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  • Support Staff | Morse Law Group

    Support Staff Meet The Team Joy Morse Office Manager Jennifer Labodi File Clerk Cassidy Moore Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Koda Office Dog Office Dog Niko

  • Morse Law Group | Arizona Divorce Lawyer | 7220 North 16th Street, Building D, Phoenix, AZ, USA

    MORSE LAW GROUP Family Focused Family Law WE ARE READY TO LISTEN TO YOU Phoenix Family Law Attorneys Phoenix Family Law Attorneys Custody, Divorce, Separation Family Law Firm PRACTICE AREAS PRACTICE AREAS FAMILY LAW Morse Law Group is a family law firm which means we handle cases involving family relationships, divorce, custody, child support, parenting time, etc. CHILD SUPPORT In Arizona Child Support is calculated pursuant to Arizona Child Support Guidelines. If you need child support, are paying child support, or want to know more, contact us. DEPENDENCY Dependency occurs when the state determines that a parent is unfit or unable to care for their child or children. If you have questions, or need help with a dependency case, give us a call. GRANDPARENT & NONPARENTAL CUSTODY If you are a grandparent or a nonparent and want to know more about your rights and your options, we can talk you through it. MEDIATION With a focus on non-adversarial resolution, mediation gives you the opportunity to control the outcome of your discussions, and allows you to better maintain relationships. CHILD CUSTODY In Arizona "custody" is broken into two parts: legal decision making and parenting time. COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE Collaborative Divorce is a unique procedure which allows couples to go through the divorce process with a team of specialized lawyers, legal professionals, financial professionals, and mental health professionals to achieve a peaceful resolution. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE If you are a victim of domestic violence there are unique challenges and concerns that you may have when it comes to getting a divorce. But once you hire a law firm, you are not alone anymore. You have help fighting your battles. GUARDIANSHIP & CONSERVATORSHIP Many life changes leave you in need of assistance. You may find your elderly parents can no longer make reasonable decisions for themselves, or you need someone to take custody of your child. PRENUPTUAL/POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS If you are planning on getting married or are already married, we can walk you through your options to protect your property. CREATING POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR OVER 30 YEARS Morse Law Group is a focused family law firm with decades of experience. We believe every family deserves a quality attorney who will work tirelessly on their clients’ behalf. We combine years of excellence and creative thinking to bring you the best possible results. How Will You Achieve Your Family's Best Possible Future? At Morse Law Group, our legal team brings focused attention to your case. Whether you need a divorce or are working to find a stable co-parenting situation, our firm has the skills, experience and adaptability to find a solution that fits your family’s unique situation. Our attorneys work with you to: Identify clear and reasonable goals that accurately reflect your needs ​ Evaluate your options, including courtroom litigation, mediation, and collaborative law ​ Execute a strategy that works quickly to bring a stable solution to you and your loved ones Our firm has helped families and residents find solutions that reflect their needs and wishes since 1996. You can trust us to guide you forward. OUR VISION A Family Law Firm Focused on Peaceful Dispute Resolution When families experience changes, compassionate and dedicated representation can help minimize stress, providing thoughtful decision-making about the future. Since our inception in 1996, that is the type of legal representation Morse Law Group has provided to the residents of Phoenix and the surrounding communities. ​ Arizona families can entrust their delicate situations to our boutique law firm. Our attorneys possess a psychological understanding of conflict. Meanwhile, the combination of alternative dispute resolution methods and litigation enables us to provide comprehensive approaches to contentious, emotionally wrought family matters. ATTORNEYS OUR ATTORNEYS JUDITH A. MORSE PARTNER Tel: 602-277-6900 KAELA N. GRAY ASSOCIATE Tel: 602-277-6900 CONTACT OUR ADDRESS 7220 N 16th Street Bldg D Email: Tel: 602-277-6900 Click Here to Find Us For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form: First Name Last Name Email Phone Brief Description of Your Legal Issue Case Number (if applicable) How Would You Like To Be Contacted? Phone Email Upload File Upload supported file (Max 15MB) Submit Thank you for your inquiry. Someone from our firm will be in touch. If your matter is urgent, please give us a call at 602-277-6900 Company BACK TO TOP

  • Judy Morse | Morse Law Group

    Judy Morse As your attorney I will listen to you, and advocate for you. You can relax and hand over the reigns, knowing that I will address your case from a rational perspective, with your best interests in mind. Biography The founder of Judith A. Morse, P.C., now known as Morse Law Group, Judith A. Morse has been practicing law for more than 34 years. Judy graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, with a degree in Psychology. After working as an Adult Probation Officer in Maricopa County, Arizona, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School. During law school, she earned several honors, including being named as a Kiley Fellow and being selected for the Notre Dame Law Review. After law school, Judy worked for Gallagher & Kennedy, a large Phoenix law firm, specializing in insurance defense, highway design litigation, Indian Gaming law, and general commercial litigation. The partners at Gallagher & Kennedy recognized her skills and dedication by electing her partner/shareholder only five years after she joined the firm, making her the first elected female partner of the firm. The extensive training provided at Gallagher & Kennedy, along with the emphasis on strong writing skills and courtroom experience prepared Judy well to branch out and start her own firm. In 1996, Judy formed Judith A. Morse, P.C., a small boutique firm specializing in collaborative divorce, mediation, general family law litigation, complex divorce property issues, adoption, and guardianships. Over the past twenty years, Judy has represented her clients in a variety of cases with issues such as grandparents' rights, in loco parentis rights, child support modifications, spousal maintenance, business valuations, property valuations, custody valuations, parenting time issues, step parent adoptions, open adoptions, dependency cases with the Department of Child Safety, termination of parental rights, enforcement of divorce decree, and relocation cases. Judy's background and work experience in the field of psychology and mental health gives her an advantage in complex child custody and parenting time cases. She often involves mental health professionals in the process, especially when children are showing signs of being negatively impacted by the divorce, when one parent is alienating the other parent, or when the level of conflict has become so high that intervention is necessary. For her legal knowledge, experience and strong adherence to the Arizona Supreme Court professional standards of conduct and ethics, Judy has earned the AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating* through Martindale-Hubbell and an Avvo rating of 8.2. She is also recognized by her peers for the quality of her work by the numerous referrals from prior clients, parties against whom she has litigated, and attorneys practicing in family law as well as other areas. In order to serve the legal community, Judy serves as Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court. She volunteers her time conducting ADR Settlement Conferences for parties wanting to resolve their disputes out of the courtroom. She is a member of the Arizona State Bar and its family law section, the Maricopa County Bar and its family law section. As part of her ongoing commitment to making the divorce process better for families, she is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) and member as well as former president of Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Arizona. Judy is a also a member of Arizona Association of Family Law Attorneys and both the National and Arizona Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Education Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana J.D. - 1986 Honors: magna cum laude Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts A.B. - 1980 Published Works Treble Damages Under RICO: Characterization and Computation 61 Notre Dame Law Review 526, 1986 Professional Associations State Bar of Arizona, Member Maricopa County Bar Association, Member American Bar Association, Member Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Arizona, President Contact I'm here to listen, and to help. Divorce and family law issues can be very emotional, let me be your advocate. 602-277-6900

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Blog Posts (2)

  • "Custody" in Arizona

    My Spouse and I Just Separated, What About our Kids: A Legal Guide to Arizona’s Parenting Time & Legal Decision-Making Process By Amanda Carrizales In Arizona there is no "custody." What is known as "custody" is broken out into two parts: legal decision making and parenting time. Parenting Time You may have heard people refer to the term “custody” or “visitation” when dealing with the scheduled amount of time each parent has physical time with the child(ren). In Arizona, what you may think of as "custody," (the physical, in-person time you spend with your child) is called “parenting time.” TERM TIP: "PARENTING TIME" = physical, in person, time with the child(ren) What does that mean? Each parent during their scheduled parenting time has the responsibility of providing the child with food, clothing, and shelter and may make routine decisions concerning the care of the child. What is a parenting plan? A parenting plan is your plan to see your child(ren). Parenting plans should be detailed and should include (1) a schedule for when you have the child(ren) and when their other parent has the child(ren), (2) a time and location for exchanges to take place, (3) who is transporting the child(ren) (i.e. will they be dropped off? picked up?) What are my options for a parenting schedule? Your parenting schedule can be whatever you make it, whatever makes the most sense for you and your family. However, there are some regular parenting time schedules that families tend to use: "Week On/Week Off" - Exactly how it sounds, a week on/week off schedule has the child(ren) spend one week with one parent, then the next week with the other parent. This schedule works best with older children, and is normally not recommended for infants/young children. For younger children, shorter, frequent, parenting time visits with each parent are preferable for their development. “5-2-2-5” - A 5-2-2-5 plan is where one parent has Mondays and Tuesdays overnight, the other parent has Wednesdays and Thursdays overnight, then the parents alternate Friday-Saturday-Sunday overnights each week. This schedule is a two-week rotation. "2-2-3" - A 2-2-3 parenting schedule means that the child(ren) are with one parent for two days, then the other parent for two days, before returning to the first parent for three days. A 2-2-3 schedule is considered an alternating schedule, which means that your parenting time days will alternate every week, meaning, one parent won't always have Mondays. A benefit to this schedule is that you get to have parenting time on various days. A downside to this schedule is that you will not always have parenting time on a set day, Monday for example, which can be harder for making plans. I want to have "sole custody". It is very difficult to get sole parenting time. Arizona family courts lean heavily towards child(ren) having access to both parents, on an equal parenting time basis. In fact, one of the factors courts look at when determining parenting time is which parent is more likely to encourage a frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact between the child(ren) and the other parent. However, in specific instances of very serious endangerment, the court may limit or require supervision of one parent's parenting time. Legal Decision-Making What is Legal Decision Making? The courts differentiate between the physical time you spend with your child and the major decisions a parent can make legally for the child, such as education, and health. TERM TIP: "LEGAL DECISION MAKING" = major education and health decisions for the child(ren) Joint Legal Decision Making Joint Legal Decision Making is when both parents discuss and make decisions concerning the children's health and education together. Neither party has final say, or "veto power" over the other. Final Say If two parents are incapable of reaching a decision as to the child(ren)'s education or health, you can ask for "joint legal decision making with final say." Both parents will still have to discuss decisions, and try to reach an agreement, but if no agreement can be reached, one parent gets to make the decision. Oftentimes, if a parent has final say, it is to only healthcare decisions or only educational decisions. Can I get sole legal decision making? Parents can always agree for one parent to have legal decision making, or to have sole legal decision making just for healthcare decisions or just for education decisions. Courts are not inclined to award one parent sole legal decision making unless it is absolutely necessary. Some circumstances that the Court may consider are: Drug or alcohol abuse Child abuse Domestic violence involving the kids Criminal history Severe mental health issues One parent's refusal to allow the child(ren) to receive medical treatment Who decides the legal decision-making and parenting time? You! Parents can always agree between themselves, and then have their agreement filed or put on record with the Court. If an agreement is not on the record or in writing, and signed by both parties, then it is not enforceable. If you have reached an agreement as to parenting time and legal decision making, write it down, and make sure you both sign it. If you cannot reach an agreement, then the Court will decide. However, you know yourself and your family the best, so it is always preferable to reach an agreement as opposed to letting the Court decide. Do I have to have the same schedule forever? No. Over time, and with changing circumstances, you can modify parenting time and legal decision making. These modifications can either be made by agreement of both parents or by a Judge. LEARN MORE See A.R.S. § 25-401 for the definition of Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time. See A.R.S. § 25-403 for the factors the Court considers when making a decision

  • Legally Single

    What is “legally single," and can you follow in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps and do the same thing? After a tumultuous few months following filing for divorce in 2021, as of March 2, 2022, Kim Kardashian has been declared “legally single” by California judges. If you are going through a divorce or thinking about going through a divorce, you might wonder what it means to be “legally single,” and how/if you can do the same thing. What is it? “Legally single” is a phrase Kim Kardashian has used to bifurcate (split) her divorce proceeding into two parts- separating her relationship status and legal name from assets and child custody. Bifurcation is used to allow one party to move forward with their romantic life as a single person, while dealing with other more complex matters like finances and parenting. Kardashian’s argument was that her husband, Kanye West, was never going to move forward with divorce (as he had been skirting divorce court dates and paperwork) proceedings, and that she wanted to be able to move on. So essentially, “legally single,” is part one of a two part divorce proceeding, that allows a party to not be married, while not yet being fully divorced. Can you become “legally single” in Arizona? The short answer is, no. Arizona does not allow bifurcated divorces, and therefore, there is no way to become “legally single,” before completing the other requirements of the divorce process. Kim Kardashian is getting divorced in the state of California, a state which, by statute, permits bifurcated divorce. California Family Code § 2337(a) allows the court (in California) to sever and grant an early and separate trial on the issue of the dissolution of the status of the marriage, apart from other issues (like assets and childcare). In Arizona, Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-312(4) requires the court to divide the parties’ assets and debts, enter child custody orders, enter child support, and, if appropriate, enter spousal maintenance when issuing a divorce decree. The court therefore, is not allowed to grant a divorce decree without first resolving other matters like assets, debts, custody, and support. Further, the Arizona Supreme Court held that the use of separate judgements to resolve issues of marriage dissolution and property distribution is erroneous. Porter v. Estate of Pigg. So, in Arizona, you cannot separate out the different “parts” of a divorce, allowing a party to be “legally single” separate from all the other matters. What can you do? In Arizona, before a divorce is final you can still legally change your name, and enter into binding partial agreements that allow you to resolve one matter, like property or custody, before the divorce is final. This normally happens when the parties are stuck on one matter, but want to move forward/resolve other things that they agree upon.

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