After the parents divorced, the Mother was originally designated as the primary residential parent, with Father exercising parenting time every other weekend. Pursuant to that order, the parties shared joint legal decision-making, though Mother typically made these decisions unilaterally without involving Father as the order required. Mother also moved around quite a bit and Father believed this adversely affected the children. These were the significant changes to circumstances that justified modification of both parenting time and legal decision-making.
Father retained our law firm to represent him in this case. Father’s main goals were to invert the parenting schedule to make him the primary residential parent and to assume responsibility for making the important legal decisions in the children’s lives.
We requested mediation for the parties to efficiently resolve this case and minimize our client’s expense. Unfortunately, like many litigants do, Mother maintained unreasonable positions and refused to entertain settlement. At that point, we prepared for trial and asked the family court to reimburse Father’s attorney’s expenses incurred as a result of Mother’s unreasonableness, pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-324.
After trial, the judge granted all of our requests. Father was named primary residential parent and given final say legal decision-making authority. Mother was ordered to pay all of Father’s attorney’s fees.