these Ash and Misty now get a divorce, what happens ... question number one, what happens to Pikachu?
Shelley Rosas: Is the Staryu a living thing or is it-
David E.: It is, all of these are living creature. Just.
Shelley Rosas: A Magikarp is a living creature?
David E.: Just pretend they're animals. Yes, a Magikarp is-
Shelley Rosas: They're like pets.
David E.: Sure.
Shelley Rosas: Or are they like children?
David E.: They're Pokemon. They're little like-
Shelley Rosas: I look into the facts and I wouldn't know a Pokemon.
David E.: Think of them as animals. Think of them as animals.
Shelley Rosas: Okay, they're like-
David E.: They're little beasties.
Shelley Rosas: They're property.
David E.: That you capture and you force them to fight for your entertainment.
Shelley Rosas: This is a property question.
David E.: I guess. I don't know.
Shelley Rosas: I got it.
David E.: Question number one, what happens to Pikachu in the divorce between Ash and Misty?
Shelley Rosas: Pikachu is the acquired prior to the divorce.
David E.: Correct.
Shelley Rosas: Pikachu goes with Ash.
David E.: Good. Number two, what happens with Psyduck?
Shelley Rosas: Psyduck goes with Misty.
David E.: Because it was also purchased before marriage.
Shelley Rosas: Correct, and they're paid off.
David E.: Correct.
Shelley Rosas: Yes
David E.: Number three, what happens with Magikarp, who was, and this is all going to these basic community property and separate property concepts, if it's acquired before marriage it's separate property, if it's acquired during marriage it is community property. Magikarp is the confusing one because there was a loan taken out on Magikarp, what happens with Magikarp?
Shelley Rosas: Well, Magikarp is going to be ... go with Ash, however there's probably going to be a community lien interest started by Misty against Magikarp for her half of what was paid for on the loan with the community pay checks coming in from Ash during the course of the marriage.
David E.: Exactly right, yes, because under Arizona law if you acquire something before marriage it's separate property, but if there's a loan on that thing, and you're taking community funds, A.K.A. your paycheck dumping into that loan paying it off, you're taking those community funds and dumping it into the separate asset, which now creates.
Shelley Rosas: This most often happens with the marital residence.
David E.: Correct, we've seen a lot there or businesses. All right, last one, what happens with Staryu?
Shelley Rosas: You're going to have to remind me Staryu was acquired by Misty-
David E.: Staryu was just purchased during marriage. She just purchased it during marriage by Misty.
Shelley Rosas: Staryu's going to get cut in half.
David E.: Correct. Poor Staryu.
Shelley Rosas: Half of Staryu goes with Ash and half goes with Misty.
David E.: [Inaudible 00:52:25] Staryu by cutting the poor thing in half.
Shelley Rosas: Well, yeah, we got to figure out how to equalize that between the two.
David E.: I want to get to the last fact pattern here. I really want to do this.
Shelley Rosas: This one was easy.
David E.: King Arthur has been traveling around the countryside on a quest for the Holy Grail. During his travels he runs into the Black Knight.
Shelley Rosas: I know these people.
David E.: King Arthur ruthlessly cuts off the Black Knight's legs and arms, he leaves only a bloodied stump on the ground, and then runs away. The Black Knight does his best to keep a good face, he's brave, but ultimately he bleeds to death. King Arthur does ... he just leaves, he doesn't call the paramedics and ambulance, nothing, he just takes off. Black Knight had a child and a wife that he left behind, Black Knight's parents, that is the child's grandparents want to see the kid, but the Black Knight's wife always said that she hated his parents. Now that he's gone she's refusing to allow the grandparents to see the child. Now just as an aside, King Arthur was ultimately caught and brought to justice at a French castle somewhere, and the police apprehended him. He is now facing charges for all of his wrongs, all his criminal conduct that he's engaged in, in his quest for the Holy Grail, but the question relevant here is, with Black Knight's wife now refusing his parents A.K.A. the grandparents, to see the child, is there anything that they can do?
We're running out of time so we got to make it quick.
Shelley Rosas: Okay, I'm sorry. I'm thinking about this for a second. The grandparents are not allowed to see the child at all, and mother has decided this.
David E.: Correct.
Shelley Rosas: Well, I would say that grandparents maybe out of luck because of
David E.: This conflicts with the statute, please explain.
Shelley Rosas: It does. I'm going to explain why, because Arizona is not necessarily caught up with the recent Supreme Court case yet and all of its-
David E.: What is that case?
Shelley Rosas: Troxel v. Granville, and Troxel v. Granville would say that if you have a living parent, and that living parent is fit, and that fit parent is caring for the child and has sole legal custody, let's just say in this situation because father has passed away, the decision being made by the fit parent is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. In the cases I've seen this mostly apply to however did have the grandparents having some access to the child, that the access was not a 100% cut off, but the grandparents wanted to come in and establish their own grandparenting time on a schedule and the mother said no. The court basically will say that the parent will decide in the best interest of the child. We're going to leave it there, and that's Troxel v. Granville, and that is a brand newish, couple of years old Supreme Court case that's going to trump.
David E.: Got you, all right.
Shelley Rosas: What we've had going on in.
David E.: That is about all the time we have for today's show. You have been listening to Family Law Report, I'm David Enevoldsen, an attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona Law Firm, and I've had with me Shelley Rosas, my co-host, who also works for the same firm. We have been talking about the sci-fi and superhero fact patterns, and how those interface with family law. Hope you join us again next week on Sunday at noon for more of the latest on family law here on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. Thank you all for listening.
Speaker 4: Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona Family Law Firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce, and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage to [inaudible 00:55:58] the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married or going through divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon here on KFNX. If you want to know more or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys call 480-565-8680, that's 480-565-8680.