Fathers' Rights Cases

Parenting Time Upheld

Description

In this case, Mr. Thomas represented a father. The mother in this case filed a modification petition because of the father's recent DUI, seeking to reduce his parenting time from equal time to limited, supervised visits, on the allegation that he had a history of alcoholism. The mother’s attorney presented strong evidence of the father’s frequent alcohol purchases using records he had subpoenaed of the father’s grocery store loyalty card. There were numerous alcohol purchases on an almost daily basis. Mr. Thomas, after a long and heated trial, convinced the skeptical trial judge to keep the father’s parenting time at 50/50. This was an astonishing result, given the mountain of evidence presented by the mother and her attorney.

Result

Convinced trial judge to keep parenting time split 50/50

Drug Addiction

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a husband against a wife who wanted sole custody of their minor children. Mr. Thomas demonstrated to the judge that the wife was a drug addict and should have supervised visitation only. The husband was awarded sole custody of the minor child. The wife continued to try different methods of reversing the judge’s decision but all such efforts were defended against, and Mr. Thomas persuaded the trial judge to keep the orders in place until a sufficient amount of time had elapsed to prove the wife was clean and sober.

Result

Prevented drug addict mother from gaining custody of minor children

Custody Win

Description

In this case, Mr. Thomas represented a father. The mother wanted to relocate both children to Michigan, where she had obtained employment and moved to care for her ailing parent. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge that the children (both girls) should remain in Arizona with the father.

Result

Both children remained in Arizona with their father

Denial of Mother's Appeal

Description

A mother demanded that the father not transport their young child in a bike buggy because it was allegedly dangerous for the child. Mr. Thomas represented the father, who prevailed at the trial court level. When the mother appealed. Mr. Thomas convinced the appellate court to deny that appeal.

Result

Father was able to continue transporting their child as he saw fit

Mothers' Rights Cases

Modification of Petition Denial

Description

For this case, Mr. Thomas represented a mother against a father who filed a modification petition and asked the judge to change his custodial status from sole to joint and to award him equal time instead of the every-other-weekend time he had been awarded at the original divorce trial. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge to deny the father’s petition, leaving his parenting time at every other weekend. The father also challenged the amount of child support he had been ordered to pay; Mr. Thomas demonstrated to the trial judge that the child support order was accurate and should not be modified.

Result

Convinced trial judge to keep custody arrangement & support payments the same

Jail Time

Description

In this case, Mr. Thomas represented a mother. The father was failing to pay his child support, and the mother had taken the father to court several times previously. However, the judge had not sent the father to jail for failing to pay the child support. Mr. Thomas filed a subsequent petition and convinced the trial judge to incarcerate the father. The father remained in jail for a period of months before finally obtaining a large amount of funds to use toward the child support and obtain release from jail.

Result

Had father sent to jail until he paid his agreed upon child support

Arizona to Utah

Description

In this case, a mother wanted to relocate to Utah. She, the father, and the children resided in Arizona. The father hired a very aggressive attorney to fight against Mr. Thomas. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge that the mother should be permitted to relocate to Utah.

Result

Convinced trial judge to let the mother relocate to Utah

Divorce & Marital Disputes Cases

Home v. Business

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a wife whose husband owned a pest control business. Mr. Thomas told the husband that he would need to pay the wife her share of the business. The husband laughed at Mr. Thomas and said his business was only him, his truck, some chemicals, and a desk in the corner of his bedroom. He taunted the wife at the settlement conference and told her that she and her lawyer could have the truck and chemicals if they desired. Mr. Thomas later obtained an appraisal of the business, showing it was worth almost $200,000. The wife was able to keep the marital home, which was approximately equal in value to the business. The husband got to keep his chemicals and his truck.

Result

Wife was granted the house to make up for husband keeping the business

Reduced Spousal Maintenance

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a husband who was a wealthy professional. His wife wanted $10,000 per month in spousal maintenance (alimony). Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge that the wife should receive far less than what she was requesting. The judge awarded her only $3,000 per month.

Result

Had spousal maintenance reduced by 70%

Disclaimer Deed

Description

In this case, Mr. Thomas represented a husband. During the marriage, the wife’s credit was much better than the husband’s. Therefore, when they purchased a home it was placed in the wife’s name alone. The husband signed a disclaimer deed stating he had no interest in the property whatsoever. The wife’s position at the divorce trial was that the husband should receive nothing from the hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity in the home they had lived in for many years. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge that the parties never intended that the husband was waiving his rights to the home. The husband was awarded half of all the equity in the home. Later, in an unrelated case in which Mr. Thomas was not involved, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in such a way as to make it much more difficult for attorneys like Mr. Thomas to get for their clients half the equity in the marital residence if a spouse signs a disclaimer deed.

Result

Husband was awarded half of all the equity in the home

Gambling Win?

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a husband in a case in which his wife had accused him of excessive waste of marital (community) funds because he had gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars. The wife wanted the husband to be ordered to repay the gambling losses. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge after a long and contentious trial that the husband should not have to repay one penny of the gambling losses.

Result

Husband did not have to repay any of the gambling losses

Deed Transfer

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a husband who was substantially older than his wife. The husband had signed a deed transferring their house and land (five acres) to the wife’s name alone over a decade prior to the divorce. In the divorce, the wife claimed that the husband was not entitled to any portion of the real estate. The wife hired one of the most aggressive female attorneys in the state and fought hard and long in an attempt to keep the property all for herself. Mr. Thomas proved to the trial judge that the husband had transferred the property as an estate planning transaction. The husband was awarded half the value of the real estate, much to the wife’s dismay.

Result

Husband was awarded half the value of the real estate

Waived Rights

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a man whose ex-wife wanted half of his 401K, which she claimed he had hidden from her in the divorce. Mr. Thomas presented a highly technical argument to the trial judge that the wife was responsible for her own situation because she signed certain legal documents in which she waived her right to this asset. The trial judge, over the wife’s vehement objection, ruled in Mr. Thomas’s client’s favor.

Result

Wife was denied any amount of ex-husband's 401K

Alimony Obligation Terminated

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a former husband who wanted to get his spousal maintenance (alimony) obligation terminated. His ex-wife hired an aggressive attorney and refused to accept the ex-husband’s compromise, whereby the ex-husband offered to reduce the spousal maintenance by half. Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge to completely terminate the ex-wife’s spousal maintenance award.

Result

Convinced trial judge to terminate spousal maintenance entirely

Student Loans

Description

Mr. Thomas represented a husband whose wife wanted him to pay half her student loan balances (over $60,000). Mr. Thomas convinced the trial judge that the wife should be responsible for most of her student loan balances, which was a major accomplishment because judges typically split all community debt equally. The wife was furious and filed a post-trial motion asking the judge to reconsider his ruling based on various points of law; her motion was denied.

Result

Student loan was split up so that the wife had to pay most of the remaining debt